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Raloth

which genre to make a tutorial

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Raloth    379
I''m thinking of writing some tutorials. Not on stupid things like making a triangle or the 500th using-an-index-buffer, but how to actually do something. It will also give me a chance to reorganize my base code into something readable and reinforce my own knowledge. What genre would you prefer? Keep in mind it will be simple. RTS? FPS? Say MMORPG and be shot .

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Impossible    134
MMORPG (prepares to dodge bullets.)

Seriously, writing a really simple NeHe style "MMORPG" tutorial that teaches OpenGL, some sockets, loading popular file formats (MD2 or MD3) and how to write a basic terrain engine would be a gamedev newbies wetdream. Even if your demo game server only realistically supports like 5 players I think this tutorial would be pretty popular.

I would personally like to see an FPS tutorial that covers AI and physics well. There is already a RTS tutorial out there that's decent. I think this would work the best if you produce a decent game as well as writing the articles, even to the point of it being a game design and game programming tutorial at once.

[edited by - impossible on January 15, 2004 11:36:06 PM]

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Raloth    379
I suppose I could do MORPG (note the single M). Personally, I do not like the NeHe style. They only show you isolated things and do not teach you to put things together. My tutorial (note the singular form) would be an example of how to pull everything (such as terrain engine, animation, shaders, particles, etc.) together into one game. I would probably split it into two tutorials after the core is finished: one for the game, one for building an editor for the game (since I will need it anyway). Explanations of things like index buffers would be their own page so the people who already know them can skip it, while the ones who are less advanced can learn. It would assume you already know the basics though. I want it to be a guide to the people who are frustrated with the examples that are either too simple or too complex with no documentation.

Skinned meshes are something I would definitely want to cover. I haven''t even learned them myself yet since there''s nothing good out there...

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Impossible    134
quote:
Original post by Raloth
Personally, I do not like the NeHe style. They only show you isolated things and do not teach you to put things together.

I agree with you, I hate NeHe style myself. The only reason I said NeHe is because newbies seem to really love NeHe (probably because it allows for easy copy and pasting) and many of them want to make MMORPGs as well.

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DigitalChaos    215
I personally like dark games (horror games, i don''t like survival horror games, but i like horror games). I''d like to see a tutorial something like this that covers rain, fog, lightning, shadows, etc. Altho, all that can also be implemented into an MORPG of some kind.

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paulecoyote    1065
Your take on writing a simple engine for a simple game - like a remake of Sopwith, or if you are into the 3D thing a simple version of Pilot Wings would be pretty cool. As one of the guys said above - the thought processes of how everything ties together - BSPs, Scene graphs, sound, player actions, multiplayer stuff... the works.

I wish someone would remake a fun multiplayer flying-shooter that was very similar to StarFox and Llyatt Wars on the Nintendo platform - those games were so much fun and there is nothing quite like it on the PC today - everything is too realistic and serious.

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Aldacron    4544
quote:
Original post by Raloth
They only show you isolated things and do not teach you to put things together.


Relying on a tutorial to show you how to put things together will not get you very far as a programmer. I''m of the opinion that many, many, people on these forums are taking the wrong approach to learning how to make games. There seems to be this driving need for tutorials that do all of the work.

One of the most important skills you could ever have as a programmer is the ability to take the information presented to you and turn it into code. Have you ever read a SIGGRAPH paper and implemented the algorithm it describes? No hand holding there. There are many good tutorials out there that people shoot down because they are heavy on theory and light on hand holding. Then there are many more tutorials that do little more than outline source code, with no explanation as to why something is implemented as it is - yet these are the most popular.

Sure, tutorials covering the functionality of an API or demonstrating features of a language require a certain amount of ''do this, do that''. But expecting all tutorials to do so really hurts more than helps, as many will come to rely on such tutorials and will be lost without them. And even worse, will learn how to implement functionality by copying and pasting the same code again and again with no clue as to why it works, how they can modify it, when they really need it, or how to adapt it to another purpose.

Whatever tutorial you write, please write it on something you have solid knowledge about. Another tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions on how to make a game, loads of sample code, and zero/incomplete/just plain wrong theory is certainly not needed. And if you do decide to cover all of the topics you mentioned above, be prepared to write a book as anything less would be a disservice. I think a few isolated tutorials covering great detail on single topics would be much more beneficial to the community.

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Megahertz    286
I have to say I fully agree with Aldacron.

I''ve visited a few sites that have "tutorials" and they end up being nothing more than source code with some comments. The purpose of a tutorial is to teach you how to do something, not just hand out the answer.

