Just take it from me, just code it first, once you have a render, then move to the artwork as the focus. Essentially, there’s nothing stopping you from doing artwork and doodles, but focus on getting a workable product that you can show off in a pre-alpha state. That means coding it completely with file I/O (Input/Output), Player Controls, etc. Then move on to artwork, and VO (Voice Over) - if that is something you’re going for.
I’ll be using my own little project as an example here.
I’ve got a shell for my engine atm - if you don’t remember I’m coding it from scratch rather than using Unity or a pre-existing game engine (E.G. Unreal). I haven’t been working on it lately because life has a habit of kicking me in the teeth lately, so I’ve been focusing on getting other things done. I was planning on moving to artwork and assets once I got my engine coded completely and I have something to show myself and others. I was going to look into getting 3DS Max/Maya and teaching myself how to use it and get steadily better until I get everything together. I’m aiming for a 3D game, not a 2D or a 2.5D game. That’s a whole other ball game, I’m also making this with the intention of selling it in a few years, so all the more reason I need to polish the hell out of it.
Eventually when I had a concept and it was polished enough that I’d be comfortable showing it off, I was going to post a few threads on the forums I frequent (including this one), and tap the community on what they want out of the specific genre I was working on, and put my own spin and flair on it, and get a small demo of it and then post it to show off, get some feedback, and polish it some more and work on the rest of the product after I got it to the point I wanted.
The lesson I’m trying to impart here is don’t piss off your community, listen to them, tap them, and get feedback. Often times, they’ve got a good grasp on your game if they’ve played it long enough, maybe even more so than you do, and there’s power in numbers, so keep an open door policy for the most part, obviously there’s some things you can’t share, but you can tap your community’s creative potential to give you ideas on what you should make and work with.
I’ve seen several developers and publishers screw up in more ways than one and their product flopped as a result. Good examples that come to mind is Bioware (recently), Phil Fish, and a few others I can’t name. Often times the reason they flopped was because there wasn’t enough polish (ME:A), or the creator was a douchebag (Fish). You’ve got a resource here, why not use it? Valve’s taking that approach actually from what I’ve seen them do over the past few years.
As for resources I’d recommend these:
Back in January, @Matthew made a great You Tube vid on Writing, one I immediately bookmarked so I could reference later.
A good article on pacing yourself, even if its just mods and related to Skyrim, it can be applied to Game Development as well.
Great video on AI. Again, Skyrim-related, but it can be applied to other aspects.
MSDN is Microsoft’s developer network and you can study and look up C++ functions here. I don’t know what version of C you’re working in (C++, or C#), I’d say the former, but I’d suggest googling it if you’re using C#.
'Bout all I can say, good luck, if you got questions and I see them, I’ll poke in again. I’m going to go back to lurking.