In the good old days, back when the web had about ten users, and therefore the internet was a faraway vision, PCs were called Home Computers, and anyone could learn to write down computer games. Three folks found out in business to write down and sell our games for the ZX Spectrum (Aka Timex/Sinclair) and Commodore 64. We didn’t sell many games, but we were saved by stepping into the web game development. A publisher would release successful on the Commodore 64, and we’d write the Timex, Amstrad, MSX, CBM 16, etc. versions. It took about three months for one person to supply a game.
That was 20 years ago, and things have changed tons since then. The games industry is now a vast multi-billion dollar business, and development teams can number 50 or more. My first game had me as a programmer, artist, and beep designer – (well, it wasn’t proper sound!). I did everything. Some time past games were written in assembler, and you had to find out 6502 and Z80. Nowadays, with a couple of exceptions, plays are written in C and C++. The times of backroom programmers aren’t entirely gone- there’s also ‘retro remake’ and ‘indie’ scene, e.g.. Still, unless you’ve got an exceptionally brilliant idea, you’re unlikely to urge into the mainstream game business as a one-man outfit writing Blockbuster PC games.
It’s not all bad news though- if you’ll program to an excellent standard and has learned a number of the techniques- eg, 3d maths, AI (ai), and may produce demos of your code then you’ll be ready to get employment within the market. There are many books and websites which will guide you through the intricacies of DirectX, and soon you will be a guru on vertex shaders, etc. check-in on web game development sites like (it’s free) and appearance for jobs. You’ll need to be good to urge employment and ready to figure long, in some case, very long hours. It’s a quite tough business – when a game is under development, you’ll live to breathe and eat it for 18 months-two years. And you almost certainly won’t work 9-5 all the time.
There are, however, other ways to urge into the games business and that I don’t mean console development. There are other ‘genres’ of games that are much easier to urge into.
- MUD – Multi-user dungeons. These are around for 30 years and were the precursor to the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games) that now exist. These are still popular, and you’ll find the ASCII text file to many of those. I do not know if any make money- most of the people are now won’t play them free of charge.
- Web game development. There are many these around. An honest start line is that the vast directory—these range from liberal to monthly subscriptions. Anyone can found out their website and games using any web technology- e.g., Perl, PHP, Java.
- Play By Mail. This has now largely but not entirely moved into the web game development. Flagship magazine may be a good source of data – their website is
- Mobile and PDA games. This has become an enormous growth area recently and is probably going to continue its growth as phones get more powerful. It’s also one among the simplest to urge into though not all phones are an equivalent. All you would like to understand is the way to write Java games running on the J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition) platform. Unlike the console world, Software Development Kits (SDKs) are available free of charge from mobile manufacturers. E.g., HTML and, therefore, the best IDEs for J2ME development (Netbeans and Eclipse) are available free. Expect to ascertain MMORPG (Mobile Multiplayer Online Role Play Games) before too long.
Much of this will be done part-time in your evenings/weekends, but take care that you simply don’t let it take over your life and also that your employer doesn’t have any claim on software that you develop. Some employers have clauses that permit them to claim anything you develop. There are ways around this, often involving a wife or beloved who are often assigned ownership but take legal advice if in any doubt.
If you’re learning to web game development, don’t neglect the facility of the online. Sourceforge.net is home to thousands of open-source projects, and lots of these are games. Also, the game source for commercial games Quake I, II and III has been released by ID and may be found here
These are GPL’d so you would not be ready to write games supported them and sell them without making a gift of the ASCII text file, but you’ll write Mods. Several game modders have released very fashionable Mods free and have managed to urge into the industry due to their quality. There are many web game development where you’ll check-in and program- this is often a superb thanks to learning new skills and make friends.