How old were you when you made your first game?

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Hello everyone. The more times passes, the more I realize Game Design is a very complicated business. It must take years to really become great at it, and practice is slower than someone like drawing since it takes longer to make a  game than it does a picture. I speak from experience, as I have been drawing since I was, like, 9. And at the age of 15 have finally realized that game design is my passion. (Though I sorta knew since I was about 13, and have been playing games long before then, it was only at 15 that I realized how serious I am about this.)

But am I too late in realizing? How old were you when you made your first game, and what was it? Do you think I still have a chance with all that has to do with Game Design when I've only just started? Do you have any tips to get the most learning experience?

Do you think I stand a chance at maybe even being able to work with engines like Unity and 3D modeling before college? Or does it take much longer to learn?

(I hope this is the right place to put this. It's just been something I've been a little worried about lately.)
 

Shaz

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I don't know if I'd say practice at game design is slower than practice at drawing. If you've been drawing since 9 and you're now 15, that's 6 years. I think in 6 years, if you apply yourself, you'll make more progress in the area of game design.


You're never too old to learn something new, and you're never too old to change your career. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, you are where you should be. When you stop enjoying it, it's time to look at something else.
 

Makio-Kuta

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As Shaz said, you are never too old to start to learn something new. People's passions and interests change over time. You're in your teens, you still have so much life ahead of you. There are people who take a few years of post secondary schooling and then realize they want to do something else and change gears. Mid-teens ain't nothing. I've seen people over three times that age go back and learn something new because they discovered a passion for it.

As for tips, I think personally you should start by building games away from using actual programs. My first games were all done on paper. Paper RPGs, paper dungeon crawlers - this allows you to hone your creativity before worrying about learning a program - and it can also help you figure out what angle you like best in game design. Just like when you learned art, you didn't start with the fancy tools right away; you started small.

This is a good link that I think may seem silly, but is really valuable: http://iq212.com/iQ212Blog/2014/12/16/the-20-dollar-game-designers-tool-kit/
 

Tsukihime

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I've never really made a game. I've made parts of a game, but never a completed game.

the more I realize Game Design is a very complicated business.
If by "business" you mean actually making something and getting it out and making it big, there are things that you will learn outside of game design that will allow you to progress much faster than others who don't incorporate certain techniques.

and practice is slower than someone like drawing since it takes longer to make a game than it does a picture
2048 was developed in a weekend.


Flappy bird probably didn't take all that long either.


People can make great things without having to spend 20 years at it: they simply need to have an idea or a different perspective, and the drive to get it done.


You don't need to master the art of programming to begin making a game.


As a consumer of the game, I don't care whether it's not coded beautifully.

Do you think I stand a chance at maybe even being able to work with engines like Unity and 3D modeling before college?
Why not? Unity is free. Blender is free. There are plenty of free game engines and 3D modeling tools. I'ts all a matter of whether you want to sit down and learn it and do it.


There are people that complain about no one telling them what to do and that's why they never did anything with their life. These people are probably not going to be the ones that will be taking the initiative to create new and innovative things


The ones on the 30 under 30 list likely did not get where they are by following the book.
 
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Warpmind

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If memory serves, I made my first game when I was around nine or ten, I think. Board game, that is. It... wasn't very good, to be honest.
 

Milennin

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Lol, I used to make my own board games when I was kid too. Or variants on existing ones. My first attempt at RPG Maker was back in 2004 when I was 17 years old. But I didn't try to understand game design until years later, all I wanted to do then was to make an epic RPG, lol.
 

Kes

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I didn't make games as a kid.  I created stories, but not games.

My first game I was considerably older than you are, as I made it in 2013/14
 

Another Ned

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Made, as in completed? 20, and it was a board game for one of my classes in a team of three people. It was a variation on Nine Men's Morris with an added luck factor as was our task. With three players, rotating board pieces, and zombies.

For videogames, it was during the same semester, in a team of two, using Processing: A tiny platformer, only one screen.

I have studied game design (or rather "game dev 101") at a university of applied sciences, and many, if not almost all of us weren't even sure which disciplines we wanted to specialize in. Some were in their thirties and haven't played many games before, others were making games all their lives. Many came from different disciplines and backgrounds (I remember someone with a psychology degree, a manager, and a hairdresser). And that's only people that went to study that stuff at the same place and time I was.

And hey, I was "already"/"only" (depending on how you see it) 19 when I realized I wanted to work in games. Took me another three years to figure out my discipline of choice.

Conclusion: What people before me already said. Never too late to figure out what you want to do, never too old to learn something new.

About the "standing a chance" part: If you want to try, you can always learn by yourself. I remember Unity being quite well-documented, with many tutorials.
 

TheoAllen

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Answering the title of the topic

How old were you when you made your first game?

Depends on what the first game is

If it's any game, then I made my first game around elementary school. Perhaps when I was 12-13 using custom map schenario by using Age of Empire map editor. I count that as my first game because I made my own rule how to complete the scenario despite it was using RTS game map editor.

If you mean, using the game engine, perhaps around 15-16 when the first time I used RPG Maker. However, I never completed any game in that time.

If you mean, first game is the complete one, then it was last year. When I'm in 20 going to 21.

Do you think I stand a chance at maybe even being able to work with engines like Unity and 3D modeling before college? Or does it take much longer to learn?
If you have enough passion and always try something new, there's a chance. As long as you have time. If you're busy with your school, marks, and exams, then you're right if you're in doubt.
 
