Once you decide on your major, you will go to a college and get an education that focuses on that major. After college, you get a job, that many times, has nothing to do with what you majored in. So, you need to learn some new skills. Later in life, you get promoted or move to another job, and once again, you need to learn new skills. This is also true with game development. You will learn new game developer skills as you adventure through your gamedev career.
We here at Eimear Studios are constantly learning new gamedev skills. It’s a necessary evil. To make a game is more than just having the idea. You need to code, understand your audience, market, create art, have fans, and so much more.
Having a video game career is an exciting, frustrating, and constant education. You are done with school and maybe you start as an environmental artist. Eventually, you might get promoted to lead concept artist. Or maybe you decide to make your own games and become an indie developer. Either way, you will need some new game developer skills to make these things happen.
How Do You Learn New Game Developer Skills?
There are many reasons why you need to learn new or improve your skills and how you can learn the gamedev skills. In this post, I will list some ways I have used to find resources to help you improve your skills.
- College, University, Grad School
- Google Search
- Your Local Library
- Social Networks
- Friends for Thought
- Networking Groups
Education: College, University, Grad School
College, University, or grade school is the most obvious choice. Major in a game development degree, minor in game development or take some classes in gamedev. But what if you can’t afford school? Or your school does not offer a game development course? Or you are unable to attend classes for whatever reason. Well, gather your internet device, library card, and social networking devices. We are going to learn of all the different ways we can learn.
Google Search Your Game Developer Skills!
Everything is on the internet. The key is knowing how to find it. Keywords are the way of searching the internet and Google Search is your tool for doing it.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that describes something you are searching for online.
If you search for something, for instance, Character Animation, and you are not finding any tutorials that you like or want, try being more specific. If you want to animate a 2D character with Unity, try typing “2D Unity animation tutorial”. You will find better results.
There are a lot of tutorials out there, but not all of them are good. Some may be too advanced, and others may be directed at a viewer that is a different type of learner than you. If you don’t like the game developer skills tutorial you found, try selecting a different one on the same subject.
There are also a lot of tutorial writers out there. You may find that you are liking a few specific tutorial writers. If you intend to use their tutorials a lot, it might be a good idea to start your search within their YouTube videos or webpage. Or, you can subscribe to their channels or bookmark their pages.
If your favorite game developer skills writer does not have the tutorial you are looking for, don’t be afraid to ask for one! Sometimes, we authors have no idea that people don’t know something, and would love to create a tutorial for you to use and share.
Your Local Library
Your library contains tons of books on everything. And they are free! And, if your local branch does not have what you are looking for, you can ask a librarian and he or she will help you order the book from another branch so you can pick it up when it gets to you. It is also a nice quiet place with minimal distractions.
Don’t like books? Your local library has tons of free resources for you to use, including a free account to Lynda.com. Lynda.com is one of the best tutorial sites you could ever have access to and is also how I learned to code, back in the day. I suggest you take advantage of it.
Social Networks are Brutally Honest
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit, just to name a few are a way to ask the world. You can ask people what they think of your work, or how to do something. Most of the time, people give you their honest opinions, and will generally want to help you find what you are looking for.
Now, keep in mind that when people are giving you criticism of your work, you need to take it nicely and with a grain of salt. Let what they are saying sink in, even if it is negative. You aren’t posting your work to defend it, you are posting it to get people’s opinions. If they do not like it, ask them what they did not like about it. Maybe it’s relevant, maybe it’s not. Just remember, it’s only an opinion.
Friends for Thought!
Your friends can be useful too! Ask them for their opinions or if they know of any tutorials or seminars that are coming up or whatever! See! Just ask them. I’m sure most of your friends don’t bite.
Local Gamedev Networking Groups
There are also lots of networking, learning, and other social group gatherings that you could attend. Meetup.com is one source to find local groups with similar interests. There is also your local IGDA (International Game Developers Association) chapter, which is a social gathering of game developers. You can also lookup your local News station online, and see if there is anything game related going on in your area. Conventions and expos for both Comics and Games are also a good way to meet new people and ask for advice.
In the End, Game Developer Skills are Important
As you can see, there are lots of ways to find information and learn new things. Just go out into the world and find them. Or ask someone. Or search the internet. Knowledge of game design is endless.
In the game development industry, the day you stop learning is the day you leave this earth. Game development is an ever-evolving creature and to keep up you must always update your skills.
On that note, I hope this helps you out with your thirst for video game developer knowledge.
Do you have any favorite ways that you like to find information on some gamedev skills? Share in the comments!