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Learned game programming for 3 years, don't know how to program games.


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#1 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:38 AM

This is a third edit of this post.
 
So thanks everyone for being supportive. I now realized that my problem wasn't programming at all. It was that I couldn't see my finished game in my mind, and this made it really hard to start making a game. I couldn't start programming it because I didn't really know WHAT should I program. But now, I will first try to put my vision of the game on paper, make detailed description of what every part of game should contain, and only after that, I will start the actual programming.
 
Special thanks to user "latch", for being supportive and helping person :)
 

Edited by Edvinas Kilbauskas, 01 October 2013 - 06:21 AM.

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh

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#2 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:23 AM

For me you doing fairly well. Three years is not long.

 

How to make terribly good looking and playable game is hard question, 



#3 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4329

Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:06 AM

So, you say you got the skills right? Then do something more complex and much more different. A top down rogue-like, something like Realm of the Mad God. Then add whatever you think you can do and could make things more interesting, story, character customization, etc.

 

Not everything you make has to be unique and alone in the world, you do can (and its probably a very enlightening experience) to grab any game that you like and try to come up with something that you'd like even more.

 

Started the rogue-like, now you're halfway and you're bored and think the code is a mess? Maybe its too big, start anew, with something smaller. You're gauging what you can do alone, what you know already, if you can effectively use it, and what else you can learn. You already finished a game and published it, that's quite the milestone there!

 
That's where you can draw inspiration from, and once you can at least tap on what you can really do, then things will start flowing. That's my opinion.

Edited by TheChubu, 22 September 2013 - 05:13 AM.

"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator


#4 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 519

Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:10 AM

First,  Profannity does not help, So drop that Sh@# !

 

Maybe You should try a simpler language or try just using text until you get the hang of things.  Focus on the instructions of something simple and build from there.

 

You already have a simple guessing game.  So you can get user input and do Comparisons ( If A = B then "Correct" else "Guess Again")  Try something Simple, with a small amount of rules.  Just basic rules, No graphics, keep score and Build on that game by increasing the rules until  you get a workable game.

 

Based upon your above writing, you are probably pulling your hair out, ( If there is any left ) trying to think of something.

 

How about American style BaseBall.  Pitch the ball, swing or not.  Hit or Miss,  Out or On Base , Single, Double, Triple Or Home Run.  Make it 3,6 or 9 innings.

 

Try That.


Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#5 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:58 AM

First,  Profannity does not help, So drop that Sh@# !

 

Maybe You should try a simpler language or try just using text until you get the hang of things.  Focus on the instructions of something simple and build from there.

 

You already have a simple guessing game.  So you can get user input and do Comparisons ( If A = B then "Correct" else "Guess Again")  Try something Simple, with a small amount of rules.  Just basic rules, No graphics, keep score and Build on that game by increasing the rules until  you get a workable game.

 

Based upon your above writing, you are probably pulling your hair out, ( If there is any left ) trying to think of something.

 

How about American style BaseBall.  Pitch the ball, swing or not.  Hit or Miss,  Out or On Base , Single, Double, Triple Or Home Run.  Make it 3,6 or 9 innings.

 

Try That.

Thank you for the advice, I will try to swear less.

 

I'm not pulling my hair out, and you didn't read my post till the end. As I said, I already made 2D OpenGL game for android. And now I'm ever writing my own kernel and bootloader for my x86 PC. So programming is not the problem.

And I completely understand why you didn't read it till the end. Heck, even I didn't read it second time to check for errors. It's too long. I'm going to edit the post, to cut to the chase.

The thing is, that I don't have an idea about game design. And my question was, maybe someone know some good books, or websites that could teach me game design, level design and all that stuff. 

Thanks in advance


“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh

#6 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:02 AM

Thanks, TheChubu.

You already finished a game and published it, that's quite the milestone there!

I guess you are right. That is quite the achievement. 


“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9859

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:35 AM

I don't see a Game Design discussion here - moving to The Lounge.


-- 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.

