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Member Since 25 Sep 2002
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#5199371 Just few questions...

Posted by jbadams on 20 December 2014 - 11:09 PM

What is the best IDE for game programming? (I was thinking about Visual Studio, but I want to hear your opinion).

Visual Studio is a great Windows-based IDE that is very popular and widely used, and is generally well regarded amongst people who make games.  The majority of popular engines and libraries will provide project files or build instructions for Visual Studio.  If you're comfortable with Visual Studio then personally I would suggest you proceed with it.  Other popular options include Qt Creator and Code::Blocks.


What is better - OpenGL or DirectX (I know that they are both have good sides and bad sides, but I want to know which is used commonly and which is more peformance) and do you have any good tutorials or books for them?

This one often gets into holy war territory and both are quite capable but my impression is that DirextX is more commonly used for Windows-based games, and unless there are reasons to decide otherwise my personal preference would be to use DirectX rather than OpenGL.  Either will be just fine, and you would probably best be advised to use whichever you are more comfortable with.


As for learning resources, both our "DirectX and XNA", and "OpenGL" forums have some great resources listed in the green "getting started" block you'll find in the right-hand sidebar when viewing the site in a non-mobile view.  I would suggest taking a look at some basic tutorials for each and picking whichever feels more comfortable to you.


And of course do you have any advices or tips about making games for beginners.

Start small.  You need to spend the time working your way up with smaller projects rather than trying to jump straight into your dream project.  Take the time to learn your chosen programming language (apparently C++; I would personally recommend C+ Primer 5th Edition if you're after a book, or LearnCpp.com if you want an online resource), then work your way through some smaller games such as Pong, Breakout, etc. to learn the basics.  Take a read through the article "Your First Step to Game Development Starts Here".


Don't be afraid to make mistakes or ashamed to ask for help when you need it.  You're going to make lots of mistakes, but they're one of the absolute best ways of learning.  There's no substitute for experience, so go out there and get some and don't let the mistakes you make along the way discourage you.


Dig in for the long haul -- there's always more to learn, and programming is really a life-long journey.  See "Become a Good Programmer in Six Really Hard Steps".  Don't let that scare you off though, it's also really rewarding, and you can make some really cool stuff while you're still learning!



Hope that helps! :)

#5199221 Marketing a game?!

Posted by jbadams on 20 December 2014 - 02:29 AM

Try Pixel Prospector's Marketing Guide For Game Developers for some ideas. :)

#5198119 Gzip files with unknown compression flag

Posted by jbadams on 14 December 2014 - 07:22 AM

Have you tried the SDK braindigitalis linked to above...?

#5197324 Can anyone give a small developer any tips on how to make a small game

Posted by jbadams on 09 December 2014 - 11:32 PM

I wasn't going to bother with specifically targeting advice at you based on your other account (I've sent you a PM about maintaining multiple accounts!) but I've been keeping an eye on your "company's" Twitter account and think you and your friends could really use some specific advice.

Start small, take it slow and do things properly, and just be beginners and learn things -- you don't have to try to look "professional", and you're not pulling it off anyway.

Start small.

Everyone starts learning by making smaller games or tiny pieces of bigger games rather than their dream projects. Making games is difficult and you need to walk before you can run by working on smaller projects whilst you learn the basics. The good news is that you can find most if not all of the learning materials and tools you'll need very cheaply or even for free.

Here's some more reading material on getting started:
If you want to do this as a learning exercise (i.e. you're interested in learning all the low level details of how game engines work, etc.) then I would suggest picking a programming language to learn and getting stuck in. Any programming language (that you're likely to choose) will do, so don't get caught up in trying to choose "the perfect language".

My suggestion would be C#, which is a great beginner friendly language that will remain useful to you in the longer term and can be used with the fantastic Monogame library or Unity (amongst other options) to create great games -- remember that you need to start with the basics though -- you'll want to learn the basics of the language itself before jumping into Unity, Monogame or any other option.

Other popular options include Java, Lua, Python or C++. Pick any of them and get started.

If you just want to make a game in the easiest way possible take a look at an engine such as Unreal or Unity. You'll still need to start with the basics though!

Take it slow and do things properly.

You and your friends seem to be rushing into things when you should be taking your time going about learning.

You published a website and directed people to visit it before it was even completed. No one expects you to even have a website until there's something to put there, so there's absolutely no need to rush in to it.

