I want to create a game. What should I start?

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The game industry is a huge market today. According to the survey of Newzoo, the total volume of the global game market has reached 95,2 billion dollars in 2016.

Lots of rock-music fans begin to play guitars or drums and create their own bands sooner or later. Sport fans are strongly passionate about stepping to a football pitch or a basketball court. And those, who made hundreds of auto thefts for joyriding in GTA; those, who spent decades of hours in computer clubs playing Counter Strike; or those, who got good results in MMORPG games, – they are probably thinking about game programming. But the problem is that only the very small amount of high schools teaches this field. So game developers are self-made.

So, how to create a game? Firstly, there are three main groups of games: computer games, video games and mobile apps. Actually, there is no big difference between video games and computer games. But video games refer to games played on consoles (Xbox, PlayStation) handheld devices and smartphones. And computer games refer to games played on PC.

Important questions

Secondly, you should ask yourself some questions:

– Do I want to create my own game or an app?

– Do I want to work in a big or a small company?

– Do I want to do it professionally or do it in my free time?

– And what is interesting for me: creating an interface, gameplay or writing scripts?

If you set your goals in the right order, it will help you to economize your time and energy.

Let`s see how to create a video game. There are three main parts of game development process:

  1. Designing
  2. Creative work
  3. Issuing to the market

Game designing consists of several steps. Before you start, you need to choose a genre of the future game: action, RPG, strategy, quest, etc. The next step is called “setting”. Setting means the plot. The most popular settings are: fantasy, sci-fi, Middle Ages, steampunk, anime, comics.

Game development tools

Creative work refers to game development tools. There are a lot of programming languages. The most popular languages are Python, JavaScript, C++ and C#. Online games are written mainly in PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, C#, Erlang.

  • PHP – is a simple language to begin writing scripts: you can quickly write a working code. It is easy to start using this language, but you will need deeper knowledge, otherwise your code will be slow and bugged.
  • Python – is a strong programming language, which lets you write codes not only for web-games but also for video or computer games. It has a rather simple syntax (but it differs from other “C-alike” languages). Python is agile and fast, it has the richest library of codes.
  • Ruby – gives a fast start and development, but it is a bit slower than Python.
  • Java and C# – are very powerful programming languages, but they are difficult to learn.
  • Erlang – is a functional language with special architecture and syntax.
  • C++ – is the most difficult language. You can`t begin learning it if you don`t know other languages. C++ was used in the creation of Doom 3, Call of Duty, FIFA, and The Sims.

If you create a flash game, you may use ActionScript.

One of the key benefits in the game development process is the importance of constant self-improvement. If you want to become a game developer, learning new programming languages is a necessity. For example, experienced developers often have to write in 7-8 languages at the same time. So if you decided to connect your future with game programming, be ready to become a polyglot. The more languages you learn the more interesting and diverse challenges you will face. And, surely, you will increase your chances to get a job of your dream.

As for game development software or game engines, these tools are made to simplify and speed up the game development process. Making your own game is not a difficult thing if you don`t begin from scratch, but use game development software created by more experienced people. Why code standard game elements if someone has already created it? So you can skip this part and move on to creativity. There are many engines, which are free to use:

  • Game Maker – is a free game development software oriented to both beginners and people, who know how to make a computer game.
  • Unity 5.3.3p – is a multiplatform engine. Its free version has some limits than PRO version. It supports iOS, Android, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
  • Unreal Engine 4 – is still the most popular high-level engine.

And this is not a full list of game development software.

Concerning creative part of the game – you should just think of the characters, dialogues, landscapes, sounds, music, special effects. And again game development software will provide all tools for designing your game.

The final part of game programming is testing it and elimination of bugs

As for creating apps for iOS, Windows and Android, you can choose a mobile app company you want and create your own app. There are both free and PRO web-services. Here are two examples:

  • AppsGeyser – is a free mobile app company, which lets you convert your content into Android app and allocate it via Google Play. By the way, you can sell your own apps. AppsGeyser uses simple and clear templates.
  • Appsmakerstore – is an online mobile app company, which helps to create apps supported by HTML5, iTunes, Android Market, Blackberry Marketplace, Windows Marketplace and

Of course, describing all the small details of how to make a video game and a mobile app will be impossible in a several-paged article. But we told you that you should clearly see your goal during all game development process. Programming languages are necessary to learn, but you can learn them by yourself via the Internet. Visit Coursera website or watch YouTube videos on coding. You can also find IT bloggers and ask them questions about Python, Java, C++ and so on. Opportunities surround us – just start!

Anastasia Lobanova

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  • Евгений Дятлов

    Hey, nice article. But there is a lot of mistakes. For example: setting is not a plot. Setting is a graphical atmosphere, timeline, narrative. Yes, you classified it right: sci-fi, fantasy, etc. But plot is not a setting(it could be a part of setting, but not a full part).
    Secondary: programming languages. Newbee in game making wouldn’t choose the programming language, he would choose game engine(or constructor) for making his first game. Also, you should add in your article that:
    – Java is too difficult for computer, he have a low performance(look to a Minecraft, it can be laggy on a strong machines).
    – C++ has perfect performance, he is #1 in game programming(look to a Unreal engine, it use this language).
    – Python uses only for back-end game programming(data statystics), but coders use C++ libraries in Python interpretaror.
    – Erlang? It’s useless in game dev.
    Also, you could write more about game engines and constructors(Unity, Game Maker, Construct 2, Cocos, etc.) How i said, it would be better for juniors in GD.