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Blechx

Motivation...

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Reading this forum always gets me in the mood for programming something of my own. Ive been programming on small uncompleted games for some time but ive never managed to finish one really. I have basic knowledge in C/C++ and i know i could make a simple game, i even have a game idea i know will work. Im planning on programming something for the GBA platform and I have been reading tutorials and have basic understanding in how the platform works. I have idea, graphics, and all that stuff.My probelm is that i never get started. Is anyone else experiencing the same thing or have anyone got any tips on how to really get started in the best way? Thank you

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Hi,
I think you need to design more, well not so much design more really just go into greater detail, you need to break down your game into the smallest parts that you can programme e.g. functions, when youve decided on a function like say adding to numbers together write it on paper in pesudo code. i.e

1.0 Add to numbers together
-----------------------------------

1.0 get first number form user
2.0 store first number
3.0 get second number from user
4.0 store scond number
5.0 preform calculation
6.0 store the result of added numbers
7.0 output stored result to screen

-----------------------------------

then write your function e.g

void addnum(void)
{
int num,num2;

scanf(blah blah blah


this is just a simple example and should only be looked at like that obviously your functions/proceedures will be more complicated

you get the idea, i find it helps alot to design this way as it allows me to avoid problems later on, maybe that will get you on the road to getting something completed.

hope it helps a bit anyway

cheers


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Just come up with a good design first. Start out small, and make yourself a small library of functions that can be reused. Let your design cook for a while in your head too.

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I''m often in the same boat as you, unmotivated. The only thing I can really find to motivate me is working with other people or reading other projects people are working on. I like to visit this site often just to motivate myself. Sometimes I have to force myself to start working on something but usually when I start working I don''t want to stop. It helps to also set a goal for yourself and then aim for that goal. I''m working on something with two other people and I aim to have it done by the end of the summer, its something small to get us to learn more about game programming, or rather get us started in game programming. I can''t tell you the best way to get started because for everyone that is different.

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I agree, i really get motivated by this site I''ll try to force my lazy ass to get started, cause i know ill enjoy it as im getting things done

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The motivation problem comes from the challenge... if it''s too easy or too hard, you lose motivation.

A lot of new game programmers lose interest because they set their sights too high and later realise the coding is impossible to them.

I lose motivation because once I''ve managed to get x, y, or z to work I have to then start tidying everything up and bugfixing things.

Like yourself, I''ve never completed a full project, there is always something left to be done, the little bits of cleaning, mainly, or the fact that it was too hard for me.

I also suffer from the problem that my coding style is evolutional, as I learn more, the stuff i coded previously becomes outdated and i have to recode it all, boring to say the least.

So if you have a set style and way of doing is (as i do now), start with a simple project that you know will challenge you in some way... eg: You''ve done something like this, but not combined with something like this...

it''s how I''m doing it now and I seem to be motivated enough to carry on.

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something that seems obvious but is really important: write down all your ideas. I have around 5 or 6 notepad text files saved on my desktop which I just created when I was feeling inspired and wrote a bunch of crap down. Everything from game ideas, AI ideas, mathematics, level design ideas, anything. Go into as much detail as you can. This will help give you ammunition to work on. When you''re feeling uninspired, browse through your notes and pick something to work on.

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I read a quote once about a guy who was a writer and used to have difficulty getting himself motiviated to write. He said he needed the ''spirit to move him''before he could get going. Anyway the quote was something like:

"I usually need the spirit to move me before I can write, but sometimes I just have to put pen to paper and move the spirit"

And I think the moral of the story is, when you''re feeling demotivated, load up your IDE of choice, load up your project, set fingers on keyboard and just CODE! You''ll struggle for a few minutes or so but if you get though that bit, you''ll soon get into it again. If you do that every time you feel demotivated, it becomes a habit and demotivation becomes a thing of the past.

You can apply this to anything really!

Caroline M.

