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Malabyte

Member Since 31 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 30 2014 02:33 PM

#5096413 Introduction and some advice! :D

Posted by Malabyte on 24 September 2013 - 09:16 AM

Just start with any programming language, the most important thing is that you start to code something and get some basic portfolio of actual products. I'm doing Java, which I feel is great for me. It's also the most popular programming language out there atm. Also, you seem to know a lot of languages, but do you know either of them any good? Stick with one main language and then branch out.

 

There's all kind of circumstances that would affect what language is the best to use, but with your background I would seriously look into maybe designing HTML5 games for starters. And by that same token, I would not recommend learning Flash. Once HTML5 has become fully standardized, you'll see a lot more use of that and Flash may be a poor investment of your time. HTML5 is, as I understand it, built so that people won't need third-parties like Flash to run their stuff. As a result, Flash would become much less relevant.

 

TLDR;

Based on what you already know, try learning advanced HTML5 and produce some browser games, for starters. Also check out sites like www.photonstorm.com for more information about HTML5 game design.




#5092585 Sandbox Games like Minecraft?

Posted by Malabyte on 08 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

Post deleted (redundancy)




#5090711 Should I learn how to draw?

Posted by Malabyte on 31 August 2013 - 08:15 PM

It should take you about an hour to learn how to draw basic pixel art. Then after that, you decide yourself how much time you want to spend each piece. The more time you spend nitpicking, the better it'll look. And of course it's gonna look better with experience, as practice makes perfect. But it's one of the easiest things in the world to learn, tbh. I honestly don't like it much, yet even I'm able to draw some kickass 16- and 32-pixel sprites. Go online, on youtube, whatever. And download GIMP or Paint.NET for free (I use the latter, but many prefer GIMP over Paint.NET, as well).

 

And yes, you should definitely learn how to draw some basic pixel art, if only for the making of crude textures that helps convey your game to a potential publisher or whatever. But you don't technically need to learn it. Using the internet effectively, you can get resources for free, and even hire people to do stuff.

 

But sitting down for a day or two and browsing the various articles and youtube, in order to get the fundamentals down? Not exactly a titanic investment, if you ask me.




#5089785 How to develop a very basic game? I don't have any programming knowledge...

Posted by Malabyte on 28 August 2013 - 04:50 AM

    As to not repeat what others have been saying, I'll mention Youtube. If you got a fair amount of imagination (which you seem to have, as you're referring to us with roleplaying lingo), you'll be surprised by how much of a cornucopia Youtube can be. I've learned and applied Java, XHTML, Javascript, HTML5 and a range of computer science topics Simply from watching Youtube videos (the right ones, that is). I've also learned about Notepad++, Paint.NET and how to actually draw decent pixel art from the same website.

 

    Youtube is by far the best resource for learning anything, bar none. But it does require some "knack", as there's more then enough garbage on Youtube as well. Try looking on youtube when you already got a rough idea of what you're looking for. Also, books from Amazon shouldn't be ignored either.

 

    tldr; Youtube and Amazon. Check it out! biggrin.png




#5089481 New to game development questions

Posted by Malabyte on 27 August 2013 - 06:56 AM

Does anybody have a large amount of experience with any of these engines?

 

Well I don't, but I'd like to point out that Youtube, for the last couple of years, has exploded in a ton of tutorials for anything you can possibly imagine. Watching some tutorials might answer some additional questions:

CryEngine 3

Unity

Unreal (UDK)

 

I don't know about you, but I've learned tons from watching youtube tutorials alone and I also find these very useful when trying to figure out if something is interesting or not. It's a tool in the toolbox for when you want to find information. Going to someone's playlist and looking at the overall array of videos that they've got, can also be a way of shortening down the time you spend watching their stuff (since you don't need to watch every single tutorial video just to get an idea).

Hope it helps.




#5089022 Tips on Learning Pixel Art?

