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Squall012

Programmer's-block

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I have come a cross a spell of programmer''s-block. I don''t know where to go from here. I''m programming an RPG, and i have got the menu screen...but where do I go from here!?!? Any open-source for RPGs? Any one who could take the time to explain some things? I''m open to anything that will point me in the right direction. I have lots of questions..."How do let the player input his/her name?" or "What is a great way to make a battle engine?" Sheesh! Lots and lots, what a massive project this will be. Hope to hear from the experts that dwell in the Gamedev forums.

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Here''s what I would suggest:
Grab a notebook and a pencil, and go find somewhere away from the glow of the CRT. Preferably somewhere quiet. You have planning to do.
Write out all the things that you want your game to do, and then write down how exactly you would like them to do so. For instance, make a list of all the character types you want, and the attributes of them. Write down that you need a place to type the name. It''s hard to code if you don''t know where you''re going... having a plan is good *smile*
Then break up what you have into chunks, and see which chunks are dependent on other chunks. Decide what order you would like to do things. Perhaps you want to start with something easy and get progressively harder. Perhaps you want to just get a character on the screen that can move for starters. It''s up to you, but do have a plan.
Remember to write neatly in your notebook... you will have to read it later *grin*

-fel

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I find that when I get programmers block, it''s because I haven''t designed my game thoroughly enough . If you have a complete vision of what the final product will be like, then knowing where to go next isn''t usually that hard.

Therefore, I would sit down and write out a full design for the game. Include everything you can think of and make sure you have a complete idea of how your going to do things.

--TheGoop

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I already have that part done...The design doc is finished, the story is ready to go, my artist is doing the artwork...everything is ready, its just, I don't know HOW to begin to do all the things an RPG needs. Like how in the world do I get the worldmap up and running, how do I get towns and stuff, there is so much I don't know how to do programming wise (I know how to program, I just don't know how to make an RPG with the knowledge. I'm gonna search this site for some stuff that will help (tile tutorials, sprite stuff, ai, story) and hope to come across something. I think what I need is someone can point me in the right direction on how to make my little DirectX fling into an RPG, I would be greatly pleased. I just need something to push off of, you see where im coming from?

Edited by - Squall012 on 3/31/00 6:34:25 PM

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////
(I know how to program, I just don''t know how to make an RPG with the knowledge. I''m gonna search this site for some stuff that will help (tile tutorials, sprite stuff, ai, story)
///
The best thing to do is the tile engine
1) Create arrays of structures with
struct IndividualTileinfo
{
RECT Source;
int alphaflag;
} Tiles[580];

struct mapinfo
{
int TileNumber_Background;
int TileNumber_Paths;
int TileNumber_foreground;
char FlagOne;
char FlagTwo
};

struct TileInfo Map[xSize][ySize];
learn how to initialize it, load it, save it,
insert rows, delete rows, pick tilies and laying down more than 1 tile at a time.

Learn the use of the mouse

set up the screen layouts (one for the tile editing, one for inventory, one for combat and action(look at Baldur''s gate and others)

Figure out what stats your characters are going to have.
Create an editor for them if necessary(I used MFC)

Figure out how you''re going to handle the lists of data: the structures/classes for them and how you''re going to display them

Divide all the on-going calculations of position and the like from the Actual screen painting(just one screen painting function

Look at my site with all its tools

ZoomBoy
A 2D RPG with skills, weapons, and adventure.
See my character editor, Tile editor and diary at
Check out my web-site

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Also forget about the intro screen because the menu choices are going to be:
I don''t know
Not working yet
Not working still
Aaaagh!!!
Help me
Click and crash

It''s all too depressing. Get something immediately interactive to show up.

ZoomBoy
A 2D RPG with skills, weapons, and adventure.
See my character editor, Tile editor and diary at
Check out my web-site

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Thanks for all your help, I''ll look at everything you said and I''ll be sure that it helps me. It will. Now, if anyone out there can help me with a rather trivial problem. How do I output integers to the screen at a certain position? I need a way to put my HP and HPMAX variables on the screen, and how much a player or monster attacks for. Thanks in advance!

