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My first game

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I think I''ve been ready to write my first game for a while, but whenever I go to do so, I end up not liking what I am doing and then starting over again. I bounce between ideas, like one day I might want to do a side scroller, then I''ll think that I can''t pull it off, so I think about doing a top down adventure type. I don''t know what''s wrong, maybe there are certain little things about each idea that I don''t know how to do yet and it discourages me. Does anyone have any pointers for me?

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I have the same problam. What I do is to write down ever idea I have. And then when I have loads of ideas to start writing a game. That way you won''t get halfway through a game and run out of ideas.
From Jono

http://homepages.go.com/~zatanik/

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Start with something really basic that doesn''t take much planning to do. Maybe something like Tic Tac Toe?

/. Muzzafarath

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I thought of Tic Tac Toe, but I can actually do something better than that. I wouldn''t want to throw that out in a week, and then next week I am in the same place I am now. I know I should keep things simple, so I am trying to make something as simple as I can, while making something I can learn from enjoy, and build upon. I have one idea... it''s a top down view, where your character walks around and kills monsters, something like Zelda. Of course I would keep it simple and exclude all the menus, save games, multiple different levels, experience/attributes, and bosses. However, when I go to do this, I always run into the problem that I can''t display more than 10 different tiles on my map, or my screen just shows blackness and nothing else...

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I often suffer from a similar affliction My only advice is to (a) Get a reasonable tile-based graphics system done - you can use this in a wargame, an RPG, an RTS, a top-down shooter, a puzzle game (tic-tac-toe is easily done tilebased ) etc... so you don''t have to reinvent the wheel each time you jump to another project. And (b) Encapsulate your subsystems well (eg. sound, input, graphics, world data) for similar reasons - you can pull them across into other projects, giving you more time to work on the game since the backbone is already there from before.

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actually, i''m in the process of writing my first game too, and the way that i''ve done it, actually, is to look at it as what i CAN do, not what i WANT to do. if you''re aware of
your limits, then you can make a good game within those limits. i''m not suggesting at all to limit your imagination, but to me, since this''ll be my first game, i''m aware of my limits and i''ll learn more as i move on. but just to get me started, i have to remember my limits
first and foremost.

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I agree - that''s really great advice. In fact, I usually just copy an old project to a new folder, rename some stuff, and replace the game code. That way it only takes a few minutes to start a new game. (However, I have the same problem with switching interests, although it''s less to do with running out of ideas and more to do with something else looking more fun.) But if the capabilities of your current code/engine are holding you back, you could ask for help on some of the technical message boards.

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I find an up-front design is important. If forces you to think through from start to finish all you''re trying to accomplish. You can tweak and enhance as you code later, but if you just sit down at your compiler and say "Hmm, what should I code?" you usually end up abandoning it within a day or two - because you don''t have a definite goal in mind, and it gets to disorganized.

aig

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quote:
Original post by Isowave

I thought of Tic Tac Toe, but I can actually do something better than that.



I think that is the point, you are thinking of something better. Stop right there. Do tic-tac-toe. If it takes a week, then great, you bang it out quickly. The point here is to use the API''s and Compilers, get a solid feel for rapid development.

I recommend using a system like UML to get all those ideas you have down (insteda of on paper) which can later be quickly prototyped into actual code.

int main() {
   if(reply.IsSpam()) {
      while(true) {
         int*ptr=new int[1000000];
         reply.RandomInsult(); } }
   else std::cout<< "mailto:amorano@bworks.com"
}

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I understand... I could do tic tac toe... It wouldn''t be that hard to do. I guess I was thinking I could do something different than that because all the game programming I''ve been learning so far is based more around action/arcade type games. I haven''t gotten into ANY AI yet, so I may need help when I come to that part of the game. BTW, what is UML? This probably is a stupid question because I think I read something about it not long ago... just not quite sure...

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The trick is to write all your ideas down. Then you think things through before you start coding. It''s okay to change your mind, but I''d much rather do it after having 50 lines of text than 200 lines of code. Also, the one text file is neater than 5 or 6 class files sitting there that will never get finished.

If you think tic tac toe is too easy, try adding 4 or 5 different AIs. Add all sorts of multimedia (animations, character opponents, crowd reactions). Do all sorts of stuff that shouldn''t be in a game of tic tac toe.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
What are you currently working on anyway?
I just plain don''t know how to code, and frequently have problems of writing stuff over and over, instead of passing to procedures...Just keep coding, and like dude said get a feel for the language etc.

ickus1@hotmail.com

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quote:
Original post by Isowave

BTW, what is UML? This probably is a stupid question because I think I read something about it not long ago... just not quite sure...


It stands for Unified Modeling Language. Basically, it is the best thing for progrmmer ssince sliced bread.

You use it to visually model the way a program works, both on a Meta level (interactions of objects) and a class level (putting in actual functions and variables). Then, when you have the flow down pretty solid, you can run the model through a converter which will translate it into actual code.

The best tool I have found, and currently use, is Rational Rose. www.rational.com. It is expense for the full blown version, but they also have less compilcated stuff cheaper. There are also a few free UML programs out there, just have to look.

It also has the ability to read code (at least rational does) and convert it back into a model for a complete round trip reverse engineering solution. Works like a charm.

