My short bio: Hello! My name is Jacob Dunbar and over the last three months I spent my time developing the game "Mayor! Mayor!" that has just been released on the Google Play Store. This past December I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Computer Science and wanted to pursue my passion for games and game development! Ask me anything about doing game development full time, computer science, Unity, or whatever!

My Proof: Website: http://www.mayormayor.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/JacobFDunbar Google Play Link: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.JacobDunbarGames.MayorMayor

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for the questions and thanks to the mods for taking time out of their weekend to help fix the automod issues we were having earlier. I think I answered just about every question posted, but if you have any more I'm game to keep going! Thanks again!

Comments: 224 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

EngagingFears78 karma

Did you develop your game by yourself? If so was animation/graphics/3d environments a part of your degree in school or did you teach yourself? If not did you have a design person(s) to help you out with the more artistic side of things?

Did you search for a job after school or did you know you wanted to build your own thing first?

Congrats by the way!

oldSerge55 karma

I came here to check out what piece of shit this guy had released to the store and was surprised the game looks great.

Until he answers this question this AMA is just turdfest advertising.

Seems doubtful this was accomplished solo in 3 months without cash.

The reason for my vitriol is that making games is really hard, and when someone comes along and posts something like this it gives a false impression to the thousands of indies actually doing it "indie".

Edit: last paragraph added

hobofreddy557 karma

Sorry for the confusion! I had posted a comment on this post very early but it seems like it never went through some how...copy pasted that comment to post it again about a half hour ago but it still seems like it isn't showing up! Here's a link to an imgur screenshot of my comment for proof: https://imgur.com/a/n0ZpG

EDIT Since this post actually seems to be showing up for other people here is my original comment to the parent: "Yes, I developed the game solo aside from like 2-3 sound effects. Everything except those including the music, art, and programming was done by me. The 3D art/animation stuff wasn't exactly part of my degree. My degree is computer science but with a concentration in computer graphics and visualization, but that is more related to working on the software like Blender/Maya used to create art than the art itself. I did take an Intro to 3D Animation course that taught me to use Maya, but I used Blender for this project which was self/YouTube-taught.

I did search search for jobs but did not have much luck but also was planning on doing development during that time too. The jobs I applied to were mostly game-related stuff though and without a ton of prior experience I wasn't expecting to hear back from many of the places I had applied to."

hobofreddy553 karma

Hey everyone! I had posted a reply to this question a couple of hours ago and it apparently never showed up for people...after posting a second repost of it and copying it to the description it appears something in the text of the post I made must be triggering the automod and having it removed (though I never got a message). I'm not going to post a copy of it here because it'll probably get removed again but here is an imgur link to a screenshot of the original comment: https://imgur.com/a/n0ZpG

Sorry for the confusion...I've been desperately trying to contact the mods to get it figured out. Thanks for understanding!

hobofreddy554 karma

Yes, I developed the game solo aside from like 2-3 sound effects. Everything except those including the music, art, and programming was done by me. The 3D art/animation stuff wasn't exactly part of my degree. My degree is computer science but with a concentration in computer graphics and visualization, but that is more related to working on the software like Blender/Maya used to create art than the art itself. I did take an Intro to 3D Animation course that taught me to use Maya, but I used Blender for this project which was self/YouTube-taught.

I did search search for jobs but did not have much luck but also was planning on doing development during that time too. The jobs I applied to were mostly game-related stuff though and without a ton of prior experience I wasn't expecting to hear back from many of the places I had applied to.

EngagingFears3 karma

Hey guys OP messaged me and his replies are not showing up and is trying to get it figured out with the mods. He said my comment was one of the first he replied to and left this link as proof

https://imgur.com/a/n0ZpG

hobofreddy552 karma

Thanks for helping! I realized that it must have been some issue with the text of the comment I made being automodded so I made another comment above without the original comment.

hobofreddy551 karma

Yes, I developed the game solo aside from like 2-3 sound effects. Everything except those including the music, art, and programming was done by me. The 3D art/animation stuff wasn't exactly part of my degree. My degree is computer science but with a concentration in computer graphics and visualization, but that is more related to working on the software like Blender/Maya used to create art than the art itself. I did take an Intro to 3D Animation course that taught me to use Maya, but I used Blender for this project which was self/YouTube-taught.

