21 Things I have learnt about Game Development

JMC Academy Game Development student Jordi White talks about what she has learnt here so far...

1.    Sketching and life drawing makes you an artistic god! – Everyone starts off awful (I did) but one day you will be awesome, I watched some of the worst artists easily become the best in just a tri-mester.

2.    Paper and digital art are best friends and should be treated with equal respect – You should also know how to paint and sketch digitally as well; it allows you to create work quickly for a digitally based working environment.

3.    Photoshop is your new best friend – it’s a powerful tool that people use in a lot of creative industries, JMC always runs beginner and intermediate workshops for all the programs it teaches – this was really, REALLY helpful.

4.    Modelling means you can create Entire Universes! – learning digital modelling in Maya and other programs meant I can create whatever I want; my only limit is my imagination.

 5.    Once you learn to model you need to make them pretty  with colour and stuff – UV Unwrapping and texturing are your  reliable friends for this job.

 6.    Once you have made worlds you need to create the  people that will inhabit those worlds – character creation is a  full process from initial ideas, to sketches, to finalised art, to  modelling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging and finally  animating.

 7.    Anatomy Studies and creating Clay Models  (Ecorche’s). Now I know where my fibular is! – whilst it  sounds boring, it was exceptionally fun and helpful in advancing  my 3D modelling skills because if you don’t understand how  something should look, you can craft it out of clay in a few seconds.

8.    Behind any great game is a reliable Engine – if you want to make games Unity is an exceptional place to start.

9.    Programming is a foreign language, prepare to have a translation problem – C# is used in most game studios it also may as well have been Polish when I started learning it but now it’s just plain English and it’s my new favourite language.

10.    Give it life and make it dance, now that’s animation – animation comes in many forms and I’ve covered a whole host of different types (from 2d to 3d), the more you do the better you get.

11.    So you can make digital art! Now paint it in pixels – they aren’t the same, not even close but both are very rewarding when you get it right.

12.    Being able to draw is one thing but making it look amazing is another – colour theory, composition and polish are all skills which you need to make amazing work. 

13.    Make those game dreams into functional game ideas! – Learning how to produce ideas into actual functional games is an art form in itself and you will forever be practising.

14.    Now take those functional ideas and make them into games (prototypes) – Prototyping is the best skill you will acquire because it allows you to bring all your skills together to produce a mini working game which would be the small version of a big idea – if it’s fun, you could be onto a winner!

15.    Test, test, test, did you test it? Test it some more, done, good, test it again! – Test everything you do until you have a minimum viable product that is functional and most of all enjoyable.

16.    When you tell someone about your game, impress people so much they will kill someone just to play it – Pitching games is a technical skill which can only be learnt by doing, every single game I create at JMC I have done a pitch for.

17.    There is no I in Team, just me, meat and well...team – Working in a group on multiple projects gets you ready for a teamwork driven environment. This environment is in almost every game studio.


19.    Never EVER! Be afraid to ask questions - I can guarantee from all the industry professionals who will teach you, someone will always have an answer. I once asked a lecturer such an obscure question he called someone from a games studio he used to work at just to answer my question. It’s moments like those that I love.

20.    Never be afraid to fail, uni is the place to make mistakes because you can only get better! Don’t forget everyone is an amateur when they start; no one was born a master. 

21.    The most important thing I have learned - is if you have a dream, an idea or a passion. Don’t ever question are you good enough, anyone can achieve, the only question you need to ask is how do I start? 

For more information on the JMC Academy game development course, click here...