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Becoming a Game Developer


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If this is the wrong location for this topic, mods please relocate it.  It's off-topic, per section description.

My son spends way too much time on the computer, mostly PC gaming.  But he has expressed interest in becoming a game developer. I had him download Unity and start there, doing tutorials and creative stuff. He is 10 years old.  I am interested if any of the community, especially programmers, have any advice for him to get him going in a sensible direction.

Any advice is welcome, other than don't bother. :)

 

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Roblox.com

Basically a free game engine for kids, supports everything from basic lego-block construction to fairly advanced scripting and modeling. I've been a member since I was 11, if you're son is interested in game development, he'll have all the tools in front of him to jump right in, plenty of open source stuff too so he can get a look at and pick apart some advanced projects.

I've played many people's games from this website, and the quality of work these kids are doing is phenomenal. You'll find everything from accurate recreation of AAA games (and I mean accurate) to completely original groundbreaking concepts that have made waves in the community. There are teams of young people starting their own dev teams to create awesome games there, it has a very social aspect as well so everyone is trying to "make it big" as you'd say, so a good competitive element to push him further.

If you want a good game development platform, Roblox is it. New games get promoted every week/month from talented young people, you can visit their blog for more info. There's also a title on Steam that started originally as a project on Roblox called "Unturned" which I remember was revolutionary for it's FPS view models, developed by one kid and he's done very well on that game. Best regards!

-Slim

 

Edited by Slim McSauce
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9 hours ago, Jean Ribault said:

If this is the wrong location for this topic, mods please relocate it.  It's off-topic, per section description.

My son spends way too much time on the computer, mostly PC gaming.  But he has expressed interest in becoming a game developer. I had him download Unity and start there, doing tutorials and creative stuff. He is 10 years old.  I am interested if any of the community, especially programmers, have any advice for him to get him going in a sensible direction.

Any advice is welcome, other than don't bother. :)

 

Being a game developer is one of the shittiest jobs as a programmer, at least in Poland. You are often underpaid (at least in relation to other programmers), your work process is not great. There are simply many people who want to do this, that's why game-focused companies don't have to care for their programmers like others.

Still, being a programmer is great.

If you want your kid to go into this direction, I would advice you to push him into eg. creating bots for DOTA in the future. I know some 13-year old's who like to do this and learn a lot in the process. For 10 it might be hard though :) 

For 10-year old you might try eg. games similar to those:
https://codecombat.com/

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You could encourage him to enter the world of modding, preferably in a game community which is mod-heavy. Obviously not Naval Action with its untouchable game files (for good reason). So I recommend 'Space Engineers' and/or 'Medieval Engineers' (depends if he is rather interested in sci-fi or history) which are sandbox games about building things in space or on Earth respectively. Unlimited creativity, just perfect for a boy that age. Great modding scene with countless contributions enlarge this and here he can do both things, being creative in the game itself (without creating mods) or being creative there plus in modding.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/244850

Forum:

https://forum.keenswh.com/

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11 hours ago, Cetric de Cornusiac said:

You could encourage him to enter the world of modding, preferably in a game community which is mod-heavy. Obviously not Naval Action with its untouchable game files (for good reason). So I recommend 'Space Engineers' and/or 'Medieval Engineers' (depends if he is rather interested in sci-fi or history) which are sandbox games about building things in space or on Earth respectively. Unlimited creativity, just perfect for a boy that age. Great modding scene with countless contributions enlarge this and here he can do both things, being creative in the game itself (without creating mods) or being creative there plus in modding.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/244850

Forum:

https://forum.keenswh.com/

The issue with most modding is that it's not programming unless you are scripting. Most times it's working with what's already there. If someone is learning to program they should really start at the basics imo. 

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I don't know where you live but if he wants to enjoy the world of computer programming the normal path here is via B. Sc. in computer science or some college courses. If he wants to do 3d design/animation etc there are different, possibly better, paths. He probably thinks it's pretty glorious etc, the thing is it's not, he better like advanced math :)

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8 hours ago, HachiRoku said:

The issue with most modding is that it's not programming unless you are scripting. Most times it's working with what's already there. If someone is learning to program they should really start at the basics imo. 

It's an easy introduction, I think. He isn't scared off and can decide, if, after having modded files, the task as programmer would still remain interesting to him as to get deeper into the topic. And that he can also do in 'Space Engineers', as they have a 'programmable block' there which accepts scripts for doing things (moving pistons, rotors, surveillance over pressurization, door closed, weapons etc). So next step after using modder scripts there would be to write own scripts and see how they work on the (ingame) hardware.

Edited by Cetric de Cornusiac
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Rely first on pen and paper to design "the game rules" and, given his tender age, make it a family project. 

Invent a small game he would like to play with the family "around a virtual table" and get hands on approach with Tabletop Simulator and start with the very basics of game design while also having the opportunity to program/script automated tasks. 

The base of logical thinking without being tied to a "machine" ( code ) will be invaluable.

He can start small, like program a simple card deck shuffle, or pieces moving on a board according to designed game rules.

 

 

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@Jean Ribault

 

What a great thread. Please lets us know how you get on with your son.

My only advice is if he’s good at maths and probability calculations, I’d advise Investment Banking structured products. Unfortunately, his soul will go to hell and he’ll rate slightly above lawyers and estate agents...

 

Norfolk

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On 9/22/2018 at 11:26 PM, Jean Ribault said:

If this is the wrong location for this topic, mods please relocate it.  It's off-topic, per section description.

My son spends way too much time on the computer, mostly PC gaming.  But he has expressed interest in becoming a game developer. I had him download Unity and start there, doing tutorials and creative stuff. He is 10 years old.  I am interested if any of the community, especially programmers, have any advice for him to get him going in a sensible direction.

Any advice is welcome, other than don't bother. :)

 

Do not rely on the forums much in this.. 

He will change his mind like 10x times over the next 8 years… 
There are many playful toys that require some minimal programming that you can do together.. Like nintendo LABO  or lego

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Management 

Business

Programming

Art

Finances 

I would teach your kid Art and 3d model first. Later down the road programming and then Business and Finance school. If you have all this you can be a solo game developer. I know few guys who are very talented and do all this by themselves. Design, draw , 3d model, program etc... 

Edited by Wind
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