I’m not your typical game developer. I’m in my thirties, never had any formal coding training, and my main job title is mom. So why am I pursuing game development now?
I've always been into video games and have recently adopted the attitude that there's no time like the present. As I ventured further into game development, I've gained a really solid foundation in object-oriented programming and met some awesome other devs along the way.
Game development isn't just for pros. Trust me-- if I can do it, then you can too!
Below are five reasons why game development is an excellent avenue for anyone looking to build their coding skills.
1. It’s multidisciplinary
Are you someone with many different interests? I am. And I knew I wanted to be involved in both the programming and design sides of my projects.
One of the benefits of game development is that you get to wear multiple hats at once. Professional game studios employ different people to fill different roles, but if you’re working on your own you’ll need to master a variety of skilled tasks.
Here are some of the various jobs your development process may include:
- Recording sound clips
- Composing music
- Creating art assets (vector art, pixel art, etc.)
- Writing a script
- Level design
- Story design
- Character design
- Marketing/advertising your game
- Quality assurance
- Play testing
It sounds like a lot, but there are many benefits to multidisciplinary learning. You’ll work on advancing several different skills at once and expand your network to include people from a wide range of backgrounds. When you’re making a game, the work is varied and always changing. So if you’re someone who thrives on working on many different tasks at once, game development may just be for you.
2. It’s user-focused
Good games always have the player’s enjoyment at the forefront. As such, game development is a great way to practice your user-centered design skills. These skills are transferable to other areas of development, such as app or web development, so they’re important to have in your toolbox.
In game development, as in other industries, there are important accessibility standards you must meet in order to make your game accessible to as many users as possible.
Here are a few examples of features that will enhance the accessibility of any game you make:
- Availability of easier play modes (levels of difficulty) in addition to regular and hard modes
- Different colour settings and alternate means of communicating colour-coded information
- Custom key binding options including joystick and controller binding options
For a much more comprehensive list of guidelines, visit this website .
Keeping the needs of your users in mind is a requirement for all types of developers. Practice this important skill now and help educate future generations of creators!
3. It’s beginner friendly
Triple A games will of course take years to develop with work happening across many different teams. But with a platform like Unity, you can have a simple game running in a matter of minutes.
Learning how to finish something you start is an essential skill. Completing a project helps you learn from it, builds your self-confidence and gives you something you can share with the community.
Unity's interface is helpful for beginners because it offers immediate visual feedback on your project, making it more likely that you'll see it through to the end. You’ll need to do some coding of course, but you can import images, sounds, and textures fairly easily into your game without much technical experience.
Here are four popular resources for learning game development in Unity:
- Complete C# Unity 2D Game Development Course (Udemy)
- Complete C# Unity 3D Game Development Course (Udemy)
- Unity Learn (official Unity tutorials)
- Brackeys YouTube channel (videos covering all aspects of Unity development)
4. It’s multilingual
Even if game development isn't your end goal, making a simple game is still an excellent way to build your skills in a particular language.
- 5 Python arcade-style games
- Snake game using Pygame
- Basic intro to making games with Pygame (with tutorial)
5. It’s easy to share and collaborate on
Since the game development process can be divided into several different jobs, you may find yourself in need of a collaborator. In the initial design phase, you can decide whether you'll be outsourcing any work to another developer.
Fortunately, game development is a growing industry with many people eager to get involved with a project.
Here are some of the best places to find a collaborator online:
- Hobby Project Classifieds
- Game Dev Classifieds (Reddit)
- INAT (I Need A Team) (Reddit)
- Recruiting & Resumes Section (IndieDB)
Discord, game jams, and even taking a Udemy game development course can also introduce you to potential collaborators.
If you’re already working in a team, Unity has a built-in feature that makes it easy to share work. Project management tools such as Trello or Notion are also helpful for keeping track of your team’s progress and sharing your creative wins!
Game development might seem inaccessible if you’re a code newbie. However, it’s actually a great way to practice your design and object-oriented programming skills. You'll become familiar with important accessibility standards that you can carry forward in your developer journey. And you'll gain a new and ever-evolving form of creative expression.
As with any type of coding, good luck and remember to always have fun!