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Trapper Zoid


Now that I've figured out a guide for spending the next two years, I need to figure out how to meet my first milestone; the completion of Project Nova, the space scrolling shmup!

It's a bit daunting to aim to finish a game in two and a half months, but it's not impossible. Although I know there will be heaps of unforseeable problems, here's what I think I need to do, broken down into months:

October: Get the engine up and running with a bare bones version of a game
November: Flesh out the game with as much stuff as I can think of in the time available
December: Freeze introduction of new features, clean up the art and code ready for release

And here's the breakdown for October:
  • Choose the 2D engine to use
  • Roughly figure out the game design
  • Design the software architecture
  • Code up the equivalent of a "Hello World!"
  • Opening menu/title screen working
  • Simple music and sound working
  • Game with player's ship flying and simple shooting (no enemies)

Anything I might have forgotten?
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Things like menus/intros might better be left for last, since they are non-integral components to the game. You should focus on getting the beef of the game (ships, projectiles, enemies) working well, and do the additional systems (menus, introduction, credits, powerups, etc) later on, when the core is completely working.

Or at least that's how I develop. :)

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Can I make a suggestion?

Look at Allegro for 2D. Go to Allegro.cc. Grab it, install it. If you have trouble installing, go to their forums. Their repsonse time is incredible. Grab the Loomsoft tutorials (beginner Allegro tutorials). Simple API, lots of community, lots of source code available to refrence to, and very efficient. Or if you want to go into OpenGL in the long run, go SDL.


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HopeDagger: Good point about the menus, but I suppose I wasn't really clear exactly what I meant. I'm just planning on getting a splash screen with stubs for the menu options going; things like "Options" and "Credits" won't actually work. I thought it might be better to get this going first, so I could use it as a springboard for various tests later on in development. Plus it should be slightly easier.

TraderJack: Thanks! I hadn't found Allegro before. I'll have a look into it. Presently I was going with ClanLib, but Allegro also seems to be cross-platform.

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Guest Anonymous Poster


Did you think about using DirectX Graphics (or DirectDraw)? It has best speed. And is not really that hard.

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Yes I have, but it doesn't provide the useful library functions that the engines do, and it isn't cross-platform.

I've written a (mostly!) working game engine in DirectX before, so I know it isn't hard, but dealing with loading in and managing the art resources was a pain. ClanLib has some useful resource managers which should speed up development time.

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