Posted by Malabyte on 25 August 2013 - 05:49 PM

Sorry guys, I totally overlooked the sticky above. My bad. I also found a youtube tutorial that I'll be looking into:

 




#5088997 New to game development questions

Posted by Malabyte on 25 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

    Go and check out GameSalad or RPGMaker for some basic stuff, else I think Unity sounds like a good, solid start. I have minimal Unity background, but Unity is what keeps popping up when I look around the internet atm. But there's tons of engines out there that you can utilize (just pick the one that sounds best for you, after some hours of research):

 

    http://www.moddb.com/engines/top

 

 

    I only have some general advice, really:

 

    The reason why people tell you to start small is mainly because you're 1 person. You need to start small, because that's how you actually manage to finish a project. You can't imagine the Pandora's Box of bugs, glitches and hours of frustration you'll unlock if you start with a project too big, and this is demonstrable one of the biggest reasons why people fail at game development. The clue here isn't really just to know programming. The big secret to beginning as a game developer is to actually make stuff and have a portfolio to show off to someone.

 

    Also, real professionals try not to judge a book by its cover, they look for the actual experience. You might have ludicrously bad textures in your game, but they may still be interested because it's a simple matter of hiring a visual designer to make better textures later. Or similar.

 

 

    Here's a video for you:

http://youtu.be/bgwG-VBKStU

 

 

    Notice how the guys in that video all say the same thing: -- Make mods, create something, anything. -- Get a portfolio, but don't start massive undertakings that typically require either years of experience, the muscle memory and twitch to type 2000 lines of code per session, and/or a big team that coordinates their individual efforts.

 

    Start small. Seriously. I'm not joking. Make a mod for Skyrim or Minecraft, get some sprite sheets made, sound, 3D models, anything. Maybe you rather want to build your own Tetris game, Super Mario, anything that you could do in a reasonable amount of time with minimal debugging. Utilize your strengths, not your weaknesses (unless you want to make them into strengths, as an investment).

 

    My own project now is to just get through the Game Programming tutorial series of TheCherno on Youtube, then start making something of my own in Java. I've already dabbled a little in Elder Scrolls modding, Fallout 3 and similar, but right now I'm learning Java and I'm having lots of fun just learning stuff - not only Java and Eclipse, but XHTML, Javascript, HTML5, making sprites in Paint.NET and just having fun with studying games on the side. This is my current stance atm, but it's not exactly something that anyone would want to hire me for. That's why my first major step after this one, is to build my website and some basic portfolio.

 

    But whatever you do: Start. Small. Seriously! wink.png




#5087481 Creating My First Large Scale RPG

Posted by Malabyte on 19 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

 

Java seems easier to learn (e.g. due to automatic memory mgmt)

 

C++ has automatic memory management. Java doesn't, that's why it requires a garbage collector.

 

    Tbh, I have no idea of what you're talking about and I'm not entirely convinced that you do either. Especially when the article you linked clearly states that C++ does not have a garbage collector, as opposed to Java which does. Java doesn't lack an AMM, The garbage collector IS the AMM. You should read up on it ("Java uses an automatic garbage collector to manage memory in the object lifecycle." - wikipedia.org). There's a whole section on "automatic memory management" on the Java wikipedia page.

 

http://javarevisited.blogspot.no/2011/04/garbage-collection-in-java.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_(programming_language)




#5087374 Creating My First Large Scale RPG

Posted by Malabyte on 19 August 2013 - 01:48 PM

I've tried doing a bit of research on the subject and my thoughts are pretty similar.  Is there a reason you'll be going with Java over C++?  What software do you use for coding and compiling?

 

    Java seems easier to learn (e.g. due to automatic memory mgmt) and I got a better feel for understanding the syntax (which was important when choosing my first language). Additionally, with Java I can make programs that literally run on any machine (as long as Java is installed), instead of having to write for a specific platform. There's also some other good and bad language structure that Java has that you'll just have to read up on here.

 

    There's a big debate about the bytecode and Java Virtual Machine, and how this makes java programs run many times slower than C++. But this is often exaggerated, as Just-In-Time (JIT) compiling prepares the Java program in run-time to run in the machine code of that specific platform. People often don't seem to take JIT into consideration when judging Java's running speed. Someone even claimed Java to be 20-40 times slower, but it's actually just a little less than twice as slow as C++:

 

 "[...] As of December 2012, microbenchmarks show Java 7 is approximately 44% slower than C++"

- Wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_(programming_language)

 

    Besides, a much bigger factor for speed is in problemsolving and algorithmic methodology, and not the lingual one. But ultimately, I just went with Java and now I just need to stick with it until I know it fluidly enough to expand to more languages, perhaps C++ or maybe even something totally different, depending on what becomes more relevant for me at that time.

