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Member Since 19 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 03 2013 12:41 PM

#4941736 What does an artist need to know?

Posted by on 20 May 2012 - 03:46 PM

When you have a team of seperate artists/programmers it is important that one understands the limits of other. Let me tell you my current problem from a programmers viewpoint.

We are making a isometric game (Graphics is 2d it just uses tricks). I create the placeholder art for the actual game world and our artist started on item art that will be in the inventory. Our inventory system is very similar to the dungeon siege games and the like so items can be different sizes. He can create great art. But he creates it BIG. I mean high resolution artistic goodness. Or he does it in 3d and takes screenshots. The problem is that it will have to be resized for the game. A lot of quality is lost. And i mean a lot more that if he just started doing it the size it was supposed to be. For 2d games more so for tiled/isometric games at least some some form of pixel art must be used if not all. Most artists are not pixel artists. They don't get it that a 54x54 tile is not so hard to make pixel by pixel. Hell i even made some. They feel it looks bad or just have a hard time looking at it as making art. When in fact no matter how good they make their big art it almost always looks worse when resized. And they blame the programmer for that, and the programmer blames the artist and so on so forth. It is important for a game artist to know how games work with art. They should know what the limitations are from the beginning and not try to make art AND then worry about that.

Work close to the programmer. Listen what he says. He will not judge your art but rather your skill to make it useful in a game. And limitations will be set by your game. Work within it's confines! Or you will be set for failure.

For 3d texture/model art this is a bit different story and i have no experience with it.

#4941401 Where to start to program a game

Posted by on 19 May 2012 - 05:08 AM

Since you did some programming already even if it was just some scripting. I recommend you skip things like game maker and rpgmaker or similar. I think you are ready to learn a language.

You have 2 choises:

-Game oriented language
-General purpose language

If you choose first you can easily dive in game development. They are usually easy to learn and to use. Also they have everything you need to make simple/comlex games. But they do lack in performance and some advanced tehniques such as good 3d graphics,portability,third party libraries,ussualy have poor multhithreading support or don't have it at all. All in all when you mature past good 2d games you will simply want to skip this one. It is the best for learning but sooner or later you will leave it behind.

If you choose a general purpose language it wont be so easy. Main reason is that you have to learn the language first before even attempting to make a game.Even WHEN you learn it you usually have to choose and learn a game library/engine to use in making your game. There is a lot of work to do just to get anything started. However when you DO learn all those things and learn it well. You will find yourself capable of using amazingly powerfull tools and you will have great freedom on what you can do with your game. They give the best control to you on what you want to make the downside is usually YOU have to make it.

The choise is yours. I will give you some examples of general purpose languages:

C - great starter. Everything you learn will be useful when advancing to the next step. (see below)

C++ - Industry standard and with good reason. Very powerful,fast,full of features. Amazingly well supported,BIG communities,Countless tutorials,books,A lot of third party useful libraries,etc.. Downside IT IS ARGUABLY THE HARDEST THING TO LEARN (to a professional level) but worth it.

C# - Great one. Somewhat easy to learn. Very nice standard library,Very nice modern features,reasonably fast well supported and somewhat elegant to some people.

Java - Also a great one. Very feature rich standard library. Easy to learn and use. Runs on a lot of hardware. Great for mobile development and/or web development. its on;y somewhat good for 3d though. A good example would be Minecraft (it was done in Java)

Python,Fortran,Delphi(free pascal),...

List goes on and on...

#4934733 Just another beginner

Posted by on 25 April 2012 - 07:00 AM

I started recently myself. And this is my two cents on the thing:

C - Good language to learn not so good to use in game development. However since most graphics libraries are C compatible it is a good place to start some VERY simple games such as Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong and tetris alike. Plus when you eventually learn C++. You will already know the library and a lot of it's syntax. Well supported.

C++ - A bit too complex for beginners. You will spend more time learning the language than actual game development. For more advanced users it's almost the best way to go. Incredibly well supported

C# - This is a different story. It is easier to learn and the "standard library" is very easy to understand and use not a bad choice for beginners. Mediocre support. (Only Windows if you want access to the full features) Although you CAN program in Linux,Mac ,..

Java - They say it's similar to C#. I don't think so. It's approach is different and it was not designed with game development in mind. That does not mean it's bad for game development. Hell i use it primarily it's just that i have to program a lot of stuff myself. It's standard library is also pretty big and has everything you need. Very well supported.

Game techniques for your problem

For simple games that are one 2d screen you usually hardcode the level rather that use the level editor. It's not uncommon such levels are randomly generated.
For something like your platformer game You have three options:

-Make a level editor (A lot of work to be done)

-If the map is simple enough(Something like less than 100 types of tiles) you can can make your entire maps in plain ascii format. For example


Lets say the '=' sign is somewhere you can stand. Then this is a simple jumping through several platforms. and 'P' Is where the player would start.
This approach is less powerful of course but it saves you a LOT of work making a level editor.
All your program has to do is learn to read form this .txt files and generate maps accordingly.

-Get a level editor and engine of a platformer and just add your own gameplay to it. (Easiest way of course)

I would not recommend complex game engines. At least not to the beginner. But simpler ones are just fine if you wish.

Good luck.