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Member Since 04 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:08 PM

#5100065 Is there a difference in art from the 90s to now?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 09 October 2013 - 09:22 PM

I was reading up on a simple 2D game and that a sprite sheet holds all the sprites and that the game just reads the whole thing and renders only specific part of the sprite sheet based on the pixel position.



Well, you are warm.  If the source code of the game is written correctly then a game engine ( game engine is layered between game source code and hardware) will handle the memory issues involved in your hardware.  The whole sprite sheet should be held in memory somewhere and therefore ready at an instant under calls from the game source code.  The game engine will do the actual lower level memory management and render the sprite to screen once a call is made from the game source code to do this.


Games in the 1980s thru 1990s relied on game source code to handle memory issues and most other areas of the game.  The huge difference now is that most popular and profitable games usually have a game engine layer between the game source code and the hardware, whereas more primitive games decades ago relied totally or mostly on game source code.  As game source code became larger and more complex, the need for a game engine to standardize lower level coding even across many games became a stronger demand.  Since art assets often have a lot of lower level coding to handle them, a game engine to standardize the methods of game development in lower level coding will free the developer to spend more time on upper level coding such as gameplay functionality. Some developers will insist that this is an over-simplification, but I drew the principles this way for the sake of clarity in explaining the boundaries which might be there.  Such boundaries can be a good thing because compartmentalization or modules of coding generally make everything better for the developer, especially a team, and avoid much of the "spaghetti" coding which is so very difficult to extend, integrate, and debug.




#5099422 Guidance for my son...

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 07 October 2013 - 05:36 PM

Game engine should determine the coding language in most cases, but a beginner should avoid C++ and 3D issues for at least 1-2 years, instead making 2D games like console application types (not to be confused with "console" type video games created for PS, Xbox, Wii, and so on) or settle on a 2D game engine and build game using it.


This is the crux of the issues.




#5098888 Guidance for my son...

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 05 October 2013 - 02:25 AM




For a ten year old student of game development, I would encourage very simple application development first, especially programs which would be similar to those found inside of software games.  He should be developing applications like indexers, general user interfaces, simple vector graphics word games in console application form, and learning basic compiling into executable programs and files.  There are fun books which teach these things in simple game form to young students.  Most developers would highly recommend that the young pupil stay in the 2D graphics gaming area for a good 1-2 years minimum before getting to 3D graphics game development.  Jumping directly into 3D development would almost certainly result in many bad coding habits to be started which are difficult to retrain to good ones for a beginner or even intermediate level programmer.


Secondary, I would encourage an interest in math which can spare many lines of coding and also serve to teach the development of good coding framework upon which later coding is added. For example, a few lines of algorithm can set a pattern for efficient coding that plugs into it.   One good algorithm might spare the coder in thousands of lines of coding later with many benefits to it.


Eventually the game developer will need to consider how to expand in the 2D and 3D graphics art areas of game development. You may help your son to discover his own artistic strengths and weakness.  Each can be improved with practice. There are many paths to pursue such as art classes, tutoring, or assigning project yourself.  As for game development, the key is to assemble a work pipeline of software and tools to make game art and use a game engine to bring them into a game which was coded by the student.


Remind your son that above all he should nurture already existing passions and talents in game development to have fun with it.  This is the key to staying with it.




#5097396 how to mod a game?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 28 September 2013 - 01:09 AM



Most games dangle some of the art assets in the open in the main file directory, such as "skins" which are often in JPEG texture file format, sounds in files like .wav, and effects in any one of various animation files in the model folders.  It is not unusual for a game publisher to eventually release information on how to encrypt entire model folders, which allows 3D or 2D artists to create their own artworks, encode them, and simply drop them in to the object folder that is positioned in the main registry of files for the game. The object files are often labeled for the purpose of class files such as Maps, Vehicles, Characters, and so forth (really can be named anything by the game developer), but if you look at several popular game registries then you will notice industry standards which become obvious with experience (Maps being one common standard name).


Almost all publishers and/or developers have website forums which explain what you may or may not be able to do in the way of modding their game. Some are very restrictive but most allow at least some modding and publishing of your mods.  A few are very generous in providing not only the knowledge on how to mod their game but also some of the game engine tools which they used to develop the game. 


Research is the intellectual spine of game development.  I actually learned much about game development by modding games over the years.  Some modders are allowed  by license to add or extend their own coding of the game, sometimes called "add-ons", so be sure to read the licenses if any exist for a particular game.  You just might be surprised.




