Starting Out in Game Development

I'm using Unity with a hands-on approach to learn programming, basically because it's easier to use and I'm sick of all of these game ideas bubbling around in the back of my brain. I've done a lot of researching, and looked all over the forums, and I think I have a pretty good base on how the game engine and interface works, and how to use it to put a game together.

I have basic understanding of how programming languages work, and basic understanding of Python and Java syntax works. (for that matter, learning a languages' nuances doesn't seem to be that big of a deal using Unity, at least as far as scripting goes) What I don't understand very well is how to structure everything to make a program, beyond performing basic read/write tasks, work; in other words a real game.

So I guess what i'm looking for is a little help on where to start in building one of my ideas. I decided I'm going to start with a simple RTS, and as for my overall approach I'm going to take it one 'concept' or piece at a time (as in, 'How would i do blank?'). In other words how a whole program outline would work; an example might help a little, of what I think so far... from the hierarchy POV:

- Camera

  • Music, GUI elements, mouse(?)

    - Map/Environment

  • Doodads an' such stuff on the map

    - 'Actors'

  • i.e. Units and Badguys

    • AI components
    • 'status tracker' component
    • Character controllers and such (action scripts, etc.)
    • (?) Also maybe a 'conditions' tracker script - as in to keep track of whether I'm 'on fire' or 'bleeding' or 'wet' - and maybe then draw the fx of which from the 'effect' object itself, so every unit doesn't have to list every possible condition, only if 'burnable' and/or 'wettable'.

Erm as you can see I think I have a basic idea, I didn't put a lot on there... but there's some obvious holes, and I'm not sure how accurate what I have is. If it's not, can someone just give me a basic structure of what things I need, and basically how they interact?

And if I'm way off base, and I'm asking something ridiculous/unanswerable, then just let me know I guess... Oh, and sorry for the novel.


This is where I went, doesn't get too advanced but it's NEED TO KNOW STUFF.


I'll put my 2 cents in... Make a list of EVERY feature you want... Give yourself goals, (I personally do daily goals), and work until it's done, THEN do your own stuff...

So you work little steps daily, and before you know it, you'll be done...

Like, for example, pacman...

I need models.

I need animations.

I need to spawn the items.

I need to have pick up-able items.

Etc. Now break these further, and just keep playing around with it... It seriously is the best way to learn...

But that's my opinion.

Good luck!

Hey im learning Programming and if your looking for someone to work with im working on a game but like i said i havent quite got down programming so maybe you and I can work together if you want to just email me at and ill get you my Skype username so we can chat sometime

I think you have the right instincts: doing a basic camera and then getting some representation of the world/environment would be a fantastic start.

Really you should just dive right in. Don't get "thinker's paralysis" and pretend that you can perfectly plan everything down a bullet-pointed list of things to do. You just need to get your feet wet and write some code!

Good luck

i recommend to first make the tetris, cuz it gets you the basic of the interaction with the objects and reactions of this, also score, after tetris it comes the arkanoid, that teaches you about collisions, modifying your player, your own death and finishing a game, after this, it comes the pacman, cuz the basic AI comes here

this way you will have your goals at low level

other recommendation for the programing learning is, when you think of something, try to have the thought of each step and everything between them till there is nothing else this is called algorithm like how do i have my break fast the normal way of thought is i have a bowl and then eat you can expand this to i have a bowl, put the cereal on the bowl then the milk and then i eat then you can expand it to every aspect of it i have a bowl, breng the cereal, get the milk out the refrigerator, put the cereal on the bowl, put the mil on the bowl, return the cereal to the counter and the milk to the refrigerator, mix the cereal, then start to eat

this way of thinking is the thing that makes it easier to program something

hope this weird recommendations work for you