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What kind of game should I make first?


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#1 BitMan   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:38 PM

Hello! I was just wondering what kind of game I should make for my first one. I have started other projects but they were a bit ambitious and I just dropped them. 



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#2 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1389

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:50 PM

One that you will finish. 

 

I usually start basic with my ideas, and then before I am done I have turned it into an idea only a large company could complete in my lifetime. So, I don't have anything finished (lots of dropped stuff). 

 

Yeah, make a game you will finish (fun or not).


They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#3 DeafTV   Members   -  Reputation: 1166

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 10:10 PM

Here is an article that goes through the beginning steps in game development.  In it there is a list of some basic games to work from and what skills each game works a lot with.  I  also agree with Tutorial Doctor; make sure you see a project to completion.


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#4 Kryzon   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 2480

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:47 PM

You don't need to do a fully featured game if you don't think you're ready.
A single-level, very polished prototype of a game will be an enriching experience, with the added benefit of it taking less time - but not less talent - to be produced.

Edited by Kryzon, 15 January 2014 - 11:48 PM.


#5 RedactedProfile   Members   -  Reputation: 169

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:16 AM

Pong. 

 

Then a Shmup.

 

Then a NES Zelda or Pokemon Red/Blue attempt (2D tile engine practice, dont need nothing complicated, just get a tile system going, and a character moving on screen that cant go through obstacles)

 

Then whatever you want! The power. Is yours!


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#6 BHXSpecter   Members   -  Reputation: 1113

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:10 AM

I agree with Tutorial Doctor and DeafTv on their recommendations. I don't agree with DJDarkViper though because I feel Pong, Shmup, NES Zelda, whatever leave too many holes to go back and learn. I think the list in the article is the best stepping stone list you could have. At the end of the list you can do more 2D games or decide to attempt 3D. I would still read the article, but here is the list if you haven't had time to go to the article just yet.

 

  • Pong = Simple: input, physics, collision detection, sound; scoring
  • Worm = Placement of random powerups, handling of screen boundaries, worm data structure
  • Breakout = Lessons of pong, powerups, maps (brick arrangements)
  • Missile Command = targeting; simple enemy ai, movement, and sound
  • Space Invaders = simple movement for player and enemy, very similar to breakout with the exception that the enemy constantly moves downward, simple sound
  • Asteroids = asteroids (enemies) and player can move in all directions, asteroids appear and move randomly, simple sound
  • Tetris = block design, clearing the lines, scoring, simple animation
  • Pac Man = simple animation, input, collision detection, maps (level design), ai
  • Ikari Warriors = top down view, enemy ai, powerups, scoring, collision detection, maps (level design), input, sound, boss ai
  • Super Mario Bros = lessons of Ikari Warriors (except with side-view instead of top-down view), acceleration, jumping, platforms

"Through vengence I was born.Through war I was trained.Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose."


#7 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1828

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:51 PM

To go a different direction. a 1 player Blackjack game is a pretty reasonable first project even before pong. You have some pretty simple rules to follow, no moving stuff to contend with, works reasonably either with graphics or text only.



#8 BitMan   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for the great advice!!!



#9 Godmil   Members   -  Reputation: 738

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:33 PM

This is also a good article: http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2013/08/01/Just-starting-out-what-games-should-I-make.aspx



#10 RedactedProfile   Members   -  Reputation: 169

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

I don't agree with DJDarkViper though because I feel Pong, Shmup, NES Zelda, whatever leave too many holes to go back and learn. 

 

That's the progression I and a great deal of my colleagues went, and we're fine lol to each their own for sure, but the point is to get a fundamental concept of how to make games. 

 

Pong will get you used to basic game architecture and the game loop, input, simple physics, and basic AI. With minimial graphic requirements and the potential for growth (do fun stuff with it) and simplistic requirements from the programming side, its a great place to start, and not have to worry about a scary engine of any sort.

 

A Shmup is, just to me the next step. Knowing now how to create assets to a screen, input controls, collision, and AI, from here you use graphic assets, hardware acceleration, bullet factories (shooting), sound loading and output, and scene management (levels). This still doesnt NEED an "engine" and can be done pretty much straight, which is why its a simple project to approach (and why many articles and tutorials use a Shmup as a starting point, not even pong where I come from)

 

And finally the NES like Zelda or Pokemon thinger, is to get used to the concept of creating your own little game engine to handle a tile renderer and move around with colission detection, NPC's, map loader, and sprite animation

 

 

From there, youll have enough experience to envision and do whatever you please on a 2D landscape, as youve grasped the basic foundation of just about every component of a game. 

