Before one can build something, there are a few basic questions to answer:
- What do you want to be build exactly? (2D? 3D? Puzzle? Action? be specific)
- What tools/resources will you need?
- What skills will be needed to create resources/use tools to accomplish your purpose?
Since I want to jump in and create something, my aim is to gain experience. I know that I’m not going to create a perfect game on my first attempt, so I want to start with something simple and portable. That last time I attempted this about 12 years ago was with a tool called “3D Game Studio“. While I was able to create a few “working” 3D environments, and learned a lot about textures, sprites, blocks etc., I was never able to get a handle on scripting.
Also, given that I had no experience working with 3D modeling tools (would have been 3D Studio Max at the time), I had no way of creating models for actors, nor did I know anyone who was capable doing so. While I might be able to teach myself, this is a highly-specialized art that takes a lot of time and skill to master.
2D sprites on the other hand are something far more familiar to me as I can draw, and I am very comfortable with Photoshop (I ought to be, having used it for the last 18 years or so).
So going back to the questions above, here’s what I’ve got:
What do you want to be build exactly? (2D? 3D? Puzzle? Action? be specific)
A simple, 2D game with basic mechanics (right now I’m leaning toward a “Diabolika” clone)
What tools/resources will you need?
I’ve been researching non-programmer friendly game engines and came across GameSalad. It’s PC version is a bit buggy, so I’m hoping it’s just user error and not a reflection of the quality of the application.
What appeals to me about it is that I can use for free as long as I like, and will only incur a cost ($300 USD/year) if I elect to publish with it.
Edit: GameSalad went to a subscription model around June of 2015, and no longer offers a ‘free’ version.
This seems like a reasonable investment given that I’d have the ability to publish to Android, Apple and PC (HTML5) markets without having to do any porting.As to other tools, I already have Photoshop, and will be picking up a Wacom tablet to draw sprites with (I own one already, but that’s back in the US, and I’m currently working in Saudi Arabia).
As to sound effects and Music, I have a decent microphone, and have been creating electronic music on Skale (a windows-based version of Faster Tracker II) for almost two decades, and have literally hundreds of pieces (some finished, many not) of original music I’ve composed myself, and can use as source material.
What skills will be needed to create resources/use tools to accomplish your purpose?
Of all the tools listed above, the only one that’s new to me is GameSalad. Thankfully, there are a lot of Tutorials on YouTube that explain the basics, as well as other resources provided by GameSalad and others to help me get started. I’m currently working my way through a series of tutorials created by “Matt P”. From what I can tell, this appears to be part of a formal game creation class as he’s also included links to the source material in his comments (sprites, sounds, music etc.).I’ve watched and followed along with 3/9 of the videos so far, but I’ll write more on that in my next post…