Game Development for the Busy Person: Learning the Tool

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve spent time learning GDevelop game engine lately.  It might seem obvious, but doing the official GDevelop tutorials has been an important part of my routine.  In my opinion, there are several benefits to these tutorials, including learning new skills.  Even if you don’t use GDevelop, many of these observations are applicable to other tools as well.

Benefits of Tutorials

Trying Different Types of Games

One thing I like about the GDevelop tutorials is that they cover a wide variety of game types and genres, so I can learn a wide range of features and skills.

I suggest that, rather than just doing tutorials for the type of game you like or want to make, you would benefit from trying the other tutorials as well (time permitting).  You never know what helpful knowledge or features you might find in other genres.  You may also get inspired to try a new type of project on your own.

Creative Inspiration

If you’re stuck creatively, you can use tutorials as a springboard for game ideas.  You might start as small as just making tweaks or additions to a tutorial project.  Those changes could lead to more substantial ideas.  Still, I would caution against just cloning or reskinning a tutorial for a game you’d like to release, because then it’s harder for your game to stand out.

Consistent Progress

For me, another benefit of tutorials is that they are a great, guided way to make some game dev progress on a more consistent basis.  Even if I’m not making progress on my own ideas, I can still be productive and learn something if I switch to a tutorial.  Even small steps and accomplishments are critical, especially for a busy person!  And that tutorial might also hold an answer that gets me unstuck on another project.

Some Tutorial Tips

Here are a couple of pointers I like to bear in mind when working through tutorials.  I will actually be doing a longer post or series on how to learn from dev tutorials, so please check back for that in the near future.

Think of Your Favorite Games

I make special note of how info in a tutorial applies to my game ideas, or even how it could be applied to games I like.  My favorite games were not made in GDevelop; many of them were made long before GDevelop even existed!  But I enjoy thinking about how I could use my GDevelop skills to make features from those games.  For example, I did a quick project to implement a turn-style enemy battle script in GDevelop, similar to Japanese role-playing games such as Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series (you can see it here, if you’re interested). It’s a fun way to learn and remember!

Do Shorter Sessions

Don’t worry about getting through the whole tutorial in one sitting.  Honestly, focusing on completing and understanding one or two steps per session is often a better approach.  It might also help if you take some notes on the steps.  As I mentioned, I’ll speak more on how to do that in an upcoming post or series.

In the meantime, if you want more tips about how to study and learn from tutorials, you can check out this blog post about how to remember what you learn.

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