I did search search for jobs but did not have much luck but also was planning on doing development during that time too. The jobs I applied to were mostly game-related stuff though and without a ton of prior experience I wasn't expecting to hear back from many of the places I had applied to.

EDIT: This might be a repost of this comment...I had a comment that (at least to me) appeared to have been posted on this already but hasn't shown up for other people for some reason...comment/upvote this so I know this works!

shadowshaw2847 karma

What is it like mixing a hobby with a career? I love gaming but if it was my job I think I would fall out of love with it.

hobofreddy5554 karma

I think I realized that it was what I wanted to do when I was doing software engineering work over the Summer and I couldn't stop thinking about how much fun it would be to develop games full time. I spent a lot of the days at work with Visual Studio open on one monitor and GDC (Game Developers Conference) talks open on the other.

As far as recently goes, there are definitely days that I didn't want to start working, mostly when I had a lot of 3D modeling to do. Just by pushing myself to start each day hours could go by and I would hardly notice because I was actually enjoying myself!

NCRose82019 karma

What kind of classes/activities/events would you recommend for a teenager who wants to start learning about game development?(I have a 14 yr old who is determined to start studying about it this year)

hobofreddy5520 karma

I highly recommend using an engine like Unity or Unreal to get started. Unreal has a pretty good visual-scripting system (think drag and drop boxes) that can be good for beginners but I don't have experience with it. My suggestion would be for them to look into learning how to program and to look at doing computer science in college. There are colleges that offer game design or game development degrees but I feel that computer science gives you a very good fallback if neither of those work out (or if they just decide they don't want to work in games later). Unity can be a bit of a leap if you're just starting out but they'll learn a lot by trying it. I highly recommend the YouTubers Brackeys (/u/brackeys) and Sebastion Lague as their videos have helped me a lot in the past and are always enjoyable to watch! If they're very interesting into game design as well they should check out the GDC youtube channel and watch some of the talks on there.

NCRose8205 karma

thank you for the suggestions! He has really picked up on the interest and I had no idea where to even begin with it. He's already taking a couple advanced computer science classes within his high school so I guess he's got a jump on it too and I didn't even realize it would go hand in hand! I'll have him check our the YouTube channels also! Congrats on the release of your game too!

hobofreddy553 karma

Thank you very much! Glad to help :)

novemberdream0715 karma

Do you plan on developing for iOS?

hobofreddy5540 karma

Yes, should hopefully be available on the App Store in a week! Since I used Unity it will be incredibly easy to port it to iOS, the only reason I haven't was because I was holding off on paying the $100 developer fee.

rigglenator11 karma

At what age did you begin programming? What language did you learn? Boiler up!

hobofreddy5518 karma

Unlike many people who do computer science in college I actually had pretty minimal programming experience before school. I started out doing an online Java course through my local library my senior year of high school but it wasn't very good and I didn't retain much. Messed around with Codecademy for bit too before taking my first programming class Spring semester my freshman year. First language was C...do not recommend to start! (something like Java, Javascript, or Python are better)

StarFoxA16 karma

I actually disagree. Starting with C/C++ is a great way to learn about dynamic memory allocation, pointers, and other low-level concepts so that when you're introduced to more abstracted languages you have that foundational knowledge of the inner-workings. Helps you to be a better programmer when you know the implication of each line of code that you write.

Congrats on releasing your game BTW!

hobofreddy552 karma

I agree with that too...I feel like it varies between people and people will learn better one way or the other. Thanks!

Prophi112010 karma

Ill ask the obvious as it pertains to me as well, any advice for someone wanting to get into development?

hobofreddy5515 karma

I would never just jump straight into doing development full time without a good plan and some experience. If you are looking at seriously doing it then I would begin by learning a game-making method, usually an engine like Unity, Unreal, or GameMaker. I had about 3 years of experience with Unity before starting this project. Not all of that was full-time working with Unity but I would do side projects here and there for fun. PM me if you want any more advice or have any specific questions!

Fjggmg8 karma

How do you find the motivation to continue to create games and assets?

hobofreddy5511 karma

Like most game projects it started out with an idea, but I had the motivation to keep pushing through the process whereas a lot of development teams flop. It definitely helped doing it solo and not having other work to do. I would feel crappy if I didn't do anything in a day because I would just be sitting around wasting so much time, so that kept me on track. I think the hardest part to be motivated about was the 3D modelling...it can fun when its just a couple but when you have to do it for 8-10 hours in a day it can be difficult.