#5097075 How to design progression?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 26 September 2013 - 02:27 PM



In web game development, we see browser, Windows, dedicated server, and cloud based as the major issues. Given the movement toward mobile games (including laptops in my opinion), then I would recommend cloud based and primarily vector graphics game development with Java as the core of the game source code. Browser games are very challenging across mobiles in the debugging area. Vector graphics prevent many of the snags, either Windows or browser. Java allows excellent flexibility at the source code level with support for the major webpage languages and art asset file formats.  If this is a hobby then, go where you feel, but if you have professional goals in "web" games, then I recommend a game engine, which will streamline the lower level coding issues for you:






#5097072 What program to use to add alpha

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 26 September 2013 - 02:07 PM

GIMP is probably the second best overall for Alpha channels, some argue the best, but it is no cost.  Almost everything that you need is in GIMP and chances are it is all that you will ever need for Alpha issues.




#5097064 You made a very good game, then what ?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 26 September 2013 - 01:22 PM

In my opinion, if you know little or nothing about marketing and publishing then the only logical choice is to find a publisher.  Publishing a short demo version of your game would still be a major advantage in finding a publisher because you want to not only showcase the game itself but the fact that people like it.  There are a bunch of ways to publish a demo version of the game, but perhaps posting it on your own dedicated website shows the most professionalism.  You simply find ways of getting free advertising and free publicity to drive traffic to your website or webpage, such as here at game dev, indy game publishing sites, or video game review sites and have a way to record the number of people who play your demo and how many liked it.  Such positive feedback which is documented and viewable on the webpage is a good hook to get a publisher.  Next you would "canvas" the publishers to grab interest.  How this is done may vary a little from publisher to publisher, but they will let you know how to do it.  A good example is the excellent indy channels at STEAM because it is clearly laid how to approach and impress the STEAM organization.


Another way of promoting your game is to find an indy publisher to form a little team.  Some of the better ones have connections in the industry and will provide all the support people to help in the strategy upon which you both agree to pursue.  For a substantial cut in the income, a publisher who likes your game concept will work hard to get your game to the market.


Overall, I feel that you would be surprised how much information is available here at game dev in the knowledge base about the specifics on how to publish and market your game.




#5096312 Some Queries about game dev?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 23 September 2013 - 06:32 PM

This is going to be an over-simplification and over-generalization for the sake of clarity in explaining, but here goes:


SDK stands for Software Development Kit (a software in its own right usually) and, like the name "kit" implies, is good enough for most development situations in creating software and applications.  Each software developed contains applications inside it with a variety of different kinds of libraries attached or needed, so having an SDK framework which is a pre-made work pipeline is a huge labor and time saver.  A common example of an SDK is the Windows SDK to make Windows based applications to run in the .NET Framework under the Common Language Runtime Environment, such as a game GUI which is targeting the Windows OS.  Often an SDK works alongside other SDKs within a greater IDE, but they almost always may be used independently in most cases.  Some SDKs are designed to be used with a certain game engine, which is an example of a third party SDK.


IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment and generally includes two or more software and also individual applications combined with interfaces to connect with internal or external libraries (which are more comprehensive than the typical SDK) to provide a more extensive framework for development of software or applications.  An IDE tends to be more expansive in general than other frameworks and depends on the developer having experience enough to be able to build the nuts and bolts, nitty-gritty original coding from bottom to top, high and low level coding.  Developers who are going to make software mostly "from scratch" will tend to consider more closely whether to use an IDE or not.  An IDE is most efficient for a team to use, but some indy developers might have the time to spend the long hours in coding new software with an IDE. Individual applications are well inside the ability of most coders to use an IDE to develop them, so they are not limited to only software development.


Game engines are development frameworks which share some traits with both SDKs and IDEs but a game engine is deliberately designed for game development and within pre-determined objectives according to the game engine developers.  An example is a Java based 2D game engine targeting mobiles. Another is a 3D game engine using C++ for PCs and consoles.  Within these general goals are sub-sets such as RPG, FPS, Turn-based, online, offline, MOMP, and so on.  Some game engines require a third party SKD or IDE to really take advantage of the full features of the game engines, maybe even allow a plug-in connections with another framework.



All of the major game engines are about at par with one another, so which is best is really a matter of preference according to your goals.  Unity and Torque 3D are examples which have huge support in the form of art assets shopping ( Artists selling art made for them, but some no cost or low cost items are available, too.).





#5093176 Some Queries about game dev?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 10 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

If you're new to gamedev I'd suggest a library like SDL or SFML if you're using C++, or a similar library in another language. They take care of the basics that you don't necessarily need to worry about like creating a window and abstracting away basic rendering and input, then you can worry about just making a framework for your game code and treat SDL/SFML as just a library.


Yeah, that's the whole strategic purpose of using a game engine or even a custom collection of the lesser abstract libraries.   One way or another, the game developer will have to extend the framework which they chose by creating game source code (the game coding framework itself) upon which they make versions of game (version 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 2.5, 3.0, etc.). As the game developer becomes more sophisticated, then the need for Source Control or Version Control software increases, which is the efficient way of managing development and keeping documentation (a sort of map of the lay-out) so good coding doesn't get lost in the processes but reused as Game Source Code.




