In this section we are going to review the fundamental aspects to take into account to begin with the development of videogames.
Maybe it will happen to you as it happened to me when I was a kid who dreamed of making games, but it was something so unattainable that I put those dreams aside.
Today there are different tools that simplify the task of creating games and make it possible for a small group of people or even a person to bring their own creation into the world.
Starting with Game Development
Before you talk about what a video game is and useful tools, you might be interested in getting straight into the action, so I’ll tell you a little bit about how GameDevTraum’s video game development section is going to be structured.
I will create articles and videos belonging to three categories.
Tutorials and solutions for the Unity engine
In the first category will be all the tutorials and solutions for the graphic engine Unity, here we can find for example the series of the game of the labyrinth.
Maybe you don’t want to use Unity to work, but you might still be interested in the other two categories.
Analysis of videogames from the perspective of development
The second category will deal with video game analysis from the point of view of development, here we will examine different games and collect interesting data on menu structure, graphical interface, mechanics, effects and so on.
The third category will be used as a development journal, showing the things I do with my projects. Currently in my spare time I work on two projects, one personal and one with a group of people.
I am preparing the last two categories, so you will only find videos and articles from the first category.
¿What is a Videogame?
A computer, mobile or console games are basically a series of images that are played continuously on the screen, just like it happens in a movie or animation.
These images are called frames and by displaying many images per second a visual effect of continuity is achieved.
In addition we can control what happens on screen using peripherals (keyboard, mouse, tactile inputs, controller, accelerometers, microphones, etc.), with this we can modify the internal variables of the game and change the way it develops.
We can classify games in 2D and 3D, depending on how many spatial dimensions they use. Classic arcade games are examples of 2D games, while games such as first-person shooter games are in 3D.
How to develop a video game?
Now that we know a little about what a video game is, let’s think about how to create one. Basically there are two ways to deal with the problem.
Programming a game from scratch
For this we only need a code editor and the knowledge of certain programming libraries.
It is a rather difficult path because it requires a lot of programming knowledge as you have to write from scratch a graphics engine that can render 2D or 3D graphics using the graphics card. Also a collision system, physics, audio processing.
It’s definitely not the way to start, especially if we don’t know how to program and don’t have experience.
Auxiliary Game Engine
The other alternative is to use a software that helps us with the technical part, leaving us the logical and artistic part.
In this case a game engine offers a development environment prepared to render graphics, process sound and create video games for a wide range of platforms.
What tools can we use to develop video games?
Let’s use Unity 3D as it’s a versatile engine
With Blender we make 3D models and animations. It is a very versatile software with a large community. It can be downloaded from the following link:
We have an Indie license in Allegorithmic, which allows us to create PBR Seamless textures and also create textures for a particular model.
Allegorithmic offers a 30-day trial version and an educational license. More information in the following link:
We use Audacity to record vocals, sound effects and post-production. You can get it at the following link:
To create and edit images you can use GIMP, a free software similar to Photoshop.
One thought: Make a game without spending money.
We could think that using a graphical engine that is free to some extent and using Open Source tools will allow us to create games without spending a penny.
This reasoning to begin with is not entirely correct, for the simple fact that every project spends as long as it exists, there are expenses that we usually put aside (electricity, food, transport …) that arose precisely because we began to work on a project.
In addition to these expenses that are generally small, there is an expense that we are not very aware of due to its abstract nature. I am referring to the expenditure of time. Our time is precious and limited, so we must use it efficiently.
There will be situations in which we need something concrete for our game (it can be an effect, a set of 3D models, Scripts…) and doing it ourselves could take many hours of effort.
Solving it on our own is not bad, in fact it can be an experience that brings us a lot of knowledge, however we have to value the large amount of hours we invest trying to achieve it.
Let’s say we devote 15 hours. Are those 15 hours worth less than a solution we could have bought for $10? It’s very important to consider the amount of time you spend. Sometimes with a small investment we solve a big problem and in the process we can learn from it!
A few more words
On this page you will find projects that you can study and solve using the videos, files and information available.
You just need to know how to use a computer and install the programs.
All you have to do is download the Unity software and you can start learning from this page.
3D models, textures, audio and scripts are available.