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Looking for some advice...


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#1 donnysobonny   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

Hey guys,

 

Apologies for asking a question which has probably been asked many times, which is ultimately going to be on how I get started in game development. However I want to add some detail to my question, as I have been spending the past few days trying to answer this question and am struggling to find where to go, with my current experience in programming and apis.

 

So, ultimately my questions is, what steps should I take to achieve the following:

 

I want to have the knowledge to:

 

- Design models, characters and levels in 3D

- Work with graphics, physics and audio (i'd prefer to use a library for this)

- The ability to implement the environment on pc, linux and mac

- Write all of the scripting manually (without relying on a program interface such as blender)

 

My current knowledge extends into:

 

- Almost 10 years now in web development, mostly using php and mysql. Front end languages: html, css and JavaScript

- Some minor experience using Lua, this was done using the shell mod created for Minecraft, named ComputerCraft, which allowed you to manipulate lua within the game, creating scripts within the game.

 

I have so far looked at a few different engines, such as blender, darkBasic and the unreal dev kit. I like the look of these, mainly because they allow you to use a 3d modelling/animation program to create your models and animations for the models, and most importantly they allow you to control the events and scripting yourself, with their embedded languages

 

At this point it would seem that i've probably answered my own question, so please allow me to ellaborate.

 

At the moment, I am a full time web developer. I massively enjoy computer science and technology, and have enjoyed creating interactive and dynamic web interfaces for many years. I have been meaning to take this interest into a more creative world for some time, particularly in gaming, as I am a keen gamer in my free time, and like most enthusiats, have some game ideas of my own.

 

I really don't want to make the wrong choices here in what direction I take. For example, I understand that even if I go down the route of working with a game engine with included physics/graphics and audio libraries, I will need to learn the language which they embed within their engine, as well as the api libraries. However, I don't want to waste my time trying to learn a language which is massively different to what I know already, when there may be something out there which is relatively similar to what I know already.

 

I guess that everything here boils down to this: Is there an engine which uses a language which is similar to php and is relatively friendly to a new devloper/hobbyist?

 

This has kind of turned out to be a rather large post, for that I apologise!

 

Many many thanks in advance for any responses.

 

 



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#2 C0lumbo   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2345

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

I'd recommend you take a look a Unity and see if you like the look of it. It lets you use Javascript, C# or Boo, so you could use Javascript which would be familiar to you, or take the opportunity to learn C# and get experience in a language which is becoming ever increasingly relevant for games programming.



#3 donnysobonny   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

Wow, that is incredible, unity can be scripted with javascript? I will definitely take a look at that, thanks very much for pointing that out.

 

See, I actually do have enough interest in this type of thing to learn a language like C# and do everything from scratch. Really though, I just don't know enough about the whole framework of a game engine environment to weigh up whether learning C#, the required knowledge for gfx, sound and input then doing everything from scratch would be a better idea than learning to use and engine and it's libraries.

I would hugely appreciate your response on this matter. Would I be better off learning C# and doing it all from scratch? If so, could you recommend any study material, and what other knowledge I would need to gain in order to achieve this?

 

Again, many thanks for any responses.



#4 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3159

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

Hi, Making a really nice game engine would take years by itself if you are working alone to make it from the beginning. Toss that idea unless you have at least full time hours to devote to it for the next several years. Add the game coding to it and you are looking at thousands of hours working in the code with the game engine and the game scripting. Blender actually allows you to make your own script from scratch for a game. You would learn where the game engine code is in there and start on top of it. Notice that you would have to share your coding according to the license if you are going to change anything about the Blender code and publish a Blender game or distribute any changed Blender code. Unity would be my top recommendation to you. Also look at Pygame and GameMaker. Here is a list of some of the game engines out there and some 3D render engines in the list, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines


Edited by 3Ddreamer, 23 January 2013 - 09:29 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


#5 C0lumbo   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2345

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:07 AM

Wow, that is incredible, unity can be scripted with javascript? I will definitely take a look at that, thanks very much for pointing that out.

 

See, I actually do have enough interest in this type of thing to learn a language like C# and do everything from scratch. Really though, I just don't know enough about the whole framework of a game engine environment to weigh up whether learning C#, the required knowledge for gfx, sound and input then doing everything from scratch would be a better idea than learning to use and engine and it's libraries.

I would hugely appreciate your response on this matter. Would I be better off learning C# and doing it all from scratch? If so, could you recommend any study material, and what other knowledge I would need to gain in order to achieve this?

 

Again, many thanks for any responses.

 

I think a lot of it depends on what your focus is. I'd recommend you only try to write an engine from scratch if you're doing this purely for the learning experience - it'll take you so long that you won't finish a game for a very long time (if ever), and the game will probably be lower quality than if you went with existing tech. You will learn lots though.

 

If your long term goal is to get a job in the 'mainstream' games industry, then you might be best learning c++. You could look at using engines like UDK or Torque and building a game in c++ using their tech.

 

If your plan is to focus on making games as fast as possible then it sounds like Javascript+Unity is going to be best for you seeing as you won't have to learn a new language.

 

Unity+C-Sharp is a good middle ground. By learning that language you'll be picking up a skill which will let you write games for almost all platforms (most platforms have either a Unity port or some system that allows C-Sharp code to run). Plus it's a language that's common enough in the 'real world' that it might help your career even if you don't switch to games.

 

Could you go into more detail about what you're trying to get out of your foray into games? New career, new hobby, want to be an indie, money making scheme, some combination?



#6 donnysobonny   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for the responses guys, lots of great advice here!

I spent most of yesterday playing with Unity, and am still amazed that they've incorporated js as a scripting engine.

 

@3Ddreamer

Blender was actually one of the first engines I tried. I spent almost a week with it, trying to decide whether or not to progress into Python (their main scripting language). After looking at their library though, I was massively disapointed to learn that not all of the features of the engine can be accessed through apis, meaning that in some cases you would neet to use the logic interface. I'm sure you would agree that keeping all of the scripting in one place will keep things much neater and easier to maintain. This makes Unity seem like a much more attractive option to me. Thanks for the suggestions though!

 

@C0lumbo

"Could you go into more detail about what you're trying to get out of
your foray into games? New career, new hobby, want to be an indie, money
making scheme, some combination?"

 

In all honesty, I would absolutely love to make this a career. However after working in such a saturated market (web development), and seeing how hard it can be to maintain a stable income, I honestly fear to dive into game development full-time. If I had the budget to cover the years of training it would take, then i'd do it in an instant! So, I think after reading the advice I've been given, and experiencing what is possible with engines like Unity, this will be my best bet to test the water.

 

Who knows? Maybe a game I make in Unity will take off, and i'll be able to afford to expand into the C++ teritory!

 

I 100% agree with your suggestion that Unity + C# would be a good middle ground. I love the idea that after I become comfortable with how everything works with Unity and Js, I can start to pick up a more mainstream language, and use it in an engine I am already familiar with. For now this is 100% my intention.

 

Again, thanks so much for the advice guys. It's really given me some clarity on how to practically get into game development!

 






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