Hello. Feels weird calling myself a ‘game dev’ because I have only just started, but I like the sound of it! I’m a 47 year old graphic designer who decided about five years ago that I wanted to learn how to make games… and then I didn’t do very much about it until recently, apart from doing some illustrations of a few locations I wanted in my game.
I tried Gamemaker Studio and didn’t get on very well with it because I had no programming experience. I didn’t understand much of the code that tutorials were asking me to type. So I did two beginner’s Python programming courses on edX and passed. Next I tried Godot because I liked its open source nature and workflow. From tutorials I was able to get a basic platformer up and running and understand how it all worked. But I struggled when the project got more complex with multiple scripts. I thought I might be destined to be a coding beginner forever, unable to make the leap to intermediate or advanced, and that perhaps I wouldn’t be able to make games after all. Then I discovered GDevelop.
After a few weeks of tutorials I started work on my first prototype at the weekend. I got a basic platformer up and running in 40 minutes and worked out how to make an inventory system in a few hours. Next I’m going to work out how to implement a dialogue system. It would be wonderful if I manage to make something fun that’s worth putting on Itch someday. A few weeks ago I was feeling defeated and thinking I’d need to find a different hobby, but now I know I can do it.
Welcome aboard! GDevelop is great at helping you focus on game design vs programming.
Once you are ready to make a game remember to start small, then simplify, then remove anything you don’t absolutely need, then start making the game… and don’t stop until you publish it onto the stores. It’s all part of the process… just don’t start with your magnum opus!
@krunkster, have read and watched a few game dev things over the years and they say the same as you, about starting small and refining, and making sure you finish things. I’m working on a basic protype with all the things in it that I’d want in a full game. Once I get that finished I will start on a small game - more like a demo - before making a larger and complete game. I’ll be doing all the art and animation myself, so I might have a game ready by… the time I’m 60! But I’m having so much fun with it all that I don’t mind.
I’m on the older side too
I’ve gotten stuck prototyping as a hobbyist so many times… I think the programmer in me just LOVES to write highly portable and efficient code, so I’ve made a bunch of engines, but never followed through on the game design part.
GDevelop is great for helping to enforce the focus on design vs coding. It only took me 7 months to make and complete my first game using GDevelop: TripleJump
Since you have a graphic design background I think that will make a huge difference!
I basically just used humble bundle assets and worked backwards.
Nice to know I’m not the only older person having a go at making games. One of my favourite authors didn’t write her first book until her 50s. It’s never too late!
I remember typing magazine code on my first computer, the Amstrad CPC 464. It took me ages, and then I’d get an error that I didn’t know how to fix. But if you did it right, you’d end up with something like Snake or Pong for your efforts. Good times! I’ve always been interested in how games work and the decisions that developers make. It hadn’t occurred to me to have a go at it myself until recent years. I wish it had occurred to me in my teens, but I’m not going to let that put me off now.
Whey-ha, that’s right down my alley! Those listings with a checksum at the end of the line to make sure you got it right.
I had a CPC 6128, colour monitor in my late teens. I used it to learn assembler and wrote an multi-coloured text RSX that got published in Amstrad Action, and 2 games they put on a cover cassette - Bulldozer (a Sokoban type game) and Link (a tetris/connect 4 hybrid).
Congrats on your early success! You were way more productive than I was back then.
Nostalgia incoming! After the CPC 464 I got an Amiga 500+. I had some of my illustrations printed in CU Amiga (I think that was the one, or maybe Amiga Format). I did the Alien queen and the Terminator skeleton in Deluxe Paint. I wish I’d kept a copy. In my teens I tended to lean more toward illustration and graphic design rather than code, but I was always interested in it. Ended up doing graphic design at university and now work as a graphic designer for a large company.
I was also into trackers back then. I made some tracks in Octamed and had them published in a floppy-only mag I subscribed to. I think I got a 7 out of 10 for one track - it made my year. Again, stupid me didn’t keep any of that. I can still remember the melody, though.
