Geeks With Blogs
Dwayne Apostolov My experiences shared.

So, is being a Game Developer any different from being an IT Developer?

I picture a poorly lit environment where I get to purchase my own desk lamp; I'm thinking one of those huge lava lamps that pump out so much heat you could fry an egg on it. To my right: a "great wall" of empty coke cans dwarf me.

Eating my last slice of pizza I look across my desk to see a fellow developer with a smug look on his face;  he's just coded his latest module for the game and it looks like he's in nirvana.

My duty, of course, is to remind him to keep focused on the job at hand. So, picking up my trusty elastic and aerodynamically crafted paper bullet I begin a 10 minute war of welts and laughter which is promptly abrupted by our Project Manager demanding more details from our morning Scrum meeting.

After providing about 5 minutes of geek speak and several words of comfort to make his eyes glaze over...it hits me, the idea for the module...beckoning my developer friend over, we quickly shoo the Project Manager away and begin our brainstorming frenzy ... now, where'd I put that full can of coke?

OK. OK. This isn't probably the most ideal game developer environment, but it definitely sounds fun to me...and from what I gather is nothing like most game development companies. But I'm not doing this blog series to "go pro"; like I stated in my first post I want to make a 2D game from an idea my best friend and I drummed up long, long ago. I'm in this for the passion AND I want to see how easy it is for us .Net Developers to create a game.

So where do I start? Where can I find like minded individuals? What technologies are there? What do I need to make a video game? The questions are endless....AND...since I already have an idea ... lets start with ... Technology (yes, I'm a geek, live with it...)

Technology

OK. Predominantly, games are still made in C++ or even C. I'm not sure how much assembly code is floating around lately, however, that is not my concern. I do know C / C++ from my past, enough to even get me by, but I'm mainly interested in a recent, not-so-new, technology called XNA. What is XNA? XNA allows us .Net Developers to make 2D / 3D games for windows, Xbox*, and Windows Mobile 7*.

* = for a nominal fee *cough*

The following link is your one stop shop to XNA game development:

http://creators.xna.com/en-US/education/gettingstarted

The above site hosts information such as:

- getting started

- a sample/instructional shooter game in 2D / 3D with code (if I'm taking too long for you in this blog series)

- downloads

- starter kits... http://creators.xna.com/en-US/education/starterkits/

And of course...forums.

You can also subscribe and pay for their premium membership which gets you some pretty awesome tutorials, resources, downloads, and premium community support.

Some general Wiki information about XNA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XNA_%28Microsoft%29

Community Support

OK. Let's move on to industry and community support. Apart from XNA, there are some really cool sites out there, I just haven't found all of them yet.

However, I found a really cool Game Development website called Gamastura. You can click on the following link to get you there:

http://www.gamasutra.com/

The site is 100% dedicated to "The Art & Business of Making Games". Armed with blogs, twitter, jobs/resumes and most importantly industry news; one could subscribe to the feed and got lost in the wealth of information it provides. On a side note: I remember Gamasutra being around when my best friend and I wanted to make a video game...meaning, they've been around for a while now. I think the most beneficial aspect of this site is to understand the industry you want to get into. Otherwise, it's just a cool site to keep up to date with the industry in general.

Another Community Support option is LinkedIn. Amongst the land of extremely bloated achievements and responsibilities lay 3 groups (that I have found) that deal with game development.:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=59205 - Game Developers

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=824817 - DirectX Game Developer Network

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=756587 - DirectX Developers

The Game Developers group in LinkedIn is by far the most active of the three and could possibly provide a wealth of support.

What I've done thus far:

- I lightly researched the XNA technology

- I looked around for some community sites to assist me

- I downloaded the XNA Game Studio 3.1 on my PC and installed it on my IDE

- I even tried both tutorials!

http://creators.xna.com/en-US/education/gettingstarted/bgintro/chapter1

 

Best Regards D.

 

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010 9:08 PM Game Development | Back to top


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