Decode the mystery of coding
There are no shortcuts on the road to becoming a developer. But worry not, it’s not a treacherous obstacle-laden road, and you can start your journey any time.
We talked to one successful developer about how they conquered code and made the game of their dreams.
The road to coding
When he was in the process of developing his indie game Time Locker - Shooter, Japanese game developer Sotaro Otsuka took care of the planning, graphic design and programming all by himself.
Otsuka studied graphic design at school, and began learning how to code at age 19. What was it like to go from graphic design to game development?
Otsuka says that his interest in coding started when he saw a website that his friend developed.
“When I was studying in vocational school, the animations that we worked hard to create were basically ‘images’ at their core. My friend’s work really changed my world. Coding allows for the characters in the image to move at your command. This brand-new experience made me decide to produce ‘animations that can be played’.”
When he realised that he was hooked, Otsuka started to learn how to code, entering a whole new world in the process. To him, coding became a means to communicating his thoughts.
Growing through trial and error
Otsuka started to learn coding on his own, and kept practising. With Time Locker, Otsuka finally realised his dream of creating a ”playable animation”.
“At the time I wanted to create a game that ‘only moves when touched’. In Time Locker, players swipe to control and move the characters. I drew this inspiration from Safari on the iPhone and iPad, and social media apps. This type of control is familiar to everyone and easy to learn.”
Otsuka concedes that there are many challenges in any development project. These challenges drove him to learn new techniques and skills. Through these trials, he eventually completed Time Locker.
“First come up with a blueprint for the game, and then learn each necessary technique or method – that was my experience. Of course, there are many ways to learn, and everyone has their own preference. The one that suits me best is to go in with a strong will to ‘achieve this effect’ and study with a clear end goal in mind.”
TIME LOCKER - Shooter
You stop, Time stops
Useful study companions
Anybody can learn coding, no matter your age or gender. You can even use an app to get started.
If you want to learn Swift, used in app development, you can choose from many suitable apps. You can take the free courses in Swift Playgrounds on your iPad, or use apps such as codeSpark Academy: Kids Coding and Lightbot : Code Hour to train yourself to think like a coder.
Powerful developer tools
Once you’ve learned the basics of programming, you can use the apps below to finish your inaugural project.
Apple’s WWDC app is designed to help developers with their projects. There are many design- and development-related videos to help you along. Code Editor by Panic and Code Master can help you with writing code, while TestFlight lets you beta-test apps on different devices.
Learning never stops
The techniques of coding are improving every day and with continued learning, you can become a great coder too.
iTunes U and Udemy have rich course material for eager programming students; the WWDC and TED apps offer cutting edge insight into programming techniques, giving another boost to your learning efforts.
Start your path to becoming a developer today. Everything you need is a swipe away!