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3Ddreamer

Member Since 04 Aug 2012
Online Last Active Today, 06:20 AM

#5107364 Vector Art vs Pixel Art

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 06 November 2013 - 12:07 AM

Vector graphics in many cases sure spares a lot of tedious work.   There are ways to make vector art look pixelated.  It takes practice but it is doable. 

 

Pixel art and vector graphics have some similarities and some vast differences in coding implementations. To keep coding manageable, you need to use some already existing libraries for the handling of image files. 

 

Vector art solves almost all problems of hardware or operating system differences of end-users, for example screen resolution, screen dimension ratio or screen size differences. With pixel art there can be potentially a wide spectrum of appearance quality among different target platforms, often also in the same genre of hardware platform such as among Windows OS users. Vector art therefore can prevent much of the debugging when it comes to screen issues among the hardware variations.  

 

Vector art can also simplify the lower level coding to make art coding within reach of a competent coder. You can more easily see results as What You See Is What You Get, more dependably. Coding itself will follow a narrower scope of coding conventions than with most other forms of screen rendering.  Here is where OpenGL and Java work great together, but it is under general principles similar with Direct3D and any other language. For practice with vector graphics, then start by making UIs and GUIs in vector, if you haven't by now.

 

Choice of game engine will eliminate much or all of the lower-level coding for you, if you want. "Why try to reinvent the wheel?," as we read around here once in a while. Even without a game engine, you still need to use some libraries.

 

Always read and follow the license agreements for coding libraries.

 

If things go well, you can use both vector graphics and pixel art.  There are various editors out there which deal in levels, objects, and characters.  Some handle vector, voxel, pixel, and procedural generated surfaces and characters, but these always are a bit expensive.  There are open source editors which you may use in your workflow pipeline for game engine source code and/or game source code creation.

 

You'll have to do the leg work, but here is a list of game engines.  Go to the sites and see what they have to inspire you, including their showcase threads.

 

List of game engines:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines




#5107134 I'm stuck, haven't gotten any better at programming in months

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 05 November 2013 - 05:53 AM

Hi,

smile.png

 

 

 


I've been coding for probably about 2-3 years, inconsistently,

 

That is the source of your problem right there.  The solution, since you lack some motivation and direction, is to increase your desire to work hard almost every day on coding and stick with a course or other plan which has been ready made for people like you. 

 

Don't feel too bad, because this is very common for people to go thru a time in their life when their chosen occupation lacks their self-discipline. (Discipline really means training and not punishment.)

 

I recommend that you find a ready made plan somewhere to progress in coding.  That might be a book, a long online video tutorial, work with game dev team project using a certain game engine, school course - whatever makes you stay on course and pace yourself.

 

Let's keep things as simple and clear as possible.  You have the choice to get motivated and on a plan.  Just stick with it!




#5106921 Your suggestion for free model/rigging software?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 04 November 2013 - 08:32 AM

I agree about Blender.  It is very smooth workflow to be able to test the model immediately as it would appear in game. Also the support from the Blender community and the huge amount of help information is enormous.




#5106581 Your suggestion for free model/rigging software?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 02 November 2013 - 06:37 PM

Learning a good 3D program is far better decision than trying to go on the cheap and end with months, if not years, of delay in your learning curve because you chose a software which limits you.  To make real progress, you must have courage and motivation to learn new software because that is the nature of the game development occupation.

 

Poser, Blender, Maya, and 3DS Max have all been used by me and they work just fine.  Many tutorials exist to help you step by step. Most great 3D graphics software have student or sort of express versions which cost little or nothing.   By the way, I usually make the base model for a character in Wings 3D, UV map it there, create a void and also template textures with Wings 3D, and then export/import into another 3D software program for finishing and animations.  

 

If you use a game engine, then you need to learn what the preferred workflow pipeline is for that system.   Some are designed to favor certain 3D graphics programs, but many allow others due to compatibility with the same 2D and 3D file formats or connection via plug-ins such as Collada.

 

Trying too hard to find a short cut can get you lost in the jungle easily in the game development industry.  Best for newbies to stay on the beaten paths for a last a good 1-2 years.




