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shadowgamesco

Member Since 08 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 24 2012 06:41 PM

#4976580 being realistic

Posted by shadowgamesco on 04 September 2012 - 03:59 PM

If you want to make a really nice looking game in using SDL or OpenGL, then yes, even if it's just you, it is possible. The problem is, if this is your first game and you plan to make a kickass MMORPG with stunning 2D graphics, you simply aren't going to be able to do it.

You need to start out small. It's really as simple as that. 99% of game indie game developers are not going to produce a big title that generates large amounts of revenue, for their FIRST game. Even if your goal isn't to generate revenue, writing a full-scale, beautiful, stunning 2D game, MOST LIKELY won't be realistic for you if you're just starting out. I really would start small, tower defense games, pac-man clones, pong-like games, etc. are all great places to start. And you need to get more than just the basics of what you need all down before you try to develop the full-scale 2D game of your dreams.

That being said, ALL of the really nice and successful 2D games out there are successful because of great game ideas, great game physics, collision detect, etc, AND stunning art. If you are not confident in doing all of that yourself, what you're asking most likely won't happen.


#4976229 Help, teaching 12-13 year olds to code

Posted by shadowgamesco on 03 September 2012 - 05:02 PM

I thought a 6 month programming and game dev class to a few kids all in that same age group. I used Python though, since it's the language that is closest to English and is assumed the easiest language to learn. It was a pretty fun class, by the end of it each student had made there own (simple) 2D game in Python using the Pygame library. I also covered some basics of pixel art for a 8-bit art style, so that on the days they didn't feel like programming, they could work on the artwork for their game. They liked that because every bit of code and art was all theirs, so the each game was completely unique.

I spent the first 2 months teaching them Python. I found that this was the most boring part of the class to them since you weren't doing anything visual. So in attempt to make the class more fun, we made a lot of text adventures. Started off mostly with just a bunch of if/else statements, then added in some more complex stuff, and I thought them some basic OOP.

After teaching them Python for a couple months, I felt I was loosing their interest a little bit (they are 12-13 years old and typing isn't the funnest thing to them). So we steered a little bit away from programming and I thought them a lot about pixel art and game design. Which got them absolutely pumped to make their own game. They immediately started planning their games and working on the art. I was pretty clear on them being as fun and creative as they wanted, but also gave them a decent understanding of what was actually possible in the time-frame we had. We did a 'Design' phase of the class where we just planned and drew a lot of pixel art for just under a month.

We then spent the last 3 months just working on our games every class day. I only taught the class Monday-Wednesday-Friday, which is probably why they didn't get bored of doing the same thing each day. I made sure to HELP them answer any questions they had. I didn't just give them all the answers on how to do everything, but helped them teach themselves.

There was a lot of collaboration too. The first half of class was spent as a class talking about new concepts they wanted to add to their games (collision detection, tiled maps, etc), then I would teach them one or two ways to do what they wanted, explaining the 'hows' and 'whys' in ways that made sense to them. Then the second half of the class I just walked around the class room talking to each student as an individual, and helped them by answering any questions and giving them ideas on how to implement their own ideas.

There where definitely days when none of them wanted to work, so on those days I would go to YouTube and we'd find some game dev videos by other people showing off what they have done and their idea, this was great because it sort of 're-motivated' the kids and sparked some new ideas. I also showed them a lot of completely finished and polished 2D games to give them some more inspiration and ideas and let them play these games (if they wanted, which most of them did) for the last 30 minutes of each Friday class.

It was definitely a fun class to teach even though it had a few difficult days, but the kids loved it. They all finished their own 2D game by the end of the class, some better than others, but all of them totally unique. One kid made a platformer, and another made a pac-man clone (with much more basic AI), and the others had games in between.

Some things the kids really liked about the class:
-They got to make their very own game, no rules (within school policies), no limits. Each game was completely custom and all of them where different.
-They drew all of their own art for the game. Which just made it that much more unique.
-I didn't have any 'tests' or 'quizzes', I just gave them a pass or fail grade depending on if they where actually working and trying to complete the class (all of them passed).
-The last 30 minutes of each Friday class was 'game time', where I let them play some 2D games (kept it 2D to keep it relevant to the class).
-How I HELPED them solve their problems, instead of just give them all the answers.
-They really liked that for the second half of the class, they worked on their own stuff instead of me lecturing the whole time.
-I never actually gave them a 'lecture', it was always more of a discussion. I found that going to rants about say, tiled maps, just confused and bored them to death. So I discussed with them things they wanted to implement and ideas on how to implement them, with the exception of the basics (such as collision detection, movement, etc).

