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Budding Game Developer, but not a designer; now what?

 
Bill Mote
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Mario,

One of my biggest barriers to entry is not the lack of ideas. Those are always plentiful, but what recommendations can you offer for someone that can code but can't draw a recognizable stick figure nor generate anything other than excruciatingly irritating noises out of any sort of sound application?

The age-old developer vs. designer, I think, is exasperated in game development. It's here that you need your A-game in all regards if you're going to be a success. The best code in the world won't matter if it looks like poo and visa-vis.

Congrats on the book.

Regards,

Bill
 
Mario Zechner
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Hi,

yes, i face the same problems as well, being a coder. Especially for small (one-man-)teams there are a few alternatives:

- You can go retro 8-bit/16-bit style. I personally found that getting into pixel art as a coder does work out to some extend. Being able to create sprites and tiles for simple 2D games that don't look like a total mess is a clear plus, especially when you prototype. There are a couple of good tutorials on the matter online. Of course, this needs a bit of practice. This tutorial and this tutorial are excellent. For a basic walk cycle you can try this tutorial.
- I'm in the lucky position that i can play a few instruments so i can do much of my games' music myself. For chip-tunes (c64/NES music/sound effects) i rely on the kindness of strangers and friends that do electronic music.
- There are also a couple of freely available resources online. OpenGameArt.org has lots of royalty free sprites, tiles, sound effects, music and so on and so forth. The quality varies from excellent to "i could have done that myself", but in general it's a great resources. Lost Garden has free art from the graphics artist of Tyrian.
- The final (and propably best but also most expensive option) is to get a dedicated artist onto your team. I currently have the pleasure to work with a former AAA title graphics artist who does everything for free out of a passion for game development. Those incidents are pretty rare though and is very hard to find someone doing your game's art for free. I do not have experience with hiring artists i'm afraid.
 
Bill Mote
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Those are fantastic resources. Thanks Mario. When does the intermediate level book come out? ;)
 
Mario Zechner
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As soon as my stressed out body recovers from the first book
 
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