Tawerts6 karma

What kind of games would you like to develop? Do you want to work for yourself or for a major developer?

hobofreddy557 karma

The range of game ideas I have is pretty broad, but aren't super fleshed-out. I know I'd like to work on a goofy multiplayer shooter of some kind and I really like the platformer genre but would need an interesting enough mechanic to justify that.

As nice as it was to develop this game solo I don't know that I'd want to continue to work entirely alone. I'm not the greatest at art (why I do a lot of pixel/low poly stuff) and I think getting someone to do that end of things would produce a better result and allow me to focus more on the development of game from a design/programming side of things. I'd also prefer to not work at a major developer but doing so would probably give me good experience. A small team of dedicated individuals would be my ideal situation!

Karteros5 karma

I'm a Computer Science major in college myself, and I'm having trouble finding the motivation to do my programming assignments and/or developing in my free time for fun (I also had tried to develop an android game app and didn't get very far before losing interest and giving up).

Are there any tips you can give to a college guy struggling to find the joy in Computer Science / developement, something that he was excited about three or four years ago?

hobofreddy556 karma

I think that there's sort of a valley of happiness when it comes to developing anything including games. At the beginning you are really excited and can't wait to work on it but then you start to hit a point where you have to work through the nitty-gritty, non-fun stuff before you get to the end. Trying to find that motivation to push through in the middle is hard but if you try to focus on what the end goal and stay true to that it can be a bit easier. Also just try actually starting to work on it each day, once you get started it can be easy to work for a couple hours without realizing.

hobofreddy555 karma

ATTENTION I know this is a base-level comment and might be removed for not being a question...but for some reason the replies I have been making on the top comment thread have been being removed for some reason. I'm talking to the mods now to figure out the problem. Please upvote this comment for visibility if you don't mind!

PETApitaS4 karma

Favourite animated movie?

hobofreddy557 karma

I don't know that I can narrow it down to just one, but here are my categorized favorites: New Disney: Big Hero 6 (close seconds are Tangled and Moana) Old Disney: The Lion King Other: Howl's Moving Castle (most Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli is awesome)

pilsburydohbo3 karma

Boiler up my fellow boilermaker! What did you learn about game development that wasn’t taught in class?

hobofreddy552 karma

Boiler up! Sorry for the delay in answering, was trying to figure out an issue with disappearing comments! :O

Pretty much everything I learned game-development-wise was either self-taught through experimentation or through YouTube tutorials from awesome content creators like Brackeys and Sebastian Lague!

chapter7943 karma

What programming language do you use to develop games with? Also where do you start if you want to start developing, like I’d imagine it’s not as simple as opening up visual studio and writing some code, compiling it and magically having a game

hobofreddy554 karma

Using Unity you can choose between C# and Javascript, of which I use C#. I highly recommend trying Unity especially if you have some past programming experience...there are loads of YouTube tutorials available to help you get started. You'd be surprised how quickly you can get a very simple game up and running in Unity (check out the Roll-A-Ball tutorial from Unity). Even making something super simple like that is a huge excitement and can give you the encouragement to keep going.

nickbitty723 karma

How hard was it to keep up the motivation when making this game? Did/do you wonder if you made the right decision by not going into a "real" job? Assuming you were working on this full time independently, you must have been a little worried financially

hobofreddy555 karma

I have been worried financially but am lucky to have saved a bit of money up from an internship this past summer as well as a bit of support from family! I actually thought about the "real job" aspect of it yesterday as there was an open position available at the company I had worked at but I realized that I wanted to complete a game project and that I wouldn't have been able to maintain the motivation to work on it in the evenings after having done a full day at work already. Plus, even when I was at that job over the summer, all I could really think about was how I would much rather be doing this type of creative work than just normal software development (though I do love programming).

Winterfuzz3 karma

What did you study in college, and did you ever have doubts because of the amount of competition?

hobofreddy554 karma

I started out in Computer Engineering but made the switch to Computer Science after I realized that I liked the programming side of things more than the hardware. For computer science I don't think that it's difficult at all to find a decent job in todays market but for game development I still have doubts. I like to have a Field of Dreams mindset of "if you build (a fun) game, they will come" but at the same time I have to realize that there is no guarantee for any kind of success.

heeerrresjonny3 karma

I'm a software developer who has toyed with Unity and other game development tools at a surface level, but always lose motivation to complete anything.