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I suggest writing a font engine (actually a font writing function). I for one use sprites to create a font. So you can actually say that the alfabet (and other characters) is just a set of bitmaps.
You only need 128 of them (Try to follow the ascii set, since this makes life a lot easier). Ask your graphics artist to create the 128 characters (first think of the size it will be, 8x16 is quite standard in 640x480) and save them in a bitmap file. It''s up to you to let DirectX blit them on the screen or write your own function for that.

Tell me if you need more help.

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Yeah! that makes life better! And I don''t have to rely on GDI (what I was using before) to do my text stuff. Let me think...I don''t think there is anything else yet that I need. Everything else I have all planned out. Maybe some good tile tutorials, or some books to buy on the subject. I want to make sure I have that part down pact before I work on my world map. First I''m gonna work on the other aspects of the game; such as my fight engine and my towns and shops.

I know!! In games with big item and magic lists (Like Final Fantasy 7) how do I keep adding items to the list? Use a linked list? Then what about the magic that appears as you get it? An array? That is another thing I need a few help on. Thanks to everyone again =).

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I think final fantasy 7 did arrays also in the magic and item lists (there was always a limit there).
Just make 2 arrays. One decribing what kind of item it is, the other describing the number of that item you have in your possesion. For magic you only need one array.

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Thanks so much again! If I ever need anymore help, ill jsut use this thread, thanks to all that helped, hope that in the future you get to play the game you helped me learn how to program!

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If the game is for the PC only, just have them type in their name.. much easier. At least for now. Also, you shouldn''t really worry about that, just use ''Bob'' or something for now, until you get the critical stuff done first. (like the tile engine, collision, battle ai, etc)

And no, this will definately not be your last post... =)

--Lyndon

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why do you want to output numbers to the screen? for actual game info or for debugging?

if youre showing the numbers for an actual game related reson, you can quit reading now

if it''s for debugging then you''re gonna have a tough time when you want to realy debug something....what app you using to do your programmng (vc *yay*, borland *ugh* or like notepad?????)

the reason i ask is most (if not all) programming tools have great debuggers (especially visual c++) and youre not gonna get far without a good debugger (unloess youre a robot or something )

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Just little bit critisism about your style. Firstly, do those little details afterwards, first build engine, then scriping engine, combat system, add rules, then chatting system, monsters, weapons, level-system if needed and then do those small things. My opinion is that it is wrong style to start from beginning and do infoscreens and menus before you have engine.

Secondly When I programmed with VB, i tried to make simple game, but I didn''t manage to do that, why? Because I started from beginning and concerned too much about look. I had shops and all simple things ready but not even magic square moving around... Never finished...

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Squall, I think that you need to spend more time reading and absorbing books or other tutorials and by the time you get around to programming a game you will know how to imp1ement your design.

Remember, the more integrity your game has in terms of clean code that works properly, the more sellable your game will be to the general public, and the less people that will want their money back someday.

SPAR1

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The only reason i was asking most of these questions is to get me in the right direction. Once I have a place to start going, I can get the job done like I need to. I just needed some tips on how to do simple RPG things, so that I can call on this help at a later time to get when I DO do the details that mean oh so much. I don''t plan on giving up, my friends have to much riding on this one. So, now that I have enough information, I think I''ll begin work on this massive project I hope to let everyone see in the future. Thanks to all who helped, you all have been greatly helpful, and thanks for everything!

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Another thing that I recommend is to write all your tools first. ie: Map Editor( for tile based games ), scripting tool( if needed ), sprite editor, etc. You will find that this will help. Once you''ve got all of this down, you will find that you can reuse most of your code for the game programming.( Like for instance, the code to display the map from the map editor can be reused to display the map on screen from the back buffer. )

Anyhow, these are my 2 Cents worth.




Cyberdrek
Headhunter Soft
DLC Multimedia
Two Guys Soft

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