Learning GDevelop makes me feel a little like I did back when I had my Amiga, learning new creative things and being excited about the possibilities. I find myself thinking through GDevelop events at random times and having “Ah ha!” moments in supermarkets. Some things never change: I’m still a geek, but the older kind of geek who remembers putting a 40 meg HD into my Amiga 1200 for the first time and thinking it was amazing that I didn’t have to swap floppies anymore when playing Monkey Island 2!
Heh, for some reason I always viewed @Krunkster as older teen or university aged student.
I loved the idea of trackers and how they worked. One of my favourite mods is Skaven/Future Crew’s Catch that Goblin. I ran that one through Fast Tracker a million times, trying to work out how it was put together.
Are there any traces of it on the web? There are some magazines that have been digitised, and your illustrations may have been archived/preserved somewhere.
Snap. I think these kind of restrictions is what’s pushing us to look for more efficient and compact ways to program in today’s development environment. We grew up with some severe limitations, and apply those techniques to today’s abundantly resourced environments. You compare what was packed into the 4k demos vs the size of a modern day Hello World application, and there’s a stark contrast.
Hello from fellow graphic designer, in their 40s, ‘Game Dev’ from England!
Not sure about you but I got so fed up relying on unreliable coders I decided to try and do something myself, following your route. Tried a few options, paid for a couple, then stumbled onto GDevelop and haven’t looked back (hoping to commercially release my game in the next month).
I got misty eyed seeing the old computer mags. I miss those days. I got a few things printed and a load of stuff out on PD Disks (remember those!?).
For the record ZX Spectrum ruled and Amstrad sucked.
Any demo/trailiers for it? Screen shots of in-game action? There appear to be a few artistically inclined devs who create visual delights, and it’s always a joy to see their work. Unlike devs from a coding background, who’s artwork consists of stick men that aren’t even animated
Them is fighting words!
Spectrum had loads of neat games. And a big fan base, even with the one colour sprites and beeps for music. Unfortunately many of the Amstrad games were Spectrum ports, with no attempt to spruce up the visuals & audio.
Not yet, but I’m at the point where I need to be making videos and taking screen shots!
If you like a retro style game (without the need for pixel art) then you might like it. It’s massively inspired by early [ZX Spectrum - the KING of home computers] 80’s platformers (single screen, dodge baddies, collect keys, get to exit).
I haven’t been in this position. I work for a large company and we have developers who take care of any code needed for the things we make (e-learning). I spend all my time in Photoshop and Illustrator. In my spare time I never tried to enlist a programmer, but got frustrated with my own attempts, though I had some success with beginner-level Python. GDevelop is incredible. In the space of 10 days I have gone from zero to having a prototype up and running and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a game-changer (no pun intended) for me. I can’t wait to put my artwork into it and make something more polished, but I want to work out all the systems first in my scrappy prototype.
PD! I do remember. I used to order floppy disks full of it. It was amazing what programmers could do with the Amiga. Often way more than games seemed to be able to tap into, though Team 17’s stuff was always very impressive.
The nerve! My brother had a Spectrum, while I had the CPC464. I remember we both had Robocop and I was very sad to see him stuck with 2 colours - poor thing That theme tune, though. Amazing.
Thank you very much. And I’ll look forward to seeing your game, if you felt like posting about it.
I’m rubbish: it didn’t occur to 19 year old me that 47 year old me would have liked it if he’d kept the Amiga 500+/1200 and all the things I created on it, along with all the PD disks etc. I don’t remember most of the PD stuff. I’ll have to have a YouTube session. Might treat myself to an A500 mini, but I know most of the games won’t have aged well. A lot of them were unfair or too hard. Often both. Try playing Project X now. It’s horrendously designed. I think the developers were just giving the player the middle finger the whole time they made this one. That, and it never occurring to devs back then that letting regular humans play their game before release might have been a good idea!
Me too. Loved DS. That is one game that might have aged better. Loved the theme tune too. Music on the Amiga was great. All 4 channels of it!
Thank you! That was an unexpected surprise this morning. Clearly people don’t mind me waffling on! It’s nice to connect with people who are into the same things. I don’t know anyone ‘in real life’ who is.