Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Member Since 19 Dec 1999
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:16 PM

#5273792 Where to begin?

Posted by Eck on 01 February 2016 - 10:58 PM

You can check the Classifieds -> Hobbyist Projects here at GameDev. You might find a team that wants a junior programmer.

You're probably better off on your own though. Lots of times there's the "idea guy" who says he needs programmers and artists. He has the next Big Idea TM that's going to make tons of money after you and the artist do all the work for free of course. Point is, there's not much to learn from in an environment like that.

If you decide to go your own route, start with small projects and work your way up. Here's a great article telling you which games you should build first and why:


Since you're learning C++, you might try the Unreal Engine. Or if you want to start learning C#, you could stick with Unity.


- Eck

#5272945 Sprite Sheet Need Help

Posted by Eck on 27 January 2016 - 11:03 PM

We've pointed you in the right direction. It's time for you to try and solve your problem again. Read through our posts and take another crack at it.

#5272486 Sprite Sheet Need Help

Posted by Eck on 24 January 2016 - 11:46 AM

Can you show us a code sample and/or a gif or video of what's going on?

I suspect you're flipping your sprite sheet instead of just flipping the rendered sprite.
// Pretend this is a sprite sheet with the following numbers drawn. (Original)

// If you flip the entire sprite sheet it will look like (Flipped)
So now when you tell it to draw the sprite at index 0, it prints out a reversed C. Instead, leave your sprite sheet alone, and tell the Original to draw sprite 0, but draw it flipped.

I don't use AGK, but a quick search didn't reveal a mechanism for drawing a flipped sprite, so you might need to map your own own frames to the Flipped texture.

- Eck

#5272362 Best way to document gamedev progress

Posted by Eck on 23 January 2016 - 08:41 AM

In the early stages of my project, I don't have enough specifics of my game to document a full GDD. I know I want to build a turn-based tactical dungeon crawler but that's about it This is the 50,000 foot view. I code some of the big pieces that I know I'll need and make sure they fit together and see what works. At this stage, I have a Notes.txt file that I check into source control where I jot down decisions, ideas, and bugs. Sometimes there are check lists, other times there's a need to do and a done section. And I journal about my progress every one to two weeks here at game dev. If the game looks like it could be fun, I keep going. If it's missing that spark, I switch ideas or revise my original. 
My rough workflow for individual features is:

  • figure out what needs to be done
  • Make it work (sometimes hacky)
  • Make it right (clean up the code, comment it, factor things out into funcitons and classes)
  • Make it fast (if performance is a problem)

I'll usually spend a couple of hours to an entire day per week cleaning up my code and making sure I'm not coding myself into tons of technical debt.
In my current project A Voxel Adventure, I'm moving into the middle stage. Here I start getting a clearer picture on what I'm building. I take some time to document my decisions in Google document(s) and decide on the scope of the project. I write down all the features I think I'll need and assign a complexity value to each task.

  • 1 = < a day
  • 2 a few days
  • 3 about a week
  • 4 a few weeks
  • 5 Ugh, I need to break this down into smaller tasks

This gives me a rough idea of the amount of work remaining and shows me the types of assets I'm going to need (art, sound, etc.). At this stage, it's good to start looking at the tools you might need for yourself and content creators to make their lives easier (see my journal posts on Unity's Content Pipeline and Editor Extensions). Once it starts looking cool, it's also time to start marketing. Don't make the mistake that you can predict your release date at this point. As you continue working you'll say to yourself, "Oh wow. Wouldn't it be cool if it could do X" or "Holy cow, this feature isn't going to be fun at all, so I'll scrap X, Y, and Z".  In this stage the scope of my game will fluctuate (usually by growing). If the game isn't fun, time to go back to phase 1.
I chip away at this growing list until I finally start knocking out more features than I'm adding. In the later stages any kind of awesome new ideas get recorded for version 2 or another game. The release date stops wiggling around so much and you can start to really polish your game. In an ideal world, everything gets documented and you have a nice little audience of people waiting to buy your game ready to pay for it when you finally do release it.
Then I sell it and continue living the rock-star lifestyle of the indie-game developer with all the fast cars, loud music, and screaming fangirls. This is my current plan at least. smile.png
- Eck

#5269838 Making bots with python

Posted by Eck on 07 January 2016 - 08:46 AM

Alright. Can you automate stuff with a script? 



#5269829 Games crashes sometimes during restart

Posted by Eck on 07 January 2016 - 08:12 AM

What's very likely happening is you're modifying your dustList when you're starting or restarting your game. Your draw function is iterating over your drawList, so if your restart functionality changes the list you'll get that exception.


You'll need to make sure you avoid doing that either with a semaphore or flag. I'm not sure what the syntax is for Java but look up locking and thread safe if you're wanting to go the semaphore route. Or you can have a simple needsToRestart boolean, and when they click the restart button set that to true. Then your loop could look something like:

while (playing)
        restart(); // Put your restart functionality in here.
    draw(); //the draw-method is marked

This way, your list isn't getting modified while you're trying to iterate over it.

#5267966 The Best Ideas for a first game?

Posted by Eck on 26 December 2015 - 12:43 AM

Here's a great article for which games you should PROGRAM first and why.




I put the emphasis on "program" because I'm not sure how much of that will translate to generating 3d assets and modelling. I'm sure newish modellers aren't supposed to jump straight into making all the assets for an MMO all by himself. But I'm not 100% sure where you should start. Start small is the best advice I can give. A game like Syndicate doesn't seem like a great first-choice for learning how to develop games (on the programming side), but there are definitely worst choices. :)


- Eck

#5267028 What is the best way to go about making a top side up tile and turn based rpg?

