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#5158899 Advise for a beginner needed

Posted by jbadams on 07 June 2014 - 06:54 AM

You need a OOP language for 3D

Just a small correction since this is a For Beginners topic, but you do not need OOP for 3d at all - they're completely unrelated and it's entirely possible to write 3d software without using OOP. :)

(Posted from mobile, please excuse any small formatting or spelling errors.)

#5158855 Deciding to switch to C++

Posted by jbadams on 06 June 2014 - 11:50 PM

If you want to (or feel you need to) learn C++ then go for it - it's that simple. It is (as you noted) a very valuable language for a would-be game developer to know, and whilst it's common to recommend beginners learn another language first C++ certainly isn't a language that's impossible (or even overly difficult with the right attitude) to learn.

Regarding your current project, I believe you missed a third possibility; split your time and continue to develop your project using Java, whilst at the same time learning C++. As the little girl in the ads says, "why not both?"

Otherwise, if you feel that splitting your time and attention over the two languages is too difficult or not something you want to take on, you'll need to decide what's more important to you personally; would you rather invest more time into learning C++ (and probably starting a new project) immediately, or would you rather complete the existing project (which may be a good thing for a resume and/or portfolio).

Hope that helps! :)

#5158303 Is working in terminal/console really a waste of time?

Posted by jbadams on 05 June 2014 - 01:21 AM

Speaking personally, when I recommend starting with console programs I do just mean to learn the basics; whilst you certainly can take it quite far (Rogue-likes and Dwarf Fortress clones for example) I don't really recommend going much further than a "guess the number" type game unless the beginner particularly feels they need additional practice.

Completing "guess the number" should be far enough to have learned the basics of flow control (at least some form of looping and a simple conditional), simple input and output, and perhaps some basic debugging.

#5157241 Is working in terminal/console really a waste of time?

Posted by jbadams on 31 May 2014 - 06:16 PM

No, but I didn't vote in the poll because I disagree with the additional stipulation about people who feel like they wasted their time - most of those people probably benefited from the experience as well, whether they feel like it or not.

Some modern languages, environments and toolkits make the console experience irrelevant, and in that context the question doesn't even really make sense, but when learning a language like C++ console based exercises are an excellent way to learn and practice the basics without some of the additional headaches and distractions that working with windowing and graphics can provide.

As with anything, individuals will get out what they put in, so those with the wrong attitude will minimise the benefits of the experience - but they'll certainly never learn nothing at all from it.

Additionally, the basic skills of working with a console are very useful to have, allowing you to work with a range of different OS and tools which may not always provide a GUI.

(Posted from mobile, please excuse any small formatting or auto-correct errors. )

#5156939 What Software?

Posted by jbadams on 30 May 2014 - 06:34 AM

That could actually be a really fun game if it were designed properly with the right random events and an appropriate set of decisions for players to make!  I'm betting you could make that sort of game using Scratch.  It's free, and provides a simple drag & drop system for creating your games or animations, but as far as I'm aware there unfortunately isn't a nice way of creating a stand-alone executable you can distribute.


Barring that you might have to fork out some cash for something like Game Maker (the US$50 Standard version would likely meet your needs), Construct 2 (US$130 for the Personal licence), or Stencyl (US$99/year for the Indie licence - you could work on your game with the free version till you're ready to publish though!) if you want to create your game without programming.  All three packages have some form of free version available that you can try out, and based on your description of the game you want to make I'm sure all three would be capable of it -- note that I own copies of both Game Maker and Construct 2, but I've never personally tried Stencyl, so I'm going off things I've heard for that one.

#5156427 Would you play this?

Posted by jbadams on 27 May 2014 - 11:28 PM

There are 75 levels.

Why have you decided on 75 levels up front?  You would probably be better off seeing how many puzzles you can create (and play-testing to be sure they're both fun and challenging) and then basing the number of levels on that, otherwise you may find yourself with less puzzles and end up creating boring filler to try to reach your 75 level total.



