Why you should just dive head-first into game development…


I was two months into my programming journey, pulling my hair out for a good half hour, trying to figure out why my 100'ish lines of horribly written C++ wasn’t working.

I was using Stack Overflow and had copied some code over to learn.

After fruitlessly making a bunch of edits to no avail, I stopped.

I took a break.

When I came back to my problem a few hours later, I went through my code again… and that’s when I saw it.

I had accidentally used = instead of == in a conditional statement.

Fixing the silly rookie mistake, I pressed onward.

A few hours later I ran into another compile error, and went through the stages of programmer grief again.

But, in all seriousness, something interesting happens when you go through this over and over again… you start to see patterns.

When it comes to programming, the bugs never really go away.

They don’t get any easier either — a missing semicolon would be the least of my worries moving forward.

I never did make the same mistakes again though for quite a while.

The lesson that I took from that?

Experience teaches you many things that you can’t learn from reading articles online, watching tutorials, or reading a book.

If you’re still in the “planning and learning” stages of game development, or if you’ve yet to actually start on your game, or if you’re waiting until you have “enough” knowledge to get started, you’re doing it wrong.

Starting is actually how you get the knowledge — learning isn’t a one-shot deal, it’s a process.

It’s a journey.

If you want to learn something especially fast, dive right into it.

Your early failures will always serve as a stepping stone to your future success.

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About The Author

Daniel Doan is the Co-Founder & CGO of Black Shell Media and the developer of SanctuaryRPG and Overture, among dozens of unfinished game prototypes. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.