How can I program? :S

19 posts

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Hi,

I am a programmer who is just starting out with AS3, but I find it hard to learn it and this is the reason:

I have got NO talent for graphical design AT ALL.
I’ve been coding for I think 3 years now (I’m now 16), and I’ve got some experience with Java and C++, but my true passion is making games and since I don’t have the funds/experience to make big games, I thought I’d try making flash games. I can easily find my way around in AS thanks to all of my Java experience, but I simply cannot make a game because I can’t design the graphics. Therefor I can’t practice coding in AS and what artist wants to collaborate with a 16 yo who is still learning AS?
I could use sprites I find on the web, or just use standard geometrical shapes, but I don’t really think that could produce a game worthy of uploading and I think its a real waste of time to just code a huge project to just dump it when its finished :S

Are people from lets say DeviantArt/NG willing to design for someone if they get a share from any revenue, but which most likely wont be produced because the coder is still learning? Maybe I should just code with sprites I find on the net, and just code with them to learn? Could anyone supply me with some tips/advice?

Thanks :-)

PS: Sorry if this is a bit tl;dr but I’m a bit desperate. ow and pardon my english as it is not my native language ;D I’m also not sure if this is in the right forum section :S

 
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You don’t need to be a professional. Just draw some shit, and improve it some times, and every time, you’ll see that it gets better and needs more improvements. You can also improve your drawing skills at school, it’s the perfect place to doodle and it makes you improve really well.

 
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Look up some art tutorials. I too am a shitty artist (look at the art in my games, not the ones I’ve posted in the art sections), and you’ll easily see that.

 
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opengameart.org
^Has some really good sprites you can use commercially.

For people to want to collaborate with you, you’d probably have to make a few games first. Work your way up. Small steps. Make a game with shitty graphics and show that you’re capable of finishing projects and coding properly.

 
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Originally posted by ErlendHL:

You don’t need to be a professional. Just draw some shit, and improve it some times, and every time, you’ll see that it gets better and needs more improvements. You can also improve your drawing skills at school, it’s the perfect place to doodle and it makes you improve really well.

So you are saying I should doodle in school rather than pay attention? :D
Well my main problem really is I can’t doodle with my mouse xD. Maybe I should get one of those pc sketchpad or what’s it called? Is that what graphic designers do?

 
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Originally posted by JamesObscura:

opengameart.org
^Has some really good sprites you can use commercially.

For people to want to collaborate with you, you’d probably have to make a few games first. Work your way up. Small steps. Make a game with shitty graphics and show that you’re capable of finishing projects and coding properly.

Thanks for the advice and the awesome site!

 
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Most of what they say in my school is shit anyway… I’m not at a high level yet anyway so I didn’t choose any of the subjects so I doodle pretty much. Why would you need pc to doodle? We also use paper and pencil as well as pc. And sometimes I just automatically start doodling and stuff without thinking about it, even while paying attention.

A good thing also is to always have paper and pencil at home, so you can draw whenever you want. When you’re waiting for something (even just that the computer turns on), when you’re bored or don’t know quite what to do, or when you’re not in the mood to do anything else :)

 
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Btw, in the game I’m working on now, I started coding the engine until it was free for bugs and ran completely fine. Every tile was just one colour – you don’t need anything else in the development stage. Later I made the graphics…. as well as a graphics editor.. So you should start with the game idea, the game engine only using easy but representative graphics, then you can either make your own complete graphics or ask someone to cooperate.

 
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I’m now making a stock sidescrolling shooter with some pixels from opengameart.org, which is comming along fine. It won’t have anything special and will be just like the 1000 others on the net, but it will be one I made.
You say you use paper and pencil, but how do you get those graphics on your pc then? If I could transport all the guys I’ve drawn on my books this year, I could probably make a full on rpg with a 1000 quests xD

Thx for the advice btw you got my hopes up :) (is that even english? xD)

 
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Originally posted by xirb22:


You say you use paper and pencil, but how do you get those graphics on your pc then?

Scanner or digital camera and then some touching up in an image editor to clean them.

 
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Well I don’t mean I make my graphics with paper and pencil, but by doodling I mean practice. Because you said you got no talent for graphical design. Pretty much all (not much) of my drawing skills, did I get from randomly doodling and drawing random things without any goal or anything.

I don’t believe you’re completely without talent for graphical design anyway :) You said you’ve already drawn a lot in your books so I think all you need to do, is get a picture of what you want (graphics) in your head, then try to start drawing.

