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Norman Barrows

Member Since 04 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 10:51 AM

#5314007 Creating a Game For Yourself Rather than Others

Posted by on 05 October 2016 - 09:51 AM

though maybe playing through one's own narrative game is still enjoyable?


probably not, because you already know how the story ends. its like re-reading a book, or watching a movie you've seen before.


that's why i try to build maximum randomness into my games, so they're fun for _ME_ to play (as well as others - hopefully).

#5313916 Should I try to make my own sounds?

Posted by on 04 October 2016 - 02:39 PM

i use anvil studio, audacity, the general 6000 series sfx library from sound ideas, PD wavs, and stuff i record myself.  i also use musical instruments, midi synths, and drum boxes to create and record music loops. 


anvil studio and audacity are fine to start with.


there may be software that lets you create sfx with the synth chip on the sound card.  but you'd need a way to save it as a wav for later playback.  back in the day, programming the OPL3 chip (via port 220H as i recall) was a common way to create synthy type sfx. 

#5313724 How much money should I ask for a game development from a publisher?

Posted by on 03 October 2016 - 09:08 AM

>> How much money should I ask for a game development from a publisher?


find one first - if you can. if you do, see what they offer. if they ask you how much you need, say 4K, then drop back to 2K if they balk at 4K. but at those dollar levels, self funded is the typical approach.


the big question is how much can the game make? how many units per month at what price point for how many months? that's what a publisher will weigh against any figure you ask for upfront.


and the big questions for how much it can make for small games are: how unique is it? how high quality is it? how much fun is it? how mass appeal is it? how addictive is it?


you don't want to be "yet another whatever game". you don't want to be second rate quality vs your direct competitors. you want lots of people to find it fun and addictive. not all game types are fun and addictive to lots of people.

#5313721 Passing data between states in an FSM

Posted by on 03 October 2016 - 08:47 AM

How do you (or would you) handle this?


simple, i don't use states for that.


a program module with init, run, and end methods is called from main():


void main

initprog (or prog.init for you OO types)




prog.run is the main menu for the game (continue, new, load, help, tools, quit to windows)


then there's a game module with init, run, and end methods.

game.run contains the main game loop (unless its a mission based game).


so newgame, continue, and load, all call game.init, game.run, and game.end, along with doing stuff to load a saved game or start a new game.


if its a mission based game, then there's also a mission module, with init, run, and end methods. game.run is the "between missions menu", and when you select "run next mission", mission.init, mission.run, and mission.end are called. and mission.run contains the main game loop.


an example of use of state machines for flow control in a game, as opposed to AI, would be "FPS mode" and "Action mode" in Caveman. the game is a FPSRPG / person sim hybrid. so it runs in two distinct modes (states): FPS mode (run around like in skyrim), and action mode (like making dinner or any other action in The SIMs, or chopping wood or mining ore in skyrim).  so the game tracks which state each player-controlled character is in. each state has its own render, input, and update methods. so when its in FPS mode, its like playing skyrim. when you interact with an object, it switches to being like the sims, and shows an animation of you performing some action.


it seems that when a game can operate in more than one mode at a given point, some sort of "what mode am i in?" variable is called for.  this is more or less seems to be the limit of the need for state for flow control in games. states aren't really required for linear control flow, IE initprog, main menu, newgame, init game, run game (main loop), end game, back to main menu. that's linear - one method call followed by another, always in the same order. state variables are needed when control flow is parallel:


in render:

!= player.action DONOTHING  render(actionmode_screen) else render(FPSmode_screen)


in input:

!= player.action DONOTHING  process_input(actionmode) else process_input(FPSmode)


in update:

!= player.action DONOTHING update(actionmode) else update(FPSmode)


in all three places,the flow of control of the code can go one of two ways, IE there are parallel code paths. a "game state variable" is a good way to chose the desired code path. but this is about the only "proper" use for a "game state variable" that i've ever found.


apparently at some point somebody someplace wrote a book on simple game development and used states to control init vs main menu vs rungame main loop, and so on. while it worked for the trivially simple games in question, it adds unnecessary complexity when the code is not parallel. IE when you simply transition from  one state to the next, you don't need states, just a series of method calls. and when you transition to some state and then always back to the previous state, that's just a subroutine call. its only when you can transition from one state to two or more possible next states that a branch on a state variable is required. or when the software can run in more than one mode (state)  at one or more specific places in the code.

