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aspiring newb

Member Since 07 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Apr 08 2013 03:14 PM

Topics I've Started

Man Hours Necessary to Make a Game

06 April 2013 - 01:46 PM

I wanted to know if anyone here had experience making a game on their own and how many hours would you estimate for its complete development (programming, sound, sprites, etc.).  I am currently starting a small game myself and would like to have an idea of how many hours it would approximately take me.


Of course I understand that certain factors may cause a great deal of variation.  For one, I have very little programming experience and have never completed a game in my life.  I also know that other things like fidelity of graphics, sound and overall size and scope of the project could determine length as well.  As such, I will give a clear vision of my game with regards to those parameters.


I plan to make a 2d action adventure game.  The graphics fidelity will be on par with something in the middle of Nintendo and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems.  So nothing as smooth and detailed as Super Metroid, but definitely more involved than Legend of Zelda.  I've already started sprite work.


For sounds, I am just going to record my voice for a few voiceovers.  The rest of the effects will probably be taken from a public domain database or a sound database where sound effects are cheap.


For the size, there will be one large area with several rooms (similar to Resident Evil's mansion).  There will be no over world or much of an outdoors setting outside of the immediate area surrounding the facility.  For game time, there will be a max time (it will be timed) of eight hours, but the game will likely be able to be completed in a few hours.


In terms of scope, the game mechanics will include shooting, running, walking, throwing objects, environment interaction (closer to point and click than anything as involved as environmental damage), shooting and stabbing.  There will be normal enemies and boss types.  There will also be different endings depending on certain factors upon game completion.


The game will be written in C++ and I will likely use SFML (I am still learning about this in school and don't plan on starting the game until summer vacation).  It is a small project, so I don't really care about it having the highest level of quality.  I do plan on using it for a portfolio of work, so I don't plan on it being utter trash.  Point is I am realistic about it and know I am not making a AAA game on my first try.  I also understand that what I am undertaking is still very large for my level of experience.  Even so, I have a lot of time this summer and plan to work full time.


I just wanted to know, based off other's experience in conjunction with the information I've given, how many hours do you think a game like this would take to be completed?  Does 500 sound too small?

Game Development Rig

21 March 2013 - 02:46 PM

What's a decent rig setup to develop games?


I want to build a dedicated PC for developing games.  I have a macbook for personal use, but I want to focus making games on PC with microsoft tools.  I plan on making pet projects while I am still in school so I don't need something that is going to power the next Crysis. Still, I wanted to know if using bootcamp on my macbook would suffice, or if I should just build something separate.


I've read that bootcamped Macs essentially are PCs and even have Windows 7 on mine, but there are certain types of software that won't work on it (I am guessing because of the Mac architecture but really have no idea).  If there is anyone that has tried to use bootcamp to develop games of small scope on their macs, have you run into any problems using tools that are built for native Windows Machines?  Will things like differences in keyboard layouts, inputs, and trackpads (really hate using the trackpad on my bootcamp, but I guess I should be using a mouse anyway) affect programming?

What do I need to learn in order to become a game programmer/designer?

07 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

I am sure this has been asked a bunch of times already, but I will give some background information because I want a more personalized response then what I've encountered in these types of forums.


First, a little bit about myself.  I am a Computer Science major.  I have one year of undergraduate schooling left that constitutes pretty much 2 years worth of classes in the major, because I transferred from a completed psych degree with most of the general classes done so I am solely working on the major now.  I have taken classes in Java and C.  I am not a great programmer yet, but I have become more aware of concepts through the algorithms class I am currently taking.  I am only barely familiar with linux/unix and other languages like perl, scheme and prolog.  I am also in the second digital electronics class of a 4 class hardware series.  Most of the classes I have taken so far are math related (preCalc, Calc I, II, physics I, II, and currently taking Calc IV which deals with vector math).  I plan to learn C++, because it seems to be the video/computer games industry standard.  Maybe add a little python in there since I read it's a good language to make games along C++ (how or why I would like to know).


For personal skills which can aide this process, I am decent at drawing and I write in my spare time.  I am a planner to the extreme, so organization and setup is key before I'd even jump into programming something like this.


I don't know what direction I want to take my degree and will probably accept the first CS type job I can get to pay my student loans when I graduate.  However, I do want to develop games on the side on a small scale (indie games, 2d, and possibly 3d eventually if I can find like minded people who would work on something in their off time for nothing but the promise of experience and possible future pay from digital distribution).


I want to do something small in the beginning in which I can do everything myself before moving onto bigger projects which will necessitate 3d artists, musicians and other types of staff.  I want to learn what I need in order to make a 2d game from the ground up (sprite based graphics, C++ programming).  It will be single player and have things like characters that can walk/run/attack, sound effects (likely taken from a public domain sound effects site like soundbible), action which requires hit detection (shooting enemies), items that can be picked up like a set of keys or items that can be picked up from the environment like picking up a box and throwing it at an enemy, (un)lockable doors, and multiple endings.


Please let me know what kind of languages, software and concepts I would need to become familiar with in order to make something like that myself.  I see stuff like "whatever you are familiar with is good" but I'd like answers more in line with what standards are expected if one were to work in the industry.  I don't really care about learning too much about 3d graphics yet if ever, because if this became more than a hobby, I'd want to collaborate with 3d artists who could worry about that.  I do want to learn how to incorporate 2d sprite and tile based graphics into my coding and in general how coding a game works.  I would also like to find a good resource on game design for beginners.  Especially something that could have tutorials on making schematics if thats necessary.


Also, if I'd need to make a website to promote something like this, would a blog be good or should I make one from the ground up as well?  Sorry if I'm asking so many questions at the same time, but I have done a good deal of reading and understand that doing something like this doesn't simply consist of having a good idea.  It seems to take lots of work, testing and eventually promoting, so I want to get a good idea of what to expect with all of the above.


Please, if anyone has a good answer and/or helpful resources (websites, literature, etc.) for any of the questions, it'd be greatly appreciated!