 

From there? 3D, why not? maybe more 2D? Sure, why not. Sky is the limit!


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#11 BHXSpecter   Members   -  Reputation: 1113

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:28 PM

So make pong, shmup, zelda and you are ready for 2D/3D games. That kind of generalization really concerns me when I see it because it isn't that easy.

 

kseh, I can agree that doing Blackjack before pong and then recommending the rest of the list would be a good experience and skill building list.


"Through vengence I was born.Through war I was trained.Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose."


#12 RedactedProfile   Members   -  Reputation: 169

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:14 AM

So make pong, shmup, zelda and you are ready for 2D/3D games. That kind of generalization really concerns me when I see it because it isn't that easy.

 

kseh, I can agree that doing Blackjack before pong and then recommending the rest of the list would be a good experience and skill building list.

 

So ill just go ahead and tell Nintendo that the guys who made Zelda, arent ready for 2D Game Development. Clearly Zelda is a weak example of a 2D game here.. Ill also get on the phone just about every company that got their grass roots in Shmups and also inform them too that those Shmups? Totally not games. Oh but Asteroids, now THAT is how you become a 2D Game Developer. 

 

 

 

So make pong, shmup, zelda and you are ready for 2D/3D games. 

 

Yeah. I think if you can pull of Zelda, you can be ready; because Zelda encompasses pretty much everything a standard action based 2D game needs, with the exception of sidescrollers gravity, which can be learned at any time. 

 

The weird thing here, is that were preaching the exact same thing, the only difference is my list is like 1/4th of yours, and still covers 99% of the same topics. 

I don't necessarily believe that you have to make specific examples of a tonn of very specific games (except for Pong) in order to progress and only by the end of it all can you call yourself a confident 2D Game Developer who 'might attempt at 3D'. You can naturally progress to another relevant style and still feel comfortable learning new things, and I presented my case above for each 'project'. I purposely kept each project vague, as it really doesnt matter what it looks like or resembles, the project by its core components is going to be the same anyways.

The only thing missing in my little list was a sidescroller, but thats not 'Required' to be a 2D developer anymore than a Zelda clone is. Hell replace my 'Zelda / Pokemon' example with Mario, it makes almost NO difference, your still learning about tiles, movement, sprite animation, entities, events and triggers, map building, and in a sidescrollers case: gravity

 

Your concern over this concerns me man, because no ones "generalizing" between you or I here. I wrote the after all that specifically:

 

 

From there, youll have enough experience to envision and do whatever you please on a 2D landscape, as youve grasped the basic foundation of just about every component of a game

 

From there? 3D, why not? maybe more 2D? Sure, why not. Sky is the limit!

 

I didn't say "when done zelda make 3d games now rofl" nor did I say by the end of my list your a master game developer. I just said Sky's the limit, and by that point, yeah 3D game development isn't unattainable. 3D should not be looked upon as this "scary" thing or something that's put on a pedestal. Its an additional axis for sure and the tools change for content creation and integration, and you may have to learn some 3D math in the long run, but to get up and running doesnt require much more than 2D development.  Im generalizing here, but You still needed to load those sprite maps, parse those sprite maps, manage frames and states from that sprite map, and then place that sprite someone in 2D space. In 3D land (and im still generalizing here), you need to load the model file, parse the model file to generalise it, use those instructions to go through in reconstructing the model vert by vert, face by face, load in textures, load in animation states, place model somewhere in 3D space.  Its entirely different in execution, but its fundamentally extremely similar in approach (and in some cases, complexity). 

 

But yeah, sorry, but it can be "that easy", not before, but definitely now. Considering to make a basic 3D game engine these days, you can literally just shoestring together a bunch of free libs and tools that do all the hard stuff for you. I put together a custom game engine for a project im working on, it uses nothing but 3rd party libraries haha Ogre for Rendering, OpenAL for audio, AngelScript for scripting, etc etc. I spent the majority of my time here tinkering with compiler settings :P Once that was good to go, I call a single function to load entire models complete with materials and textures, skeletons and animations. After a couple minutes, BaddabingBaddaboom im walking around.  And especially with tools like Unity? 3D game development has NEVER been more approachable by complete noobs who can churn out some pretty decent products.

 

But No ones going to argue against the more experience the better, if someone wants to approach that list with a fine tooth comb, then all the power to them, thats cool too, and totally respectable.  But its hard for me to argue that the approach I laid out doesn't also work because I know a great deal of people who are living examples of it. 