You started a crowd-funding campaign (since cancelled) to raise 10,000 euros before you even knew how you were going to make a game, how much money you might actually need or what you might spend it on. You're simply not ready to be taking people's money until you know which software you'll be using and are confident that you can make a great product with it.

Your friend tweeted to tell us there wouldn't be many tweets yesterday because you were busy. No one expects any particular number of tweets from your account, and you would probably be better off waiting until you actually have something to say and real things to show.

Take your time and do things properly. Learn the basics before attempting your dream project. Finish things (or at least make them more complete than that website!) before you share them.

Just be beginners and learn -- don't waste time and effort trying to look "professional"

So here's the deal... we all know you guys aren't a big professional company -- and that's absolutely ok, we're all cool with that and no one will look down on you for it!

But because we all know you're not a big company, you're wasting time and effort by trying to give that image.

Large businesses have a CEO, but when you're obviously just a group of beginners trying to learn the basics your friend calling himself a CEO honestly just looks a bit silly, and when you ask people for crowd-funding it even seems a bit like you're trying to rip people off.

When you've published a free website (link) and haven't even bothered to finish customising it you again look silly having tweets from someone claiming to be a "site developer/researcher".

You don't need to try to be professionals and have all of the things that multi-million dollar companies have, you can just be honest that you are a group of friends trying to make it as game developers and everyone will be perfectly ok with that -- they'll probably be even more supportive because a lot of our community members are in the same or similar situations and because it doesn't feel dishonest like the poor illusion of professionalism you've been portraying.

Being a professional isn't always all it's cracked up to be anyway. ;)

TL;DR: Start small, take the time to do things properly, and don't waste your effort on a "professional" image you don't need and can't pull off.

Hope that helps, and please feel welcome in our community to ask any further specific questions you might have. We know you're just a group of friends trying to get started, and we're more than happy to help! :)

#5197103 Want to become a Computer Scientist

Posted by jbadams on 09 December 2014 - 01:18 AM

I chuckled at "computer scientist". Good luck getting a PhD to be considered one lol.

The term is commonly used for academics (and often even just any qualified professional) with a B.S. in Computer Science OR for those who go on to complete an M.S. or Ph.D, so it's both correct terminology according to common usage and potentially quite an achievable goal.

It may not be a perfectly technically correct term, but if you're being pedantic the title of "software engineer" doesn't make much sense for most people who claim it either -- and some places (such as Texas if I recall correctly) actually enforce that distinction by only allowing the title for those who are also qualified as actual engineers.


#5197095 Can anyone give a small developer any tips on how to make a small game

Posted by jbadams on 08 December 2014 - 10:36 PM

Do you have any existing skills or experience?  If so, what tools and/or programming languages have you used before?


Do you want to learn about all of the low level details for the future, or do you just want to get games made in the easiest way possible?  Are you aiming for 2d or 3d?

#5196382 C++ SDL 2.0.3 Very Basic Help STUMPED

Posted by jbadams on 04 December 2014 - 10:29 PM

Glad you found a work-around for your problem, but just a comment on your solution:


Could be a problem with Windows 8.1 administrator BS shenanigans

You know when people complain that Windows is "insecure"?  Those "BS shenanigans" are part of the solution to that, and can help to keep your PC free of malware/viruses.  They've also been a well known part of Windows since at least Windows Vista, and if you find any software (obviously excluding very old software that hasn't been updated) that does not work properly because of it that's a flaw in the software rather than a flaw in Windows.


So problem: because windows.

Not "because Windows", but rather "because crappy software".

#5196378 Question about Vector graphics artstyle

Posted by jbadams on 04 December 2014 - 10:03 PM

These following images are all vector art:


stock-illustration-6993641-scarecrows-scary.jpg stock-illustration-21929693-scary-jack-o-lantern.jpg

These first two both include some more shading and fine detail.



This one is more cartoony but still has a more "gritty" style to it than some of the other examples.



...and while this one isn't really scary, it's not really cartoony at all and I think makes a good example that very different styles can be achieved with vectors.



I would agree with the others that vector formats and workflow are probably best suited to cartoon/comic styles, but that doesn't mean that other styles can't be achieved or that (as sunandshadow points out above) cartoony graphics still can't be darker and grittier with a more serious feel.



