Sunday, May 1, 2005

Game Development for Beginners

For the Centennial Middle School kids that attended my career day talk, I promised some pointers to some places to get them started if they were interested in trying their hand at developing their own games. Here it is:


  • Awesome 3d Game Development: No Programming Required - Clayton Crookes: This book is probably a great place to start for most of you. It also includes 3D Game Maker, listed above, and some other tools, on the CD Rom that comes with the book.
  • Game Programming for Teens - Maneesh Sethi: This is a little more advanced (as the title implies, programming is required), but it's a good place to get started if you are going to try your hand in that department.

Game making tools/kits that don't require any programming (or very little)

  • RPG Maker 2 for Playstation 2: You should be able to find this at any store that sells PS2 games, or if not, find it online. This lets you create your own Role Playing Game (thus the name). Not too flexible in what you can do, game-wise, but you get to write the story, design the monsters, etc. Probably very difficult to use without a keyboard for the PS2, so think about getting one of those with it.
  • The Game Factory: This one is available for PC. It lets you make simple 2D games. There's a free trial version that lets you design games, but not share them with friends. For that, you need to buy the software ($29).
  • 3D Game Maker: Another no-programming-required tool for PC, this one for making 3D games. No free version for this one, you'll need to buy it.

Art Programs:

  • Cosmic Blobs: Is an easy-to-use program if you want to try making 3D objects.

Summer Camp!

  • If you get some of the books or programs above, try developing some games, and then are still REALLY interested, there's even a summer camp for aspiring game developers. InternalDrive offers camps in game modding and game development for kids 10 years old and up. Unfortunately, there are none in Portland, but there's some offered in Seattle. See the website for more info. Not cheap though! Almost $1000 a week for kids to stay there and attend the camp. Find out more here.

That's it. Hope it's useful! I'd love to see your games when they are done!

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