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Member Since 14 Nov 2007
Offline Last Active Feb 04 2014 10:11 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: An effective way to manage states?

29 January 2014 - 01:51 PM

For the levels themselves one option would be to create a class Level. And make different instances of that class for each level. This class could then keep track of all the information you want. So in a circumstances that you were to leave and then return to an area the information would still have been saved.

As to how you organize keeping track of the different Level Instances that is up to you and the game you are making. If the areas represent sections of a map, a 2d array would allow you to access each Instance by its position on the grid. If the areas represent separate levels entirely than a simple array would do. If you know before hand how many areas there are then creating and naming each one on initializing the game might be preferable.

I guess we just need more information about your game to give you more advice. But yes I agree with the above, definitely keep menu states and levels separate. You will avoid a lot of headache if you do, trust me.

Hope this helped.

In Topic: Checking list for class instance

06 March 2012 - 06:40 PM

Thank you, that is a bit more complicated than I would have liked but I'm not really surprised about that.

In Topic: How do YOU do it?

28 February 2012 - 04:50 PM

Wow, all great responses thank you.

Let me quickly explain how I usually get about designing and making a game for comparison's sake:

-Where the original idea comes from can vary massively but usually it comes from *wanting* to play a certain game, where you do a certain something and not finding that satisfied in any existing game.

-Sometimes it also comes from seeing a few different features in unrelated games and thinking that these features would be really cool working together in the same game.

-At this point I grab my notebook (I prefer writing when I'm just sketching ideas as opposed to typing) and start considering the facets of the game I want to make. I consider what the beginning reason is for making it, what might make it fun, challenging and unique. I start sketching out possible features though usually at this point I'm just writing out what I want to be in the game not how to do it.

-Once I have a decent idea of how the game would look, feel, function etc, I go on google docs and start typing out a more in depth design document. I look at the literal goal of the game, what the player is told to try and achieve, I look at each major feature and plan out how these function and how they relate to one another.

-Then I let it sit there for about a week. On purpose.

-One week later, about, I come back to it and reread it, revise it and polish it (and add to it, usually)

-After that it usually goes to programming, if I've found the motivation.

-I work on the project for sometimes a week, sometimes a few months. Hitting snags along the way and gradually overcoming them (which is probably the part I like the best actually).

-Then at some point I look at what I've done. Show it to a friend or a family member. I find that: for all the time I spent on it there is hardly anything to show because its mostly "under the hood stuff" or they just don't understand what I'm trying to make and so don't like it.

That's usually the point where my productivity starts to tapper off.

Now the problems that occur, I mostly know why they're there and how to get around them. It comes from a combination of classes, or jobs getting in the way. And showing an unfinished product before it should be shown. I also know I have a really hard time making people understand what I am trying to make, something I REALLY need to deal with before I properly head into the industry.

I've also found that one thing that usually makes me lose interest/heart is that after a few weeks of programming the project doesn't LOOK any good. Filled with glitchy graphics and poor art (my own), usually no music or sound effects and no actual gameplay as I was too busy setting up the fundementals and game mechanics to worry about turning them into a game.

Recently I made a small "visual poem" which approached designing from the other side, I started with the art, sounds and music, made the product look good before I started working on the gameplay. I am actually fairly happy with the result, the game is pretty, sounds nice, and didn't take long (about 3 days). Having said that, its not a game, there isn't anything to do in it. And everyone I showed it to has told me that they don't see the point. My hopeless whinning that "there IS no point" doesn't seem to make things any better. Tsk can't they see the greatness of the vision of the artist :) .

Anyway, long story short I thought that making 'quick' games would help me: streamline my design process, get it done before stuff gets in the way, help me work on getting a project presentable quickly. Not to mention that it would give me more stuff to put in a portfolio or on a website (that I am planing to put up eventually). That's the part where I realized that I couldn't come up with a single 'small' idea.

Where was I heading with this?

I do like the snags in projects. In fact its the part I enjoy the most and as soon as it turns into 'making the game world' or anything which I consider repetatitive then I lose interest.

I do have a sort of deadline: I want to put up a website with some games before I head off to college next year. I was supposed to go this year but we missed the deadline :P .

On the point about having a challenge set for you as in the cooking competition, that is what I'm hoping gamejams will provide, some 'theme' to work with and a very limited time. But as I have to wait around until one starts up I'd prefer do something until then. As for coming up with my own 'themes' and challenges that doesn't seem to work for me. It doesn't work if I came up with it.

And I hate remaking game someone else has made. I don't know, its a psychological thing. I feel like I'm wasting my time even more than if I was just sitting on my hands, so to speak. I do plenty of research on other designers' work by strudying games I play (hard to convince people you are really working and not playing but whatever). Remaking them though, sorry can't do that.

And @Acharis: I'm not sure I agree with you. It is entirely possible to design I game that takes you all of 2 days to make. Just look at free online flash games and things like that. I'm not worried about how long the design takes me, that, I never lose interest in (if the idea works). I'm talking about the programming part. Which is why I was asking if people had 'tricks' to coming up with a way to design small... In hind sight I'm realizing that the question is ridiculously vague. But hey! I'm getting plenty of great tips anyhow.

In Topic: How do YOU do it?

27 February 2012 - 03:54 PM

Hmm...I see your point. Thanks for the advice. I have been noticing that the more I program the easier it becomes and the more resources I can draw on, so that I can copy paste large portions of code with very little tweaking to get it working.

Not sure if it answers my problem about designing a small game though. I very much appreciate the advice about the programing side of it, any tips on the design side?

In Topic: How do YOU do it?

27 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

I've looked into gamejams. The Ludum Dare and its MiniLDs sound particularly nice but I'm not sure it would actually help me design the game to be small. Rather I'd probably just wouldn't be able to finish.