#5093033 Problem with Scaling :(

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 10 September 2013 - 09:42 AM

I would create this image (the cube in this case) in a vector graphics program such as Inkscape and resize it before converting to or in another program which supports vector to raster conversions like GIMP.  Once you get used to the workflow pipeline, using one vector program and another raster program in this way is quick and easy.


For very advanced work, I make a cube or other 3D object in a 3D program and rendered with lighting effects and fine anti-aliasing, perhaps super-sampling, then take a screenshot of it already in the correct size.  After getting the experience, both these methods take me about the same amount of time for simple shapes or images.




#5092996 Some Queries about game dev?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 10 September 2013 - 07:12 AM

I actually look at 4 major areas useful for a modern, rasterized game to play thru a computer to your screen, all containing libraries of coding.


1) System - includes hardware and a Runtime Environment working with the Operating System (one of several major Runtime Environments which may come with the computer from the factory or be installed later, several actually being allowed and installed in the same client)  The Runtime Environment includes the lower level coding needed in the form of various libraries with interfaces or even Software Development Kits (SDK) to develop applications and software which will run with machines using that particular version of that OS or made for any system which has that particular Runtime Environment version or earlier version installed. If that is confusing, then just remember that the Runtime Environment comes with (or allows third party tools to create) coding which is expected to be fully compatible with that Runtime or earlier version which is installed.  It gives libraries of lower level coding to provide the APIs, compilers, and various other tools for all levels of coding to be read implemented in the computer. (Note: some higher level and lower level coding tools are included but more of general tools for nuts and bolts programming, created "from scratch" applications and software which are original from top to bottom. These all either come with the Runtime or are made for it, many no cost and can be downloaded.  Highly skilled coding and experience is needed usually to make large applications and software here, sometimes requiring a team.)


2) Development Framework - such as SDKs, IDEs (Visual Studio, MonoDevelop, Java IDE, etc.), or game engines (In order of size, complexity, and generalization: 1)IDEs 2)Game Engines 3)SDKs). These are all various sizes of framework which provide the ability to create applications and software targeting a specific Runtime Environment in most cases, though sometimes as in the case Java Runtime Environment or Mono they can be cross-platform with some time spent in testing and debugging.  These three categories of framework provide more of the coding already complete such as UI interfaces, default sounds, access to lower level graphics APIs (OpenGL or Direct3D), input interfaces-device, voice command, or other inputs, configuration interfaces, compilers/ de-compilers, and so forth.  So these frameworks all are more specific toward goals than the tools in the previous system based Runtime Environments and frameworks include libraries made for certain genres of development.   There is less work in making custom made tools and applications within the software in terms of coding with one of these dedicated frameworks, being that a huge collection of standard libraries come with the framework to add to those of the Runtime Environment. Often the developer can do relatively little or no lower level coding with a framework, freeing them to spend more time on end-user features. 


3) Default libraries - may be GUIs, templates (including games in some cases which come with a game engine as a building foundation for you), specialized tools ( such as terrain editors, effects editors, and so on ),  actual ingame assets (such as models, effects, sounds, et cetera), and the like.


4) Third party libraries - can include any additions to the above items which are original creations: plug-ins (external connected libraries), add-ons (attached libraries), and patches (internal libraries).



That's a decent summary and over-simplification, but you get the idea now.  smile.png




#5092595 Blender Game Engine - is it worthy?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 08 September 2013 - 08:51 PM

There have been some fantastic games made with Blender, as in fun and enjoyed by many people.  Blender is powerful, has very active development and community following, and is actually being used by both professionals and amateurs.  The game making aspects of Blender are very capable for making most types of games in my opinion. For 3D graphics art creation, Blender has almost everything that most people will need.


Unity and UDK have levels of features for no cost version, indie and pro versions, but even the no cost version has been used to launch games which actually earned good money for the developer.  These two here generally demand a lot of coding and art skill, being that they are a framework after all.  You would need to collect a bunch of outside tools to make your workflow pipeline according to your personal game dev goals.


Blender on the other hand has most of the tools right inside, which many find simpler to make a workflow pipeline and the dynamic content creation means that you see the results of your work almost immediately in most situations. By the time you go profession in a couple years or so, the fast pace of Blender development will be right with you in added features and improvements just like Unity and UDK.


In my opinion, Blender can work for the pro indie developer quite well-depending on the type of game to be made, but Unity and UDK allow the potential to develop very high performance and complex games which only a team can handle with intense coding in the process-probably their strongest points compared to Blender.   I am not saying that Blender can't let you do that, too, but Blender in my opinion seems to rely so heavily on Python coding with its garbage collection and the features tend to lend more to the indie developer that I believe these are the two main reasons why huge development companies almost never touch Blender, though some of their artists use it for 3D content creation and animations.  


