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Video game development: How to become a better game developer

Video games are an everyday thing these days, everyone knows them, has at least played or watched a video game in some way. They have become so popular that there are events where the best of the best put their skills to the test to win millions in prize money. Until a few years ago, video games were a niche product and were only played and also developed by people who considered it a hobby. Nowadays, video games are just a click away and serve to relieve boredom for most people, if anything. The vast majority of videogames come from the App or Playstore and are found on mobile phones for that very reason.

Being a gamer

What does it mean to be a real gamer? That is the question that needs to be answered if you want to be a better developer. Of course, one can develop games for the profit motive, but then the passion and closeness to the subject matter is missing. So who or what is a real gamer?

A gamer is, of course, something different from a casual gamer. He is someone who has a certain passion for games and invests his time, energy and money in them. Why one is active in the video game scene can have many reasons, for many people it has become a lifestyle choice, for others a creative outlet or a competitive sport.

Get to know the community behind it all

Living in the 21st century brings with it a number of advantages: you can network and exchange ideas with people all over the world who share the same interests as you, including video games and their development. In such communities, in addition to friendships, you can often find useful help, whether in the form of guides, posts or entries, and other types of information. Of course, it also becomes easier to understand what a gamer is if you are actively involved in the scene. You can also get your first job in this field through forums and boards. Furthermore, you will quickly gain an insight into what fans demand from a developer and want to see realised in a videogame.

Follow the latest trends

As with everything else in our digital and analogue worlds, there are certain trends in video games as well. It’s worth keeping an eye on them and possibly adapting your own concept to fund further ideas if your first game becomes a hit.

For example, if you look at the iGaming industry, you will notice that the trend towards Pokies Online has become very common in recent years. Although the iGaming industry does not have much in common with video games, it is still related to development, and this is a good example.

Even if you have a concept that is desperately trying to break through, it may be better to adapt it to current trends or even develop a new one. In the end, a successful game is always better than one that doesn’t make money and is not interesting to anyone.

Plan what you want to create

Good ideas are rare, but they do exist. An idea alone never got anyone to their goal, what you still need is a project plan, and a good one at that. Creating aplications is considered an art by many. After all, in addition to the technical part, such as programming, which can already be considered skill, there is also the part of design, both image and sound fall down here.

So it can quickly get out of hand to develop a videogame, especially if you are alone and have little knowledge of the subject. Soon you’re at the end of your own lexicon and don’t know where to go from there, a good project plan helps out here. Usually there is a starting point and an end goal, in this case a finished video game. In addition, there should be smaller goals that will help, for example, to understand and master the game engine, or to get the first concept before starting development, which can also be on paper, and much more.

Finding an engine that suits you

Nowadays, almost every game is based on one or more game engines, but what is it and why are they needed? Essentially, a game engine is a framework for a concept, also called a framework. There are several frameworks for different applications, if this is the first game you are programming, there are several engines that are good for starting.

This is the core that helps programmers create games by taking existing software as a basis, thus automating some routine processes. Often the engine includes game logic, object behaviour, visual scene editor, animation utility, game environment design tools and other elements. Thus, when starting to create a game, the programmer does not need to write from scratch the physics of water, objects and other capital works – it is enough to take the ready-made and create something of your own from it. Below we will tell you about some well-known video game development environments.

Unreal Engine is a very popular game engine. Among its advantages are: flexibility, multiplatform, high graphics performance, high-quality lighting, the ability to create games for VR, general developer friendliness and rich inbuilt development tools. The most famous games created with Unreal Engine are Mass Effect, Bioshock Infinite, Mortal Combat 11, Fortnite, Borderlands, Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Development on this engine is carried out in C++, however, it is possible to use a special scripting language Blueprint, which to a certain extent can simplify the creation of games.

CryEngine is a powerful engine from the German company Crytek, the brainchild of which became such games as: Crysis, Far Cry, Ryse: Son of Rome, Sniper II: Ghost Warrior and others. Possesses cross-platform, advanced animation system, impressive level of graphics, realistic physics, its own ray tracing technology and many other advantages. It is worth noting that the development on CryEngine causes more difficulties than on Unreal Engine.

If you analyse these engines, Unreal Engine is suitable for AAA games, especially shooters and action-adventure games. It is also a good choice for indie developers because of its favourable licensing policy. CryEngine, on the other hand, is more suited for experienced teams that have a lot of time and money to create expensive and large-scale games.

There are many other engines: Chrome Engine, C-Engine, Frostbite, Source, Id Tech, Creation Engine, etc. Study information about them and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Learning to use tools

Is a framework selected? Perfect! Now it’s a matter of being able to use them. Most fail because, unfortunately, it is not as interesting to develop a game as it is to be able to play it in the end. This is simply because you have to learn how to program in order to successfully master the engine. With Unity it’s C#, with CryEngine and Unreal Engine it’s C++, both of which are programming languages that are commonly used. C++ is much more difficult to master than C#, so it is recommended to start with the simpler version first, learn it and use it in Unity before venturing into the more difficult frameworks.

Of course, there are other programming languages, but these are the most common. Once you have successfully mastered one programming language, you can move on to other areas. C# and C++ are not only limited to developing video games, but are also needed in many other areas.

Find a team to support you

So if you have a plan or a concept for the game and can also programme, but are not the strongest in design and have no idea about sound and music, what do you do? Quite simply, you get help and set up a team. It doesn’t break a crown if you let yourself be helped a little. Developing a game doesn’t have to be a one-man job. Of course, you may not have the money to hire and pay a team, but this is not a big hurdle. In forums and the like, there are always people willing to help and support you. If you are willing to fight for your idea and convince the potential team members to join, you are guaranteed success.

Why you can definitely be a better game developer!

As you can see from this small list, there are a few things you can do as a beginning video game developer to broaden your horizons. It doesn’t take more than an understanding of what is wanted and a good concept, as well as a clever plan, several small goals that are also achievable and possibly a team. After all, it’s easier if you don’t have to do everything yourself and have support. Then you have to be able to master and use a programming language. Last but not least, you should decide on a game engine and then it’s time to make it happen. The road will be rocky, but with a strong will and enough motivation, nothing stands in anyone’s way of achieving the goal.