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How much experience is enough experience?


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#1 superman3275   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1976

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

I believe I'm now a mildy experienced game programmer. I've programmed breakout, and am still adding things to it. (As soon as there's three powerups and a dynamic main menu I'll stop Posted Image). I started with pong, and have experienced collision detection. I'm also working on a map editor and a state machine. So my question is, is this enough?

So, when do I cross the line to start making my own games? Could I do it now, or maybe I should knock of tetris. The reason I believe I'm ready is because whenever I think about lots of these classic games, I could program them. There aren't even trouble spots in my mind. Do you think I'm ready to embark on the game I want to make right now?

I want to make a rogue rpg. Not a big one, just a mildly small, basic one. Then I would improve from there. Do you think that's feasible? Or maybe I should knock off some more games, get some more experience? What are your thoughts? Also, about my updated signature, I've been doing photo editing for a long time now, and I have some really cool samples of personal work, if anyone wants to PM or Email me, I'll show you my work and if you want, I'll be happy to help with indie games for free Posted Image!

Edited by superman3275, 19 October 2012 - 02:24 PM.

I'm a game programmer and computer science ninja ph34r.png!

Here's Breakout:
Breakout!

Want to ask about Python and / or Pygame? What about HTML5 / CSS3 / JavaScript? What about C++ and / or SFML 2 (and 1.6)? Recruiting for a game development team and need a passionate programmer? Just want to talk about programming? Email me here:

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or Personal-Message me on here smile.png!


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#2 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:36 PM

Do you think I'm ready to embark on the game I want to make right now?


No. I've been programming for decades and will still identify potential trouble spots if I had to program things like tetris or pac man.

That you can't see them isn't a sign of confidence, but ignorance.

I would suggest doing some variation on a well known game. Make most of it not new, but just a little bit is. Practice integrating your ideas into the structure and making game design that works in some comfortable framework.

#3 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

Well, there's no harm in considering something slightly more challenging.

Okay, here's one for you...

Played Legend of Zelda for the NES? No? Then go play it for about 10 minutes and then try and create something similar - a game world of about...3 * 3 screens where your character can walk about and add some bushes or other obstacles - perhaps throw in an enemy for the player to kill...

Reckon you can do it?

#4 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3688

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:02 PM

You shouldn't ask "Am I ready?". Instead, ask "Am I willing to work on something unknown, even if I have to abandon the project due to a problem I cannot solve?"

Both remakes and new ideas start with a concept that must be converted to a program. Think of yourself as a compiler that converts ideas into code.

Trouble spots occur when your converted code doesn't match your original idea:
- Perhaps your code doesn't perform well enough to produce the desired result.
- Perhaps your idea is simple in your mind, but actually depends on a LOT of details that also need to be implemented.

Unfortunately, trouble spots typically cannot be seen until you actually start implementing them. Most programmers only recognize trouble spots because they have personally encountered them already. The only real advantage to identifying trouble spots is that it allows you to plan future projects with a better idea of what's easy and what's difficult.

#5 Pointer2APointer   Members   -  Reputation: 283

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

The thing about programming is that there will always be trouble spots for every programmer, best or worst, top or bottom of the list.

If you haven't already made a "falling blocks" kind of game, which is like Tetris(without explicitly referring to it), you should proceed on there.

Platformer games give MUCH more experience that would be applicable to the kind of game you want to make, because they incorporate the more advanced work of professional games(such as artificial intelligence, gravity, field and space dynamics, etc.).

So my advice to you is ... not quite. Even though completing a Breakout clone is already good achievement, and pong as well, and the fact that you can do artwork makes it even better.

But if I were in your spot I'd progress through a few more projects before tackling a game that'll probably be harder than you think ultimately.

By the time you've completed games like Tetris and Super Mario Bros., you are ready to set the stage on any game you want(well, the first big stage of the stages).

I say this because those are classics; a side-scroller featuring many important aspects of advanced game development subjects, and an arcade-style game with falling blocks.

But you're definitely well on your way to accomplishing the "any game" feat.

Though it wouldn't hurt to practice a bit either, but you would do better to really (and I mean really) study and learn the difficulty involved in a complicated RPG game (and even the simplest RPGs are still complicated to some extent) before tackling an entire project on it to leave it in the dust, and have to start over anew from a lesser position of development success hierarchy.

I think I'll make a tutorial series on how to implement the mechanics of RPG games in code(although I'm not any programming expert, I have experience in programming and design).

Edited by Pointer2APointer, 19 October 2012 - 03:14 PM.

Yes, this is red text.

#6 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2960

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

So my question is, is this enough?


You have "eager itch" !

It's like a back itch: You can satisy it now with your finger nails but no guarantee of being satisfied or you can prepare by going to grab a proper back scratch implement which is sure to do the job.

... purely your choice... If you are superman enough to take the shortcut, then go ahead!


So, when do I cross the line to start making my own games?


My opinion is when you have a broad enough foundation, competent in each major area of the target game of your dreams, then you are ready to make your own games. The sooner you rush into them, then the more the inferior coding will be in those first several original games.

I know an expert C++ and another expert C# software engineer, each leading teams - you know: lead programmers. They urge that learners progress carefully to avoid bad programming habits. Bad habits take much longer to correct than the time taken to progress in orderly fashion. This is standard for highly skilled professions.


I want to make a rogue rpg. Not a big one, just a mildly small, basic one. Then I would improve from there. Do you think that's feasible? Or maybe I should knock off some more games, get some more experience? What are your thoughts


If it is only a hobby, then do what your conscience and desire lead you to do.

If you aspire in the gaming industry, then you should search for orderly progression in your learning according to clear long term goals, making changes as needed in due time. Everything which you use in the first five to ten games will be a basis for your future programming.

Seek variety now in the learning stage while you have the freedom of choice and no deadlines! You are laying the foundation upon which much will be built in the future! Once you start building on that foundation, making changes will be possible but much more difficult such as correcting bad programming habits. Lay a good basic foudation of knowledge and understanding!

Clinton

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


#7 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:14 PM

Personally, you've made a game. So you can do your rogue RPG. The purpose of making games with increasing difficulty and/or features is to become familar with different concepts a bit at a time and localized. There's nothing stopping you from jumping all in. But there is something to be said with going down the longer road. In any case, the more experience you have, the better you become. If you take the longer path, by the time you reach the point where you want to do a RPG (no matter the type) you'll have all the tools/skills needed to do so. Plus, whatever new or different features you want will be easier to implement. Or another of looking at it is, you'll be concentrating on the more interesting parts of your game :)
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#8 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17223

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:09 PM

Firstly, congratulations on what you've achieved so far! Posted Image


Do you feel like you're ready to proceed?

There will be problems with any non-trivial program no matter how experienced you become, and there are always new things to learn, and almost always ways to improve any design.


The value in working on clones of known projects is that you can focus on programming tasks without having to worry about game design; you already know the specifics of how the game should work and what needs to be done. You can continue to choose more complex games in order to build on your knowledge, or you can move on to your own ideas and try to solve the problems that arise.


Personally I think you could still learn more from a Tetris clone or a simple platform game, but it's really your decision. You'll need to solve problems either way, and you'll continue to learn from whatever project your embark upon. Do whatever you feel is best.


Hope that's helpful! Posted Image

#9 Goran Milovanovic   Members   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:21 PM

The reason I believe I'm ready is because whenever I think about lots of these classic games, I could program them.


You might have a set of complete algorithms in your head, and that's good, but that doesn't mean that you're capable of implementing those algorithms in a real system.

The only way to prove that you can create a clone of some classic game is to actually do it -> Don't underestimate implementation details.

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