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A few questions about getting started as a Video Game Developer

I'm a freshman in high school and have some basic knowledge of HTML and JavaScript languages.

1. What tools/coding languages do you recommend starting out as a game designer?
2. What is the hardest kind of challenge you have faced during development?
3. What is the best genre of game to start out developing as a beginner?
4. How do you market your game successfully?
5. Do you have any regrets or things you wish you had done differently when you stated out?

Thank you comment icon Hi, Wyatt! These are all great questions. In the future, please post them each as a separate question (per our Community Guidelines). It is much easier for Professionals to answer one question at a time, and that means you’re more likely to get great advice! Thanks for using CareerVillage 🙂 Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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John’s Answer

AAA game developer here, these are some fantastic questions! You seem like you're ready to take your next step down the path to becoming a game developer!

1. This depends on how comfortable you are with CS fundamentals. HTML and JS are a good start, if you're looking to get more into game dev a good next step might be C#. It has a much gentler learning curve than languages like Java and C/C++ but shares many of the important fundamentals with those languages. It's also well supported in Unity Engine, which is a great beginner game engine to work with and one that is commonly used for developing indie, mobile, and HTML5 games.

2. There's quite a few. Deadlines, scope creep (adding more features to the game than planned over time), and just generally things not going as planned. It's very much a career that revolves around solving hard problems, and you always have to be ready for new challenges.

3. I'd recommend starting with something modest in scope. Start with a simple core concept, something you would enjoy playing, and branch out from there. If you try to do too much too quickly, you could find yourself bogged down and burned out. Avoid things like larger scale multiplayer games, as those are generally the most resource intensive to work on!

4. This is a tough one, the reality is there are a lot of smaller games that go unnoticed, and when you are starting out that's ok. Very few small devs make smash hit games that get viral attention and take off. Most successful games are propped up by huge marketing budgets, where the goal is to get enough value out of users to cover the cost of all the marketing. For beginners, this likely is not feasible. Sharing games with your friends, family, or online communities is a good way to network starting out though!

5. Is been a windy road but I can't say I have regrets. You may have to be ready to take some risks though. I took a few positions I was not sure I'd enjoy long term, but they ended up being very rewarding. Don't be afraid to try new things, and you may not always get to walk the path you envisioned. But if you work hard and keep trying, you will get there.
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much for taking the time to answer this!! Wyatt P.
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Atul’s Answer

I know too many people including my son who wanted to be a game developer only to realize that there are many other opportunities that pays well and it is very satisfying experience.
Should you still want to pursue, it helps to know hardware programming experience to write device drivers and C or Assembly language knowledge.
You can use social media to promote your app? Have written any games yet? If so, how did people/friends reacted?
Your uphill battle is how easy it is to use your game and what kind of reception do you get.
Keep in mind there are many people in this field who wants to be next designer of a killer game.
Keep in mind Apple and/or Android will take 30-40 pct your game revenue. Your $0.99 game - you will only get $0.60.
First get a degree in Computer Sc or Computer Eng. You have plenty of time to develop a game and see what are the reactions of your game once you learn few languages.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Atul! Wyatt P.