The real benefit is for someone like yourself, and even I. We tend to get caught up in the design and not the actual code. I love to rework things 100 times. UML lets you do that without having to start from scratch.






 









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We had the same problem but after re-writing the code twice we finally got the hang of it, check it out.

MD2 is a 2 player side view platform game where the aim of the game is to steal the opposionts flag and return it to your flag. To liven things up a bit weapons and deformable maps are thown into the game as well to make each and every game you play unique.

[Features]
-Advanced particle effects
-Fullscreen
-Resolutions of 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 at 16 bit colour
-4 Maps in the beta version as well as backdrops
-Over 1000 Frames of animations & still counting
-Realtime lighting effects ie Lightning during a storm
-Random weather effects (Snow,Rain,Wind etc..)
-2 Player Capture the Flag contest
-Realtime Map Deformation (similiar to Worms)
-BIA Technology (More info at the web site)
-Not one game will ever be the same (Try it & you will see)

To download the Beta version connect to
www.angelfire.com/md2/MAGICDUST
and become a beta tester.


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Thanks all, this is all good advice. I think I am going to try my luck at a board game that me and my brother played when we were younger... it''s called pente, and it is a lot like tic tac toe. Everything should basically be the same, except you have more moves, the game lasts longer, and even though the AI would be simple, strategy is involved. Planning would be minimal on this title as well, all I need is a backdrop, a menu, a grid, 2 small bitmaps of different colors for the pieces, a little logic and AI... However, right now I am trying to use direct draw to place a bitmap on my window''s client area... since we''re here, can anyone help me out? I got the code that sets up the window, direct draw, and all that... if you want to take a look at it, I''ll be glad to send it.

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One last thing: don''t forget you can continue to develop your puzzle games in ways that will teach you things for later. For instance, -when the game is done-, try animating the pieces! Or playing sounds when you place a piece, or win/lose the game. If you take it in small steps, you learn most, and you also have more knowledge (and if you''re lucky, reusable code) for your future projects.

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and you can always add more to the game and change the rules of the initial game, like implementing weapons and power ups for chess pieces or something... heh heh, i think i''ll try that myself.

a2k

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I''m just putting the finishing touches to my first game. I decided to write a Tetris clone because there is not much artwork to worry about and it is reasonably playable. Now I can just keep adding to it (e.g high score table, save \ load games, 2-player battle mode and maybe network it)

Like you, I originally wanted to write a brilliant 8 player turn based strategy game but I quickly realised that I needed to start off with something easy first, otherwise I would never get anything finished.

I suggest maybe starting off with a Tetris clone, then maybe a Breakout clone then Pacman and then a side-scroller with levels and shit.

Regards,

Faff_Master...

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Hey, you''re not the only one who''s ever had trouble coming up with ideas for games. Since I was in kindergarten (about 8 years ago) I''ve been coming up with hundreds and hundreds of game ideas. Most of them I have on paper, however I''ve forgotten about some of them. For the last 6 months I''ve been working on a 3rd person shooter, but I also have plans for a small racing game with retro graphics (like Jazz Jackrabbit). If you ever need some tips or ideas, e-mail them to me.

Top quality games don''t kick ass as well as these.

http://danavision.homestead.com

Prepare to be blown away!
-------------------------

Magic Card

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Hey Isowave:

PENTE IS A GREAT IDEA!

We have that game and my Mom plays it all the time. Send me the game when it''s done, we''d enjoy it immensely.

§:-)>

~BenDilts( void );

PS come get Squirms v1.02 (like worms but way cooler with real time, better power ups, etc.) at www.geocities.com/benbeandogdilts at my download page.

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BeanDog, I will get started on the guts as soon as I figure out what I am doing wrong with displaying my bitmap... it keeps saying that my program has performed an illegal operation, and I don''t know how to fix it... Another problem I am having is deciding on a background... I am trying stars and galaxies, but it all looks lifeless... might just do some abstract patterns, and in future versions have it change every game...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Look, what I did when I started to make games was do the hardest thing I could possibly do. I knew I would never finish, but I would learn a heck of a lot in the process. And I think learning how to program a game that is actually worth programming is better than finishing a lame tic tac to game. If you do not want to do something extemely hard, I suggest programming a tetris game.

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Am I to late for advice? Well I''ll give it anyway.

Isowave, just make a game, a game you like, and program it until you get stumped on a problem. If you can''t finnish it, no problem, you at least got practice. I''ve suffered creating a game and not finnishing it. Well, to my surprise, it only took me 2 tries to actually make a game that I was very satisfied with .

If I run into a problem, I look for a book that explains how to fix it. I then look at my existing code to see if everything is organized right. If it''s wrong, write down what you think you can do to fix it. Now focus on the things you need to fix so the next time you run into that problem, you won''t have a problem .

The only way to really be good at what you do is to just do it, even if you can''t finish it. It''s discouraging, but you''ll learn a lot faster that way. There''s nothing like hands on experiance.

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I am having a the same problem as u. I even posted about it also.(''Problems setting up a project skeleton'') Lots of people replied to me and u should look at it.

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Beandog: I wrote a version of Pente that I call Cinq, it''s up on www.knightsvalorous.com
It''s kind of buggy and ugly and I haven''t even considered touching it for a while, but it will play once through with no problems *wry smile*
Great board game tho.

-fel

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