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Totaly newb, but big vision - need help with basics


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#1 Teno   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:30 PM

First of all # Hello !

Found this site from google.

The intro
Well, basically I am propably the "another guy" for You. But I can promise my visions are worth to invest into. I mean, Your time and your tips and and links. .

What do I want?
I want to know what programs, what programming languages etc do i need to know, if I want to generate multiplayer strategic time-based (ticks) web-game?
I want to start it all by myself. I know - it will hard work and it takes a lot of time. Still, Im not the rich guy and I have no investors to get "fast programmers".

I am totaly blank page with skills. I even dont know the right termins to ask. Tabula Rasa.

About The Game.
Maybe You know something about Travian and Utopia and Cosmicsupremacy? These are webgames.
I want to build something like that, mixed all, the game is ready in my head and some "rules" have written to paper. I know how it should look like and what the functions should be.
It will be very variable and complicated game, with manymany rules and options. Like Sid Meiers Civ, just simplerer graphics and functions and only webgame.
The big bite.

I want to add - the game idea is not inspired by any these games i mentioned up here, its just my kinky dream since i played and got in love with Warcraft2 when i was kid - since that i have had dreams to build once myown game.. and i have thought and thought about that manymany years :). I made strategical games to big boards and on paper and played 1 vs 1 with my friend, like 10 years ago already. I have mind for building the "rules and the umm.. engine" .. the visions. Also If there appears bugs and "easy ways" in games, I will find these - have nose for that and can fix and balance them.

Game going to have
  • Text-based area
  • map areas - with graphics.
  • Some AI functions also
    all these should be connected and be functional together
Where should I start?
Can You please provide me any links and tutorials, please?
I am yes, newb in this thing. But I have the willpower and sort-of fast brains and mathematical thinking. And i have time .

Thanks !
i will check this topic regulary to get the advice and ask something if I will have some more questions

Sponsor:

#2 Fox89   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:16 PM

Hi

First of all, good luck with your project. I know it can be daunting when you feel you have a dream and nobody believes in you, when you're just another newb! These things take a lot of time and learning when you're working from the ground up. I'm not exactly Captain Experienced myself, but through my years of learning how life learning how to design games works, I can offer a few basic suggestions.

To start with, put your project on the back burner. It is something that will evolve and grow with time, as you gain a bit of experience and perspective. What you're aiming for is rather ambitious, essentially the word 'multiplayer' makes it about twice as difficult and costly all on its own! If you are working from a blank slate in terms of skills, as I was, then I'd say your best best is to start with some basic modding using an existing engine. My personal favourite for pretty much anything is The Unreal Engine. You can download the Unreal Development Kit for free, and there is lots and lots of support. Learning how to use this will introduce you to the basics of things like 3D level design and scripting.

Second of all: learn to find the fun in things. And I don't just mean play lots of games and enjoy them,. but review them in-depth. The more you do it, the deeper you will learn to analyse individual game mechanics and what makes them fun, or otherwise.

Thirdly: Try and find some friends or family around you with an expertise in something like C# programming who can give you advice and help you understand programming concepts when you begin to learn scripting or a programming language like C# (this isn't my area, but refer to this excellent post from another thread). I have a friend like that who I can bounce ideas off, and he can help me understand the logic behind what it will take to implement. Having people you know who can help you is generally better than just asking the internet for help.

Good luck again/

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10062

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:16 PM

I want to know what programs, what programming languages etc do i need to know

Have you read this forum's FAQ yet?
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 AdrianC   Members   -  Reputation: 602

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 10:23 PM

Have you read this forum's FAQ yet?


His question is directed at coding a specific type of game, so I don't think the FAQ will help.

Anyway, Teno, you're going to want to start off with learning HTML and CSS for the basic website design. Then you'll want to look into PHP as a server side programming language, this will handle your in game logic. Next, you will use mySQL to store information into databases. Lastly you will want to look into Javascript, Jquery and Ajax for added functionality, like updating information without refreshing the page, and just making everything work better in general.

I don't really have any experience with this, so maybe I gave you bad advice, but if I was going to start something like this, these are the programming languages / techniques / whatever I would look into first. Check out w3schools for tutorials.

#5 Teno   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:04 AM

Thanks for positive and motivating replies ! About thiskind of answers I was waiting for. The steps.

Fox89
Yes, without fun and will to study this project will end shortly. I will check these links you posted.

