In the past 3 Saturday videos, I introduced the concepts of art, and today, I start to help you understand the most important part of game design, the Game Design Manual. Just download the template that I’ve uploaded to my server, and just copy and past pages and define what you want to create for your game.
The first page is critical in creating interest in your game when you talk to people in the game development community, because it tells the company you are talking to exactly what your game is all about.
The Game Overview is the two page short resume of your game. It describes everything you want to talk about with your game. Every aspect of your game is discussed, and the philosophy behind the game as well.
It is what you give to a gaming company that expresses interest in your game after the elevator pitch, so they can make a more informed decision on whether they want to create the game, or it is the document that keeps inspiring you while you take the months, even years, to create that video game.
Art intimidates people, and we make the greatest artists into almost mythic heroes, but it doesn’t have to be. It takes time and practice and the right tutorials. You can follow me on Pinterest. I save a huge amount of tutorials on this account to help me learn art, and it should help you learn art as well.
Gaming art doesn’t need to the best in the world. If it’s good enough to tell your story than it will work.
Drawing Hub is a fantastic how-to drawing website, you should check it out. Not only do the people show you step by step how to draw something, they explain it as well. I spend at least an hour every single night at this website.
Drawing a humanoid character can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re starting out, using base materials to trace over is okay because that helps you develop the muscle memory to draw things properly. Every journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step.
Tracing over drawings or tutorials is a technique called Rotoscoping. It is especially important for animation, as you can start to use different drawings at different times to create a sense of motion.
The best thing to do is use a tablet or touchscreen computer, save the pictures on the website and start tracing over it in programs like Procreate or Photoshop. I use Procreate for the iPad for this tutorial.
In this lesson, I go through how to setup thing up in SketchBook Pro from autodesk, which is absolutely free of charge for iOS users, to allow you to learn how to draw a humanoid figure. I also go through some of the body ratios that you need in order to draw a realistic humanoid character, if you want to draw something from scratch.
Like I said in the last episode, practice makes perfect. Keep on using tutorials, keep on learning, keep on practicing what you learn and you will start to be a good artist.
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Coding is the first scary bottleneck for those who want to design video games. Unless you take time to understand the basics, everything can be so intimidating. But if you change your mind on programming, and see it as a honey do list for a computer, than coding becomes far less scary. You just need to learn how computers are instructed and start taking control over it.
For those who have iPads, feel free to download SwiftPlaygrounds and play around with Coding 1, I use them for all my coding lessons right now.
Functions allow programmers to group lines of code to be called in later parts of code, to help reduce the amount of coding you have to do to accomplish a task. You can also use functions within other functions to eliminate as much coding as possible.
As coders, we want to reduce the amount of work we do, and functions allows us to do that very thing.
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For Loops are excellent ways to group a bunch of functions that are the exact same together. In video games, these are the NPCs patrolling around, going to point A doing a couple of things and then going to point B in which the do the exact same thing before they go to point C, which then you can reset the to start at the beginning again.
Conditional programming can help game developers make their games more difficult, provide missions and quests with reward systems, level up scripting when a character’s experience hits a certain number, and what happens when a character hits another character. It is the backbone of coding a game, so it is essential for aspiring game developers to learn and get really good at conditional coding.
Logical Operators, defining things if two combined variables are true, or if a variable is untrue, or if a variable equals this or that allows game designers to provide puzzles and unique experiences to their games. Building on the conditional programming that is very important for game programming, because games are all about conditions, this helps ensure unique experiences for gamers.
While loops combines the three topics we had taken previously, the for loop, conditional coding and logical operators. It helps define NPC behaviours in games to animate your world. You can use a while loop to have a shopkeeper in a game stay in their shop until a certain time of day, after which it will go home – so the loop for the shopkeeper would be while the time condition is true, the shopkeeper stays in the shop, else if the time condition is false than the shopkeeper goes home, and then the same loop is created every single day in that loop.