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quote:
Original post by Caroline_M
And I think the moral of the story is, when you''re feeling demotivated, load up your IDE of choice, load up your project, set fingers on keyboard and just CODE! You''ll struggle for a few minutes or so but if you get though that bit, you''ll soon get into it again. If you do that every time you feel demotivated, it becomes a habit and demotivation becomes a thing of the past.



That generally works for me as long as I have the module I am going to code planned out already, if I don''t have it thought out well enough I will invariably be re-doing it, or at least reorganizing it. With my current project (my first "real" game), I have been trying to plan things out well enough, but without planning so much that I never get started. I think there is somewhat of a balance to acheive there. I think the best part about my current project is that even if I am not motivated for a while, I always end up coming back to it when I am.

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Hi,
I have very little spare time and I quickly realized that me as well as most of the people can''t get at the end of a complicated game project.

That''s why I''d strongly recommend whoever had this sort of experience not to start from scratch.

For example, I see there are hundreds of people out there trying to build their engines for tile-based RPGs. Why not using one that works already, so that you don''t duplicate efforts.

--Cris

---
btw: Why not using my game engine (which is multiplayer and is not tile-based, also. See:

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=161326
)

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The exact same thing happens to me. Usually what I do is I think of a game that I could create. About two nights ago, I thought it would be fun to do an Asteroids-type game. After some more thinking, I came up with a WWI or WWII era game (I'm not sure which yet) where you fly the plane horizontally across the screen, and you shoot down other planes. Once I accomplish this, I'm thinking of adding bombs, ground targets, flak, and AAA (I'll probably make it WWII, because WWI fighters were limited to just picking up a bomb and throwing it out the window). If I finish that, I'll probably add somewhat-realistic physics.


"We try to solve the problem by rushing through the design process so that enough time is left at the end of the project to uncover the errors that were made because we rushed through the design process." - Glenford Myers

So, first of all, flesh out your idea, like I did above. Think about the game, stuff you can do in it, features to add. Try to remember things that you will and will not be able to implement.

Then design the smaller details of it. This includes those features you wouldn't mention on the back of a box of your game, but are important nonetheless (i.e., collision detection). Write all this stuff down.

Now start getting to the code. Design the subsystems, and modules, what each will do, what members they will have, how they will relate with other modules. This part is important because you don't want to make a design flaw here. Try and program the whole game at the abstract level.

Once you have done this, go even lower and start designing routines, functions, and individual variables. Make sure your design is good. Make sure there are no flaws, and that you are capable of everything.

Then you could probably start writing pseudocode or PDL (pre-commenting), which I've found to be a great help, because you become attached to code and hate deleting it, but you don't have a problem with deleting PDL. If you don't pre-comment, you might find yourself working on a function a lot longer than you thought because you didn't think very low-level.

Or, you could just read Code Complete.

[edited by - tuxx on July 8, 2003 11:28:40 AM]

[edited by - tuxx on July 8, 2003 11:30:05 AM]

[edited by - tuxx on July 8, 2003 11:31:10 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Blechx
Reading this forum always gets me in the mood for programming something of my own. Ive been programming on small uncompleted games for some time but ive never managed to finish one really. I have basic knowledge in C/C++ and i know i could make a simple game, i even have a game idea i know will work. Im planning on programming something for the GBA platform and I have been reading tutorials and have basic understanding in how the platform works. I have idea, graphics, and all that stuff.My probelm is that i never get started.

Is anyone else experiencing the same thing or have anyone got any tips on how to really get started in the best way?

Thank you


The first stages of game development are always a little bland as you are not really seeing anything tangible yet. Don't get into the state of mind that you have to do a minimum amount of time daily in order to consider yourself developing a game! As long as you are progressing, the game is in production.

The way that I design my solo projects is by developing a game that I want to play and I know is not available for download, nor in the shops .

Don't be disheartened. Keep up the good work. At least you know where to start!


Beginners and experts will find answers here.


[edited by - mathematix on July 8, 2003 11:46:09 AM]

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