How did you get through the very beginning stages of development? Basically, how did you get things started to a point where you could iterate/improve? When I've tried to begin a project in a game engine, I always feel like it's a multi-dimensional chicken and egg problem between graphics, game mechanics, and level design.

hobofreddy556 karma

I should probably mention that this is not the first project I've worked on on Unity, just my first "actual" game. I've been using Unity for about 3 years or so developing fun projects on the side (and two for coursework). My suggestion is starting out with the very basics to learn the engine and C# if you're unfamiliar and then work from there. Getting a prototype of something, even if its small, is a huge confidence boost. It can be a lot of fun to tinker around with the infamous Roll-A-Ball tutorial and try to add mechanics to it. I can't recommend the YouTubers Brackeys and Sebastian Lague enough...their Unity tutorials are awesome.

For this project I started with a really rough prototype that was just some key commands to add buildings (colored rectangles) and some text displaying how much money you had. After that I developed the whole grid tile system and added some simple buildings and just kept going from there. I think doing development with minimal assets (quite literally greyboxing) but it helps to add some visuals early on depending on what your game is. I recommend this GDC talk where one of the speakers talks about adding "pizazz" to your game early to keep motivated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8QAVGeEj-U

retreated3 karma

You made an AMA for exposure / advertising, right?

hobofreddy557 karma

In all honesty, yes. But not that I am "in it for the money" just that I at least would like to think that my game is good enough to share with as many people as possible! And I finally have a reason to do an AMA: helping others who might be interested in pursuing similar things!

apklps3 karma

I'm thinking about going to university for computer science as well! My question is: what do you get taught while taking the computer science course? The more specific the better, as this will help me make my decision! Thank you!

hobofreddy551 karma

I'm sorry for getting to this comment late...been troubleshooting reddit issues. I actually don't have anything to add though since the other commenters already gave you some really useful info/advice! Good luck!

skyner132 karma

Are you planning to branch out to other platforms or do you think mobile is the right one for your style?

hobofreddy553 karma

For the style of game that it is (especially having the idle genre aspects it does) I felt that it made the most sense to release for mobile. I tried to make the game so that it could be enjoyable to play it continuously or to check a couple times a day. That said though putting it on desktop platforms would just require a rehaul of the UI and Unity takes care of the rest on its own.

rishidasofficial2 karma

Did you also make the music or outsourced it? Let me know your process for the audio

hobofreddy551 karma

There's currently only one track in the game which is the title theme/trailer music. I made that myself using Ableton Live Lite and just messing around for a couple hours.

manablight2 karma

What methods did you use to keep your code decoupled and modular(especially Unity specific methods if you used it)? What computer science topics helped you the most in your design ?

hobofreddy553 karma

I mostly used a hierarchical structure with a GameManager class being at the top. Then I had classes like Building, Grid, GridTile, etc. that each had their respective functionality. The most useful things was for the building effects which, since they all functioned differently, I created an abstract Effect class and other classes that inherited from that.

Etaghrag2 karma

Game looks nice! Did you do the assets yourselves or just work with someone or purchase them? I’ve felt that to be the biggest hurdle in game development. Any advice on the assets part would be appreciated!

hobofreddy553 karma

I created all of the assets myself using Blender. That's partially why I chose to do a low-poly style but I wanted to keep it simple regardless. As far as assets go there are loads of free asset packs available online, many of which are free to use for commercial use as well. I recommend checking out OpenGameArt.org and Kenney assets (including Kenney's Asset Forge software for simple 3D models).

WarCryy2 karma

Do you think it’s possible for a physics major to get a job in the gaming industry? I’ve programmed before, but it’s normally for solving complicated problems. Any tips for physics majors trying to make it in the gaming industry?