#8 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 519

Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:47 AM

Well, in your original post you did say, and I am paraphrasing,  Skip to the end which started with -----------------

 

So, maybe I am not understanding........ What about Game Design is it that you do not Know?  Is the Problem that you do not know how to make your own game ?  A game that know one else has ever done ?  Or that you can not translate it to the computer ?


Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#9 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2102

Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:36 AM


I don't know what is the problem.

 

i do.

 

your problem is you're a coder first, and a gamer second.

 

to be a good game developer, you need to be a gamer first, and everything else second.

 

You're developing skills and code assets, but with no inspiring target in mind. 

 

You should be able to envision the finished game in your mind before you even turn on the PC. that vision is what should make you want to build games, not because its a cool job / fun hobby.

 

That inspiring vision is what should drive development. What kind of game to make, what kind of engine to use or build,  what tools and skills to learn, what code to write.

 

Without that, you're directionless.  And without that, you never get away from the technical means of making games (building level editors) and actually start BUILDING games (using them to make that cool game).

 

You need to put the game first, and development second. Sounds like you've developed the skills to make games. now you need to learn how to design cool games. Unfortunately, that's more of an art type talent (like writing) than a technical skill (like coding). If you find you simply have no gifts in that area, then you'd probably be best off teaming up with others to help develop their visions. OTOH, to a certain degree, game design can be learned like anything else.  I was a hard core wargame and RPG player for a decade before i even started programming. Those experiences helped a lot when it came time to design my own games.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#10 Ludus   Members   -  Reputation: 970

Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:47 AM

Take inspiration from games you enjoy. Try to understand exactly what makes you enjoy those games - analyze them and break them apart into their basic components. After that, see which of these components would fit well into your game. And most importantly of all, prototype these ideas to really see if they work.

 

Unfortunately there are few resources on this topic that go into such details as level design, obstacles, player movement, etc. The best thing you can do is analyze other games and see how the developers did such things.



#11 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1852

Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:00 PM


More accurately, how do I design them?

 

Sit down a play a game you like, look at it, ask your self this: How is this level I played designed, what makes it fun. Do this again and again with many games. Also do this for GUI design as well. Do this for features and functions as well etc. etc.

 


I don't have any assets, and without them I won't go too far either.

 

Well don't worry about that. Her you go: http://opengameart.org/ read the different licenses well though :)

 

Oh and no matter what people tell you then you are awesome, because you already made a game.


"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#12 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2095

Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:41 AM

Game design is not coding.  What you have done in this past 3 years is learning how to code, not how to design games.  You have not been doing things wrong.  Now that you have learned how to code, maybe now you should start reading about game design -- what makes a game a good game.



#13 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 835

Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:22 AM

There are many approaches to the actual game development phase, some which can simply be made up, which I'll explain.  You could probably find a step by step process on the internet somewhere, but a sense of discovery is more powerful than a sense of being right.

 

I prefer making things up as I go along; there are endless new ways of attacking a problem by simply making up the answer, as long as it works. This is a steady and fun track because it leads to discovering things I never forget.

 

Technically I keep a goal, a to do list that won't be complete until my game reaches a complexity that overwhelms me, and a task at hand I can focus on; this is as much of a process as I need to stay organized. I keep as many backups of actual work as necessary to feel security and keep a history of accomplishment in case I fell nostalgic.

 

The most common recommendation found here on gamedev, random articles, and pumping the search engine with random phrases about game programmer[ing]s is someone spent their time cloning old games, they think you should do the same because it is proven to work.

 

As always you're stuck making up your own mind unless you can find sombody who tells you what to do. If you like that sort of thing.


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#14 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:45 AM

can focus on; this is as much of a process as I need to stay organized. I keep as many backups of actual work as necessary to feel security and keep a history of accomplishment in case I fell nostalgic.

 

 

This "history of accomplishment" is a very good point, i usually 

throw out some of my old zips - and indeed this is some loss

 

(the rest of this answer i mostly did not understood, what for example is "making up answer" ?