It''s not a MMORPG if it can only support 5 players. If somebody were prepared to write a tutorial on even just the networking portion of a MMORPG, then do it right and teach people how to support thousands. There''s a big difference between writing a program that supports 5 players max and one that can scale to live up to the term MMORPG.

Anyway, I don''t think you''ll see a tutorial on something like that anytime soon. Although, I''ll be honest, I''ve thought about writing one, but since I''ve not tested my implementation with any decent amount of user load or players. (Just where the hell do you get 2000 people to test your network code without fully releasing a game? =) )

If I ever feel that it would support a ton of users, or hell any at all, *maybe* I''ll write one on how mine works. =) Afterall, I still have to out do Gary Simmons and Adam Hoult and their BSP tutorial.

/me waves at Gary and Adam

-=[ Meghertz ]=-

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Turt99    283
I am with Aldacron as well, I say for beginneers there should be lessons on C++, a book like C++ for Dummies is good for that it covers what you need to know.. so at the end of the book you should be able to solve a few problems and think up code for yourself

Then you should only need a small amount of help learning a API to work with, no tutorial should take you from nothing to a complete thing, thats not helping anyone, explaining a newtworking system in detail and explaining why you do it that way is much better.

I personally think you should try to figure something out your self first.. this might give you the wrong answer, but then you''ll know why the right answer is better.

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Raloth    379
I will see what I can do.

My hope is that by putting things together those who read it will learn more than copying and pasting. I know that''s pretty much what I did until I read a very old Java book, Black Art of Java Game Programming. It''s completely outdated and I don''t even use Java anymore, but ever since seeing how to write a game and not a demo I have been able to figure out things on my own.

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Pipo DeClown    804
I think an RTS will be the simplest.

It doesn't require much of a story and includes all of the elements to create a serious game. Combat/Magic/Item/Units/Civilications. I think it's the most playable PC game genre of all.

And please forget the FPS genre. We don't want even more FPS games do we? *Ugh*


--
You're Welcome,
Rick Wong

- sitting in his chair doing the most time-consuming thing..

[edited by - Pipo DeClown on January 16, 2004 5:34:45 PM]

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Raloth    379
quote:
Original post by SyntheticHate
Teaching can sometimes be one of the best ways to learn.
That is why I am doing it.

[edit] On a second note, how do you even know what I can and can not do?

[edited by - Raloth on January 16, 2004 6:24:35 PM]

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maxd gaming    100
Honstley, I think you should go for a MOFPS...

BEFORE releasing your tutorial, ensure that it is 90% text, and >10% code. Most of it should be theory, and very generic stuff. The more specialized you get the less of a tutorial it is and the more of a step by step guide.





It's Maxd Gaming, put in an underscore and I will beat you with a rubber ducky!
{ Check out my Forum } { My First Space Art (Ever) - Out of bandwidth, wait tell next month }{ My Second Space Art (Ever) - Out of bandwidth, wait tell next month }{ A upcoming space RTS codenamed Gruntacktica . }{ . }

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[edited by - Maxd Gaming on January 16, 2004 7:59:20 PM]
Aldacron    4544
One more opinion from me Have you seen the Game Programming Gems books? Any one of those Gems taken in isolation can be applied to any genre of game. On the otherhand, *entire books* have been written about specific game types. Each chapter is a tutorial or two on different elements, and the book just unites them all under a common title with a common code base (think of 'Real Time Strategy Game Programming with DirectX 7', or the RPG book Jim Adams did). Know how long it takes to put something like that together? It ain't no picnic

I think instead that if you focus on different elements of a particular genre one at a time, you will accomplish a lot more. Don't come out and say 'Here's a series of tutorials on how to make an RTS' as you'll just set yourself up for failure. First of all, you're putting yourself in a position to write 30 or 40 tutorials, all of the sample code, and most likely a complete game/demo to demonstrate how it all works together. Anyone who finds it interesting will expect to follow it all the way through to the end, but it will take you months to finish it. And what if you don't? Other projects come along, you lose interest, you get discouraged, anything can happen. Now you've got this great idea and an incomplete implementation for all to see.

I wrote a short article once showing how to get up and running with DMusic. No theory, just simple initialzation stuff, midi loading & playing, with a promise for more in part two. I never wrote a part two because I stopped using DirectMusic in favor of something else and simply forgot about it. So now I'm one of those guys with an incomplete tutorial series on the web. How many of those have you seen here at GDNet, flipcode, and other places?