Thanks!

hobofreddy552 karma

Very much so! Physics engine programming is commonplace in the industry and those who work on that sort of stuff definitely benefit from having a food understanding of, well, physics.

shimmyshammy21191 karma

Did you code this on a PC or Mac?

hobofreddy552 karma

PC master race my friend ~Sent from my MacBook

AshesDen1 karma

I have been interested in going into Computer Science or Software Engeenering. I tried to do research but most things I find are either pretty broad or very specific and I can’t really understand what it means. What is the main difference between Computer Science and Software Engeenering?

hobofreddy551 karma

Hey! I had thought I replied but I guess it didn't save or something... Software Engineering isn't engineering in the sense that other disciplines of engineering are. You can't actually become a professionally-licensed engineer in software like you can in other engineering disciplines. Rather, Software Engineer is used mainly as a job title and, while it can have a different meaning, it is usually synonymous with titles like software developer. Computer science is the actual degree that you obtain and CS degrees provide you with a lot of career options: research, teaching, and, as mentioned, development!

AshesDen1 karma

So if I were wanting to do something in the lines of software development/game development you think Computer Science is the way to go?

hobofreddy551 karma

Definitely! There are other disciplines that can do into game development but CS I think would be best if you're interested in the software/programming side of things.

WiggiE_WiggiE1 karma

I noticed in a comment you said that you used unity for this game. With your computer science background, did you make custom scipts for unity or use a plugin like Playmaker to assist in development?

hobofreddy551 karma

All of it was done writing my own scripts in C#. Because of my past programming experience it was easy to pick up (I have been using Unity for ~3 years though)

Indeon1 karma

Emacs or vim?

hobofreddy551 karma

I'm a vim guy myself B)

Yodigadee1 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! I’m currently going to Purdue myself, boiler up! What coding classes did you take while enrolled and what languages were being used?

hobofreddy552 karma

I took... CS 159 (C) CS 180 (Java) CS 240 (C/C++) CS 250 (ARM Assembly) CS 251 (C++) CS 252 (Bash/C++...I think)

That's it for the core classes, most of the other stuff varies though. Boiler up!

EvilDavid08261 karma

Have you tried finding a job in the industry? How hard is it to find a job in a video game company if you have a CS degree?

hobofreddy551 karma

I've started to look but most of the opportunities available don't work for me location-wise. If you have a CS degree I think it shouldn't be too difficult but it's definitely a field that having previous experience goes a long way.

DrummaBo5121 karma

How do you go about the process of finding music for your projects? Do you go the royalty free route, or do you hire a composer? I'm a Music Composition/Percussion Performance student at the University of North Texas so I'm looking for ways to break into the field

hobofreddy551 karma

I think most people will look at doing royalty free for mobile games. Some mobile games and most indie commercial titles will usually hire a freelancer though. There's currently on one track in Mayor! Mayor! and I actually wrote it myself using Ableton Live Lite in a couple hours.

kanarec1 karma

Do you program other kind of software different than games?

If you do, is it easy for you switching between different types of software?

hobofreddy552 karma

I do. Most recently I've done some web application projects for school work. It takes a bit to readjust my workflow for whatever project I'm working on but that mostly depends on how long its been since I last used that tool/technology.

AndyBadandy1 karma

Can you step through your game making process from start to finish and list all the programs you use?

I’m a 3rd year CS major and just started using unity this year for VR development. I use a ton of built-in assets, but I know there are a few steps I’m missing when it comes to seeing through a personal project start to finish as far as modeling goes.

hobofreddy552 karma

The actually development of the game was done using Unity. I did all of the models using Blender and the trailer/graphic stuff using various Adobe products. I started out by creating a really basic prototype of a traditional idler game (spend money to get more money) and built it up for there with the different buildings and such.

Modelling everything in Blender took a long while, on average maybe 1.5-2 hours per building in the game. It definitely would have helped to have something help me with that aspect but I enjoyed trying to finish the project myself just to see if I could.

Joshieboy_Clark1 karma

Any plans to release on console?

hobofreddy552 karma

Wasn't planning on it but had thought about maybe putting in on desktop at some point.

LucasPookas1231 karma

Hi, congrats on the game!

How did you study programming before university? Was it books, or online courses etc? I'm still a student nearing uni and I thought programming would be useful and I am certainly interested in it.

Thanks!

hobofreddy551 karma

To be honest I didn't do much programming before college. I took an online Java class but it was poorly structured and I wasn't motivated enough at the time to get much out of it. I also learned a bit from Codecademy but that was all before I started at Purdue.

hessnake1 karma

Congrats on your game!

