Best Design Program for an Absolute Beginner

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by William Hilary, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. William Hilary

    William Hilary New Member

    Jun 12, 2018
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    Hey all. I'm interested in getting into game design. I did some research, and found a bunch of recommendations for free programs; Game Maker, Godot, Construct2 etc.. They all seem good, and I have no idea where to start.

    I know that at first it doesn't really matter--I should just be focusing on getting a simple prototype running, and not succumbing to unrealistic expectations or ambitions. But I'd prefer to use software I can continue with once I've learned the basics. I don't really want to "graduate" to a whole new system. So, I guess I'm asking if there's one I can both begin with and continue to use as my ambitions develop.

    Some thoughts:

    1. I like story-driven games, but with definitive gamic elements.
    2. Not a big fan of point-and-clicks, although I love walking simulators
    3. I like RPGs
    4. I'd like to learn to code eventually.
    5. I'd like to learn 3D games eventually.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. There are so many options!
  2. Deon

    Deon New Member

    Oct 2, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Please take my opinion with a grain of salt, because I am not an established game developer.
    However I had the same conundrum when I just started trying myself in game design.

    Here's a very important fact out there, which you don't usually see yourself at first: game design and game coding are two different things.

    Game design: create a fun set of game mechanics and rules to play; come up with a setting and content.

    Game coding: actually put the idea into code so that a computer can run/display it, and here the "objects" you are working with are vastly different from your objects in Game Design. You may have come up with a clever health or relationship system, but under the hood they are classes with functions and procedures, which RETURN your desired results, but inside work very differently.

    And thus, my suggestion would be for you to decide, whether you want to be a game coder, a game designer, or standalone game developer which includes both roles.

    If you want to only design the game and have it ready, use the engines which replace coding with objects you can put together, like RPGMaker etc.
    Be careful because you can get used to it and never learn how to code on your own, it also creates a lot of limitations because you depend on the program.

    If you want to only code, you can collaborate with some people who are good at designing patterns but don't know how to code, and start learning coding along with engines like Unity.

    If you want both, at first pick which of the two options above you want to learn. Then it's a loong road.

    People with more experience can provide a more useful suggestion.

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