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_Shadow_

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TL;DR;

I was about 14 years old.

For full story press Show spoiler button:

It was the time there was no internet (stop laughing, yeah I am THAT old) and MS DOS was the most popular operating system of that time, running maybe Norton Commander. If you had Windows 3.1 you were a pro.

:p

REMEMBER! No internet. No Information Access. No Google, No Wikipedia, NO w3school, NO code Academy, NO nothing. 

We had very few books availabe, especially in Greek, so you had to understand English to become a programmer. Another obstacle.

I owe some of my English, to a School for Foreign Languages I went, and I owe a LOT of my English learning curve to the adventure games of that era, like Zak McKraken, Police Quest 2, Loom, The Secret of Monkey Island etc etc.

I was lucky enough to understand English while was 14 years old.

Now look... there were magazines that had software for ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, AMSTRAD and other machines.

There were a few QBasic pieces of code too.

But a magazine author-journalist was not a software engineer back then...

Programming was something like:

"Look this is QBASIC, you can set labels, you can use an IF THEN ELSE statement so the program will take decisions, you can use GOTO to move around the code and make things happen,  You get input with the command INPUT and you show text with the command PRINT. You assign values with the command LET. You set text into screen position with LOCATE. CLS clears the screen. That's all you need to know really. Pros can also learn OPEN AS and CLOSE and "exotic commands" if they want data manipulation into files, but keeping a score in RAM was really fine. Who needs to save? :p

So I started making a text based Quiz game that was keeping score (on RAM).

That was it. 100 Questions, 4 possible answers, one only correct at a time. These were my first specs LOL!

NO ARRAYS. Spaghetti code! GOTO only, no structures!

I lost this code, since floppy disks were not as reliable as CD Roms are.

Oh yes! Of course. We had NO USB, NO CD, NO DVD at that time. Only 1.44MB floppy disks.

So yeah I lost this code and I am happy I lost it. 

The code was really the worst thing I ever made.

But still I remember my friends of mine playing the game and enjoying it a lot.

And I am still proud about it!

The code was a disaster. The code was the worst code ever. But it was working 100% correct!

I am glad since spaghetti code is VERY hard to maintain, debug and fix. Part of my pride came from... debugging this abomination. 

But you know what? This abomination, this piece of worst code ever, this spaghetti noob code, this disaster, was my first game ever.

And I STILL LOVE IT, even if I know how wrong it was! It wasn't the program's fault after all. It was MY fault! :p

I made my Diplomatic in 2012 "Development of teaching material for Visual Basic.NET".

NO GOTO anymore.

It was a long journey.

And I learned many programming languages till now, like Python, C, C++, VB, Java, PHP you know, when you love something you keep on learning stuff about it and the more you learn the more you love it.  :D

It's NEVER too late to learn something new. I am 33 and I still  learn new things. As long as you have passion for something burning inside you, it is NEVER too late. ;)
 
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TheoAllen

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@dreadshadow: 

You've reminded me about my father. He told me the same thing.

Also since English isn't our primary language, it could way more harder :p
 

sokita

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13, I think. My first game was a board game based on Chip's Challenge game, you are using 2 characters on your own, plant monster and the player. The player need to get to "Onward" before the others or before eaten by opponent's monster plant. On your turn, you roll the dice, and move either your player or your monster, your player can't go through opponent's plant monster and plant monster can't go through wall or water (or die if go to water), and you can't skip your turn, so, if you get trapped, you will ended by kill your player or your monster. The winner is the first that reach "Onward", no other winning-condition.

LOL, my childhood is awesome! 

And Shaz is right, you never too old to learn something, as long as you have spirit to learn. Yes, someone will makes you down by using age to despise you with the reason, but, why not? 
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Depends on what you consider a game... If making wc3 maps would count, then I started back when I was around 13 or 14...
 

_Shadow_

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@dreadshadow: 

You've reminded me about my father. He told me the same thing.

Also since English isn't our primary language, it could way more harder :p
Wow... I am not sure if I wanna smile or cry right now. :p

Smile for being heard as a wise man, who is a father of a son,

or cry for talking like a father figure would (showing my age) :p

I am not sure on what part of my words you were talking about.

I can guess you talk about  the:

"As long as you have passion for something burning inside you, it is NEVER too late."

If that's the case, your father is an awesome guy, and you already know that! :D
 

TheoAllen

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I am not sure on what part of my words you were talking about.

I can guess you talk about  the:

"As long as you have passion for something burning inside you, it is NEVER too late."
Errr.... no

But your life experience. My father was turbo basic programmer. Indeed there is no loop, class, and everything. All variables were global :p
 

_Shadow_

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Errr.... no

But your life experience. My father was turbo basic programmer. Indeed there is no loop, class, and everything. All variables were global :p
HAHAHAHA!

Your father is Extra uber awesome then in that case!

Turbo Basic, gee... I used to write Turbo Pascal programs.

TBASIC was an awesome compiler too I guess, with pretty enviroment too.

Brings back memories. :p

It was a nightmare, good thing I didn't know the correct way of programming back then or I would mock everyone! :p
 

bgillisp

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To answer the OP's question, 12. It was...about as good as you would expect at that age. All I remember about it was it used some RPG creation engine that was available in DOS back then, and I thought that more features = better game.

Yeah, it was bad.
 
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_Shadow_

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Assuming you mean first completed RM game, let's see it was a few years ago so in my 30's. Still feel too old? :p
:cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:   :cutesmile:

No.
 
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