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How do I make games? A Path to Game Development

When I talk to people looking to get into game development some of the first things I often hear fall along the lines of, "How do I make games?" or "I want to make a game like Quake/Everquest/Starcraft and…". The first is just way out of the realm of answerability, as there are too many aspects to possibly go into, and each of those components can be infinitely complex.

The second, however, falls into just being unrealistic in expectations. Starcraft, Everquest and Quake were all made by teams of professionals who had budgets usually million dollar plus. More importantly though, all of these games were made by people with a lot of experience at making games. They did not just decide to make games and turned out mega-hit games, they started out small and worked their way up. This is the point that anyone who is interested in getting into game development needs to understand and repeat, repeat, repeat until it becomes such a part of your mindset that you couldn't possibly understand life without this self evident, universal truth.

Until you understand that all skills in game development are learned by experience, (meaning to start very small and working your way up) you will be absolutely doomed to never finish your projects. Even the infinitesimal number of teams that do manage to finish a non-trivial project before they have made any smaller ones have to learn incrementally, it just takes them many times longer than if they had started out with smaller projects.

Quake 3: Arena

Where do I Start?

  Where do I Start?
  What's Next?
  Get Out the Polish...
  These Games are Stupid!
  Be Proud!

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