#5105878 Giving a try to 3D graphics programming

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 31 October 2013 - 01:05 AM

Coding in 3D in most cases needs to incorporate the output of a good 3D program like Blender, Maya, or 3DS Max (among others).   The naming and file format conventions are fairly standard.  You don't need to create a plug-in to these 3D software, but you at least need to have your coding be able to read and implement the 2D and 3D files from those programs (rasterize to screen).  Hopping around the 3D learning landscape is fun and you will find useful things, but at the end of the day you need to target 2D and 3D graphics file format implementation.  

 

For example, if I create a 3D model of a pickup truck in Maya, then inside the model folder may be files for things such as 3D coordinates in that file format, animation files, 2D texture file (s), materials, shaders, bump map file(s), and any special instances/members such as vector graphics, render materials like Path Ray.  (Note: Rays such as Path Ray, materials, and animation files should be small because these really eat processing performance for breakfast, lunch, and supper!)  Each model folder goes into the appropriate Class folder.  Each type of file in the model folder has potential 3D coordinates associated with it.

 

 

Example :

 

(Class Folders, member Folders, model Folders, object Files:)

 

Maps

         City

         Village

         Farm

Vehicles

Police (Class Folder)

         patrol (member Folder)

                  01_officer.x (a model folder in the .x file format)

                                                                                         3Dmodel

                                                                                         bumpmap

                                                                                         2Dtexture

                                                                                         animations

                                                                                         weapons (carried with the character)

                 

                   02_officer.x (a model folder in the .x file format)

                                                                                         3Dmodel

                                                                                         bumpmap

                                                                                         2Dtexture

                                                                                         animations

                                                                                         weapons (carried with the character)

 

 

         swat

         detective

Villains

          robber

                     drugDealer.x  (a model folder in the .x file format)

                                                                                         3Dmodel

                                                                                         bumpmap

                                                                                         2Dtexture

                                                                                         animations

                                                                                         weapons (carried with the character)                                                                           

                                 

                                                                                           

          rapist

          shooter

 

Civilians

Weapons (external weapons such as cannon, gun turret, water cannon, etc.)

Objects

            trees

            houses

            streetlights

            firehidrants

            stationaryvehicles

            furniture

 

 

Some things can be placed inside or outside the model folder (.X in this example) and this is determined while or at the end of the model making process within the 3D software where the model is made.  Putting all the contents inside the model folder is standard and makes coding easier with better performance.  The 3D software exports all of this in a model folder with all contents, traits, and configurations.   Your job as a coder is to make your game engine and/or game source code read the Class folders and implement the contents which are found in each model folder, be it rasterized 3D and 2D, animations, and so on.  Normally people acquire a game engine to handle the lower level implementations such as reading coordinates and implementing animations.  What you are really doing is creating a game engine source code and a game source code if you code everything yourself.




#5105064 Giving a try to 3D graphics programming

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 28 October 2013 - 10:28 AM

Hi,

 

Using OpenGL might be a good option if you want to target hardware cross-platform.

 

Instead of learning everything about 3D programming, I recommend focusing on 2D and 3D file format implementations (rasterize them to screen), shaders, animation support from 3D programs such as Collada as one example, voxels, input/controller support such as mouse and keyboard or others, camera views, and procedural generated surfaces such as terrain. You might want to get started early with Oculus Rift, which has a reasonable cost developers version. Bullet Physics is a good thing to plan to implement down the road. 

 

Don't spend too much time on one area but be balanced long term.  Better to create a sphere on a simple terrain plain that bounces off another sphere, or something like that, instead of exhausting yourself on trying to get one thing great looking before moving to another aspect of 3D. 

 

Remember to really focus on developing a creative workflow pipeline in the long term.  Anything else is trivial pursuit for a beginner or intermediate developer. Workflow pipeline for your efforts is very important if you aspire to go pro in 3D.




#5104410 When the class name is the same as its instance...

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 25 October 2013 - 11:53 AM

Hello,

 

It is imperative that you stay with the habit of software architecture planning to establish class names - at least most of them - before you begin coding.  Flow charts are so very important to advancing in game development.  Each stage could use a flow chart.  After testing of the module, you should make note at the end of the flow chart that implementation was tested and verified.  Any notes for future issues should go near the bottom, too. 