#5313570 Specfic AI scripting question

Posted by on 02 October 2016 - 04:29 AM

Or would I need two different scripts, with one for enemy AI and another for friendly, with a condition that selects which one is running?  I'd really appreciate the assist on this.


in general this sounds like the better way to do it. you really have two types of units, non-zombie, and zombie. when a non-zombie dies, after a period of time, you change the unit type to zombie. you can do your transform animations just before you change them to a zombie.


how well this approach fits with unity, that's an entirely different question.

#5313568 Are games with large worlds compiled with fp:/fast?

Posted by on 02 October 2016 - 04:24 AM

caveman 3.0


fp fast


2500x2500 mile game world, divided into map squares 5 miles across.


locations are given by integer map square coords (mx,mz), and floating point coords in that map sq (x,z).  x and z are limited to 0.0f to 26400.0f

#5313282 CAVEMAN: pet interactions

Posted by on 29 September 2016 - 12:54 PM

I suppose you could have the pet have an xp meter, and each time it filled up (due to the player traveling normally with the pet) the pet would generate an encounter where the player could interact with the pet, and have a chance of leveling up the pet or player in some way?


the game tracks relations between band members and NPCs in a manner similar to The SIMs.  i was thinking of making it do the same for pets.


in the way of spontaneous NPC triggered interactions for pets, about the only one i was considering was a "pet me!" action when the player was idle. or maybe coming up to you with their ball or a stick in their mouth - an obvious request for you to play with them. or maybe begging for food when you're cooking or eating.

#5313281 CAVEMAN: pet interactions

Posted by on 29 September 2016 - 12:47 PM

It seems that the type of pet is more important than the amount of interaction with the pet, you could do a kind of Pokemon thing where players attempt to capture and tame powerful animals for their abilities.


emphasis on realism in this version limits the game to dogs. so its a "flight sim" first, and a game second.  the fact that its not contrived actually makes the game even cooler.


in the original version of Caveman, all the animal types were made up, and you could try to domesticate anything.

#5313249 How do desginer design their game to be fun?

Posted by on 29 September 2016 - 08:46 AM

And i'm pretty sure if you are the one developing your game you don't find it fun.


if you don't find it fun, what makes you think anyone else will? 


It was fun when I was thinking it but on actual game its just boring


what you want to do is prototype the most basic gameplay. if that's not fun, move on to the next game idea.


the first time i dropped bombs in AIRSHIPS! and accidentally blew up my own hangar, i knew i had fun game on my hands.


by contrast, Armies of Steel II sits unfinished on my hard drive, cause its just not that fun yet for some reason. until i figure out why, there's no sense working on it.

#5313246 Applying Mathematical Functions and creating game Formulas

Posted by on 29 September 2016 - 08:13 AM

ball movement in pong is basic rectilinear physics. all the formulas have been known for hundereds(?) of years.


ball movement based on paddle movement is actually a game hack, not really realistic physics - unless you get into inelastic collisions where the ball and paddle deform slightly on contact, creating more contact time for the paddle to impart a shear force on the ball. but such shear forces would tend to induce spin, not change trajectory. and i've never heard of a pong clone that modeled ball spin.




but i want a general way/method about how to Create mathematical formulas whenever i need one.


look it up, there are already formulas for just about everything - at least everything in the real world.   if no formula exists, then the discipline you'll be wanting is "modeling and simulation", or "mathematical modeling". those are the disciplines of "making up new formulas".




when making games, if you need a formula for something that is in the real world, 90% or more of the time its going to be a physics formula. 


and if its graphics related, odds are the formula will come from analytic geometry, or linear algebra in the case of 3D.   


so when it comes to formulas for games, physics, analytic geometry, and linear algebra are going to be your big three go to disciplines for turn key formulas.

