Mar 31st 2018 by hobofreddy55 • 27 Questions • 644 Points
My short bio: Hello! My name is Jacob Dunbar and over the last three months I spent my time developing the game "Mayor! Mayor!" that has just been released on the Google Play Store. This past December I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Computer Science and wanted to pursue my passion for games and game development! Ask me anything about doing game development full time, computer science, Unity, or whatever!
My Proof: Website: http://www.mayormayor.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/JacobFDunbar Google Play Link: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.JacobDunbarGames.MayorMayor
EDIT: Thanks to everyone for the questions and thanks to the mods for taking time out of their weekend to help fix the automod issues we were having earlier. I think I answered just about every question posted, but if you have any more I'm game to keep going! Thanks again!
What kind of classes/activities/events would you recommend for a teenager who wants to start learning about game development?(I have a 14 yr old who is determined to start studying about it this year)
I highly recommend using an engine like Unity or Unreal to get started. Unreal has a pretty good visual-scripting system (think drag and drop boxes) that can be good for beginners but I don't have experience with it. My suggestion would be for them to look into learning how to program and to look at doing computer science in college. There are colleges that offer game design or game development degrees but I feel that computer science gives you a very good fallback if neither of those work out (or if they just decide they don't want to work in games later). Unity can be a bit of a leap if you're just starting out but they'll learn a lot by trying it. I highly recommend the YouTubers Brackeys (/u/brackeys) and Sebastion Lague as their videos have helped me a lot in the past and are always enjoyable to watch! If they're very interesting into game design as well they should check out the GDC youtube channel and watch some of the talks on there.
I think Lua is a great language for learning those foundations, for that very reason.
It's maybe a bit too forgiving, for example not needing semi-colons rich most other languages do require, and it's very easy to create global variables which will often bite beginners in the arse later on.
For the basics of variables, functions, loops etc though, it's very easy to get your bearings.
I agree with that too...I feel like it varies between people and people will learn better one way or the other. Thanks!
Ill ask the obvious as it pertains to me as well, any advice for someone wanting to get into development?
I would never just jump straight into doing development full time without a good plan and some experience. If you are looking at seriously doing it then I would begin by learning a game-making method, usually an engine like Unity, Unreal, or GameMaker. I had about 3 years of experience with Unity before starting this project. Not all of that was full-time working with Unity but I would do side projects here and there for fun. PM me if you want any more advice or have any specific questions!
What kind of games would you like to develop? Do you want to work for yourself or for a major developer?
The range of game ideas I have is pretty broad, but aren't super fleshed-out. I know I'd like to work on a goofy multiplayer shooter of some kind and I really like the platformer genre but would need an interesting enough mechanic to justify that.
As nice as it was to develop this game solo I don't know that I'd want to continue to work entirely alone. I'm not the greatest at art (why I do a lot of pixel/low poly stuff) and I think getting someone to do that end of things would produce a better result and allow me to focus more on the development of game from a design/programming side of things. I'd also prefer to not work at a major developer but doing so would probably give me good experience. A small team of dedicated individuals would be my ideal situation!
How hard was it to keep up the motivation when making this game? Did/do you wonder if you made the right decision by not going into a "real" job? Assuming you were working on this full time independently, you must have been a little worried financially
I have been worried financially but am lucky to have saved a bit of money up from an internship this past summer as well as a bit of support from family! I actually thought about the "real job" aspect of it yesterday as there was an open position available at the company I had worked at but I realized that I wanted to complete a game project and that I wouldn't have been able to maintain the motivation to work on it in the evenings after having done a full day at work already. Plus, even when I was at that job over the summer, all I could really think about was how I would much rather be doing this type of creative work than just normal software development (though I do love programming).
Which games over the years influenced you to make your own game?
Other indie titles definitely started my interest in making games as a whole. This game specifically was inspired by games I played growing up like Age of Empires (always wanted to make a city builder) and recent games I've played like Machi Koro (actually a board game).
How do you go about the process of finding music for your projects? Do you go the royalty free route, or do you hire a composer? I'm a Music Composition/Percussion Performance student at the University of North Texas so I'm looking for ways to break into the field
I think most people will look at doing royalty free for mobile games. Some mobile games and most indie commercial titles will usually hire a freelancer though. There's currently on one track in Mayor! Mayor! and I actually wrote it myself using Ableton Live Lite in a couple hours.