AdrianC
I thought myself also, that I should start propably with building up the default website - atleast the frames,boxes etc, so the basic areas are available and can test after that functions and codes in it.
So.. I have to blow the dust off from Dreamweaver and jump into HTML and CSS world first. Correct? (dont worry I will not spam the forum to get help to build websites, I understand, its GameDev forum)

Tom Sloper
Please dont close the thread. I prefer to ask questions in one specific topic,rather to spam forums full with different questions. When Im on next steps, I propably need some advice again and the all info is all together. Maybe it can be useful once to somebody other with same "projects", so its easy to link to them this thread. :)

#6 adder_noir   Members   -  Reputation: 271

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:01 AM

I'll be honest I haven't read much of the thread but I've read enough to get a feel for what you're doing. I'm doing the same thing. It burned and burned away in me for years and I dabbled on and off reading the odd textbook right the way through and all that stuff whilst also getting an honours degree in engineering and then re-training as an electrician all the way up to full scope level. Working in crappy labouring jobs and some ok-ish jobs like process engineer, systems engineer and even a few months as a high tower open steel climber (I'm scared of heights!) getting more and more and more dis-illusioned with life and becoming very very bitter.

I'd have been much better off just chasing my dream from day one. I'm 32 now and although much of my bitter experiences in the workplace have well adjusted my attitude - particularly when it comes to understanding how important it is to leave certain things alone and lever use of existing working stuff like flight sim engines - I do really suspect I should have just gone for it from day one. I would have been much, much happier that way.

There are so many challenges ahead of you and still many for me for that matter but it's better to just get on with it as soon as you can. If you're a game programmer in your blood you'll never be happy doing anything else - believe me. You will just become worn down and bitter and twisted with age until you make the leap to do it.

My best recommendations if I can indeed offer any would be as follows:

1) Never, ever, ever underestimate your ability to conquer even very hard/impossible tasks over time. These 'tasks' can be large but also as localised as say getting a pixel or vertex shader to run, or understanding a complete book about a specific engine. Never judge your progress 'in the moment' you'll just go mad and assume you can never win. You will win by attriting your creative ability's true enemy (the complexities of technology) over much time with many individual efforts. Not by exerting far too much effort at any given single moment - if you do it that way you will descend into anger and hate.

2) Keep your life balanced and don't let your creative drive push you over the edge. This means avoiding complicated situations with family, friends or so-called friends and emotional ties with other people, especially those of the opposite sex or the same sex if you are gay. Keep your head down and just gently but firmly plod away in the background taking lots of small steps towards your goal. Keep away from anything destructive and try and get your creative ability to understand it will just have to wait to express itself.

3) Lever as much existing stuff as you can. It's better to learn how to get your stuff to talk to somebody else's stuff than it is to start writing your own things from scratch because you have been put off doing it 'the right way' due to the annoying code protocol involved.

4) If possible acquire an existing engine and learn it well. I've chosen an engine written in C++ so I have full source access. Too late to turn back now. In your case it might be better to learn an engine you script to but don't necessarily have full source for. I've heard as has been mentioned already the Unreal engine is the one to go for here.

I've seen so many people from the Operation Flashpoint era making more and more beautiful addons and more and more complex scripts and getting angry, bitter and competitive with others and sucking up to the game's often very distant development team because they simply wouldn't take the plunge and learn to make their own games from scratch even though they were obviously good enough to do it.

It's not as bad as you think but God forbid it's a f**king long journey. One of my main aims once I have this engine tamed is to clip parts of it and make it nice and robust with very compiler portable code and host a website with a forum where I can very, very quickly guide newbies straight past nasty problems I've had to face so they can hit their dreams so much faster than I've been able to. It's the only thing that would really make me feel good about what it's took out of me so far to do this.

Best of luck friend ;) :D

#7 djowatts   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:19 AM

First of all Teno, I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your enthusiasm and your vision. This is definatley the main factor in persevering and eventually coming out with a playable game. You need to have that passion.

I have done programming and other things that transfer into games design through education, so I haven't had to start from scratch like you are, but I know how i would want to if I was in your shoes.

My advice would be to find someone who would be willing to mentor you who is already involved in a small project. Don't take a full role in that project, but rather work with the person who is mentoring you. This will mean putting your desired project aside for a while, but your skills will develop here in a way that you can transfer to your project when it comes time to work on that. There will always be little things you can work on with your game.

Secondly, keep a record of what you do. I know one thing that puts a lot of people off programming is the monotony of it. Keep a library of all the functions and classes that you write, because you will never know when they will come in handy again.

Most importantly though, don't obsess over this. Have fun with it and don't make it a stressful activity. If you're having fun, you're never going to abandon the project!.
"HARDWARE is the part of the Computer you can Kick!"


#8 AdrianC   Members   -  Reputation: 602

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:46 AM

I thought myself also, that I should start propably with building up the default website - atleast the frames,boxes etc, so the basic areas are available and can test after that functions and codes in it.
So.. I have to blow the dust off from Dreamweaver and jump into HTML and CSS world first. Correct? (dont worry I will not spam the forum to get help to build websites, I understand, its GameDev forum)


Yeah, if you want to take on a project of this size, you will need to know HTML and CSS yourself, not through a wysiwyg editor. You will have to learn how to have all these languages interact. Using Dreamwaver even for a bit will output very confusing code, which will result in more trouble for you. Besides, HTML and CSS are so much simpler then the stuff you'll have to do with Php and mySql.

I don't think there's a problem with you asking more web design questions in the Web Development forum.

#9 Teno   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:49 PM

Wow. So big welcome from You :) . I will answer shorter, cause my vocabulary in English not the best . I know from my experience, that this yaddayaddayadda talk will at the end tire off people.

But I did understood everything you said. atleast i think so.

adder_noir
Id like to generate game, what is more variable and with more options, what needs brains and the sences for right politics and moves. Still thought it should not take much time from real life. So there will be no hardcore playing. But it will still be addictive, im sure. These are some missions with this game.
The fun part to build gamers community with the same needs like I do. I am not shaming that, that I have been looking for some realy good game from Internet in manymany years, game what is addictive, it makes sense and doesnt make no-lifer. Sadly there are lot of games, what just puts people to choose between virtual and real life - only one can be succesful.

Conclusion is - I want to generate the real competitive environment, where time is not the boss,instead the clicks and numbers on right places are. Like perfect world for strategy geeks (everybody thinks Their place will be the best one) in my oppinion failed project is Erebublik - I find it boring and too confusing and too .. dont know whats the point in it is.. tryed and did not get any interest. seemes more like profitable project for owners. everybody has theirown ways, lol)

Yes, i am not underestimating myself, game building is not the brain surgery, you know (but rocket-science it is). At start - like now - I want to study on myown the basics - when I find out the best systems where to
start building "project" up, can start testing other engines. But i will be aware then still, that I wont get lazy and addicted to simple ways. :)

Operation Flashpoint is that shooting game? I liked these big massive maps and difficult missions where one bullet may be fatal.

djowatts
Thanks. Yes i have couple of not-close people who are active in programming. But i dont want to disturb them with my thoughts before i have built up the base idea. So they see im serious with my plans. Will contact them when i need some specific info in specific tasks. Records and archiving is right way, better to copy-paste than to start it all over again :)

To find loyal and not back-stabbing mentor is also hard task. I know some my friends have got ripped off by some programmers........ still i'd like to be naive and propably when i know more about this programming world, i will be more sharing with details with some nice trustable face(wo)man.

AdrianC
Ah I see. Then I should switch the tactics. Turn into deeper things. On Dreamweaver tutorial I got to 7th lesson today. And yeah, there it felt, that this program is more for building the homepage or somekind of simple use things - more for designers. Still I think I go to end with the tutorials, cause there lot of CSS talks.
I really dont want to talk with all details. I think i dont have to tell the reason :)
But
I want to add more, what Im thinking here about the project:
1) There is "tick" in game. In some specific time - ex: full hour - all orders by all players and AI will be taken. Then comes next tick, again next.
2) Formulas. One action is connected to other. There are some areas, where some actions become fatal and will remove all data.
3) Maps. The Map should be expansable and editable by players. Depending of "actions", "decisions" and "moves" . Its different from Travian - where not so much activity on maps. In my project the map has bigger role.
4) Userbase
5) Database & "god-mode" - to have the power to make changes in game - banning, fixings, gifting etc.
Lot of options to choose and lot of restrictions - these are all complex and easy and logical to understand, but i guess - hard to build.


#########################################################################################################
Basicaly.. Im thinking here. I need to understand first - how to generate codes and put these to formulas?
Do i get it right, with contributing HTML and CSS the game formulas will born?
With what program you suggest me to use to test in the HTML and CSS?
The best way to study is to have programs also where can test all the functions and codes...

Then I should learn the maping and flash ( ? ) or how to make graphics with big functions? Since formulas are connected hard with maps. I will not put high graphix in game, bigger pressure is on commands and with these some graphical object's appearing or disappearing on maps. I take it easy, ofcourse. I just want to tell you that I sort-of understand the "monsters" I have to fight with in future. :D Or I can do both things in same time? So if i get tired of one thing in some time, can work with the other part for a change.
Its big bite, im telling you. :)

#10 Mozly   Members   -  Reputation: 98

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:07 PM

My best advice is

google seach:
c++ books
c++ tutorial
SDL tutorial
OpenGl tutorial
OpenGl books

#11 AdrianC   Members   -  Reputation: 602

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:07 PM

HTML and CSS will not be used for any game logic. Basically, those two are just used to say: K, I want a button over here, I want the title of the page to go there, etc. You design with those. Then, you can use Ajax to transfer data in between the server and the client. Then you use php to process that data. This is where your in game logic would go. Do not do any game logic on the client's computer (so don't use javascript for logic) as the user could easily cheat. Then, you're going to want to save the data you modified, and you can use mySQL for that. I recommend taking it slowly. So:

Step 1: Design the website using HTML and CSS. Use divs, not tables by the way. Once that is set up...

Step 2: Start working with php, make a login system, save the player's account and password in a mySQL table.

Step 3: Work on a bit of security. Encrypt the passwords with something like sha1. Look up mySQL injection.

Step 4: Learn Javascript and Ajax and just implement something basic to understand it. Maybe make it so that you can log into your account without refreshing the page.

Step 5: By this point you should have a good knowledge of how things work, and you should be able to decide on your own what you need to do.

Doing this for my website only took a few days (from 0 experience with any of this stuff), but I am a CS major. It could take weeks or even months for a beginner to get there though, so don't rush into it or you'll get overwhelmed. Just take one technique / language at a time, and practice with it for a few days.

I use Notepad++ for my code. If you don't have your own server, you'll need to install a virtual server on your computer. HTML and CSS will just run in your browser, but PHP and mySQL are server side languages, so you need a server or virtual server for that.

Go to w3schools, and go through their tutorials. You should have a solid understanding after that. Remember, don't rush, go one step at a time.

EDIT: Also none of the stuff listed by Mozly will help, maybe he didn't read the thread properly. You don't need C++ for this.

#12 Teno   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:36 AM

Hi ! Thanks for giving tips/notes, again.

I have made step into e-book.
I am reading "The complete reference. HTML & CSS Fifth Edition" by Thomas A. Powell.

There lot of XML and HTML5 and XHTML talks and lot of different termins.. Should I know all these and give pressure to my brain and remember all these? Or should skip long texts etc introducing the differences and the hard terminology for specialists?
I know, it is really myown choice, do I want to know a lot or not, but what you think, what is good for me - for a newbie? :)
I think myself, to skip all these long texts and check only the places, paragraphs, where <<<<tags and rules and examples>>>>.. But still im bit afraid, that if i skip big texts, I may lose something important.
For me 850 pages hard text is too much.


Then.. Designing the webiste. I am using 1280x800 resolution - with my laptop. If I start desgning for this size, is it mistake or I should focus for bigger PC monitors?

#13 Pomnico   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:25 AM

Regarding your question if you should remember all of that, I suppose that you should remember that such things exist, what can you generally do with them. If you later would like to achieve anything, you would have some basic knowledge in your head to choose one option and then go deeply into it.

I agree with AdrianC that you should go deep in the HTML / Javascript / PHP. These are core elements for your game. HTML to put together what a user can see, Javascript to make dynamic elements for the user (ticking time, progress changes etc.) and PHP for server side.

You could also take a look at WebGL and/or HTML5. I'm not a web programmer, so I don't know if they would be usefull for you, but I've heard they are amazing in creating dynamic web pages.

Regarding how to start, I would first try creating several simple Javascript and PHP pages completely different from your project to familiaraze with this technology. I would create some simple DB based pages to practise this also. Next I would recommend you to scale your project A LOT down to a very simple game. Different game, but with similar technology required for it. And don't plan to include it to your main project. Just implement it. You will probably encounter a lot of problems there, make many mistakes, and learn a lot from it. I wouldn't touch your main idea without the experience gained from this small experimental project.

One more hint to your gameplay. I suppose you should try to introduce some intro that would happen faster. If I would be a player and after taking my very first action in game I would have to wait an hour to make another move, I would just turn the page down. Please take a look at any web based strategy game. In the beginning actions take less than a minute to complete. It's not without a reason. I don't state you should do exactly the same, but you definitely have to consider this issue.

#14 Teno   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:14 PM

Thanks Pomnico. I have checked and "spied" web-pages layouts and webgames constructions some several times already. Will, for sure take a look on easy games also, that how others have constructed these.

I have one other question:
Are there any threats with copyrights and patents also in game programming world?

If I dont copy the ideas and webpage layout - then there should not come any problems?

#15 GothSeiDank   Members   -  Reputation: 156

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:43 PM

If you can find a hoster offering python apache mod, you could use python for programming your game, even if it is web based.
Most free hosters do not allow it though.
But it is a nice scripting language which is rather easy to learn and an alternative to PHP and Java.
That would be my advice.

Ofc you need the mentioned HTML Knowledge, but you could also get someone else for that if you have the core features ready. It is more easy to find someone willing to help if you have a working base of your vision or a even a prototype. Knowledge of Basic HTML & CSS is enough at the beginning to display stuff. You can beautify it later.
The programming Language, may it be PhP or Python, is much more important.
If you say "pls", because it is shorter than "please", I will say "no", because it is shorter than "yes"
http://nightlight2d.de/




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