#5313240 peekmessage while vs if (main/game loop)

Posted by on 29 September 2016 - 07:54 AM

and during learning d3d11, I've found this other way:




Just in case vstrakh's answer isn't clear, first one is right, second one is wrong (it will process only one event per frame).


so, what does that tell you about the quality of the example dx11 code you're learning from?   its obviously not  real world code, nor has it ever been tested, otherwise they would have caught the fact that it doesn't even fricking work.   i'm not saying all the code is BS, but keep your eyes peeled.   example code tends to usually be about 90% correct, with the other 10% being whacked stuff like you found in that dx11 code.


caveat emptor, and you get what you pay for.


EDIT: its actually worse, because they didn't catch the error by inspection - which is entirely possible - and should have occurred before any testing, heck it should have been caught by inspection before they even compiled.  does the tutorial you're using come with sample code? or just snippets?  does the sample code compile at max warning level with no warning or errors? IE will it even compile, or is it just some person posting some "almost code" pseudocode on a website?


i've run into these issues even with supposedly high quality tutorials such as rastertek.

#5313046 the dreaded "escort" quest

Posted by on 28 September 2016 - 09:47 AM

As long as another spear at your back feels helpful, that sounds awesome


if you're an army of one, you just doubled the size of your army! 

#5313038 CAVEMAN: pet interactions

Posted by on 28 September 2016 - 09:26 AM

well, pets reduce the chance of being surprised by encounters, and they are another NPC follower you can give combat orders to. but it sounds like other than that, pet interactions would be mostly just for immersion sake. however, some make sense, like pet or play with dog to improve band member mood, etc. but using relations to get the pet, then forgetting about them seems like a half-implementation though. same idea with recruiting followers and band members.  band members are under direct player control, like The SIMs, but followers should get their share of the hunt / treasure if you want them to stick around. 

#5313022 I am alone

Posted by on 28 September 2016 - 08:29 AM

Same with players and game devs


there's some empirical evidence that based on personality tests, the personality type one would expect to make the best designer is not the type that does tend to make the best designer.


the things you find online! <g>.


not sure where i ran across that tidbit of info.

#5312997 I am alone

Posted by on 28 September 2016 - 04:22 AM

All the gaming experience, all the art skills, all the game making practice I have is worth a lot.


are you experienced in creating 2d textures with alpha transparency? 


can you model a skinned mesh, with multiple outfits, and full animations? 


THESE are the art skills required in (3D) games.


playing games is just R&D - but is very important.  you can't design a good game if you don't know the difference between a good game and bad one.


making tabletop games can give you experience with design issues like game balance.


but neither making tabletop games nor playing video games will teach you jack about coding, making 2d and 3d graphics, or making music and sfx.


the coder seems to be the critical member of a team.  with code, you can build something. it may not have a nice paint job, with no artist on the team, and the audio may just be PD stuff, with no musician or foley artist on the team, but you can still at least build SOMETHING.  with no coder, you're limited to what can be done without code with existing engines. its quite common for artists or designers (or other non-coders) to want to make a game but not be able to due to lack of coding skills. if you can't get a coder, you'll have to learn to do it yourself, or limit yourself to what can be done without code using some engine or another.


also remember that not everyone is cut out to be a coder. same way not everyone is a born artist or musician.  in fact, art and coding talents seem to be rather mutually exclusive. there are top notch artists, and top notch coders, but there are almost no people who are top notch at both.  


you and i are actually in similar circumstances. i have a real talent for coding and music, but only a slight gift for artwork.  so much of my time is spent on honing my artwork skills, as i can do the rest in my sleep.


yes building games sounds cool. but its a lot of work. once you get into it you may not enjoy it.  its not everyone's cup of tea.