 

--------------------

 

    Coding Software:

   Eclipse IDE, I'm able to code on one screen and debug the program simultaneously in run-time on another. However, I've read that you can get a C++ plugin for Eclipse, so this might not be a valid argument.

 

    Compiling Softwares:

    Eclipse again (by exporting from .java to ".jar file" for web applets or "runnable .jar file" for ordinary Java files) after having the JDK installed (e.g. Java SE 7), or just the Javac function in the OS command prompt, perhaps combined with Launch4J executable wrapper if I wanna make an .exe file out of it. Haven't tried the latter two yet, though.

 

    Again, note that you don't have to compile your program the traditional way while writing in Eclipse.




#5086834 Feeling a bit conflicted

Posted by Malabyte on 17 August 2013 - 01:52 PM

Just make sure you programme the game in such a way that it will be easy to add missing content later on, then make concentrate on making it work.

I think this is spot on. Just like any business plan, you need to start small. Use a mindmap to dot down everything you'd want to see in your game, and then put that mindmap aside. Start with some basic functionality and then build onto that later with more and more features.




#5086813 I need help with learning game development

Posted by Malabyte on 17 August 2013 - 12:17 PM

If you want to make games, then maybe you don't necessarily need to use C++? If your goal is learning programming rather than making games, then my advice is counter to all that above - forget youtube (you crazy kids - video is a terrible method of communicating this stuff!) or twitter or blindly following some holy coding guru. Old fashioned formal education is the way to go in my opinion, or get a (decent) book out of the library. Or Bruce Eckel's 'Thinking in C++' is good and free to download:

 

http://www.mindviewinc.com/Books/downloads.html

 

Old fashioned formal education also consist of following "holy coding gurus". They're called teachers, it's their job to be a guru to lean on.

 

If you think youtube is bad, then you haven't been looking at the right videos. thenewboston is one of the better channels out there, and with regards to computer science, there's top universities in the world that provide video lectures and talks on a wide range of topics. Check out Stanford University, UNSW and many others. Don't judge the entire industry of videomaking on what you've seen in one amateur series on Youtube (or, let's face it, several, cause I do get where you're coming from). Ultimately though, the best way to learn is to actually just start coding and producing stuff.

 

After watching TheCherno's video series up to his 28th video or so (which imo was a really bad one in an otherwise decent series), I learned more about Java in 3 days than what I've learned in 2 weeks earlier. So your statement is simply not true, not to mention that videos and visual presentation, provided that they are actually good, is proven scientifically to be one of the best ways to teach stuff. Not to mention the fact that different people learn things in different ways - Visually, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetically.

 

Books are generally best for reference, not as a big method of teaching. Why do you think teachers combine book-reading with a classroom and a school board? They want the students to not only memorize it, but to understand it as well. Besides, even the best books are those with visual examples that motivate the reader to actually pay attention, as well.

 

Additionally, even within formal education there's good and bad schools. And some local schools are absolutely horrendous, teaching you creationism, astrology and other proven nonsense that has absolutely no relevance in the real world of causal facts.




#5086779 Ideas derived from existing games

Posted by Malabyte on 17 August 2013 - 09:25 AM

I think that most game designers can think of at least 20 different what-if outcomes of already existing stories in about 1 hour. The clue is to try to come up with an entirely unique storyline from bottom up. I think your procedure could be a nice way to find those stories though, like first thinking about existing games and alternatives within that, and then create something unique based on it.

 

- What if Link and Ganon were actually the same person and Link realized this at the end of a Zelda game?

- What if the Ganon that Link fought was actually Zelda in disguise, as a puppet under the control of the real Ganon. So he makes you kill the one you're trying to save.

- What if Link is actually Zelda, and in reality it's Zelda trying to save Link from the King, and Ganon is her benevolent father? and Epona is a dragon smoking a pipe.

 

One of the great qualities of Quentin Tarantino, for instance, is his ability to take the viewers expectations and turn it completely upside down.

He's a master of the "WTF moment". smile.png




#5086776 C in game development

Posted by Malabyte on 17 August 2013 - 09:08 AM

The infamous C vs. C++ debate.