Some things they didn't like:
-Some days they didn't feel like programming at all. I found that having them work on art instead on those days helped a lot. But there where some days they didn't want to do art either, that's when I pulled at the game dev videos on Youtube of other people projects, and I showed them a lot of my projects too. This kept them motivated and interested.
-For the first few months when I was teaching them Python, there wasn't anything visual, text adventures where the best thing I could think of, but they are 12-13. Words can only be so interesting to them. Just make sure you have a few pizza and game parties. That really helped them to have more fun and it made them like me as a teacher a lot more.

I had a small class of only 6 students, so that made the 1 on 1 time with them possible, if your class is much bigger than that, you probably won't be able to do that. Or you won't be able to talk to each one every day. But I really think the 1 on 1 time really helped them open up and get their own personal ideas into the game. I found that when I was more talking to the whole class, all of their games where looking similar, but when you talk with each one, you help them to add their own ideas to it. Just some advice anyway. I really enjoyed teaching the class, and for the most part, so did all of the kids.

For that age group, I definitely recommend using Python/Pygame though.


#4975566 Kind of stuck in learning.

Posted by shadowgamesco on 01 September 2012 - 04:15 PM

If you are set on using C++ and feel confident in that language, look into doing some 2D game programming with SDL or SFML. I'm sure your computer would be able to handle both of those libraries. SDL is fun, easy to learn and software accelerated. Later down the road if you end up with a computer that actually CAN handle OpenGL, you can use OpenGL to do all the rendering with SDL or SFML to handle the user input, etc..

So I would get familiar with SDL/SFML, since later you can and OpenGL to either one of those. It's probably a better idea than jumping straight into OpenGL in all honesty. I wouldn't recommend that for beginners.

If you aren't so set on using C++, I would look into learning Python with Pygame for 2D game programming if you're just starting out.


#4973991 RPG Items management

Posted by shadowgamesco on 28 August 2012 - 12:05 AM

What I've done for my game, that has worked perfectly so far, is have all of the items instances of s single item class. When you create the instance you pass a string which is what type of item it is (this would be your unique identifier, ex. weapon, potion, armor, shield, boots, helmet, etc), the name of the item (to load the appropriate image file), what 'level' it is, and it's position on the map. Keeping all the items in one class keeps my code my more clean than having a lot of different item classes.

I also have a stats generating function that generates random stats for each item depending on what level it is and what type of item it is, that way I don't have to hard code the stats for each one. You could also hard code the stats for which ever more specific items you wanted (ex. there is only one 'electric dagger' in the game with a damage of 30 and a required strength of 40, or whatever). You could implement something like that as well to ease the issue of hard coding each stat for each item.

You could easily play around with different stat generators, rare item generators, etc. It's actually pretty fun. I just finished the whole weapon/item and inventory system for my game. Customizing the organization of the items in your inventory by dragging them around each slot, equipping weapons/armor, using hp potions, dropping items, etc all becomes 100x more fun when you programmed it all by yourself. Good luck man! Message/Email me if you have any more specific questions. This is all still pretty fresh in my head, I've spent the last few days going at this.


#4973979 Need Help Making a map

Posted by shadowgamesco on 27 August 2012 - 10:19 PM

Tiled maps are definitely the way to go for what you're asking. Try something like this:

1) Load the data from a .txt file that looks something like this:

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2) Loop through the data from the .txt file row by row. For each 1, add a wall image, for each 0 add a floor image. Add the image to an array, with each row as its own array. Putting all of the rows in order, and another array. That makes a 2D array which would represent all of the tiles of your map.

3) In your main game loop, loop through your 2D map array, rendering each tile image at the appropriate position. I would even consider going as far as having a tile class, to create tiles for your 2d array that hold not just it's image, but also it's position, weather or not it's a walkable tile, etc. Stuff like that.

That's just a basic idea of what I would recommend, and the above would only display a room, but thats the concept. Tiled maps are actually a lot more simple than people think!

Also if you like the idea of tiled maps, when you become more familiar with them, a really interesting topic is random map generation for generating random dungeons, caves, etc. That way you don't have to load a .txt file, it's all generated. It also give each new map a whole new feel but uses the same tiled map idea. If you're interested at all here is a guide I wrote on 2D tiled random map generation.

http://breinygames.b...generation.html

It would be a pretty cool thing to implement in a pokemon style game. Good luck!


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