Your game may or may not be fun based off the description -- I'd try creating a prototype and see how it actually plays. smile.png

#5155185 Supernatural Game

Posted by jbadams on 22 May 2014 - 03:43 AM

4. Anything else I should be aware of before going into this? I feel the Supernatural universe is a really rich one, with a lot of room for expansion, but also room for me to screw up.

To begin with, you should be aware of the legal issues: you can't just use an existing setting without permission without some pretty serious legal risk, even if the game you're making is for free.  If your game comes to the attention of whoever owns the rights you might receive a cease and desist letter requiring you to scrap your project, or you may even be taken to court.


See Tom Sloper's FAQ #61 "So you wanna clone someone's IP", and FAQ #39 "Legal stuff" for more information.


You could certainly make a game featuring monsters, demons, and monster-hunters, but you would be much safer making up your own rather than using the existing setting from Supernatural; you certainly shouldn't use the specific characters or actual story-lines unless you're really happy to take a huge risk.





1. What are the issues with the Supernatural Narrative that makes game development difficult for it? I feel the story suffers from overpowering their characters. In the first series demons were dangerous (Still manageable, but dangerous.), now they kill so many it feels like they are cannon fodder.

//EDIT: Sorry, I somehow read this completely incorrectly, I think you were actually saying the same thing as me...


Actually I felt the opposite to this -- in the first series most monsters were tough but beatable whilst demons were nearly unstoppable -- until the Colt was retrieved there was no known way of killing them, and after it's introduction it was still thought to be the only way for a long time, and devil's traps and exorcisms didn't seem well known.  Apart from some major characters they actually seem much weaker overall with numerous things that can kill or incapacitate them.  They can now be killed with the colt, the knife, the first blade, an angel blade, be smote by angels, be killed by leviathan, be controlled and killed by "special humans" who are tainted with demon blood, be destroyed by salting and burning their original human bones, can be kept out of a person with a ward, can be locked into a person with a ward, can be hidden from with hex bags, and probably numerous other weaknesses that have gradually cropped up.


...and there lies what I think is probably the biggest weakness of the setting; I don't think it was originally intended to last nearly so long, and as it has grown over time a lot of stuff has been tacked on, leaving a setting that feels a lot less coherent than when the show first started.





2. With the above in mind what setting should the game be based? Should I include the characters from the TV series or shall I focus on my own character? Do I focus on some story arc involving demons or more on the general monster hunting?

Obviously given my original advice I think you should focus on your own characters, and even your own similar setting rather than directly using anything from Supernatural.


My wife and I enjoyed some of the earlier seasons of the show but have been finding the larger story arcs a bit over-the-top; we really like the episodes that are general monster hunting and wish there were still more of them.  You could potentially have a bit of both by having a major story-arc that carries throughout the game whilst the player is kept busy with various monster hunts.





3. What perspective? I feel a first person perspective works for the horror genre of the TV series. (Hasn’t been scary since the third series.)

First person can indeed be a good choice for horror if you're actually going for scares, but as DiegoSLTS mentions the show is often more about light entertainment and comedy with the occasional scare rather than a proper horror.  You might also consider how you'll best represent all of the tasks a player might go through when solving mysteries and hunting monsters; this might be hard to present in first person.  I actually think something like an adventure game might be really fun.



Hope that helps! smile.png

#5155033 Contacting press

Posted by jbadams on 21 May 2014 - 05:34 AM

Have a read through How to contact press (and increase chances to get press coverage) and "the big list of indie game marketing". smile.png

#5153973 how to find specefic platforms sdk like p34 and xone?

Posted by jbadams on 16 May 2014 - 05:23 AM

For XBox One you would want the ID@XBox program.  You can read about developing for a couple of other Microsoft platforms (XBox, Windows PC/Tablet, Web and Windows Phone) HERE.


