I’m a Programmer and Gamer
I have been a web programmer since I was attending middle school. I’ve also always been an avid gamer since before I can remember. As a young child, I remember my old sister playing the original Mario Brothers with her friend and watching in awe. Gaming has always been a part of my life, yet despite being a credible programmer, I never thought to create games.
RPG Maker MV
Five months prior to the time I’m writing this, I picked up the free version of RPG Maker MV. What I quickly discovered, is that I already have many of the skills necessary to create indie games. I’m on the verge of releasing the game I’ve made on Steam.
Game Development is Mostly Art
During the process of development for my game, one thing has subverted my expectations more than anything. The vast majority of my work hours have been spent on art. I have had little limitations as a programmer. In fact, I have done almost no programming altogether.
Unreal Engine with Blueprints
I know what some of you are saying. ‘If you use RPG Maker, of course, you don’t need to know how to code.’ Valid point, however, Unreal Engine comes with a feature called Blueprints. Blueprints feature visual scripting. People are regularly using Unreal Engine with Blueprints to make quality commercial games.
Art and Programming
The purpose of this post is to talk about art. If I was to attempt to distill the game development process into the two most essential skillsets: those two skillsets are programming/coding and art creation. In this post, I’m saying that programming is less of a necessity in the modern indie game development client.
Advantages for a Modern Game Developer
We are fortunate to be living in a time where we access to near-unlimited libraries of free prebuilt libraries of code, free engines, free frameworks and free whatever. In 1990, we had to create most of the stuff for a simple game (by today’s standards). My game would have taken a team of 50 a full year of work in 1993. With the foundation laid before me, I am able to do the game, mostly by myself, in six months.
Art Takes a Long Time
I also feel it’s important to point out that I have literally spent 90% of my game dev hours on art. I also didn’t create all of my art, I had help. The point that I am making with this post is that art takes a long time. So if you are interested in making a game, and you don’t know how to code, do not be discouraged.
What Wish I Knew Before I Started Making Familia
Before embarking on a game development journey, at least spend some time thinking about art. If you want to create a unique experience for a small community that focuses on the story, do it. However, be prepared to not achieve a great deal of commercial success if your project contains no unique art.
Don’t Be Discouraged if You Are an Artist, Not a Programmer
Furthermore, if you are a fantastic artist, then give game development a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised that it’s not as difficult as you thought. As I write this, I’m pretty burnt out on art creation. Had I have known this would take up the majority of my game dev work hours, I would have likely taken a different approach.
Thanks for reading this post guys and gals! Are you an artist or a programmer? What did you think of this post?
Here is a video based on this blog post: