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Experienced programmer, where do I start?


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#1 fligex   Members   -  Reputation: 37

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:45 PM

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Edited by fligex, 20 September 2012 - 11:11 PM.


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#2 Lance42   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:15 PM

I wouldn't start with an MMO. Unless it's a pretty simple 2D affair, the sheer amount of resources required make it out of reach for most. Pick a popular MMO and look at the list of people who made it. Then clone yourself that many times, send several of your clones off to school to become gifted artists(3D, character, background), designers, sound editors, musicians... I think you get the idea.

Having said that, I think a small team could write a fun MMO if they keep their goal within reach. I've never heard of a one man MMO being written, but I'm sure someone can point to one.

If you want to write your own game, including engine, I'd recommend starting with a good book. I liked this one. You end up with a basic 2D game engine suitable for writing simple games, and extending to less simple games. It's all in c#, so, if you're looking for C++ or Java, you should look elsewhere. Whatever you choose, it should leave you with something usable as a foundation for future games, and pointed firmly in the right direction to continue learning. Writing a game engine(even a 2D engine) is a non-trivial undertaking. Make sure this is what you want to do before you start.

If you just want to make a game, and don't want to bother writing an engine, then you should look in to Unity, or one of the other ready made game engines. You can then focus more on making a game, rather than making an engine, which has definite benefits. If this is your wish, pick an Engine, and grab a book or tutorial and get to work on your game. =D

Whichever method you choose, make sure you're having a blast. Good luck!

Lance...

#3 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7987

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:21 AM

I assume the bad graphics is a result of using a generic game engine.

Bad graphics are often a result of small budgets. Art creation is one of the most expensive parts of a modern AAA game. So, your best engine will not help you much if you don't have a few million $ to spend on art creation.

I am completely a noob.

<=>

I really want to create an MMO


Edited by Ashaman73, 13 September 2012 - 12:23 AM.


#4 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6289

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:40 AM

I'll give it a 4 for the effort, obvious troll is obvious.

Edit: just in case the OP is serious and not just taking us for a ride.

Graphic quality is almost entierly in the hands of the artists.

Great artists + Lots of time = great graphics. If you reduce either the artists skill or the time they're allowed to spend on a single piece the resulting quality will drop. (The amount of time required for AAA quality artwork is insane (which is why it is expensive in a professional eviroment, time=money and indies cut corners on it).

If you have 7+ years of programming experience you should be able to figure out that a MMO is both complicated and timeconsuming and isn't really suitable for a beginner.

Start simple, (Pong is awesome) and go from there, a game is no different from any other software so just use one of the languages you allready know.

Edited by SimonForsman, 13 September 2012 - 12:47 AM.

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The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#5 ATC   Members   -  Reputation: 551

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:53 PM

So my question is where to start? I really want to create an MMO, judging by some of the really shitty graphics I've seen in other games, I assume the bad graphics is a result of using a generic game engine. I would rather write my own game engine than to waste my time making a game with shit graphics. I want to be very clear about this fact, I want quality over quantity and speed.


Don't try to write an MMO. Start with less ambitious things. Even if you're the greatest programmer on earth an MMO is still out of your reach because of the HUGE amount of resources it takes. Not only art, sound fx, music, video, localized text, shaders, code and everything else, but financial, logistic and labor resources. You simply can't do it. Believe me... I'm a damn fine programmer... who tried and gave up when he realized he couldn't pull it off without a very big team.

However, you could start writing and testing an engine conducive to MMO development... make enough progress and finding a big team and the resources you need might not be so far out of reach. If you're interested in this sort of thing and you're a competent C# programmer with C/C++ experience then shoot me a pm. You might find my work interesting.
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#6 fligex   Members   -  Reputation: 37

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:42 PM

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Edited by fligex, 20 September 2012 - 11:11 PM.


#7 t-boy   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:12 AM

Fligex,

If you want to achieve something, then go for it.

If you want to create an MMO, then go for it, only you will know if it is the correct path whilst travelling along it.

You said it yourself, that you are exhausted with the games you play, so, do you think the quality of the graphics will make a difference to your motivation? if you
want to create an MMO, have you ever considered a text based MMO? This will enable your imagination to run wild without the need to create graphics.

#8 ATC   Members   -  Reputation: 551

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:06 PM

Again this OP was not meant to make people angry, I could have just started hacking away trying to make a game engine but I thought I take a slightly smarter approach and see if I could get a bit of taste of the different ways to go about it, perhaps learn from others mistakes(in coding). I am actually very very surprised at such the negative responses I got from people, 3 out of 4 of you were more interested (seemingly) in discouraging me from doing this than supporting of my interest in something you all obviously are interested in. Are these forums not here to promote support of game developers? The only one who gave positive advice was Lance.


You didn't make anyone angry, my friend (at least not me). No one is trying to belittle you or say you're not good/smart enough. We only wanted you to heed our caution and realize the immense weight that any "MMO" carries. No one person on earth that I've yet met can do it alone...even if they're an amazing programmer and have no life, no girlfriend/boyfriend or any social interactions with other people lol. It's that massive of an undertaking... trust me...

I'm all for the idea of you writing an engine. If you re-read my first post in this thread, you will see that is exactly what I suggested you do! Perhaps you will end up making it good enough to someday use to develop a good game; perhaps even an MMO when you have the man-power and capital? I say stick with the engine idea if you're a competent programmer and have the time and willingness to work and learn. Perhaps we can even be of help to each other, as I am writing a very large engine myself...

I didn't see where anyone was getting angry at you in the least; just giving advice/guidance, which we assumed you wanted because you posted here! :-)

Heck, someone even down-voted me for absolutely no reason, so I suppose some people have gotten a bit too emotional about this indeed lol...
_______________________________________________________________________________
CEO & Lead Developer at ATCWARE™
"Project X-1"; a 100% managed, platform-agnostic game & simulation engine


Please visit our new forums and help us test them and break the ice!
___________________________________________________________________________________

#9 Kirkula   Members   -  Reputation: 141

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:31 PM

Instead of "playing" the video games, try analyzing them. Look at them like a programmer, like you would any other program. Think about how every frame would be coded, for instance, say you're making asteroids. Think down to just one frame. You have the ship in the middle, the asteroids flying around, the score and lives at the top. There you go, you have a few objects already. Now unpause that, and you have animation. Well, all that is is just a continuous loop that has changes in every iteration, depending on what happens in the game. You also have the controller, so there's input to worry about. And, of course, the screen, so you have to draw to that. When you destroy an asteroid, they would split or be destroyed, and your score would go up. Destroy them all, and you get to the next level, or new frame/scene. When you die, your lives would be reduced by one, and when you run out of lives, the game loop ends. You can either restart it, or close it all together.

So basically, you just have to scrutinize every aspect of a game. Think about it like a programmer, not a gamer, and you should be all set. I'm sure there are plenty of books on the subject as well. Have fun!

#10 menyo   Members   -  Reputation: 494

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:47 AM

I am not put off by the amount of work that is involved in such a process.


So you know how much work it is? Like the first comment said, you will need to clone yourself multiple times. For every good quality mmo there was a very large team of individual artists working many many years on the project. And such a project is never finished, you need to bugfix, update, support people etc. If you want to pull off something decent alone it will take you more then a life time. And thats why people discourage you.

Also you state getting bored at games (sounds to me you want to make your own better game), yet later you state you might only do the engine. The engine is the most work, and the least satisfying if you pursue the goal of making a game since you mostly see code and no game being developed.

The shear size of you ambition is just too much, and most of us had that too in the past and try to warn you about such a thing. Why don't you just start smaller, you can always undertake a project like this. If you start running you wont start with a marathon right? If you are truly a good graphics and sound artist then you can build a nice port folio MUCH easier then most of us around. Make a nice graphical Arkanoid, a very good multiplayer Bomberman clone and some innovative side-scroller. Then write a huge game design document and you won't have trouble finding 20 talented people to work together on a project like that.

If you still want to work on a project like that, go for it. Not saying you will fail like all of us, there are exceptions on the rule like Einstein or Mozart. I hope one day i can mention your name between those and say you made the best MMO single handed without any game programming experience.

Good luck!

Current Project: TechnoFlux read all about it on my

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#11 winsrp   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:19 PM

with out reading all the other comment, here is my take on how to make an MMORPG

first make the G... it does not have to be entirely functional, this includes the basic of what you would very later on call an engine, so very basics here, display terrain, make guy, put in on ground, make it hit the ground, jump, stuff like that. (you might need to build several of these Gs, in order to get something very functional, and optimized, and you will revisit this part on every iteration ahead)

then once you have G... you make a PG.. so a playable game, you actually build interaction with your player, pick stuff of the ground, hit enemies, talk to NPCs... all that things.

then you make an RPG... where you actually try to build the beginnings of a story and give you player a role of what he should do, and what it will do to save the world/princess/continent/family/universe/etc etc.

after that you start with the first M, which stands for multiplayer, so you get an MRPG, and add other players to the mix from the lan environment, with the same objective and stuff to do, if you did a good job on the R part of the mix, you might have users do different stuff at the same time to help each other.

all that good, but you have to add the O after yo hit this point, so an OMRPG, you manage to make other users connect over internet, should not be that hard if all things are don't right to this point.

And finally you will do the last M.. the massive. and when you get here, you better have your player do a whole lot of stuff, which a huge map, and an even bigger server backbone, otherwise your home computer will explode.

So if you are a total newb, there is a VERY long road ahead, that's my 2 cents here.

#12 fligex   Members   -  Reputation: 37

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

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Edited by fligex, 20 September 2012 - 11:12 PM.


#13 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

See if I set a goal that is at level 10 and you set a goal that is at level 5, even if I can't reach my goal chances are I will still be at a higher level than you are because you have given yourself a limit. I have not. Even if I fully accomplish nothing, I have accomplished more than you.

Your logic doesn't hold up to the context. If I set a goal of 5 in terms of making a game, and make that game, and you were aiming for a 10, and "fully accomplish nothing"...which one of us has their name on a game being played by other people? Your game may be the most amazing thing to never be seen by anyone, but if you never finish it because you aimed too ambitiously, no one cares.

Furthermore, once I accomplish my level 5 game, I've learned from the process, and can go on to make a 7, with an even better understanding of what I'll likely have trouble with and which pieces of my old code I can reuse, etc. This continues on until I'm making level 10 games with a portfolio of accomplishments behind me. That's how advancement and experience work.

The reason people say don't shoot for an MMO are varied, but a common element (that shows up a lot here) is that aiming big with no gauge on the difficulty results in frustration and a trail of half-finished game engines and defunct hype-filled websites. They're telling you to start smaller because you're a self-titled "newb" in game development, and you need that first bite-size project to get some sense of perspective. Many speak from experience.
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#14 CC Ricers   Members   -  Reputation: 726

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

See if I set a goal that is at level 10 and you set a goal that is at level 5, even if I can't reach my goal chances are I will still be at a higher level than you are because you have given yourself a limit. I have not. Even if I fully accomplish nothing, I have accomplished more than you.


If you do not make it to 10, feel free to move it back to a lower number and then move forward again when you feel ready for more. Moving the goal posts and changing your plans is not a bad thing when you work agile :P

This will be my last post here as I feel the majority of the members here are close minded. I am not saying this to make people angry, it is the truth, many people I talk with IRL simply cannot handle it. The reality that I know to exist and in fact does exist, most believe is nothing but fiction.


The skepticism comes from encountering a lot of people with not just similar goals, but similar attitudes (or at least what convey with what you type in text). The problem is, you haven't yet set yourself apart from the others that have the same "go-getter" attitude working towards an MMO so to many people you are one and the same with the others. Coupled with the fact that we know little about you, what can you do to set yourself apart from them, other than saying "unlike others, I will actually get it done"? (because there were probably others that also said "I will actually get it done")
My development blog: Electronic Meteor

#15 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:40 AM

This attitude reminds me of something.. You see in elementary school your teachers tell you, choose goals for yourself, but be careful not to choose goals that are beyond your reach.

IMO this is the worst possible advice you could ever give anyone. This advice tells you to put a limit on what your capable of. I sir do not do such things.
The better advice is this.. choose goals, choose goals that push your capabilties beyond what you currently believe to be possible, for this is the only way impossible things are are ever accomplished.


If someone who has never programmed before wants to learn a programming language, say Python, I will ask him/her to start by writing "Hello World" and then continue from there.

It is not "better" to advice him/her to write Windows 8. -____-

This will be my last post here as I feel the majority of the members here are close minded. I am not saying this to make people angry, it is the truth, many people I talk with IRL simply cannot handle it. The reality that I know to exist and in fact does exist, most believe is nothing but fiction. This makes them angry for some reason as if they have been cheated out of it. In reality they are simply ignorant. Please do not take offense to this as it is not intended.


If someone with no programming skills come to you and say he wants to write the next Windows 8 on his own from scratch, how would you advise him?

If he sees you as "angry" and "close minded" for asking him to start smaller, say "Hello World", what would you say in return?

Hopefully by thinking about the answers to these questions, you can figure out what is going on here.

#16 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:45 AM

This will be my last post here as I feel the majority of the members here are close minded.

An open mind is one that is open to changing it's stance in light of evidence, it is about not rigidly sticking to ideas in the face of compelling evidence. Being open minded is certainly not about dogmatically sticking to ideas when more experienced and informed people attempt to advise you otherwise. People use "closed minded" as a byword for not accepting their ideas without so much as a whiff of evidence or credible justification. This is ironic considering labelling people as such is in fact the definition of closed minded.

Let me level with you: if you dig your heels in and are so adamant that you are "right" in the face of experienced advice and cautions when you haven't even arrived at the track, let alone left the start line, the chances of you crossing that finish line are about as close to zero as you can get. You attitude is the antitheses of the attitude required to make the long journey of the learning process so I sincerely advise you address this attitude of yours if you genuinely wish to progress.

Edited by GeneralQuery, 19 September 2012 - 07:50 AM.


#17 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3160

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:03 PM

So my question is where to start? I really want to create an MMO, judging by some of the really shitty graphics I've seen in other games, I assume the bad graphics is a result of using a generic game engine.


Hi,

Actually, there have been some popular AAA games with great graphics appearance which were based on "generic" game engines. It is mostly about the developer's skills and hard work toward the end result. A great start is a help, but the race to the finish line is a long one, so much more is involved. There are some fantastic open source game engines, rendering engines, graphics engines, and more engines! Posted Image Other things to consider are the technical support and the community, which could make a mediocre game engine go farther for you than a world class one with weak support.

Clinton

Edited by 3Ddreamer, 20 September 2012 - 10:04 PM.

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer





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