Once upon a time about 2 months a go, I shared my collection for turning my future self into a game programmer. It’s called The little black book of newb game coding and you can click it and become wiser! Beware though, as this book is evil. For example, it did not want to die. It continued to bug me and ask me for a Part Two.
The little black book of newb game coding
Here’s a very useful free game making programs list compiled by Liz England, THE Liz who wrote The Door Problem. And here is a fresh new checklist from Kotaku. It makes me very happy to see that more and more How To Game Dev articles are popping up, because this is something on my To Do list, definitely, but also because I am very eager to play new games, have new experiences provided by people outside of this limited, crammed industry.
And people help, because people are awesome. Especially us, game developers 😀
Hacker School’s advice for programming
If you are in New York, you can go to the Hacker School. For Free. Hacker School is a “retreat for programmers” where you can spend three months to learn and code, together with like minded people who are willing to teach you. The school is not targeted to game development, but it has an awesome set of rules and advice for anyone ready to start coding. Here is a copy paste from their side, and I kept the original links because they help.
If you’re relatively new to programming
- Choose a text editor that is easy to learn and stick to it. If you’re not sure which one to choose, Sublime Text is powerful, intuitive, and available on Mac, Windows and Linux.
- Avoid large frameworks like Rails and Django until you’ve got a decent grasp on the language you’re using.
- Write lots of code. The specific code you write is less important than that you write lots of code.
- Don’t worry about choosing the “perfect” project. It’s easy to let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to project selection.
- Have your code reviewed regularly, ideally by someone who knows the language you’re working in well.
- Pair program, ideally with people who know the language you’re working in well.
- Develop a good mental model of your code.
- Become a systematic debugger.
- Write small programs from scratch.
- Give yourself progressively larger challenges. For example, write a project you think will take an hour, then an afternoon, then a day, then two days…
- Become comfortable with your tools, but don’t go overboard yak-shaving. Learn to use git, GitHub, a text editor and your language’s debugger.
- Avoid distractions.
Pixel Prospector’s true indie gold mine
In particular, their Getting Started Guide offers a brief 3 article reading list, splits game making software into Beginner (no coding required) and Advanced (some coding required) tools, encourages you and offers you a huge, easy to use list of resources for all your sound, graphic, design, marketing and more desires.
They also have a Unity tutorial for a 2D game by following a step-by-step comprehensive guide.
Finally there is a guide on how to build a web game with HTML5.
And if you made any games, please do share them! In comments, or talk to me, whatever works for you!