I'm also a recent CS grad, from RIT, working on a simple Fire Emblem inspired tactics game as a personal project. Doing it in Rust because learning new languages is fun!

My question: what resources would you recommend for learning good design patterns and architecture of games? I'm leaning towards MVC but that seems too... straightforward?

hobofreddy551 karma

MVC is definitely the go-to architecture for games...there is at least one more but I can't think of it off the top of my head. I think it varies widely on what engine/language you are using. Before you begin programming it definitely helps to create a class diagram to lay out all of the different components of your game and what functionality you think they might need. Obviously it would all be subject to change but it can help you get started on a much safer path.

RangerPretzel1 karma

MVC is definitely the go-to architecture for games

Really? I wouldn't have guessed. I would have figured MVVM would be the dominant paradigm. (I realize they're quite similar.)

hobofreddy551 karma

From my limited experience MVC seemed to be used often but I might be wrong. I tried some Googling but can't pin down what sort of architecture Unity actually uses.

galendiettinger1 karma

Is doing an ama a good marketing strategy? All I see from this sub is "come buy my stuff". What other marketing angles are you pursuing?

hobofreddy551 karma

While it helps to get the word out I don't think it should be your only strategy. To be honest I didn't expect the amount of questions I am getting and was originally doing this to help people that might be interested in pursuing similar goals.

Le_Big1 karma

How much does your game make so far? Was it worth the effort?

hobofreddy553 karma

It was released today and the Google Play stats are behind, but for sake of keeping my expectations in check, $0.

Regardless of how well it might do I was more interested in this as a learning experience than any financial gain. Creating all aspects of this game taught me a lot!

gitthefuckoutmeswamp1 karma

My boyfriend wants to do the same thing and is currently in school for it. How can I best support him other than funding (hopefully soon as I'm also in school) and emotional support?

hobofreddy553 karma

My girlfriend has been a huge "fan" throughout the process in encouraging me to keep going. I think one of the biggest things you can do to help is to get involved with what he's working on. Be interested and offer genuine criticisms when needed. As nice as it can be to hear about how awesome your game might be it is always better to hear about how it could be improved!

blackdav1 karma

What are your thoughts on people who aspire to be a game creator but have no tech background? If there is a way for non-tech people, what would your suggestions be? Thank you :)

hobofreddy553 karma

There are actually a lot of things that go into the creation of game: art, music, sound design, game design, level design, marketing, etc. If you aren't interested in pursuing the tech side of things at all then there is definitely room for you in those departments! Otherwise, its never too late to learn to program!

TheCrazyVT1 karma

What tips do you have for someone struggling with learning computer science?

hobofreddy551 karma

One thing that I have found is that it is much easier to learn through actually DOING something rather than staring at a book or lecture slides. Try implemented something you'd been learning about, especially if its an algorithm or data structure.

Direwolf2021 karma

Pineapple on pizza or no?

hobofreddy552 karma

Depends on the pizza, but I'm ok with it given the other toppings.

Unwoven_Sleeve1 karma

Would you be able to make a PC release?

hobofreddy552 karma

I'll think about it! Would require some work to change the UI but its possible...

Unwoven_Sleeve1 karma

Cool. I'd love to play this but don't have an android

hobofreddy552 karma

I'll be putting it on the app store in about a week if you have an iPhone!

adamace121 karma

Which games over the years influenced you to make your own game?

hobofreddy552 karma

Other indie titles definitely started my interest in making games as a whole. This game specifically was inspired by games I played growing up like Age of Empires (always wanted to make a city builder) and recent games I've played like Machi Koro (actually a board game).

Paradoxa771 karma

What makes a game replayable? Memorable? Great?

hobofreddy551 karma

I think any game that allows for some amount of discovery has always been a game that sticks with me. Games that just throw you into their world and give you the tools you need but don't tell you how to use them.

beansk8rkid1 karma

Got any tips on getting started in game development?

hobofreddy551 karma

It might sound stupid but my biggest tip would be to just start! Games engines like Unity and Unreal are the most accessible way to begin and both have a lot of resources/tutorials available, especially on YouTube!

J916O1 karma

What part of the “development” of a game can you do?

hobofreddy551 karma

For Mayor! Mayor! I did everything: from the programming to the music and the 3D modelling.