So sit down, write a tutorial on something that might be used in an RTS (pathfinding for example), write the article on theory with a generic example. Don't promise a series, don't promise a complete game example. Finish the pathfinding tutorial. Later, when you have time, knock up something on unit formations. These controlled, isolated tutorials will eventually add up. Then one day you can say 'Hey, see these 35 tutorials I've written? Here's how you can put it all together in an RTS'. I really think this is the best way to go about it.

But if you are dead set on doing a complete RTS tutorial, then I strongly suggest you don't release any of it until it is complete. And either way, put a lot of research into the topics you aren't 100% rock-solid about.

Hope this helps.

[edited by - aldacron on January 17, 2004 5:12:20 AM]

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Impossible    134
I didn''t see his idea as a step by step guide to copy like most of the people here seem to see it as. I see it more as a "I''ve made a game, this is what I did" thing. Kind of a more in depth postmortem with sourcecode.

The reason why I think this is a good idea is because there are a lack of gameplay programming articles out there, and an article like this would be a good way to tie together design and programming. Generic technique tutorials are great, but there are a million of them out there.

One of my favorite tutorial series ever is Flipcode''s "The Art of Demo Coding." I''d like to see something in this style where the guy explains some a group of common game development techniques and ends up with a little playable game.

I agree that it should be mostly text (people can look at the actual game source if they want to look at a bunch of source) and you should definitely finish the entire game before you write post the tutorial.

quote:
Megahertz
It''s not a MMORPG if it can only support 5 players. If somebody were prepared to write a tutorial on even just the networking portion of a MMORPG, then do it right and teach people how to support thousands. There''s a big difference between writing a program that supports 5 players max and one that can scale to live up to the term MMORPG.


Heh, if this is in response to my original MMORPG tutorial recommendation, that was mostly sarcastic, especially the NeHe style and the 5 players... I do think newbies would love a tutorial that like though.

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Kasper Fauerby    240
Raloth:
"On a second note, how do you even know what I can and can not do?"

Well, he can''t... But on the other hand, if you *could* indeed write a MORPG or even just a RPG or just about *any* other complete non-trivial game - then you probably wouldn''t be posting here about how you''ll write a tutorial to cover everything. Then you would know that it''s a huge task that cannot possibly be described in a useful way in a tutorial. Even 1000-pages books that tries to cover f.ex. RPG creation fails misserably and ends up describing only very specific and isolated solutions to some rpg-like problems.

Give up now!

On the other hand - if there is a certain technique that you knows a lot about (talking expert-level knowledge here) then go ahead and write a paper about it. Good papers are a very valuable resource for any game programmer...

- Kasper


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ostamo1    128
why don''t 3 to five people get together and help eachother with the 30 plus tutorials for a mmorpg or something similar that way,
if one loses interest there are 4 other to help take his place that way eventually the tutorial gets finished

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Megahertz    286
Even if somebody uses a "tutorial" that is 90% code, it really falls on them to understand what the code does and how it operates. If they don''t they''re only selling themselves short.

I learned network programming basically by a) reading beej''s site and b) literally ripping apart the code for the Everquest server emulator. So much so that I pretty much rewrote the whole thing from scratch and made improvements, eliminated the memory leaks, and my implementation ended up being a lot cleaner and better structured in the end. With that all said and done, I have quite a few ideas on how I could make the code and the design better.

Sure, I could have just copied and pasted the code, but I wouldnt have learned a thing, and thats what matters most.


-=[ Megahertz ]=-

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SyntheticHate    146
If you would like some help writing the tutorial(s) or writing some code to go along with it, I''d be glad to help out. I think it would be a reason to organize your (our) thoughts and actually create something people can use.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Impossible
There is already a RTS tutorial out there that''s decent.
<SPAN CLASS=editedby>[edited by - impossible on January 15, 2004 11:36:06 PM]</SPAN>


Sorry to revive an old thread but just out of curiosity would you happen to have a link to that tutorial ?

Thanks,
Alex

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Methisto    206
A Simple FPS like Wolfenstein 3D (using OpenGL or Direct3d) will be great!
The tutorial may include a file loader (for example MD3 files), level loader, User Interface, a console, simple AI and Physics.
I suggest 60% text and 40% code.

Whatever game Raloth you decide good luck!



[edited by - Mephisto on February 15, 2004 10:06:19 AM]

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Unidentified    136
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Impossible
There is already a RTS tutorial out there that''s decent.
<SPAN CLASS=editedby>[edited by - impossible on January 15, 2004 11:36:06 PM]</SPAN>


Sorry to revive an old thread but just out of curiosity would you happen to have a link to that tutorial ?

Thanks,
Alex

Yes, I also need the link to it.

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