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The Start Line


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#1 RobertDick   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 February 2000 - 03:49 AM

Is it just me or does every programmer who has had this long desire to write a game, hit a brick wall at the very start. Not becuase of the Idea, but because of the overwhelming amount of information you must have to write anything near a functional game. The problem i have at this particular moment in time is that i have had several ideas for games, actually 6 or 7 over the past two years, but every time i try and think deeper about the concepts of the idea, or the general symantics, it never fails that a release is made weeks, or a couple of months after i had the idea, the last straw was last night, for the past couple of months i have been playing around with this idea of incorporating the Wild West into a 3d adventure..... of which i found only last night that some large developer is releasing a game on a very similar idea. Is it fate telling me to get my finger out my ass or what? Anyhow, i hope to raise an area for discussion regarding the efforts required to even getting a demo up and running, involving.. programming, graphics, ai, sound.. i mean you need a whole team just to try something out.

Sponsor:

#2 ghowland   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 03 February 2000 - 04:40 AM

Always search the net for your ideas first, especially if you saw a movie similar to your idea come out recently (aka, Wild Wild West which SouthPeak is doing).

Computer Games are definitely not something you just sit down after having an idea and do out in some after hours, they are complex and take a lot of previous knowledge to be able to pull off. That is normally the first stopping point for people, as its an enormous task just learning the basics, and a lot of people get stuck on learning more and more basics without ever going back to do the games (technology addiction...)

-Geoff


#3 Woop   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 February 2000 - 05:13 AM

I wouldn''t worry I am sure that is something we have all experienced. At the moment I am working on a game, and it is something I have thought about for the last year or so.

As soon as you get into it you realise how complex it is and how much there is to do.

At the moment I have decided to break off a small portion of it, and concentrate on that. I figure if I can get happy with that piece it will be a good springboard to go on from.

The other thing I might recommend is joining forces with others. It will be easier to develop a finished product, should take less time, and will no doubt help keep you motivated and moving.

Woop

#4 kressilac   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 03 February 2000 - 06:50 AM

The best thing I ever did was put together a business plan. The business plan made me think about the product, its marketing and all the other factors that go into a game. From the product section I have been able to then go in to creating individual design documents for the many subsystems of the program. Following a similar top-down design view in your project might make the overwhelming task of completing a game somewhat more managable. If you had no organization skills prior to starting the game, a game will make you get them. If you have them already, a game will test your beliefs in them. Organization is key to overcoming the complexities of the game. Documentation is a means to organization and is just as important.

Kressilac
ps I know writing a word doc is no where near as fun as coding a great routine, but in the end you will be thankful you started with documentation.

#5 dog135   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 February 2000 - 11:56 AM

I''ve never felt overwelmed. I''m expecting my current project to last a couple of years. I''m also programming to that idea. My current engine is a slug on my 200Mhz system but in a couple of years, computers will be faster. If not, I''ll just cut down on resolution, or sound or something.

You definately need a plan. You need to be able to work on one piece at a time, not all at once. Just remember when working on one piece, how it''ll be used in conjunction with the others. Written documentation helps you with that.

I''d also suggest not making a game off of a movie or fad. Big companies work fast and take any opertunity they can find to make the next big seller. In my game, I wrote the plot, all the caracters are original, even the 3D engine is unique. I''m just hoping that''ll help sell it: Uniqueness.

E:cb woof!

#6 LaughingD   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 07 February 2000 - 07:58 PM

I thought I was going to have a similar problem when I realized that a game nearing release was going to have similar gameplay to the game that I am just starting. And then I thought about how long it was going to take me to finish my game, even if I had a whole group of people working on it, and I realized that the game nearing release would have to slip two years to have an impact on what I was doing.

As for getting started, I kind of thought about a whole bunch of games that I wanted to do, and while I was working out which one I would actually do, I started programming a game framework around DirectX that I would be able to use for the majority of them. While I was working on that, I spent some of the time deciding which idea I wanted to do, and then fleshing out that idea.

The idea was that by the time I had the game design more or less fleshed out, I wouldn''t have to start from scratch on the code.

#7 RobertDick   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 07 February 2000 - 11:11 PM

Well,

I guess im not alone, kinda thought so anyway... but it is frustrating nevertheless. I have decided on the type of game im going to start, first of all the design document.

This is where im going to begin.

The idea is a simplistic arcade shoot-em-up, much like the addictive speccy or amiga games we loved so much, this is to keep my sights realistic and at the same time, create room for a little more imagination while the idea progresses.

In the mean-time all of your replies HAVE been a great help and its good to know that there is people with an open ear or two.

Thankyou!

But keep replying and i''ll keep posting, i consider this fundamental discussion to be very important for others in the games community -and- to help me like you guys have is to help others too. Good luck to all !

And with this i gift you all with a little light Humour:

An Irish (no offense) man wins 30 million in the lottery and travels to collect his winnings. On arrival, he is met by the lottery organisers who suggest.

"Due to the large amount of money you have won, we suggest that we pay out 3 million for the next 10 months......"


"The Irish man rubs his chin as he ponders, frowns and then blew in a display of utter rage and says ......."

"Bugger that inconvienence, ive never had to go through this much hassle!"

and demands his £1 stake back!


Until the next time, cheers folks!
Robert Dick





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