Gavcradd1 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this! I wondered if you could give me a push in the right direction - I'm an old school developer, into Windows desktop stuff using VB/C#/Java etc and also web stuff (PHP, JavaScript, ASP etc). I'm a decent coder, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start with developing games. What environment / languages have you used and would you recommend any to pick or avoid?

hobofreddy551 karma

I think that game engines are the way to go. Unless you are really wanting to develop your own engine from scratch (which can be helpful in extreme cases), using an engine allows you to see results faster. Granted, there is a decent learning curve to engines like Unity and Unreal so it can take time. I have really only tried Java (using LWJGL) and Unity using C#. I really do recommend Unity as it was very intuitive to me from a software/programming side of things whereas Unreal's visual scripting was not (that's probably just me though...didn't put a ton of time into learning). Plus, the only "downside" Unity had compared to Unreal was the supposed graphics quality but that has gone away entirely imo. If you haven't watched some of the recent live demos on the Unity YouTube channel you should definitely check them out, they're remarkable!

hobofreddy551 karma

Also Unreal is not bad in any way, just Unity was such a good fit for me and god damn I like it so much haha

alexkim123451 karma

Why do you think top AI R&D organizations look for candidates with experience crafting games?

hobofreddy551 karma

I'd imagine its because game developers, especially programmers, have a good understanding of how to develop AI for the NPCs in their games and have always strived to make those NPCs as life like as possible.

PreludeToAnEpic1 karma

So 2 questions if I may: 1) What did you consider was the hardest part of your education? I wanted to get a degree in CS but after attempting Calc 3 times I decided it might not be meant to be, despite being decent at other types of math lol

2) are there any pros and cons of going to school for a degree vs being self taught?

hobofreddy555 karma

  1. I am right there with you on the Calc situation...I managed to pass but barely scraped by, so that was probably the hardest. Certain courses like algorithms and discrete math were tough at times as well.

  2. I highly, highly recommend actually going to school for a degree. I fully believe that people can learn software development being self-taught, but I think that going to a college or university gives you a lot of experiential opportunities that you may not otherwise have available (ie., internships, working with peers, evaluation of your work).

cierachamere1 karma

I really came here to say congrats! But since I have to ask a question, here goes:

How does it feel?

hobofreddy553 karma

Weird because I've put so much time into the last few months but not super different...there's still more work to be done!

frwtr19681 karma

  1. When you were first starting out to create your game, how did you choose what program to use and why?
  2. How do you stay motivated to work on a project?

I've had 3 different ideas that I've desperately wanted to see to fruition but each got abandoned midway through planning because my knowledge in and around coding is limited (only proficient with Turing).

hobofreddy551 karma

  1. I actually had a lot of previous experience using Unity, but I started using Unity because it seemed very accessible and had a lot of online tutorials and documentation.
  2. During this project I tried to stay focused on the end vision and knew how much I wanted to see it realized. That and just finding the motivation to at least start working each day helped.

Unwoven_Sleeve1 karma

This looks great. How'd you get the idea?

hobofreddy552 karma

Just thought of it with my girlfriend about 6 months ago. I mentioned that I also wanted to make a fun city-builder game and we had recently played the board game Machi Koro.

Ainine91 karma

As someone that's going to spend 4 years in a university pursuing a bachelor in computer science. How was the environment like in college and what was it like after you graduated?

Also any advice for someone that's going to walk the same path?

hobofreddy551 karma

The environment was pretty good imo. I find myself to be a pretty optimistic and motivated person and so while it was a good amount of work it never was too difficult of a challenge to get through for me. My biggest point of advice would be to just start projects/labs as early as possible...I found that many CS students would wait until the last day or so and then be pulling their hair out and getting angry at the professors/TAs because they waited until the last 2 days of a 2-week project to actually start.

After I graduated I think that it is plenty easy to find a job in CS. Make sure you try to get at least one good, related internship because that will definitely help you.

Blazerekt1 karma

I’m looking at going to university for a computer science degree, would you recommend it?

What languages should I start to learn from home and what kind of mini projects could I focus on to motivate my learning with particular languages?

hobofreddy552 karma

I highly recommend getting a computer science degree, even if you happen to be pursuing game development. It provides you with a lot of valuable experience and a pretty wide range of opportunities as far as jobs go.