 

Understand, however, that the gaming industry is gradually evolving more into management and design, and away from core, bottoms up programming. The industry has already gone far past the threshold of object-orientation. C++ and Java are examples of OOP, and nowadays we got a host of simple and advanced game engines and other resources that game designers can quickly pick up on. In the future, there's going to be an even bigger pool of hobby designers who don't even know how to write in code, due to how accessible the higher-up tools have and will become. Just think of GameSalad and the iPhone, and that's just the start.

 

I think C is going to survive all this, but it's going to lie deep beneath the earth while designers are soaring between the skies. Two vastly different worlds. Well, who knows, but one can speculate at least.




#5086482 I need help with learning game development

Posted by Malabyte on 16 August 2013 - 08:29 AM

AaronPreston, let me tell you a secret to learning superfast. Assuming that you've found a good enough teacher, just trust them and follow them without question, and don't think too much about whether you understand it or not. At this point, you don't even know enough about the subject to know what questions are useful to ask or even why. But as you spend time coding and just doing stuff over time, your subconscious will gradually pick up on the logic of it and you'll come back to previously written code and go all "oh so THAT's why we wrote that, ok now I get it".

 

The biggest mistake that students do, across all disciplines, is that they insist on learning everything about the stuff as they're learning it. They ask redundant questions, assume fallacies and do all manners of mistakes because they suffer from what is called the Dunnig-Kruger effect. In other words, "I know a little, therefore I know what's best for me and nobody is gonna tell me otherwise".

 

Don't think (I know it sounds horrible, because people often mistake this for being a mindless sheep for the authorities - insert "Illuminati conspiracy", if you wish hehe), but let your subconscious do that work in the background. It's astronomically more powerful than your conscious. In fact, your subconscious dictates the kind of consciousness you can even have, to begin with. People often think of thinking in wrong ways. Thoughts (referring to those mind's-eye conscious images, words, sounds or feelings that pop up in your head) are exclusively meant for (1) reflection and testing hypotheses by creating a mental image of its possibility and actuality space and (2) fantasizing about stuff for fun.

 

If you only understood half of what I just said, then that's ok. You'll get it eventually. smile.png




#5086154 How to structure a 2d RPG?

Posted by Malabyte on 15 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Most of the structure of any game will just emerge naturally from you programming the game in the right order with the right focus on specific problemsolving. You don't really need to plan out too much, other than the obvious research of how 2D rpgs function (which will give you a knack for producing content as needed, depending on the depth of that research). Play some games, pull them apart and study each of their mechanics. Then just add what you want to see, step by step, into the gameframe.

 

Keep it simple. The complexity of certain classic games are often a direct result of the developers being able to keep things simple, because this is what allows them to add complexity later on, when the basic infrastructure is rock solid and easily expandable systems are in place.

 

1. Get some mindmapping tool (e.g. XMind or w/e) and start dotting down everything you want to see in the game. Be imaginative and just brainstorm. Don't sensor yourself or think realistically just yet. That'll come later.

 

2. Try getting an idea of what you need to prioritize first and then get back to more advanced features later. Realistic implementation will be a natural result of setting clear priorities for yourself. Just prioritize what you got and see where it takes you.

 

3. Plan your coding structure somewhat. Don't spend too much time on this, but try to get an idea of how you want classes to group up, how things relate etc. Make some flowcharts.

 

4. Make a frame (window)

 

5. Make a game loop (one that either runs the entire loop or initiates the first of several game loops, e.g. one for each stand-alone frame - launcher, options, chargen, gameview, world map, etc).

 

6. Render something basic on the initial loop and from there, you can add new stuff that's within the confines of that individual frame.

 

7. Playtest rigorously. I like to differentiate between system/function testing (which you do every time you add new code) and game testing (playing the game as a player, which you should limit to short periods after some time and several systems have been put into place).

 

8. Now add whatever in whichever frame or underneath the hood, but be very specific. Think top-down, but do go all the way down as much as needed.

 

It's my firm belief that, if you follow this basic ruleset and repeat the process over time, a solid game will simply emerge out of it. Take it step by step, make it into a set of smaller problems that you need to solve in a given order. It shouldn't even matter what language you're using, as long as you're familiar with methodology and syntax. And if you're not, then you shouldn't be asking this question to begin with.

 

Oh and one more thing:

Don't think... feel! It's like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger, or you will lose all that heavenly glory. biggrin.png






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