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What's the view of using an engine over writing it all yourself?


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#1 Tset_Tsyung   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

Hi all,

I'm having trouble (still - if you've read any of my other posts/questions) writing my first game.

It's using DirectX11 (very basic atmo, not even textures until I get Frank D. Luna's book) and C++. I'm aiming for a multiplayer version of the old "Gravity Force 2".

However I am not a university graduate, I'm on long-term illness benefits so can't afford all the books (£200 just for the first few...) and currently have no internet... So I'm finding it slow going at the moment to say the least.

My question is this:
I know that if I write it all myself I will get a better understanding of how the parts work together BUT I would like to know what the profeesional's opinion is of using a ready-to-go engine as opposed to writing one myself?

There are several different ones out there that have caught my eye (unity being one, gonna look into panda3d too). But if it's recommended to persevere with hard-coding it all myself then I will continue as I am going.

A second question is this:
If I put my own project on hold (it's only me coding it so I am finding it hard) where can I go to join other simple basic projects where I can continue to learn and gain experience? I wouldn't want to hold a team back from their goal but feel I need direction until I'm firmly on my feet. And I feel that working in a team is the best way to go about this.

Again I always listen to all advice!

many thanks.

Mike

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#2 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5439

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:54 AM

If I put my own project on hold (it's only me coding it so I am finding it hard) where can I go to join other simple basic projects where I can continue to learn and gain experience? I wouldn't want to hold a team back from their goal but feel I need direction until I'm firmly on my feet. And I feel that working in a team is the best way to go about this.

Always an excellent idea. Here are a few search results you can evaluate.
Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#3 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19354

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:25 AM

I know that if I write it all myself I will get a better understanding of how the parts work together BUT I would like to know what the profeesional's opinion is of using a ready-to-go engine as opposed to writing one myself?

The typical advice around here is actually that you should only write your own engine if you really want the learning experience of doing lower-level work yourself. If you want to be productive and actually finish some games, you should absolutely take advantage of existing technology. Professional developers do this all the time, and it's a huge time and cost saver.

where can I go to join other simple basic projects where I can continue to learn and gain experience?

You could take a look at the "hobbyist projects" section of our classifieds.

#4 Goran Milovanovic   Members   -  Reputation: 1104

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

If you want to be productive and actually finish some games, you should absolutely take advantage of existing technology.


Yes, but that technology doesn't have to be a full fledged "game engine", and in many cases, it's probably better for productivity (in the long term) if it's not: Many game engines have their own "theory" about how games should work, and if your ideas are novel enough to actually fit outside the "common game requirements" circle, you'll probably find yourself writing an engine within an engine.

A kind of "happy medium" would be to use libraries like SFML and Bullet, which take care of the truly difficult details, and which could be used to build a game-specific engine in a reasonable amount of time.

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#5 Tset_Tsyung   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:41 PM

Thank you very much - All of you!

This was exactly what I needed. To be honest I was starting to get a little dissillusioned.

Could I ask though, if you had a hobby team together would you take a n00b on? What would you like to see in someone asking to join your team?




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