Getting started with game development

How I got into game development (And how you can too)

Years ago, for reasons I don’t remember today, I did some basic research on how to make my own videogames. Back then I was just a kid, who only spoke Spanish, and years ago there were not a lot of resources and tutorials on Youtube, or at least I was completely unaware of them. With my limited knowledge I found the following options.

I chose Unity and I was kinda confused about its interface, but willing to give it a try. But I guess I was kind of dumb, and instead of looking for guides on how to get started, I was looking for pretty specific things, “How to shoot on an FPS”, “How to make 3D trees”, “How to not fall from the map borders”, etc.

I eventually gave up on Unity, because I realized I would need to do some coding if I wanted something decent, and I did not know how to do so. I switched to Game Maker, and started some kind of Pac-man clone, but only made the enemies and player movement, no collisions, scores, or anything.

I lost interest, and years passed where I didn’t do any efforts to make a game at all.

How I actually got started on game development 🎮

At the beginning of February 2020, my interest on Game development was starting to grow more. I was already at Uni, and was familiar with C++ and a bit of Python, although not an expert in any of them (I was among the best of the class though, I think that it was not necessary to get a lot of experience on it for my career).

But it was thanks to channels like GMTK and Design Doc, The Geek Critique, and a bunch of others, that I started to get a sense of appreciation for the design and effort behind videogames.

Also, I was aware of the FOSS community, and about to start using Linux. This led me to the Godot engine. This is its description on Steam.

Godot Engine is a feature-packed, cross-platform game engine to create 2D and 3D games from a unified interface. It provides a comprehensive set of common tools, so that you can focus on making games without having to reinvent the wheel.

Godot engine interface
Godot engine 2D and scripting interface

The pandemic, the discovering of the FOSS community, of Godot, all this was an omen, a sign, that this would become my new hobby.

So I decided to try it out, I was more aware of how the internet works, and after a quick Google search (Yeah, I still used it, sorry) on “How to make a platformer in Godot Engine”, I found a couple of video tutorials by GDQuest. It was quite long, but simple enough to follow, although I also faced a couple of problems, which weren’t really that hard (I forgot that the Y axis is inverted in Godot, as well most graphical interfaces), but in the end, I was actually learning, and started to work on some quick small projects with help from other videos and the great documentation.

Wrapping up 💭

I know this is not really a proper starting guide, and I if you were expecting that, I am sorry, I might do something like that in the future, but if you want to try game development too, these are my recommendations to get started using Godot or in game development in general.

This has been day 6, of #100DaystoOffload. Eventually, I did my first “complete” game in a game jam. but thats a story for another day. ;)


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