 

 

 

What im getting at is, bro, I love you, I don't want us to break up after all we've been through together. It no longer is like the old days where we all had to cut our teeth progressively. Today's 10yo can mod Minecraft and cram unofficial functioning content in there via hacking. Hell a great deal of Devs seem to get their start in 3D and maybe eventually fight their way to 2D these days

There's no wrong way, to eat a Reese is ultimately what im roundaboutly trying to get at here. as long as the concepts are learned, really, what does it matter how that knowledge came to be? 


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#13 Lactose!   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 2436

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:26 AM

I think what BHXSpecter is trying to say it that for some people, Pong --> shmup --> Zelda might be a too steep learning curve. Being able to create a Pong clone does not automatically mean you are able to create a shmup-style game on your next attempt -- which might leave you demotivated or what have you.

 

For those people, who might be struggling more with fully understanding and learning new concepts, a more gradual progression (e.g. the one mentioned by BHXSpecter, or something else) might be more fitting.



#14 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1389

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

If the technical side of games (art, programming etc) didn't take so long, then we could actually focus on making a game (as in what a game actually is).

You come up with the game objective and rules, and a victory condition etc.

That is the basics of making a game. Don't think in terms of computer generated games, think in terms of a game that you will use a computer to create.

Recently I thought of an idea to merge tabletop and a computer game into one game. Say each person had a deck of cards on their smart device, and a real dice on the table. A real game board on the table also. The smart device "aids" in the game, but the full game is not in it.

Even a card game would be a nice start, or taking you cues from some tabletop games. Seems the would be easier accept if you want a computer AI system.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#15 RedactedProfile   Members   -  Reputation: 169

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

I actually came back to apologize for my message, I wasn't in a great place of mind last night so Im extremely sorry if I was a little harsh and or irrational. I, oddly, took it as a personal attack for some reason. 

 

 

CoreLactose, I totally understand that's what he was trying to get at for sure, and I do agree. I come from a school of hard knox (so to speak) where I've only had Self-Taught and On-The-Job experience, and for me and my colleagues we were taught this way. It is pretty Boom Boom Boom, but in retrospective it didn't hurt at all. 

I remember one of the first XNA tutorials I read, outside of getting the blue background, was how to make a Shmup. One of the courses at my college taught Flash Engineering and they were firstly taught how to make a Shmup before anything else. Some went on right to 3D afterwords and did fantastic (converting their Shmup to 3D for example) some went on to Zelda clones and sidescrollers, others decided that programming just aint for them and moved on (happily) to other disciplines lol

 

 

Tutorial Doctor, actually thats an interesting thing that your post made me remember, that even though my schools didn't necessarily teach Game Design due to budget cuts, one thing that was brought up to aspiring game designers that wanted to make the next world of warcraft (it was around that time.. jeez that game is old...) they were told to stop thinking about designing computer games, and instead come up with a board game that was primarily fun. Those who "got it", got it, and were able to move on, those who snuffed off the concept and still continued to believe game design is just a collection of words and wishes, well lets just say they didn't last long haha


Edited by DJDarkViper, 17 January 2014 - 10:51 AM.

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#16 BHXSpecter   Members   -  Reputation: 1113

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:37 AM

CoreLactose, yes, that is what I meant.

A list of 3 games is too steep a learning curve and does definitely run higher risk of the person doing it losing motivation and even a risk of depression over not getting it finished. While a list of Blackjack, Pong, Worm, Breakout, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Tetris, Pac Man, Ikari Warriors, and Super Mario Bros. builds concepts slowly to what his list has, helps keep motivation, and gives them 11 accomplishments on top of the experience gained by making them.

DJDarkViper, I would never attack a person on here. I may have 19 years of programming experience, but I have learned over the years that you never stop learning and you can learn new things from almost anywhere and anyone. I may have an old way of thinking, but I battled depression starting out and that is where I come from in my recommendations. I remember how bad it was and I fear that doing a short list that covers all concepts runs more risk of depression than a long list that slowly teaches each concept.

EDIT: Fixed typos.

"Through vengence I was born.Through war I was trained.Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose."


#17 gasto   Members   -  Reputation: 257

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

Short answer:

any arcade game.


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#18 mark ds   Members   -  Reputation: 1071

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:29 PM

What sort of programming skills do you have?

 

If your learning programming at the same time as making a game, try something really basic, that you can recode over and over as you learn new thing - like a simple text adventure game with a really simple GUI.






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