You can apply to become a registered Playstation developer HERE.



Note that these programs have specific requirements, which you can read about on the websites.



Does that help? smile.png

#5153855 Required to replenish resources/nature in 2d.

Posted by jbadams on 15 May 2014 - 05:45 PM

Will a more complicated regrowth system make the game more fun?

Another way you could potentially cut down on the number of tiles to check might be to iterate over active resources instead of empty tiles; each resource might have a chance to spawn a copy into a randomly selected empty neighbouring tile. This would be less intensive on a sparsely covered map but potentially more intensive on a crowded one, and would ensure resources grow in clumps.

#5153734 adding SFML to visual studios

Posted by jbadams on 15 May 2014 - 03:25 AM

In your case it really should be as easy as the official tutorial makes it sound.


It can be a little more complicated if you need to compile the library yourself -- commonly because there isn't a version for your chosen compiler, because you want to compile with different settings, or because you want to build the latest version (unofficial nightly builds are provided HERE) rather than the stable release -- but in your case this doesn't apply; a stable release of the library is available for the correct version of your compiler, and is recent enough that it should be just fine for you to learn and work with.


As long as you downloaded the correct version you should be fine -- I'd suggest just giving it a try and in the unlikely event that you run into problems ask for further assistance -- either here or on the forums at the SFML site.



Hope that helps! smile.png

#5153520 tips for beggining to make video games? have programming knowlege

Posted by jbadams on 14 May 2014 - 03:48 AM

A willingness to make mistakes and go through a process of trial and error is actually a really good approach to this.  You're at the start of what will be a long and difficult journey if you stick with it, and it's unavoidable that you will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but it's also very rewarding.  I'm reminded of a relevant blog entry one of our moderators posted a couple of years ago: "become a good programmer in six really hard steps" -- note however that I don't recommend rushing towards steps five and six, they're things that can wait until you're more experienced than you are now.


It sounds like you're on the right track, keep at it! cool.png

#5153283 tips for beggining to make video games? have programming knowlege

Posted by jbadams on 13 May 2014 - 06:12 AM

To elaborate slightly, C++ does not have a built-in capability to display graphics, so you need a library or API to handle those tasks as well as other things like input handling.


SDL and SFML are both popular libraries that meet these needs.  You can learn more on the official websites (linked above) and you can find some learning resources from SFML HERE, or a popular set of SDL tutorials HERE.


Similarly, if you wanted to use Python you might use the popular PyGame library, or if you wanted to use JavaScript you might consider MelonJS, JawsJS or LimeJS.



Any of those options are fine for starting out in game development, and any of them will allow you to progress through to making games of similar quality to the example you linked to.  I'd agree with the suggestion above that you just pick one, jump in and give it a go.



Hope that helps! smile.png

#5152984 graphics

Posted by jbadams on 11 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

C++ doesn't have built in graphics capabilities -- you need to use an additional library or API.  I would suggest you have a good grasp of the basics of programming in C++ (by working through an online tutorial such as LearnCpp.com or a book such as C++ Primer, 5th Edition)  before moving on to graphics, but it is of course your decision to try graphics whenever you feel you're ready.


Commonly suggested libraries for beginners are SFML (you can find tutorials or a book HERE) or SDL (you can find some good tutorials HERE).



Hopefully that helps, or at least gives you enough information to ask a more specific question we can help you with. smile.png

#5152843 opengl question

Posted by jbadams on 11 May 2014 - 06:15 AM

To add one final remark to this topic, I'm going to quote some advice JWalsh gave you in the second topic you ever posted here on November 19th 2004, where funnily (or perhaps sadly) you were apparently trying to make the same game you're still trying to make now -- an Asteroids style game using OpenGL:




