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Whats the next step?

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(sorry, my english sucks) Okay, it has been a long trip for me (a year or so) and I just finished a tetris clone about a week ago. And I have done pong, and breakout to. So I have done a couple of simple games, and now I want to do something more advanced. But not TOO ADVANCED! To me anything above what I have done seems impossible. Even if we consider a SIMPLE PLATFORM GAME, there are a lot of things that I dont yet understand! I would (as I see it) have to write a level editor that supports events, enemies and powerups and I got no idea how to do that. All tutorials only explain how to do the graphical stuff, but none acctually game logic! The gap between my current level and the next is sooo big! What should I do?

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Experiment! Play around with it, and just think things through. You seem to already have some concept of what needs to be done to make a platformer, and that''s a lot more progress than a lot of people I''ve seen. The thing is, if you can do a tetris type clone, (assuming you''re using non-ascii graphics) you probably already know almost all the programming actually required to make a simple platformer.

So just try to sort out those requirements in terms of code. Okay, you need a map editor. What format do you want the map data in? Find yourself something that fits your specifications at the moment. What about enemies? Maybe you''re map editor will just have an option to place enemies, and when your game loads in the map data, it will place the enemies where they need to be, and operate their logic as needed.

Think of it this way. I know a lot of people probably will disagree with this statement, but for now just go on the assumption that:

As long as it produces the desired affect, there is NO wrong way to code something. Sloppy, having unnecessary segments, don''t worry about it, as long as it does what you want.

You''ll find that every time you write something you''ll learn something new, so all you need to do is make sure every once and a while you go back and try to figure out more correct ways of doing stuff. You know, maybe I didn''t need to actually load the image data to surfaces that frequently, or whatever. But I personally think you''re better off in the end if you can look back at your old code and think "what the hell was wrong with me?" When you''re actually embarrassed by your old code, you know you''re vastly better now than you wore, and what more can you ask?

Sorry if I didn''t directly answer any of your problems, but that was precisely the point of this post. Find your own way of doing things! You might even end up with something better than everyone else. At the very least you''ve learned more than being told what to do.

-Arek the Absolute

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Try a 2D side scroller.
Heres one that comes with full source, its perty cool!
Happy Puppy II (15.1mb)

It uses DirectSound, DirectDraw, DirectInput. small and buggy but defenitly some good reference code.

As for levels and enemies, it does exactly the thing described above, it has its own level MAKER (not editor) and its own ASCI lvel format thats easyle editable with a normal text editor.



[edited by - aftermath on August 30, 2002 11:14:23 PM]

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I agree that a platform game would be a nice next step, because it will teach you to manage your artwork and maintaining the state of the game.

You can use your tetris clone to experiment with. Implement an instant save game feature (pressing F1 will save the exact game position, including the piece that is falling down).
You have to think of a way to store the exact game state consitently and you have to write a loader that can read this state.
If you can do this for tetris then you can also do it for a platform game, only the game state is much larger for the platformer....

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Thanks a lot everyone!

After 1500 lines of sloppy code I acctually have a simple CSprite class, a CFont class and a CMap class and something vaguely resembling a mapeditor!

Happy Puppy source helped a lot!

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