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Trapper Zoid

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An update on how work is going so far:

There's only three months left in the year, and I've decided to use these to build up my skills while slowly working on my design for "Project Hamlet". Here's a breakdown of how the skill development is going:

  • Music: I've finished one piece, and am tidying up three more. When these are done I'll post them up for review. They're certainly not perfect, but it's a start.
  • Art: It's still dreadful. I'm not sure on the best way to work on this. I've got a few "how to draw" books in my collection that I never really got too far into. However, I'm not sure if pencil drawing is the best way to become a computer graphics expert. I might work through those tutorials on how to become a tile artist, as "Project Hamlet" and my little games are probably going to be based on tiles. I'm open to other suggestions though.
  • Programming: I need to revise my C. I'm going to be working in C for my study work, so that's a start. But I'm thinking that it might be best to practice C by actually writing a game, so I might get started on the first of my small games ASAP


I am also thinking about which small game I should work on first. It has to have the following properties: easy to design, quick to write, and minimal art assets required. Since it's the first game I'll stick to a conventional game design, and probably pick a close clone to an existing game type. So far I think I'll pick one of the following two options:

  • One of those square based puzzle games, like Tetris or Tetris Attack.
  • A scrolling shmup, with stylised spaceships set on a starry space background.

The last time I tried something like this I got bogged down in ensuring my software architecture was perfect (a legacy of my engineering background), so I'll consider this to be more of a throwaway prototype, so the code can be ugly. Then I might work on a project with cleaner code, probably another arcade type game but with more art.

Any suggestions from the other denizens in Journal Land?
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Quote:
# One of those square based puzzle games, like Tetris or Tetris Attack.
# A scrolling shmup, with stylised spaceships set on a starry space background.


Do the space one, because square based puzzles have been done to death, and they're really boring as well.

HTH,

ukdeveloper.

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I concur with ukdeveloper, space shooters are always great fun to make. The end result is always enjoyable, and it's very easy to add in cool new features quickly.

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I vote space-shooter, but not a generic one. Try for something with its own little gameplay quirk that separates it from the crowd!

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
<li>Art: It's still dreadful. I'm not sure on the best way to work on this. I've got a few "how to draw" books in my collection that I never really got too far into. However, I'm not sure if pencil drawing is the best way to become a computer graphics expert. I might work through those tutorials on how to become a tile artist, as "Project Hamlet" and my little games are probably going to be based on tiles. I'm open to other suggestions though.


If you havn't seen them already and you're interested in it, I found the pixeling tutorials at http://www.pixeltutorial.cjb.net/ and http://rhysd.syntesis.org/tutorial/index.php to be an excellent read and not overly hard to follow. They seemed to help me out with my programmer art somewhat.

Quote:

-One of those square based puzzle games, like Tetris or Tetris Attack.
-A scrolling shmup, with stylised spaceships set on a starry space background.


I also nominate the space shmup, but yeah, try to put some kind of twist on it, and try not to worry about having absolutely perfect code.

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The general consensus is for the space shoot 'em up, which was the one I was leaning towards as well; it leads more naturally into a series of small projects along a similar theme. I'll see if I can think of a unique feature to include, although I don't want to go overboard on the design of this one.

Kazgoroth: Thanks. I've actually bookmarked those tutorials already from a previous thread where someone (possibly me) asked for advice. I've read through them once or twice but I haven't yet gone through the exercises. They seem like a good place to start.

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