#15 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 835

Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:09 AM

@fir

 

Sorry, it'd take too long to explain everything. The concept I have of making up an answer would be when the answer that I arrive at is either self evident, derived from numerous references at one time, something instinct, or completely fictional - until it is proven valid. The opposite of making up an answer would be asking for help or basing my findings on someone else's work or something in nature without contributing to it (e.g. if opium manufacturers pulled weeds out of the ground and sold weeds, or if bottled water companies sold you water without testing its purity, they aren't contributing to the solution, it already was there).


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#16 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:33 AM

The most common recommendation found here on gamedev, random articles, and pumping the search engine with random phrases about game programmer[ing]s is someone spent their time cloning old games, they think you should do the same because it is proven to work.

 

Thanks. This is EXACTLY what I'm going to do. I'm starting to make a very precise clone of Super Mario Bros. I already made first map, collision system works nice. Now i'm going to add destructible bricks, enemies. I hope everything goes alright. As of now, I'm having much more fun than I had thinking of my own game. And I really see myself doing more stuff like this. I maybe even turn this project into retro games mash-up, by combining many retro games into one title. I'm really looking forward to this, and I hope everything will go smoothly.

 

Everyone else, thank you for you advices, some of them are really quite good. 


“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh

#17 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:09 AM

@fir

 

Sorry, it'd take too long to explain everything. The concept I have of making up an answer would be when the answer that I arrive at is either self evident, derived from numerous references at one time, something instinct, or completely fictional - until it is proven valid. The opposite of making up an answer would be asking for help or basing my findings on someone else's work or something in nature without contributing to it (e.g. if opium manufacturers pulled weeds out of the ground and sold weeds, or if bottled water companies sold you water without testing its purity, they aren't contributing to the solution, it already was there).

 

Still I am not sure If i do understand (maybe its because weak english) - you recommend to try to find an answer alone, instead

of searching about it in google or books? 

Recently I have the opposite attitude I am searching the net 

for avaliable answers and solutions not trying to make my own.



#18 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 835

Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:02 PM

@fir

 

As long as you are scientific about it, then I'd approve.


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#19 creatures-of-gaia.com   Members   -  Reputation: 377

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

I got exactly the same issues, and additionally I would add motivation slump on the top. I know how you feel.

 

I even pushed a bit further this crazyness: I made a very complex, really beautiful, and utterly boring game:

http://www.creatures-of-gaia.com

It was for a contest, so I tried to polish everything: I hired an artist, got some decent music, it was multiplayer and all that fluff ...it was everything except fun. And this fun factor really isn't easy. We all think our "ubber game idea" will be great and loads of fun, but when you actually play it, it can easely feel dull.

 

What do I want to say with this?

Being able to code a game, and being able to make it fun, are two completely different matters.

 

After that failure (which costed me money and I didn't earn a single dime), I needed a change of mind since I was down. I decided to make a damn simple game: a space shooter. Nothing easier right? Well, technically not, but again "content wise" it's a bit more tricky. I had to decide what were the enemy ships properties, where and when they appear... And somehow, all this arbitrary stuff collided with my analytical mind. Should I make the ships move faster? Or slower? Or more/fewer of them? And what should be the next wave? ...as silly as it sounds, I wasn't prepared to find difficulty in this. I'm also a bit perfectionist so I think it makes things tougher. In the end, I made a random generator making random looking ships with random properties appearing in random waves. It's nice and all, playable, but again quickly dull and repetitive. Here it is:

http://sss-demo.site11.com/

 

In other words, I have no recipy on how to make a game interesting, entertaining and fun. I even think this "fun factor" has no recipy, it's just harder than people expect. It's putting everything in the right mix and with the right twist. What I try to do now is to experiment along with "silly stuff" and if something "appears to be fun", which then, if it is, could be polished. Kind of a trial error process with tweaking on the fly and asking people what they think of it.

Good luck with it!



#20 _greyfox()   Members   -  Reputation: 1133

Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:10 AM

Being able to code a game, and being able to make it fun, are two completely different matters.

 

Exactly. And I come to realization the hard way.

 

Thanks for everything.


“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.”― Nigel Marsh




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