211: How To Start Building a Video Game. Part 1.

You have a vague idea for a new video game. Where do you begin?

I’m not a painter but I have to imagine that this is similar to any creative work of art. Where do you begin? A lot of people get stuck here and never make progress. You have to start somewhere.

You could begin by researching and learning everything you can. If you want to paint, then maybe you could learn all about colors. Then study all the famous paintings to learn their style. Then take drawing classes. You might find that you end up doing anything except painting. You tell yourself that you’re not ready yet. There’s still more to learn. And after spending months or even years preparing, most people just give up. It’s too hard. Or they lose interest. And for those who do finally squeeze some paint out of the tube and swirl it around and mix it with other colors and then dip the brush and apply that first stroke of paint, the experience can be exhilarating.

Yet strangely, a lot more give up here too. Their first attempt at making a masterpiece looks nothing like the paintings in the museums. Maybe they’re just not cut out to be a painter.

It’s got to be a hard thing to paint. What do you do if you make a mistake? I’m sure some things can be covered up. If the paint is still wet, then you might be able to scrape it off the canvas and try again. Like I said, I’m not a painter so I don’t know. These are just my thoughts. And it’s got to be a lot harder to cover up a mistake once the paint has dried.

This is one of the reasons that I like software development. It’s a lot easier to recover from mistakes. And we can start a new project by copying some code from an earlier project. Imagine starting a painting where the basic structure is copied from another painting. You can bring over the best parts and leave out anything that doesn’t apply or was a mistake.

Of course, there’s a lot more to beginning a new video game project than just this. And there’s a lot more than I can include in just one episode. Listen to the full episode to learn more and make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you’ll automatically get a new episode delivered to your podcast app each week.

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