It's also worth taking the mood and feel of the game or animation into account -- even with softer cartoon style graphics you can still achieve that potential "freak show" feeling if the setting, story, etc. are suited to that theme.  "The Binding of Isaac" (not the "Rebirth" sequel, which has pixel art) features cartoony vector art but touches on a lot of taboo subjects and at times can give a very off-putting feel, and thanks to the intense action-based game play pulls off a good occasional scare. 




#5196035 question about pathfinding

Posted by jbadams on 03 December 2014 - 03:24 AM

A* isn't tile-based, though it's often used in grid-based scenarios.
A* is node-based. The nodes don't need to be evenly spaced or on a grid, though they work fine on grids also.

Amit Patel has a good introduction to Grids and Graphs that might help getting to grips with this. :)

(He also provides an excellent Introduction to A* and a more detailed set of "A* Pages".)


Hope that helps! :)

#5195828 Browser game development: Flash or HTML5?

Posted by jbadams on 01 December 2014 - 11:50 PM

If your intention is to upload to those sort of portals it really mostly comes down to your personal preference; which are you more comfortable with?


Is there anything particular about your game that might make it more or less well suited to either option?  (Example: non-trivial audio can be tricky in HTML5 (although there are solutions available)).



What's your plan (if any) to monetize?  Some advertisers only support Flash or only support HTML5, sponsorships can be less common for HTML5, etc.


Flash is becoming less common on mobile devices if you want to support those.

#5194719 I need some google play store alternatives

Posted by jbadams on 25 November 2014 - 10:00 PM

If you want to share a helpful link you're welcome to do so honestly in an appropriate forum, and I'm sure people will appreciate the good resources.


Instead you chose to put on this little charade with a fake question and multiple accounts.  Act dishonest and spammy and we'll treat you like every other spammer -- goodbye! 

#5192972 How do you learn to compose different genres?

Posted by jbadams on 15 November 2014 - 06:43 AM

I was going to write a lengthy explanation with my question like I usually do, but what the hell - let's just get to the point with the tl;dr version:

How do you approach trying to write music for a genre you're not familiar with?

I do have a couple of ideas of my own that I've had moderate success with, but I'll let others reply before sharing them so I don't accidentally guide the conversation into a niche of stuff I'm already familiar with.

(Posted from mobile, please excuse the brevity and lack of formatting.)

#5191081 Vertically scrolling underwater game, what to use as background?

Posted by jbadams on 04 November 2014 - 04:57 AM

How about:

  • A solid coloured background that starts off blue, and gradually transitions to black as you get deeper.  You could apply ripple type patterns to show movements in the water.
  • While you're still close to the surface (i.e. at the start) there could be distorted beams of light from the surface.  They would of course get fainter and then not show at all past a certain depth.
  • You could put bubbles and sea creatures in the background.  When you get down low enough that the background is almost black you could start adding glowing deep-sea fish.

#5190700 I Need Help Starting Out? I'm a Programmer But Not A 2D Artist?

Posted by jbadams on 02 November 2014 - 03:41 AM

Firstly, as a solo programmer you can look for free artwork or purchase it instead.


You can find free artwork on sites like OpenGameArt.org, Game-icons.net, and in sets like SpriteLib, Kenney.nl, some of the collections on Lost Garden, etc.  Don't forget to check if there are any particular licencing conditions and/or rules you need to follow when using free artwork.  The other main issue with free artwork is that it may not always be in an appropriate format and styles from different sources may not necessarily match.


You can also purchase art from our marketplace, GameDev Market, GraphicRiver, etc. or any of the many asset stores provided by Unity, Game Maker, or even Scirra themselves, etc.  Again, be sure that the licence conditions are suitable for your usage.



If you want to make your own art -- or if you just need to make changes to stuff you've found or bought -- remember that art is a skill like any other.  There are certain rules and guidelines you can learn in order to improve, and your work will improve with practice.  Try some of the tips from these articles:

You can also try choosing an art style that isn't so complex; some games have a hand-drawn look, are made with photos, are done as cartoons, etc.




Hope that helps! :)

#5190528 Affordable mobile game (iOS/Android) marketing strategy/company

Posted by jbadams on 01 November 2014 - 02:58 AM

You could also try some of the tips from "The Marketing Guide for Game Developers". :)