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Macala

Help for a Dollar.

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Sorry no dollar, I am canadian anyways so it ain''t worth much anyways. On to the real stuff. Now, I know you all belive in learing from small to big, but not for me, I need to go big and work my way around and then get bigger, I don''t care about tetris and I could fall alseep hearing that I should start out with a small game like tic tac toe. I have a huge idea, it is better than anything I have seen and I am a hardcore gamer. Lots of people say that when they get an idea, they think it is the best ever, but this one takes the cake. Of Course I don''t wanna reveal it all out, but I need help getting a base down. I am relativly new programming, no schooling I am self taugh, sick of VB so I moved onto C and have been working with it for the last 5 months, learning anyhting and everything on the net, tearing apart small games and such, but far from some of the masters on here. Enough talking, heres the idea. What I need is to do is build a game engine( I know it will take me years alone, thats why I am here) that allows a physics system that can support large scale buildings and direct damage counters on the body. If your arm is hurt, no use, to much damage, its gone. Get the drift? I have been trying so hard to build anything, but all I can do is draw my freaking ideas out on paper. I need help with this, anything with help too. I need anything from how to make a screen come up to the basics to a game engine (both graphic and physical). I don''t want to be spoon fed, but this idea is great, and leaving it would be wasing a great idea. Thanks for you time, please email if you want to know more, and if you can help me with my programming skills. Macala

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For Beginners. Look at the resources bar at the top of the page, there's tons of good stuff there.

You may also want to check out flipcode, game tutorials and NeHe. For physics specific stuff look at ODE and David Baraff's homepage. Also, google is your friend.

For large scale buildings you want to look at LOD (level of detail), quadtrees, octrees, occlusion culling, etc. This is not an easy task at all. There are a couple discussions about drawing large cities in the graphics programming forum, I suggest you search them. There is also a paper out there on generating procedural cities that isn't bad. CGameProgrammer has been showing off a pretty impressive large city engine that he's been working on by himself, you may want to check that out.

With ODE, making rag doll physics with damage per body part won't be extremely easy, but it's definitely possible. The Truck dismount and Stair Dismount games do exactly what you're describing with ODE.

I'm giving you more help than most people would on gamedev with a post like this. Really most people would just give you the first link and tell you you're on your own. It looks like you shouldn't be worrying about rendering large cities and instead worry about getting triangles on the screen. Goodluck.

[edited by - impossible on February 5, 2004 9:57:43 PM]

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Thank you very much. Yes I know, but I am pulling information from everywhere right now and when the time is right I will put it all together.

Large scale cities are not my idea. I am aiming for a small town look to my buildings, but in the future. Thanks once again.

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quote:
Original post by Macala
Large scale cities are not my idea. I am aiming for a small town look to my buildings, but in the future. Thanks once again.

Ahhh... that makes your game idea even easier, depending on how much detail you want in those buildings that is. Do you want outdoor or only indoor? If you''re doing a lot of indoor rendering you''ll want to look up portals (decent tutorial on flipcode) and maybe BSP and PVS.

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It is based on the earth after the world has become, can we say Havoc? Basically there are small places where the user will enter buildings but for the most part roaming landscape and outside is highly dominant.

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well, i was in your boat not too long ago. I already knew i was serious about my project because i had already come up with a complete boardgame mockup for it. Then i rolled back my sleeves and decided to learn C++. That wasa year and a half ago, but i''ve only been actively working on my boardgame-turned-computergame for less than a year. While most of these types of project die quickly, i''m having a lot of fun on mine. My project is a very large scale TBS game and i''m almost ready to release a second milestone. So, it can happen if you stick too it.

For general coding, i''d recommend a good solid book. I learned on O''Reilly''s "Practical C++ Programming" and use Stroustrup has a resource as well.

For graphics, you need to first select a graphics library. Looks like you''ll be using OpenGL, so start learning on some basic tutorials (NeHe is good), and then look into perhaps using an open source 3d graphics *engine*.

I''m using a neat little 2D widget toolkit called ParaGUI which is based on SDL. For networking, i use SDL_net.

My recomendation for you is to divide and conquer your problem. Don''t go straight for the juggular and start coding 3D explosions, but really hammer out your design and start building basic game data structures and architectures. Get your *systems* working before you add to them. like:

version one: baby-simple graphics, networking pings, some data structures

version two: awesome graphics, optimized networking with 10,000 simultaneous clients, data structures with extra cool features that light up and make toast.

and so on. otherwise if you really flesh out, say, graphics, then decide that half of your original game concept really bites, you may have to rip out most of the details of the graphics engine, although you''ll keep the engine itself. And believe me, with a poor orignal design, you''ll tear down at least half of your code at least once. not cool.

and of course, here''s the necessary plug for my own project, which is coming along nicely:

http://www.project-axis.net/

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Just a thought...
You seem very confident in your idea (obviously since you won''t disclose it).
If it''s something you really think may sell, then don''t make a half-assed effort at an engine then expect to be able to release it. Even if you''re planning on showing this one day as a demo to a publisher, it needs to be top-rate otherwise they won''t give you the time of day.

If you are REALLY serious, consider finding help in coding (+design, graphics, sound etc..) and use an external engine.
Unless you''re a very advanced coder (well team of advanced coders really), you won''t be able to make a commercial-grade engine (or at least by the time you finish, it''ll be three years outdated!). Using an external engine will jump you forward 100 steps and get you almost straight into developing the game rather than the low-low-low-level backend (and believe me, it''s a lot more fun and less tedious this way).

But whether you''re this serious or not, you shouldn''t jump straight in based on the fact that the code will end up being long, slow and crappy (no offense, but you''ll agree with me a year later when you look back at the design and wonder what you were thinking!)
Find tutorials in books and on the net, then make up little test programs until you learn at least a part of each area of game coding (you don''t have to super-advanced at everything, that''s what teams are for!). Once you''re confident and have worked through these test programs, you will be able to produce a much better engine (and will end up being able to re-use a lot of your old code anyway).

This is just my opinion. I just don''t like the idea of a really great decision going to waste when it may lead to very big things. Let''s face it, the game industry needs something new rather than the same old shit over and over and over and .....

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Thank you Tutia, I guess the best way would be a team. I am not a high level coder and well, you need that. Thanks. And the game? yes it is completly different. Yes some of the ideas have been done before but the type of play is completly changed.

Thank you all for your help.

-Macala

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Real-Time Rendering is the best book you''ll find. It covers the mathematics behind virtually every aspect of game programming there is. It presents a topic, gives you some theory, an example implementation, then gives links to online resources for more in-depth study... much like a huge collection of very succinct academic papers.

What it doesn''t do is tell you how to write a game... instead it solves a thousand common mini-problems that come up during the course of development.

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