 

Version control (source control) software helps with the design, construct, debugging and implementation. Flow charts can be tied to version control.

 

I know a lead programmer for an international firm.  He often talks about flow charts as being key to things such as class names and instances. In coding, the better the programmer then the more sophisticated the documentation tends to be. It consumes time short term, but yields massive savings in time and effort long term as an investment.




#5102540 Is XNA still worth learning?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 18 October 2013 - 08:01 PM

Hi,

 

Most people will still be using the device which has DirectX 9c compatibility, even after the new hardware is released soon and updated version comes within the next year.  It will take a couple years for the two station versions to be about at par in numbers, but even then many people will still play Xbox 360 for years into the future.

 

Long term, you really should consider your options there, too. As for computers being a target hardware platform, once a program is installed into the Program Files registry, the Windows Operating System update utility will detect the version of the graphics API (Direct3D/DirectX) which the software needs to fully execute and then provide the end-user with the necessary version of the .NET Framework which contains DirectX 9c support (if not there already, then it should be provided automatically). Of course, any later versions of .NET Framework are backward compatible with DirectX 9c developed programs and software, so later OS are no problem.  I write all this for future reference because the numbers of people who own PCs still continues to climb despite the trends of laptops, tablets, play stations, and smart phones. (Laptops are of course PCs and are mobility devices though not technically in the mobile device category as most people think of that.)  For this reason, learning Mono at this time might be a better option in preparation for the new utilities which are coming, because by the time you are ready to provide serious art assets and include them in development, then Mono will be fully ready for the next generation of PCs and devices.   You may develop now for this generation, but Mono will only get better for years down the road. tongue.png Remember that Mono is also, like XNA, targeting a graphics API which is mature, which means for you that the game source code will never be "broken" for years to come and Mono tool chain itself will only improve with very compatible changes.  Mono after all is fundamentally an implementation of XNA type technology.

 

XNA on the other hand, as already stated, has reached maturity (stopped growing and expanding) with the advantage of stability and reliability.  You need to think carefully about the abilities and goals to make a decision on XNA or not.  I agree with previous writers that as beginning developer, you really can't lose in any case by using XNA.  The stability and maturity of XNA is a tremendous advantage to new developers who need all the help that they can get for the first 1-2 years.  If you actually like debugging, then you might want to consider another option. laugh.png   

 

Xbox in a similar way has no problem in playing DirectX 9c programs for years to come, the way someone pointed to it earlier.  wink.png  

 

Since the previous posts here hit the nail on the head, I only wanted to confirm and explain the reasons why.  




#5102043 Would like artistic help with my game

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 17 October 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hi,

 

Once you spend a few hundred hours at it, making textures will take a fraction of the time that it did when you began.  I am amazed myself at how quickly I can whip together a nice texture for something, sometimes in a matter of minutes, that used to take a lot of hours.

 

I use GIMP for most things and actually could get by with only using it for 95% of textures, as for rasterized rendered ones.  Inkscape is often used by me for vector graphics, some of which are later converted to rasterized JPG, BMP, and so forth.  Once you get into designing vector planes in your games, then you will open a whole new level of capability for quality, even if most other surfaces are textures.  Eventually, procedural generated surfaces will make your game appearance reach very sophisticated quality level.

 

In the meantime, continue looking into these things and expanding your knowledge base.  I'd focus on layers, including transparent background layers, gradient filters, fonts, and lean toward more Alpha Channel inclusion in your game after a few months, maybe only weeks.  Down the road you may use Blender or other software to generate procedural surfaces, sometimes in combination with normal and bump maps.   All in due time!  smile.png




#5101503 Best way to showcase a game made in Python/Pygame

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 15 October 2013 - 03:02 AM

Youtube videos get many views if the title of the video is chosen carefully.  Windows movie maker works well and easy to learn in my opinion. There are tutorials on how to make Youtube videos and upload them.  Many game developers use this as a hook and provide a link to a demo website under the video in the description. It is wise to have a demo version of the game and let them have at it. If they like it enough then they will want the full version.  Standards are 5 or 10 minutes of play in many cases. So look for host websites for games. 




