Becoming a game designer is a dream in many teenager’s, as well as young adults mind. The question many young people seem to ask, however, is ”where should I start?” Should you learn programming (not for everyone), concentrate on art, or just abandon your dream?
The answer is, at least if you’re like most people: none of the above. In this day and age, almost everything is available online, for free, including tools to create impressive games without any programming experience (though it may be helpful). Thanks to Epic Games and Crytek, powerful, commercial-level game engines such as CryEngine and UnrealEngine are just behind a quick download. For creating graphics Blender, Gimp and Inkscape offer free, but powerful substitutes to expensive industry software. Lastly, the sounds can be crafted with the help of Audacity and the music tracker MilkyTracker. Learn your tools by following free tutorials online and put your skills to use. All the ingredients put together may just be the next big indie game.
If you’re one of the foolhardy, with a real passion building things from the scratch and would love to get your feet wet with proper programming languages, I recommend you do just that. There’s C, C# (C Sharp), C++, Java, Python, Lua and many more. You only need to choose and get started. Now, a word of advice, after learning the basics of a language and once you start getting into actual game development and design, it’s best to get acquainted with libraries. Game and graphics libraries are modules that will help you skip the tedious and complex parts of building games and get into actual game designing and implementing features. There are libraries like Pygame that helps you with all the aspects of making games, and graphics libraries, such as SDL, to help with displaying things on your screen. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to do yourself.
Your biggest troubles will come from having to choose the right software that fits your own needs from all the free game design software available. To address this very problem, I decided to create this website where one can learn about all the free software, compare their features and finally, dive right in.
Hopefully “Free Game Design Software” will be of help to all of you aspiring game designers. Your dreams of contributing to this great, growing and maturing art form may just be behind the corner. Remember that there is very little holding you back.