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Best Method To Get Started With Game Art/Game Creation

Hello :D

I'm a 16 year old boy who's very interested in creating games, mainly the game art aspect, which is the field I dream of working in. I've checked out many different ways of getting started, for example;

  • www.digitaltutors.com where I learn 3DSMax, Mudbox etc. and then take my knowledge to Unreal Engine 4 and try to create a game
  • Try to create a game with Unreal Engine 4 and learn game art at university

Since I know that there are many people here who have experience with this, what would you recommend me do? As I'd like to both learn how to create game art as well as make a game.

Thank you! :D


  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 11
    It also helps to let us know where you are at now, in terms of reaching your goal. Have you gotten started with making arts; be it characters or props or scenery ? Have you tried making a level in UE yet ? Or are you making lots of nice stuff now, and wanna put those assets together to turn them into a game ?
  • ZacD
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    ZacD ngon master
    Take some life drawing and programing courses if you get a chance.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    Just throwing out a warning as a current student (in college). That is a LOT to learn!! You may be more successful if you pick one concentration and make the other one a hobby.

    Regardless, GL!
  • Bug
    Thanks, I'll be sure to check the wiki out! :D

    I haven''t really started making art, I wanted to be sure of the best path to take before I begin spending tons of time on it. But I'm thinking I want to spend 2-3 months learning game art (on digitaltutors.com I think) and then start making a game in Unreal Engine 4 with my game art knowledge, while I continue my learning on digitaltutors.com :)

    I'll see if there are some in my area, thanks :)

    Thanks for the tip, and GL to you too :D
  • Shiniku
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    Shiniku polycounter lvl 9
    My recommendation, pick some software you like and play around a bit first. Photoshop is basically a must. You should also choose a poly modeling program (3ds max, maya, etc.) a game engine (Cryengine, Unity, Unreal, etc.) and maybe later down the line a 3d sculpting program like Zbrush.

    Each of those programs either have a wealth of knowledge online, or even pre-packaged tutorials. Just go through the basics and get used to messing around, then jump in with some other stuff. Digital tutors is a great choice for beginners, then you can branch out, there's a lot of good content on the web. There's also a ton of free tutorials, a lot of them just as good as paid content.
  • Deathstick
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    Deathstick polycounter lvl 7
    I love the ambition but I'd caution about the making your own game part so soon, as it really does take an incredible amount of time and effort. Just don't make the mistake of choosing to make a game that aspires to be like GTA, Skyrim, Battlefield, etc. in that they'd basically take forever to create which increases your chances of not finishing it.

    Now I'm not saying don't try to make a game, because making one is great and can be well-rewarding to one's own enjoyment. Just maybe think about designing what you'd think would be a really simple game, and then make it simpler for your first project. We're talking pong/tetris/pacman/blackjack levels of simplicity here. Or maybe a simple top-down shooter, which still would take longer. And then you'll have a nice finished game that you learned a ton from that you can take forward to the next project and maybe expand it out a bit if you think you're ready.

    Sorry if I'm sounding a bit too serious about starting small and of course take it with a grain of salt (or maybe sugar, yes sugar :) ), but I'd hate to see you make the same mistakes I did. I'm talking from years of experience when I was 7 through high school of starting a ton of my own little projects but finishing so little in comparison. There's something to be said about having a small, yet polished game to show someone and let them play versus having 20 incomplete ones with no ending.

    There's also always joining a mod team which has the benefits of learning to work with others in a team and being able to handle larger projects. Now's the perfect time for that sort of thing, as you shouldn't have to worry about the issues of requiring money to survive for several more years. A few new friendships from said mod teams can't hurt either!

    3D Art wise, I think everyone else has you covered already. Always feel free to post something you're working on in the pimping and previews forum and I'm sure someone will be more than willing to post and give you their feedback and advice, that's something I've learned that's so great about the people here at polycount. There's also a wealth of great artists at various stages producing art that you can browse, learn from, question, and aspire. Try disecting their workflow and figure out what is it they are doing that is working and why is it working (is it color theory, great compositioning and placement of objects, a keen eye for value difference in lighting, a good study of proportions and muscular anatomy? etc.)

    I'm not sure how thick your skin is, but try to be open and responsive when people critique your work as well when you get around to that stage. Some may be more blunt than others, people are different in how they give critiques; just remember that no matter how harsh a critique may sound that person on these forums is only taking the time to post because they want to see you grow and succeed at producing art.

    That said, there's also the technical forum for specific times when you've done your best googling the problem you're having in figuring something out, and need some additional help.

    Best of luck!
  • Chimp
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    Chimp interpolator
    Great stuff, and welcome to Polycount :)

    So far as making actual games, start small - the biggest mistake people make when coming into games is to aim far too high, far too early. You want to start with projects of the scale of say, Flappy Bird, and do them well before moving on and up. That doesn't necissarily mean 2D, I just mean things of that scope, not sprawling open worlds your first time :)

    It's easy to want to skip ahead, but if you try that, you will fail. There are no two ways about it.

    With regard to learning and developing your skills: learn to leave your ego at the door when it comes to critique - be completely brutal with yourself and allow others to be brutal too. Compare your work directly to AAA and figure out how to match it.

    It shouldnt be PERSONAL, it should be about creating the best possible work, not taking offense because you want what you're doing to be perfect when it isnt.

    It is not a bad thing to recieve critique, its a GREAT thing - personally I ask people not to tip toe around :)

    Looking forward to seeing what you get up to!
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 18
    In my opinion the best way to get started is to simply start. Don't worry about critique or the best path when you're just starting out, just do it; do things the wrong way, fail, learn from it.

    Critique is great but don't worry about it right now, advice I've heard a lot in the art world is: keep a private sketchbook that you don't show to anyone. Removing the fear of judgement will help with the paralyzation you might feel looking at a blank page, screen, etc...

    I honestly wish I could just go back to when I was a teenager modding Quake, there weren't many tutorials or communities, I was just making stuff because it was fun. I did weird things like print out UV maps, draw on them & then scan them back in. I learned in the "wrong" order: I first learned how to paint textures, then UV map and years later finally learned how to model in college.
  • wizo
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    wizo polycounter lvl 16
    you can learn from ripped models, which are available on some 3d models sites... don't need to rip them yourself because thats illegal. But for educational purposes its fine.

    justin-printing out UV maps to rescan them back in, wow man, it might have been old school but thats highly creative! I wish some games would do textures with real paint!
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