Just like choosing a coding language, the best one really depends most on your objectives more than the thing itself, in regard to development frameworks.   On the other hand, some ingenious developers have used a less than ideal framework for their games but with innovation and passion that resulted in a popular game.


By the way, with Blender, UDK, and Unity, almost any shortfall has the potential to be overcome with your own coding add-on, but read the license agreements which may weigh heavy in your decision, too.



#5091185 Guns in games - copywright issues

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 02 September 2013 - 08:38 PM

There is a lot of good advice here.


If you are only making games for practice and in private, then you should expect to be okay.  Companies know that it is expensive to fight, but some are very willing to do it, even if only to send a message and prevent open stealing of their intellectual property.


  I know of several companies that got sued or had cease and desist orders put on them.  On face value a cease and desist order may not seem like a big deal but the company gives a "shot across the bow" with this.  You have to stop and restart your game development which can destroy some game development entities in this case.  The legal fees for counsel are hundreds of dollars per hour, so fighting is not an option.


I say better safe than sorry.


Creating fictional weapons is just as fun as historical ones but with little risk if you secure your rights by publishing the rights with your product.


On the other hand, some companies seek the publicity and will gladly grant you written permission to use their product designs.  Asking for permission is low risk and only costs you time.  With negotiating skills, you may be able to offer value to the copyright holder by giving them credit and perhaps also free advertising somewhere.


Game development success apparently requires many skills in order to sustain an income with it.




#5091181 What type of Language that i should learn, for a real new beginner?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 02 September 2013 - 08:16 PM



Here is my view for the absolute newbie to programming:


1) Choose a language with auto-memory management as standard, which in my opinion is wise for a first time beginner, since you should only be practicing high level coding for a while.


2)  Pick one of the more common languages because they have up to date support and plenty of information or help is available for them. Examples are Java, Python, Lua, C#, Pearl, Ruby, and Visual Basic.


3) If your long term goals are to use a game engine, then select one now and begin to learn the native language for it over the next several months or more before you even touch the game engine.  One way of choosing a game engine is to look at the games made with engines and compare with your own goals, for example searching for Torque 3D Game in the YouTube search box. Another good way is to go to the community forums about the game engines and see what is submitted there for review.


Most game engines have the added advantages of a large community knowledge base and excellent direct support.


List of Game Engines




4)  Before you make any games, learn the basics of your language of choice by following tutorials or courses on making simple console type applications (not to be confused with console games).  Some examples of these types of programs are:  Simple Data Base, Letter Display Application, Auto-update Index, Simple File Handling Interface,  Alphabetical Indexer, and so forth.  The list of simple applications is enormous, so do a little research on what to make.  Don't just copy the tutorials but understand each line of coding before moving to the next. About 3 to 5 of these should be enough to get you started.


5) Create a few simple games next, such as crossword puzzle, Tic-Tac-Toe, Question and Answer Game.    These can be made as console applications, but some game engines have a good 2D potential which could be used to make these.


6) After several months or more, then focus on making simple 2D games with the game engine.


7)  An alternative to the game engine is to learn to make vector graphics 2D games which target a specific Runtime Environment.  This allows you to avoid OpenGL and Direct3D APIs for a year or two in order to build a solid foundation in coding and not develop bad habits as readily.  Some game developers really enjoy the vector programming and can even sometimes earn a living doing this, so don't underestimate the value of this.  Some popular games have been console types.


8)  The 3D game development genre would be next after 1-2 years with the above foundational knowledge.



Last couple pieces of advice are to choose rewarding and self-feeding paths of learning which let you see tangible results on a regular basis and also keep things within your abilities.




#5089383 Opinion on My Artwork?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 26 August 2013 - 10:27 PM



Scouting Ninja was right with the advice and nothing more needs to be said about the model itself.


Looking at the broad picture of things, look into what is in demand in the game development industry.  Basic building materials such as this are common.  If you want to join the same segment of the market, the you must release huge numbers of these small models and the models should be distinguished from the competition in some way (quality, value, or price) in order to make significant money.


If you want to earn more money than is possible with small, low poly models, then you need to diversify your types of art. 


Basic business strategy is to do market research into exactly what is in demand and meet it or you may create demand by making things that are new and innovative.


Ultimately you would earn the most money in 3D modeling (potentially) by creating your own games which use the models that you make.   Second most earning power is by creating complex models such as vehicles or fully equipped characters. for example.  Small models can earn money with huge volume of them and business savvy such as having your own website and drawing traffic there.     


Have fun!