Setup Tools

Computer

Use a computer of your choice to make the game, but get something with reasonable specs – if you can play a 3D game on your computer without much lag, chances are it has reasonable specs. Gaming desktops / laptops have come down in price a lot. I use a midrange iMac running Mac OS/X and bootcamp to run Windows 10 natively. I have split my hard drive 50:50 to run both operating systems.

Platform and Language

I will develop the game for the following platforms using the languages listed:

  • Microsoft Windows¬†10¬†using C++ with Direct X (version 12). I will build a Universal Windows Program (UWP) so that it will work on Windows 10 and the Xbox One. For the 2D game I will use Direct2D and for the 3D game Direct3D
  • Mac OS Catalina using SwiftUI with SpriteKit for 2D and Scenekit for 3D and Metal. I intend to build for iOS and Mac OS

Backups

Make sure that you backup your files. I have a time machine backup, but I also backup to the cloud (e.g.: OneDrive, Apple Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc). You could use several USB drives as well. Also I use GitHub to put my code online, but it can serve as a backup as well.

With code, you can also enable source control or version control via Git – this will help store different versions of your code without deleting your files.

Software for Coding (Compiler) – Windows

You need to install a C++ compiler. This is a tool that will help you to program your game for Windows. Download and install Microsoft’s free Visual Studio Community compiler.

You will need to select a few options (see below):

Afterwards, you need to install the Windows UWP tools:

It is recommended to also install the C++/WinRT tool. Microsoft used to use C++/CX but now uses C++/WinRT which is more up to date. They haven’t updated too much documentation on C++/ WinRT yet, especially for games and Direct X.

Also read the Getting Started guide to give you a run down on making games for Windows and the Xbox. More information on being a Microsoft Developer is here

Also a good idea to download the latest Windows 10 SDK (Software Development Kit)

Developer Mode

When running Visual Studio, your computer might ask you to put your computer in Developer Mode (under Settings -> Update & Security). This enables you to be able to debug or test your app.

If you are developing for Xbox, you will need to put your Xbox into developer mode as well. You will need to sign up for a Partner Center account before you can enable Developer mode on your Xbox console. I had to setup a developer account as well to see my apps on my Xbox.

One handy tool on Windows 10 is the Xbox Console Companion where you can live stream your Xbox on your PC and connect the Xbox controller to your PC as well.

Publishing your game

You will need to register for a developer account to publish your game on the Microsoft Store.

Software for Coding (Compiler) – Mac OS

The compiler for Mac OS is called Xcode Also more information on game development tools from Apple is here. All the tools that you need are within Xcode which is nice.

Publishing your game

You will need to register in the Apple Developer Program to publish your game on Apple’s App Store. More information about Apple Development in general is here

Art Tools

2D Art

3D Art

  • Blender for 3D models (open source)
  • Maya for 3D models – if you are a student or educator, you can get it free here
  • ZBrush – make 3D models by sculpturing

Music Tools

The music and sound effect tools I am using are: