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Author Topic: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo  (Read 6248 times)

Fenrir

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"Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« on: January 08, 2008, 10:36:00 am »

I've been toying with the idea of developing games for some time now. I never got around to doing it for some reason or another, be it lazyness, or... whatever the hell is wrong with me  :mad:! Anyway, how do I begin? How did you start, Toady?
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Kayla

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 11:17:00 am »

Well, I certainly can't speak for the Great Toady, but some ideas for yah.

You could go the traditional route, get some programming and game design books, make a few mini-games, then make your own.

You could go the mod route, make some mods for a popular game (Unreal, Source engine, so on), then start programming outside of that engine.

Could go toolkit route, and find some tools/game development platforms, make some games, see whether you like it or not, then do whatever.

I guess the point is, You should pick or make whatever route you like, and go with it.

Traditional Route ideas: Pretty much any book on Amazon when searching for 'game design'

Mod Route: Unreal, Source Engine, Can't remember any other popular ones offhand. Maybe the Neverwinter Nights engine.

Toolkit Route: Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion, Dark Basic, anything like that.

But whatever you pick, make sure you have fun with it, because if your not having fun, whats the point?

Kayla

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Red Jackard

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 12:38:00 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Kayla:
<STRONG>Maybe the Neverwinter Nights engine.</STRONG>

Aurora? There was a recent game called "The Witcher" made with it that's supposed to be fairly impressive.
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Kayla

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 01:22:00 pm »

Yeah, I believe thats it. But of course, Witcher wasn't exactly a mod.

General Tip for new game designers all around.

The first one is a bummer, but its as true as it gets from my side.

Your first game, and probaly a great majority of games thereafter, will probaly not be any good. That being said, most beginners should focus on quick-n-fun games that don't require alot of time or skill to make, such as side-scrolling shooters, or what have you, as they will help with the basics of programming and other needed skills.

Your not going to be able to make Quake, Diablo, Starcraft, or anything similiar to that off the bat. All of these games had million dollar budgets, 50+ people teams, and years of development.

Most indie developers may have, a hundred or so dollars laying around. Even moreso, the ones I personally know, didn't even have that much sitting around. Most do not like teams (as teams tend to disolve quickly...and then they have the source code with em...). And finally, most are very impatient, and want it done, now now now.

Not to dissuade anyone from taking up the mantle, its just that its work, its hard work, especially if you want it to be good. The best thing is to just keep doing it, keep working at it, improve your artist skills (Chances are you won't be able to afford an actual artist or modeler), your programming skills, and your balancing and bug-finding skills.

Kayla

(PS: I hope none of that sounded too hard, if it did, sowwy)

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Gaulgath

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 03:38:00 pm »

Gamemaker is highly intuitive and has a fairly powerful scripting system. I think that it's an excellent tool to learn the ropes of basic game design, and there are hundreds of tutorials and such out there for it.
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nerdpride

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 02:58:00 pm »

I'm not quite as far along as Kayla, I'm sure (I haven't even made anything decent yet!), but I might still be worth listening to.

Toolkits and such weren't satisfying to me.  I don't know why, never even looked at the stuff, I just wanted to learn more about computers instead of just about designing games.  So don't listen to me if you decide to use them.

Starting with an existing engine might work out, but it's my opinion that knowing how things work through programming experience can't hurt.  I doubt that they have a manual to tell you exactly what to do to produce new games with their software.  But I could be wrong.

Plus, if you know how to make a game engine, you could just modify an open source engine for your game instead.  It might save work or it might add more work, depending on what you're trying to do.

So I like just programming from scratch.  It might be like trying to re-invent the wheel, but not in the sense that it's all for nothing.  I can learn new stuff and add features as I understand how they really work instead of fumbling around all the time.

And I think that typical game developers are kind of dumb.  But that's another story.

I used to think it was impossible to program a game, like there weren't any resources to teach me anything out there anywhere (Only geniuses ever do it!  Geniuses who can read those 500 page technical books and absorb everything in them), but now I can look around and find a ton of stuff lying around for game development on the internet.

gpwiki.org
cprogramming.com  has a forum with a game development section (they're very helpful if you're describing trouble and not just asking them to write code for you).  But it is directed toward C when other choices are probably better to start with.  It would be easy to find something similar for Python or whatever else you chose.
roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org  This might not be the kind of game you're trying to make, but meh.

Oh, and, the rest of the site is questionable, but this one is interesting to look at: kuro5hin?


Some people say that making games is more fun than playing them, but I haven't quite gotten to that point yet.

Oh, and you'll probably hear this a thousand times, but still, it doesn't happen overnight, which is the main disadvantage of learning how to program things.  It's kind of all-in or nothing.  I'm a few years in and expecting many more.

I took a few classes about it in college recently and I have to admit it really helps.  I guess there could be bad teachers, but most students in those classes didn't really try to understand at all.  It's a major requirement to them, not something cool.

But it is fun and worthwhile, I think.  More frustrating when things aren't working out and more rewarding when they do.

[ January 09, 2008: Message edited by: nerdpride ]

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Fenrir

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 03:50:00 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by nerdpride:
<STRONG>roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org  This might not be the kind of game you're trying to make, but meh.</STRONG>

It's exactly the kind of game I'm trying to make. I'm a bit of an ASCII fanatic, I guess.

Thanks for all the advice people!

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nerdpride

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 05:11:00 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Fenrir:
<STRONG>
It's exactly the kind of game I'm trying to make. I'm a bit of an ASCII fanatic, I guess.

Thanks for all the advice people!</STRONG>


Same here.

You might want to look into the Usenet group for roguelike development too, then ( with google perhaps?).  

Interesting things pop up (like the kuro5hin article, or things about monster AI or random dungeon generation) maybe once a week.  But remember that Usenet is different from a forum, so anyone on there could look at your email and send you spam no matter what you do about it.  

Plus there's a lot of MI5 spam topics that show up that you can't filter out using google.  The titles and authors are starting to vary so maybe it can't be filtered out with something else.

I don't really post there much anymore, it's just good to know what the other people are doing.

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qwertyuiopas

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 06:08:00 pm »

Heres one:  dwarf.
It was made by me as a cheap imitation of what 3D DF adventure mode wight be like with a pickaxe. It was made to pass the time before 3D DF. It got it's name from the ame I liked so much. It includes the C source file. It was compiled with MINGW, but probably compile with anything. If you fall off the bottom of the map, you appear at the top one space above. This is probably a bug. In it you can climb 1 high tiles.


The terrain is randomly generated(poorly).

controls:
wasd/numpad: movement.
<and>(or , and .): vertical movement.
5 or e: toggle dig next space.
0 or q: toggle dig always on.
/ and *: make stairs. a down stair plus an up stair becomes a both stair, just like DF's.

[ January 09, 2008: Message edited by: qwertyuiopas ]

edit: sorry, the source and executable don't quite match.
I am adding items, and so far it works, so I may update this. Also, know a good file host?

[ January 09, 2008: Message edited by: qwertyuiopas ]

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Fenrir

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 10:10:00 am »

Is this a good way to go about it?
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nerdpride

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 11:37:00 am »

The Usenet?  Google works fine for me.

Looking over my post, I miswrote something.  People see your email if you post something to the Usenet, not if you just look at things.  So it's perfectly safe to just look at it through Google, see if you have gripes, and maybe download some viewer.  I'm pretty sure you don't need to login to look at things (it automatically does it if you have a gmail, for me at least).

"dwarf" sounds good.  But I feel more like playing DF since I've been away for so long, you understand.

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Armok

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2008, 12:04:00 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Fenrir:
<STRONG>Is this a good way to go about it?</STRONG>

No, I don't like the sound of it, it sounds unfun.

Ok, that attitude might be why all my attempts at game making failed horribly, but I don't want to think so as then all hope is lost for my part.

What would really be the best is if toady would answer, but if he does not you might analyze the development documents and devlog to reveal a path that have resulted in the greatest game in... well in everything, you might even consider just copy-pasting some of the reqs and bloats to your own, mimicking DF is no more cheating than mimicking reality is.

Really about the first start I am myself stuck, I am completely at loss when it comes to input and output and even cant read/write a file properly whiteout it being provided for me by by MFC or similar, I have yet to initialize a window by myself whiteout copy-pasting, and all my experience comes from ether MFC that is highly unappropriated for a game and on top of that those provided capabilities are quite limited, or from blatant mixed ripoffs that Have half of the files in C and half in C++ but somehow still compile and that would get me sued if I so much thought about sharing it. I am still at loss here.
For the actual mechanics programing I consider myself skilled but I have nothing to compare whit except finished things I have played really so I don't know... Really has not Toady said he to are better on the math than the hardware? maybe there is hope.

Anyways, from common sense and mysterious intuition (it actually works, I think like a computor), I would say make everything as modular as possible, make lots of classes and don't worry about abusing pointers (I am assuming C++ as that is the only language actually worth learning, DF is made in C++. If you have not decided on language then use C++, especially do not use anything amateurish as gamemaker as when you change to a real language you will have to restart from scratch).
Make everything modular and make many small programs each focusing on a different feature, then as they are modular only minor changes are needed for them to work together... Ok, this is just a gut feeling that has yet brought me nothing, and I'm rambling.

Begin whit world generation and physics because that is the most fun, and you have a beautiful place to test all other features as you implement them, AND it's one of the few areas you can hope to do better than anyone else.
Now I rambled again.

I need to sleep more and stop rambling at magical giant talking wolves...

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Fenrir

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2008, 12:48:00 pm »

@nerdpride:
You must have missed the link. I should have made it more conspicuous; it's hard to see blue links against a blue background.

@Armok:
Well your further along than me. I've yet to complete any program at all, unless you count that retarded "guess the number" game I did as an exercise for that C++ book.

So here's my plan (unless Toady has some conflicting advice):
1. Buy better C++ book. The one I have is a joke. It did't cover important things, like say, input and output streams beyond that cin and cout sh*t.
2. Read said book cover to cover
3. Plan out my game
4. Make the functions that handle drawing
4. Make the functions that handle key input
5. Do whatever part I feel like doing now
6. repeat step 5 until finished

Sound okay, or are these the ramblings of an incompetent and naive magical giant talking wolf?

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nerdpride

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2008, 12:52:00 pm »

I didn't see the link, hehe.

Armok's evaluation of how much fun it would be is good.  Valid point.

The RL in 15 steps is a little bit more advanced than it looks (if anyone thinks it looks simple).  A lot of the steps are geared toward overall simplification, like deciding which libraries to use ahead of time and getting input to work before world generation.  Fun wasn't considered when writing it.

It might not be worth it to follow the 15 steps, because you don't see yet why it's good for development.  I know that things get really frustrating when you're doing input and testing for collision, only to get bugs when you already have a hundred lines or so for world generation so I think doing input first is a great idea (or write some fancy header files, which is what I'm trying to learn now).  

Not doing things in that order set me back quite a bit, but I learned something valuable--do the buggy parts first if possible!  It can save time when searching for bugs, but it definitely saves on compilation time since you'll want to test it a bunch.  Whether world generation or input would be more buggy is up to the RL writer.  It's also fun just to make a random world generator instead of a whole RL project.

I think Toady was successful because he's experienced in doing this sort of thing.  Once you write a few games (even if they're not so great) you can direct the features you want to add more easily.  Sort of like how you play a few miserable fortresses before setting up the perfect one.

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nerdpride

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Re: "Fenrir, Peasant" to "Fenrir, Game Develo
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2008, 01:56:00 pm »

Yeah, double post.

quote:
Originally posted by Fenrir:
<STRONG>So here's my plan (unless Toady has some conflicting advice):
1. Buy better C++ book. The one I have is a joke. It did't cover important things, like say, input and output streams beyond that cin and cout sh*t.
2. Read said book cover to cover
3. Plan out my game
4. Make the functions that handle drawing
4. Make the functions that handle key input
5. Do whatever part I feel like doing now
6. repeat step 5 until finished

Sound okay, or are these the ramblings of an incompetent and naive magical giant talking wolf?</STRONG>


Reading a C++ book cover-to-cover might just be too frustrating to work out.  Plus, chances are a new one might not be much better.  And for most of it you learn by doing the examples more than by reading it.

It is important information and all but classes and object-oriented programming make things confusing and aren't useful until you're going to do really big projects (like 1000+ lines...  Which is small in the professional programming world actually, as a testament to how useful OOP is).

What's really important is output.  You don't know you did it right until you see it and the standard I/O library can't make even a game with ASCII graphics (continually reprinting the screen doesn't work out).

Plus textbooks don't teach you how to do it.  So looking into conio.h or one of the newer curses libraries (NCurses for Linux, PDCurses for Windows - they're both the same really) might be more worthwhile than getting a new book.  I don't know about conio, but both of the curses worked fine for me on my systems, so I recommend it.  I guess I won't explain how it works, that's what Wikipedia is for.

follow some links here

That should be enough to get started.  What you're doing isn't as important as doing something; there's a lot to figure out.  And it's nice to take a break once in a while.

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