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Xmas present for 17yr old gamer

  • 15-12-2022 3:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Hi all, just looking for gift ideas for my 17yr old son. He’s really into gaming, league of legends etc, and I wanted to try and get him into creating games if it’s possible .. is there software that I can buy that will allow him to do this? My knowledge of computers and gaming is very limited so I’m not really sure where to even start looking!! Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 50,494 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    Honestly a lot of the game creation software is free. You can download Unity and Unreal engines and you have a complete development environment at your finger tips for free. There's Gamemaker as well that you can pay for.

    Might be better to look into maybe a Unity course? See if there's any running and get vouchers for them. Or even a basic coding one, it's not exciting but with some basic knowledge of how coding works and some good googling you can be up and running on Unity very easily.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,073 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Raspberry pi.

    Cheap. Just connect any keyboard, mouse, monitor which you probably already have.

    Has python "built in".

    Play around with that to learn programming and write simple games.

    Then progress to something bigger if that's a hit.

    Can also install / run python on a pc or mac ...

    The language doesn't really matter. What matters is taking the time to learn, make mistakes, have fun. Loads of books and online free resources to help.

    Also, try to avoid turning this into something that has to be learnt or something that you have to pay for.

    Just do it !

    Need to learn to walk before you can run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭quokula

    Honestly I'd say it's the other way round - a Raspberry Pi is better for people already into programming who want to do interesting stuff with hardware. A standard PC or Laptop with one of the main game engines like Unity is a much easier entry point for someone getting started.

    To the OP, if they have a Nintendo Switch, it would be well worth picking up Game Builder Garage. It's a game about building games, and it's fun and engaging. If they own a Playstation, there's a game called Dreams which could similarly work as an entry point to creating things inside that ecosystem.

    For "real" game development all of the best software and tools are free (the business model for game engines tends to be that you can make stuff for free but then you enter an agreement to pay a cut if you ever actually release a game and sell it for real), there are good books out there though that might be worth while.

    Another angle might be a book like "Blood Sweat and Pixels" or "Masters of Doom" which are more biographical stories about game developers and the world of game development that might be inspiring or spark an interest.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,073 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Yep, I also said pc above.

    But... mainly what I was trying to say was to learn programming and write simple games so that you understand what's going on and what the possibilities are ...

    before shoehorning/limiting yourself into a particular framework or platform or way of thinking. Or getting frustrated by same.