Maybe the problem lies in that first step – you don’t know exactly what you want, and therefor not where and how to start.
The thing with drawing, unlike programming, is that you can make so many awesome things, without having a clue about what you’re doing. You just have to imagine it and put it on the canvas, and if it didn’t turn out quite as you though, reflect upon what you need to change in order for it to be just like you want.

If you need help with maybe achieving some kind of effect or technique or any questions about how to draw anything, you can always ask here also :) Edit: or is it the wrong forum (show-off)? Well there are plenty of art forums around.

Also, the graphics in a game is very important, so keep in your mind that you will [want to] spend alot of time on that part. Experimenting is sometimes important too, and everything you do will give progression: you’ll improve anyway, so don’t despair, and if you ever feel like giving up, just do something else and don’t force yourself to do anything more about the graphics until you want it yourself.
I’ve worked a lot with different kinds of arts (mainly music though) and I know that if you force your self to work on something, or complete something, well it’s never good because you need the will and the inspiration too. So whenever you don’t feel like drawing, do the coding or do something else. Consider everything a lesson and remember you have all the time in the world!

I don’t know if it would be wise to listen to everything I’m saying because I’m not quite sure what I’m talking about, good night! :)

 
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Originally posted by ErlendHL:

You said you’ve already drawn a lot in your books so I think all you need to do, is get a picture of what you want (graphics) in your head, then try to start drawing.

Maybe the problem lies in that first step – you don’t know exactly what you want, and therefor not where and how to start.

That is EXACTLY what my problem is! I’m not only not very good at drawing, I’m also not very creative xD
I’ll keep all of your words in mind ;D

 
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If you make a decent game demo (with crap artwork) and are willing to give up some amount of revenue (assuming your game will make money), you can probably find an artist to do your artwork.

Also, if you really spend some time at drawing something you can make it look decent. Draw your rough object and then keep erasing and redrawing until it looks good. Art is a skill, just like programming, and practice makes perfect.

 
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Characters and such don’t have to be fancy looking graphics, I’m currently making a strategy game where every unit is just a square. I’m not an artist either. :/

 
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You can make good games without good art. Take a look at hot new games…

Snakes on a Cartesian Plane
3 Slices 2
Epic Friends

I can’t draw either. I find that restrictions often provide inspiration. If I’m limited to games where the quality of the artwork is not important, I’ll focus on gameplay and innovation instead. When you make something awesome that you want to get sponsored, you can pay an artist to reskin it for you.

 
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Originally posted by xirb22:

That is EXACTLY what my problem is! I’m not only not very good at drawing, I’m also not very creative xD
I’ll keep all of your words in mind ;D

Well then I suggest you first get the idea what the game should be about, then code it all with shitty graphics, and after that you’re probably closer to knowing exactly what you want.

 
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You know, whatever you don’t get in art, you can make up for in game concept. Not everything is about art these days, although it does pimp the experience. Tell you what, take the game Focus (Jesse Venbrux). Here you have an original concept. In some platform games, you have teleports that will transport you to a particular predefined area/position. Here, we have a guy who has a ready-made teleport, and defines where he/she teleports. And yet, I won’t say the art is terrible, but it could be better.

Tell you something, most indie games (generally short for independent games, i.e. made by one developer) I’ve come across aren’t that stylish when it comes to art. Unless the developer is good at art (most aren’t, by the way) or is working for a big studio, the art is generally pretty mediocre. Gaz’s games embody this idea (maker of 3 Slices, Red Remover and Super Stacker). But they make it up in concept. They choose a genre of game. Say physics. Then they add attributes to the gameplay. It is these attributes that make a game unique. Combine physics with planets, you have the concept of radial gravity. And that’s turned up in Angry Birds Space and the Gravitee series. Unless you’re multitalented like Particlasm (maker of Willism and Sly 2- he made the coding and music, and I’ll bet he made the art too), you only need a winning concept. I hope you understood, I’m not that good at explaining.

 
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You said you are relatively new to flash. Play my game “Going up up and away!” , then play my game “Sam the wondering wolf”.
I was a beginner when I made Going up up and away! Graphics sucked really bad. As I progressed and started making better games I started taking more time to draw the stuff in my games.
You will get better at it.
Good luck.

 
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Originally posted by xirb22:

Hi,

I have got NO talent for graphical design AT ALL.

Me too, check out my Angry Fishy game and wait till I release my new game you will see a huge difference!

Practice makes Perfect!