Posted by Eck on 19 December 2015 - 08:02 AM

Satharis hit the nail on the head. If you want to just make an RPG, get a copy of RPG Maker. I think Bundle Stars might be running a deal for it or you can hold out for the Steam Winter sale. It's such a specialized tool, that it will do all the heavy lifting for you (and most of the light work too). Along the way you will learn some coding basics as you need to script custom events and such. Tutorials are great for this.


If your goal is learning to code, put this RPG idea on hold because it's a much different journey. Learning how to program is a long and hard process. Consider the difficulty on par with learning a musical instrument or a new language. Head over to Khan Academy and work through the programming courses. Once you finish a lesson, be sure to mess around with the concept and see what else is possible. (Khan Academy teaches JavaScript)



Once you learn a bit of JavaScript, you can start messing around with a game engine like Unity. All the official tutorials are in C#. You can either start learning C# (your 2nd programming language is MUCH easier to learn than your first) Or follow along and do your steps in JavaScript.


Once you learn the basics of Unity, you can start making really simple games. You STILL need to keep the RPG idea on the back burner because you still don't know what you don't know. :) Take a look at this article and start making the games on the list. It tells you which games you should be making first and why.



If you go the "learning to code route" you'll be tempted to jump right into your RPG after you learn your first for-loop. DON'T. RPG's are extremely complex and one of the most content intensive genre's out there. Learning to code is a complex process, so don't make it more complicated with an extremely difficult game to make. You'll only get frustrated and wind up quitting.


- Eck

#5267025 How do YOU go about polishing your game?

Posted by Eck on 19 December 2015 - 07:36 AM

I was going to write a  more detailed response, but it would be almost exactly like Norman Barrows's post. :)


Paper, notecards, and pencils is the way I work through it. After a few playthroughs you'll usually have a good sized list of items.  Prioritize them in some way that makes sense. And work though them one at a time. As you're fixing individual line items and testing them, you'll run into more. Write EVERYTHING down. At first it might be disheartening because early on, when you fix an issue, you'll discover 3 more things that need to be added. This is more than a little disheartening... But stay the course! Eventually you'll stop finding rough edges and your list will get whittled down. 

#5266782 trying to think up a new way to level up

Posted by Eck on 17 December 2015 - 09:27 AM

I was on a text based MUD once that had an interesting skill up system. "You learn from your mistakes" was basically the theme so skill failures give you specific skill xp. So your 1-hand sword skill would only improve when you'd miss with it. This had an interesting and desirable effect encouraging players to fight things that were somewhat challenging. A high level character farming rats didn't benefit him much at all since he'd always hit them.


- Eck

#5266739 Python RPGs Beginner

Posted by Eck on 16 December 2015 - 10:21 PM

I searched google for Zelda clone pygame tutorial, and the first entry looks like exactly what you're looking for:


He explains how a 2d tile map works and even has source code available on github. Read the article, try to get something working, and feel free to come back with questions.


- Eck

#5266462 Preventing players leaving the play area where an obvious geographic obstacle...

Posted by Eck on 15 December 2015 - 09:12 AM

I'd much prefer just an invisible wall. When I open the map, I'll see the boundaries of the map, and I might be curious about what happens at the edge. So I might head out there once to see what happens. But I know I'm in a game and I'm not going to expect anything super interesting beyond the world's borders. If I died for exploring the edge, that would just make me mad for my curiosity being punished. I don't think investing any serious time into this will add to the fun or sell-ability of your game.

#5266096 Unity Vs Unreal

Posted by Eck on 12 December 2015 - 11:46 PM

I recommend spending a weekend with both. I went with Unity because I really liked the asset store integration and the professional tutorial videos. When you spend some time in Unity, be sure to check out the tutorials:



And as for the physics and awesome graphical capabilities of Unity. Are you going to be stressing those as an indie developer? Some of the devs here sure can, but I'm not one of them. :) 


As to the Unity crashes...  When I first started messing with Unity (around version 4.6 I think?) it seemed to crash every once in a while. And my scenes were extremely simple. Since using 5.1+, it hasn't crashed much at all. But again, my scenes aren't crazy awesome scenes of 3d uberness. 


I wrote an autosave asset that's available for free. Check my EckTech Games link in my signature if you're interested. Basically every time you do a test-run in the editor, it saves the scene first. This has saved me quite a bit of work and frustration, though it seems to happen less in the current version of Unity.


- Eck

#5266038 Sailing game: should players consider the wind?

Posted by Eck on 12 December 2015 - 10:28 AM

Pirates! is in my top 10 games of all time. Of course people want to sail! (Also if you haven't played it yet, you definitely should) 



I like randomizing the wind direction. In Pirates!, the wind direction was random, but you're in the Caribbean so the wind tended towards East. In my mind, I was thinking of a trend towards east in your game as well. I think getting rid of the bias to easterly winds would be more fun. 


- Eck

#5266012 Better visualization of isometric layers

Posted by Eck on 12 December 2015 - 04:19 AM

The original X-Com solved some of this really well. It had a couple of display modes when looking at the map. The default view had a current height that you could set and the game would render everything at that height and lower. So if you were at level 2, and there was a three story building, it would show you level two of the building and any parts of level 1 that weren't covered up. Also, the cursor had a faded out version of itself that went all the way to the ground to give you a reference for its location. Here's a picture:




You might also want to check out Gnomoria first-hand or watch some videos on YouTube to see how they did it.


- Eck


Edit: Doh - I see you already stumbled across the x-com cursor trick. Ah well. :)