A Start-to-Finish Guide for Making a Video Game

Coding

C

omputer programing is something anyone can do. Don't be intimidated.

There are tools freely available for game makers of any skill or experience level. These kinds of tools include libraries of pre-made utilities for use in a programming language, GUI-based software packages like Unity or UDK, and animation and scripting tools like Flash. Even if you don't want to create something from scratch, there are plenty of options available.

It's much harder to give a high-level overview of this step, since the approaches can differ so much. What I can say from experience is that you should not shy away from this step because it seems impossible. It is the most technically demanding step, but there are almost no pre-requisites for learning, and easy-to-use resources are everywhere. If you know middle-school math and computer skills, and if you can type words into Google, you can learn computer programming.

There are hundreds or programming languages to choose from, and the choice can be daunting, but here are some good suggestions.

The best tips for the coding step are the ones that are helpful in the rest of the project. Make sure everything you do works toward making your original idea better, the more pre-planning you do, the less work you'll need in this step, and remember to start simple and work your way up.

Super-Modeling:

Universal Modeling Language (UML) is a tool used by programmers and designers to visualize how a program flows. Boxes represent objects, and they contain descriptions of the data they will store and the functions they will perform. Different styles of arrows show how these parts interact with each other.

UML is also very helpful even if you've never written a single line of code before. It's a fantastic tool for visualizing how parts of any kind of system can interconnect, and it's easy to understand.

What You'll Need

Computer
PC, Mac, Solaris, or whatever your favorite flavor of Linux happens to be.
Design Document
This is where a model like UML can come in handy. Even during coding, you will need to consult the material you made in the Conceptualization step
Breaks
If you ever get tired or sore from sitting for too long, stand up and stretch, jog, exercise, or whatever. Microsoft has a great ergonomics guide to help you out.
Problem Solving Tools
Problems will happen. Frequently. Professional programmers all use the same cutting edge and highly advanced tool to solve them. It's a new project called Google.

Coding Resources

Programming Languages
C
C++
Java
C#
Development Environments
Eclipse
NetBeans
Visual Studio
Notepad++ (Not an IDE, but very useful)
UML Tools
Creately
Draw IO
Violet UML Editor
Tutorials
Lynda(subscription required)
Stack Overflow