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I have no idea

I am a video editor. I work as a freelancer with video game developers, and design game trailers, idents stuff like that. I also love videogames.

I have so many ideas - full design documents for games that don’t exist. I am not a programmer or an animator (unless you count video work) or a 3D modeller. I am Jon Snow. I know nothing. All I really know is the Source engine, as I designed levels for years - but I never did any coding or anything more complicated than simple input/output triggers.

So I guess what I want to know is… is making a game - something simple, even - unrealistic for someone in my position? Is it something I can do alone? Certainly complex models and animations aren’t something I’d attempt alone, what I’m talking about is the core game. I have a couple of ideas that are small - ish, but I have no experience whatsoever and I don’t know if I could even get my head around basic code. What if it gets too complicated? What if there are bugs?

I’ve thought about Source, and I’ve thought about Unity, and I’ve thought about Unreal. I don’t even know where to begin. Is Unreal a good choice for babby’s first game? Babby’s first line of code? I have so many ideas, and I want to play them, but first I have to make them and I have no idea how.

If you keep your game very simple then maybe. Remember that for this kind of stuff people spend years learning before they do anything serious.

Well that’s a good sign. If what you’ve said here is true, you would have a better start than (even) some professional teams.

How relevant that is depends a lot on what context you’re talking about. However, you’ll probably want to understand some fundamentals before beginning work on games. If you’re going to be using Unreal and UE4 BPs, you don’t really need to learn a traditional programming language. I would just review the concepts, and then look at how they’re implemented in BP. In my opinion, visual nodes would work better for you than lines of text. Of course, I also don’t know if you’ve worked with lines of code before, so (shrug).

Not at all. Like I said, you’d find it easier if you understand the fundamental concepts of OOP and 3D math, but if you just dive in you can get pretty far by just figuring out how to do basic things in the engine.

Online resources exist for learning any aspect of game design/development. You can absolutely prototype a game concept on your own.

Start with the simplest layer possible, and slowly build up. Test as you go. Don’t let a bug get deep seated before you fix it. For instance, if you want an AI character to walk around- Write your functionality to walk around (don’t reinvent the wheel), then thoroughly test that before moving on. Once you’re sure AI walking is done, then worry about patrol patterns or attacks. Then, test to make sure that isn’t breaking.

IMO, yeah. UE4 would be more of a deep dive, but if your game ideas are 3D, Unreal is one of the fastest ways to get there. If you use the BP Visual Script I would say you could pick it up fairly easily even as a video editor.

No. If you get really good at UE4 BP, really understand how the engine works from a BP standpoint, and want to start in with UE4 C++, I wouldn’t stop you. However, if you want to begin with UE4 C++ I would strongly encourage you to first learn C++ (or some other OOP language) because you’ll be going up against learning Unreal and also learning programming otherwise.

Babby’s first visual script node? Sure!

Also, yeah people do study/experiment/learn for years before getting serious, so don’t let every little bump in the road deter you.

Just Hammer Editor - the level design tool for Source games. There’s a simple framework for making entities interact with each other, so a trigger entity might have input: on player touch - target: door1 - output: open. No actual coding involved.

There is, or can be, some coding in video work. For example, I might use a line of code to make two video keyframes loop, or I might use another line of code to randomise a value (the x,y,z position of an object, for example, make it wobble around randomly without having to manually set each position) but all of that is either copy/paste code that I don’t understand, or is extremely simple. I do sort of get syntax, though, like I know some languages break up code with semi-colons and brackets and things like that.

I had a small play about with Game Maker Studio a while back. I made a bunch of GIF animations for a 2D character and told the program to play those animations when the character moved accordingly. However, even that provided a basic sort of framework that required minimal actual code writing.

There is one game I have in mind that I’m actually fairly confident I could produce as a Source mod - and I might even go for it as a gameplay prototype before having a proper go of it as an UE4 game. My dream game is a pretty ambitious RTS that effectively combines features from my favourite RTS games - but it’d be a massive undertaking, and isn’t something I’d even attempt unless I had a solid understanding of how to actually make a game. I also have ideas for the obligatory horror game - I think it’s a popular theme because it’s probably relatively easy to pull off, so maybe I’ll give that a go as well.

I’m also aware of templates that you can download. Like a basic, say, FPS template that provides simple AI, a couple of weapons, things like that, so maybe that’s worth looking into.

Draw on those, but most ideas don’t translate easily before fully understanding the smoke & mirrors behind game dev.

So you’re modder, that’s useful experience. You’ve got instincts about what makes for interesting levels…

Just comes down to your available time and commitment and yes its more than possible…
A basic idea sometimes takes about the same amount of work ultimately. Why is that?
The more interesting the idea the more you’re willing to work on it without feeling its work :slight_smile:

Very wise! Trying to learn 3D and game design from scratch at the same time is a real challenge…

Bugs are a real issue. But again its doable, its all ‘time-worked’ x ‘natural-ability’…

Unity isn’t nearly as simple as people suppose. Its Componentized C# is incredibly simple and powerful. But the rest???
Unreal has editors for way more things built-in with drag and drop ease of use. There’s visual programming also.
Unreal is just simpler for getting stuff done and the results are prettier. But Unity runs on low hardware so that’s key too.

Draw on those, but most ideas don’t translate easily before fully understanding the smoke & mirrors behind game dev.

So you’re a modder, that’s useful experience. You’ve got instincts about how to make interesting levels…

Just comes down to your available time and commitment and yes its more than possible…
A basic idea sometimes takes about the same amount of work ultimately. Why is that?
The more interesting the idea the more you’re willing to work on it without feeling its work :slight_smile:

Very wise! Trying to learn 3D and game design from scratch at the same time is a real challenge…

Bugs are a real issue. But again its doable, its all ‘time-worked’ x ‘natural-ability’…

Unity isn’t nearly as simple as people suppose. Its Componentized C# is incredibly simple and powerful. But the rest???
Unreal has editors for way more things built-in with drag and drop ease of use. There’s visual programming also.
Unreal is just simpler for getting stuff done and the results are prettier. But Unity runs on low hardware so that’s key too.

I think for starters, if I do actually do this, I might prototype my most basic idea - a multiplayer FPS - in the Source Engine. A lot of the game features exist in other Source games and mods, so I might trawl through those to see how it ticks. If the game works as a concept, I’ll see about recreating it in Unreal. I was actually head of a Source mod team years and years ago (it fizzled out, as most of them do. Did get into the top 10 most viewed mods list for a couple of weeks though, so I must have done something right). I only did levels and generally managed the team, made game design decisions, stuff like that.

Thanks to all who replied. I’ve got a lot to think about.

Wow these forums have a lot of info for people that need to do a 10 page report ������������������������ don’t get ur nickers in a twist tho I don’t plagiarize and umm wow I’m up to my neck in theories and possibilities welp back to the books XD good luck on making full dive tech that’s something I’d love to see happen XD