I think the best thing to do would be to find a project that you would enjoy working on and just start it. For games I'd recommend starting with an engine like Unity and start with the real basics. Making a simple game can actually be super fun and can provide the encouragement to keep working on other projects too!

cyberpunk1Q841 karma

I have a couple of questions:

1) Would you recommend any websites or videos that would help a noob like me get started in game development? What are they?*

2) How long do you think it would take to make a platformer like Metroid if I was doing it solo? A game in the style of the Telltale games? Dark Souls?

3) What engine would you recommend for each type of game from question #2 - or would any engine work for all of them?

*I already graduated college and work full-time and I don’t plan/want to go back to school. If you know of any resources that would help someone like me learn game development, that would be great.

Thanks for this AMA!

hobofreddy552 karma

  1. Depends on what you're doing. If you are a complete noob then I'd recommend using Unity and starting with the really simple Unity tutorials or tutorials from content creators like Brackeys or Sebastian Lague. If you are wanting to do art then I'm not really sure where to send you, just know that there are a lot of great channels on YouTube and the /r/gamedev community is fantastic!
  2. Metroid-like could range greatly, depending on the mechanics you have and size of the world. Most of the work there would be creating content...you could have a simple platformer running in half an hour if you know a little bit about what you're doing or watch a tutorial. Telltale would definitely be tricky due to the amount of animation and art that goes into those. There are things like Twine which can be used to make simple text-based games that hold the story but otherwise that would take awhile. Dark Souls would take 5ever to make solo, would not advise. As cool as it would be to make something like it there is a reason that it takes a large team years to make those games.
  3. Engine is all about preference really, you could make any of them in any engine. For 2D I'd personally recommend either GameMaker or Unity2D. For 3D either Unity or Unreal work well. And then Twine for text based stuff.

Sengoku361 karma

I'm also a CS major but am losing interest and honestly struggling with my classes. Computer Organization over ARM architecture, and Algorithms. Game development is my end goal, but I'm definitely trying to be a better coder before I start messing with any development software. Any advice?

hobofreddy551 karma

You should definitely continue to focus on your classes as much as you can, but if you find time on the side to starting messing with something like Unity I think the earlier the better. I always felt that I learned better by actually working on a project and making mistakes, even if its a small project.

NickyA_561 karma

Any recommendations for modeling/animation software for new devs? I’ve heard of Blender, but it’s tough to learn. I’m familiar with autodesk products and know they have a couple programs for this.

hobofreddy552 karma

Blender is what I used for this project and while it has a steep learning curve I still recommend it. Once you learn the hotkeys and whatnot (and that they seem to have swapped right and left click) it is a very powerful program.

Geadz1 karma

How do you balance working to pay bills with completing your CS degree and developing a game? I'm doing the exact same thing right now and working on top of school and developing is by far the most challenging.

hobofreddy551 karma

I did not start development until after my degree was complete but I did do other work in Unity while still at school. My suggestion is to work on things you know you'll enjoy and look forward to working on, otherwise you'll make little progress and won't retain as much of the experience.

mjcaboose1 karma

Hello Jacob.

I was just wondering if, in your game, dog has to operate? Any info on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

hobofreddy552 karma

He does not.

Tekki7771 karma

What advice would you give for future game devs like me?

hobofreddy552 karma

Just keep swimming! There are times when you may not want to work on your current game but if you just find the effort and motivation to start then you can often work for a long time without realizing it.

atreestump11 karma

Recently I've noticed my phone's battery life isn't lasting as long as it used to. Do you know why that is?

hobofreddy552 karma

I don't know...you've really stumped me there!

mrcarrot9-3 karma

No offense, but why did you make this game? Looks good but the concept is not really original (I have to admit that it's hard to be original with phone games but still)

hobofreddy553 karma

As far as I could tell the exact combination of things hadn't been done before. I know that the whole idle/city builder thing dates back to Farmville or earlier, but the concept of having effects based on the proximity to other buildings I feel is unique.

Pumpdawg88-10 karma

I've still got Elansar from Steam...99 cents of shame to the creator. Not all games are worth even free. Does your game have as many typos in the coding as your post does in its title? "IamA" please...

hobofreddy552 karma

Sorry for the typo my dude