Programming Guide For Video-Gamers


Video and computer games make up a massive part of modern entertainment. Ever since the introduction of Spacewar! in the early 1960s, games have been a way to spend time with friends and compete with other players all around the world. With the advent of indie games, they’ve also become a way to examine the nature of gaming itself. The route to making a complete video game may seem complex, but with a little creativity and familiarity with basic IT skills, the finished project is one that thousands of people can create and thousands more can enjoy.

The first stage of a video game’s development is the pre-production stage. This is the time when the game concept and layout are evaluated and, if the game is being produced for a company, when a formal pitch will be made in order to get the project approved. A prototype of the game may also be made with some basic coding to help convey the idea to investors. Once the main elements of the game have been identified, the game can go into full-time production.

During the design phase, the look of the game and the path a player will follow are planned and plotted out in detail. The levels, playable characters, and art style are all determined. While the art and audio for the game are produced, the coding for the game is carried out. A game’s programming depends on the language being used to write the code as well as the platform that the game will be played on. Some of the most common programming languages used for video games are C, C++, Java, and Python. It’s up to the design team to determine which language will best suit the needs of the game and which will allow the game to run in the most expedient way.

The next stage of development revolves around ironing out any gameplay issues. This requires checking for and fixing errors in the coding. Companies will typically offer an alpha and beta release to a small, select pool of players, who play the game and test the programming from a consumer’s perspective. Larger companies may have an IT helpline set up to record glitches as they’re reported. Indie companies or producers may field the calls themselves and work alone to resolve the issues. When all programming glitches have been fixed, the game goes to a final release and is sent out to the general public.

Indie games (games that are independently produced, typically without the support of an established game company) have taken the gaming world by surprise. Unhampered by a company’s guidelines and monetary goals, indie games can come from anyone, provided that the individual can handle the coding work necessary, and can explore radically different themes than traditional video games do. For example, the indie game Undertale, created by Toby Fox, brings attention to the killing that is traditionally required to gain points in adventure games. Anyone can make a video game, but to be successful, a creator should have a good understanding of programming, a solid concept, and the willingness to collaborate with other artists if necessary.

Programming may just sound like IT jargon, but it’s essential for the creation of video games. Video games have become much more complex since the introduction of Spacewar! and Pong. They now require more sophisticated programming and may take months to troubleshoot properly. To get into this field, it’s helpful to take courses in math, graphic design, and computer programming. However, even very basic games can be remarkably fun to play. Regardless of how video games continue to evolve in the future, there will always be a new, excited group of players ready to test them out.

Traditional Development

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