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Web Developer with too many options - need some advice

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by Cromulent, 30 Aug 2021.

  1. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

    I currently work on web development stuff but I'm interested in so much more. My dream is to get into building computer games but I'm not sure what to concentrate on first. I was thinking I could concentrate on Linux game development as that is the platform I use for my desktop computer but then I was thinking it might be easier to build a game for iOS although that would require a Mac which I was planning on buying anyway as I need a new laptop.

    I'm also very interested in electronics and would love to spend some time learning about that but I don't really have the desk space to build electronics projects (I live in a shared house so only have a medium sized room to work with).

    I just don't know what to do and what to concentrate on. I could stick to web development but ultimately I tend to get bored with it.
     
  2. LuckyBenski

    Soldato

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 5,626

    Location: London

    You've touched on most of my main interests here so I'll throw an idea at you - I studied electronic engineering then ended up working with smart TVs. No hardware, just testing the software platforms/apps etc. After 3 years I've moved first into app development testing, code review, and now work on developing the apps myself. These are web apps - HTML5 so JavaScript with some smart TV APIs on top.

    It provides a sufficiently specialised and hands-on element that it feels more interactive than the average website to me.

    That said I still need to get my hands dirty and tinker with electronics here and there or I get sad, but thought I'd see if you like the sound of it :)
     
  3. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    If you like computer games and want to get into that I'd focus on learning the most common games engines that are out there. Is unity still one of them?
     
  4. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

    I think I need to sit down and really give this a lot of thought about what I really want to do. I keep jumping from one thing to another. A course or working towards an exam would be good.
     
  5. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

    Yes, Unity is still a very popular choice. I guess I should have a go with it and see how I get on. The two main ones are Unity and Unreal Engine but I'm not sure on market share figures.
     
  6. jsmoke

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Jun 2012

    Posts: 10,683

    Nowadays most people use the engines such as Unity and Unreal. No point in reinventing the wheel etc.

    I'd be interested in something if your looking for others to join though. Maybe throw something together, particularly mobile games. Never too late.
     
  7. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

    I'd be happy for some help when I can start doing it. Unfortunately I'm in hospital until the middle of October but when I come out I'll be all guns blazing on a project.
     
  8. Chaos

    Soldato

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,451

  9. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

  10. nine_tails

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Mar 2015

    Posts: 899

    I can share some tangential experience. I started off as a game tester (mobile) at that as i really wanted to be a developer and wanted to break into the industry and i had read it was a great way to get in, to add to this , i was already studying computer science which aligned well with my aspirations. . I even enquired a uni which at the time was only one of the few to offer a degree in game development. This is pretty much great advice that was given to me - do not join a game development course , rather do a generic computer science course as it will keep your options open and you tend to learn more which can directly be applied to game development , but i think you are already latched on to a job so may not apply.


    I looked up a lot of avenues to learn to write games & finally found a site (which i can't recall as this was a solid 15 years ago , may be https://courses.gameinstitute.com sounds like it , but the course is so different now) and found a way to wink-wink get hold of their material and started to work through it , As i was working through the material i ended up realising i did not have the chops for it. Its a very exciting field which is at cross section of art , math , physics & programming. And i pretty much sucked at the first three and was average at best with programming. So after relenting for a year i threw in the towel and took up a straight forward developer role,for me it turned out to be a great decision.

    So coming back to what you should be working on ? I would say pick an environment you are happy with , if its web , build some web based games, something simple like pong or say air hockey ( https://www.cbc.ca/kids/games/play/air-hockey). Here you will end up touching a lot of sub-systems , loading art , rendering , music - physics modelling , keeping score , events etc. Build a small game , from start to finish and you will have a full life cycle experience. let's say you have built air hockey , next think of adding networking to it , so you and a friend to play together and keep improving it. If you know python you can try this out at a glance the progression seems great.




    Of-course , plan B is to pick up a full blown package like Unity or any engine off the shelf and go from there. Whist this may sound great, i feel you need to do the former to get a good grasp of what goes into making a game. Then you will find a niche you want to work on. May be you just want to do physics or sound or level design or networking or game engine.

    Its a very rewarding experience when you finish your first game , i hope your experience is much better than mine lol.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,119

    Location: England

    Thank you! Good point about sticking to an environment you are familiar with when you start. I should probably look into WebGL and see what I can do with it.

    That was a really useful post.
     
  12. OspreyO

    Mobster

    Joined: 12 Dec 2006

    Posts: 3,783

    You only live once. Do the thing that you enjoy most. Consider when you are 65 what kind of career do you wish to be looking back at.

    I've spend a lot of my life in or on the fringes of software dev. I would say I wish I'd been more focused on what I wanted to do.
    I compromised a lot for practical reasons, and while those decisions still are valid. I'm not sure if I had it all to do again, I would make the same choices.