#5101413 Indie Game Developer - Bit confused

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 14 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

All of the major ten or so coding languages are just fine for scripting in game source code, speaking in general, for the long term.

 

Things that do matter much more are your game concept goals, coding to target a platform framework (.Net Framework, Java Runtime Environment, and Mono are the most common.), and the software development framework of choice (Game engines, SDKs, and/or IDEs).  Beginners should simplify by picking one or two frameworks which meet the needs for the first several games and selecting the most appropriate coding language according to these strategic decisions.

 

Often a framework was created for a certain language or small set of them, but may have support for other languages. Chose ONE most favored by the framework developer and work with it for several months or even 1-2 years, unless you really feel strongly about using a secondary language of a certain framework. Only after you reach intermediate level in coding a language should you add another one, in my opinion.

 

Java coding language combined with JRE is hard to beat unless you choose another language with a framework designed to allow it to be hardware cross-platform.  In any case, the correct runtime environment must be installed by the machine's operating system or a later version of it.   Sometimes a game notifies the end-user to get the minimum version of the runtime or update what they have, but these are advanced game development issues.

 

The newest game developers should have experience with making simple applications before starting game development, maybe 3-5 of them.  Next would be to create short game coding which is of the console application type, such as tic-tac-toe, crossword puzzle, question and answer quiz game, and so on.  Stay in vector graphics only for months or even 1-2 years.  A 2D game engine could be used for this or relatively early in the learning of game dev.  

 

The 3D games should be 1-2 years down the road minimum.  Beginners should stay the crud from C++ for at least a year, in my view.

 

Detailed application development courses are highly recommended, whether classes, books, or online tutorials.




#5101130 Should I Redesign and Start Over?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 13 October 2013 - 05:24 PM


my college teaches that even organizations have to end projects unsuccessful, making a Closeout document and learning from their mistakes

 

Fair enough. smile.png

 

However, the difference is a single developer compared to a team developer.  Team leader such as executive (or delegated to lead programmer) would make the initial decision to cancel a project after communication with the team. I have been in development and design team situations like this and it is actually not uncommon, so you make a good point.  Even when a project is cancelled, often coding and assets are salvaged for later use.  

 

 

Clinton




#5101127 Should I Redesign and Start Over?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 13 October 2013 - 05:10 PM

If a person has aspirations for a career in game development, then finishing the first, second, and third projects would say much to an organization about the character and habits of the coder.  Whenever the opportunities come for me to interview a coder for my team years down the road, one of the first things that I will ask is to see the person's very first game and then ask the coder if he or she felt that they had completed it.  For the first several games, I look at completion as being more important than skill since the coder was a beginner after all. I will be looking for evidence of mental toughness.  

 

 

Clinton




#5100951 Should I Redesign and Start Over?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 13 October 2013 - 12:28 AM

Well into the project, I say that you should complete it but in a reduced form from your original goals.

 

Next time you should build code in modules which can be unplugged and plugged into the source code, sometimes swapping an old module with a rebuilt one.  This is a separate issue from libraries which may each contain potentially many modules of coding. The key is to structure your source code so that calls are the actual point of connection between source code and specific modules.

 

Don't worry because it is usually good practice to complete a project.

 

 

Clinton




#5100898 Am I read to start making games yet?

Posted by 3Ddreamer on 12 October 2013 - 05:43 PM


I think I'm going to make one in C# then make one in Java.

 

  Stick with ONE language until you get into the intermediate skill level with it and THEN add another language.  Make a bunch of games in C# and LATER add another language.

 

First time game developers particularly should stay with ONE language for quite a number of months, maybe even over a year.

 

Since you chose C#, make several 2D console application games and vector graphics based ones before any other language is tried.  As a matter of reality, it would be a good strategy to do it this way and after about a year then add Visual Studio Express to your plan and begin at that time to learn rasterized graphics issues with VS Ex.. which will lead to class files, dlls, and other executables.  C# is all you need for a good 1-2 years.

 

Focus!

 

 

Clinton






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