No offense, but that seems less like a simple question and more like a "how do I write a game". Its going to be very tough to get anyone to answer such a broad question.
"How to shoot bullets from a space-ship" is a fairly simple task, but it's not something that can be quickly and easily explained to you.  As JWalsh said to you in the above quote, instead of asking a simple question you're basically asking how to create a major feature of a game.  There are literally thousands (or more!) of possible correct answers to that question, and you might expect to go through a whole chapter (or likely more) of a book to learn this; it's not the kind of thing that can be quickly explained in a short forum post.
frob's post contains some excellent advice from the faq on asking better questions.
You're probably not stupid, but you give up too easily and you don't seem to really listen to the advice you're given.  You should not still be stuck on exactly the same type of problem as you were working on 10 years ago; if you stuck with it until the problem were actually solved rather than giving up for 3 months and then coming back with an almost identical question (which you then also end up giving up on) you would progress to bigger and better things.
Forget OpenGL and start from scratch (as I suggested 3 months ago) with something simpler.  No offence, but you're just not getting anywhere with OpenGL -- you might be able to in future, but you need to try something simpler first.  Here's a simple list of steps for you:
  1. Download SFML and follow the getting started tutorial for your development environment (from here) to install it and get set up.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until you have it set up properly.
  2. Follow the tutorial to open a window. Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until you have a window open.
  3. Follow the tutorials on "drawing 2d stuff" and "sprites and textures" to draw a single sprite (make it a space ship if you like!) in your window.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until you have a sprite drawn in your window.
  4. Follow the tutorial on "keyboard, mouse and joysticks" to make your sprite move in response to the arrow keys on your keyboard.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until your sprite is moving around the screen in response to input.
  5. Referring back to the drawing tutorials (from step #3) and the input tutorial (from step #4), make a second sprite (make it a bullet if you like!) appear in your window when the space-bar is pressed.  Don't worry about putting it in the right place yet (just put in in the middle of the window), and don't worry about making it move.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until your second sprite appears in response to pressing the space-bar.
  6. Make it so that your second sprite (bullet) moves constantly until it goes off the screen.  Don't worry about making it go the correct way, just make it go up for now.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until it moves up and disappears off the top of the screen after you press the space bar.
  7. Make it so that if your bullet moves off of the screen it will be removed.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until it's working.
  8. Make it so that instead of appearing in the middle of the screen your bullet appears in front of the space-ship.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until it's working.
  9. If it doesn't already, make sure that you can spawn additional bullets by pressing the space bar again.  Get help if you have problems, and do not give up until it's working.
  10. Continue to make very small additions to your program, and at each stage get help if you're stuck and do not give up till it works.  Continue until you have a complete asteroids game including a simple menu, scores, and a proper "game over", with no obvious bugs.
  11. Make a slightly more complicated game using the same technique of breaking it down into small steps.  Each time you finish a game you can make something more complicated next.
For all of the above steps (except the test program from step #1) actually type out the code, don't just copy and paste from the tutorials.
If you get stuck and need help you'll be asking a simple question: rather than making a post like
"how do I make a space ship shoot bullets"
you might be making a post more along the lines of
"I can make a bullet appear in my window when I press the space bar (see the included code), but I'm having trouble making it appear in front of my space ship instead of in the centre of the window.  This is the specific part of my code where I'm making the bullet appear, what am I doing wrong."
You would of course also follow the advice from frob's post and include all of the relevant details and code samples, but do you see how that's actually a simple question that can be quickly and easily answered ("just change those couple of numbers in your code on <whichever line needs to be changed>!"), as opposed to the broad questions you have been asking?
  • You need to ask smaller, simple questions, and you need to actually listen to the answers properly.  Look back through your posting history, and when you're going to ask a question you've asked before use the previous answers rather than asking again.
  • You need to stick with your problems rather than giving up when you run into problems.  Do not give up.
  • You need to do your own coding (relying on help and tutorials as needed) rather than copying and modifying larger pieces of "base-code" from God-knows-where.
Hope that helps Phil.  Good luck. smile.png