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The time it takes to build a FPS

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Yes yes, from the topic you can see i''m a scrub that doesn''t know anything about making a game. This is my situation: I''m in a game programming class and the team i''m assigned to is 4 other people that have also never designed a game. Not only that, 3 of them seem completely unmotivated and probably would prefer to not program. The other one, the guy calling the shots atm, is this overly ambitious person who has wanted to design his game idea since before he entered college. He wants it to be a FPS where you are inside a mech. He believes we will be able to design a feature in it where you can get out of the mech and play as the human inside. Something he''s sure he wants to do is build the game engine from the bottom up. Now, on top of everying else, we have only 8 weeks to do this. Now i consider myself to be pretty realistic. I don''t think this is a good idea at all. I think we won''t be able to get much of it done and probably won''t have anything to show the teacher at the 8th week. Does anyone disagree? So i would like to make the case to the rest of my group, who is unmotivated, that this guys idea will probably lead to failure to all of them and convince them to attempt another idea instead (namely mine). But i would like my argument to be based on factual information, so what i need is a list of techniques that a FPS like this would need to use along with an estimated time of how long each one should take to code and debug. Please keep in mind at all times that this is everyone''s first game and there will probably be only be 2 people doing most of the programming. Here''s a couple of examples: Collision detection with walls/obsticles: 3 days Collision detection with weapons: 3 days Designing a level editor to make levels: 2 weeks Using Frustum Culling: 1 week ...... PS: If you have any other suggestions for my situation, they would be greatly appreciated.

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sorry I can't even begein to answer this, it takes me at least 2 - 3 weeks to learn a single function/process thing, to a point where I'm "sort of" happy with it. Each one of those things you mentioned has hundreds of functions/processes (not quite hundreds, but lots any way).
If you worked really hard you could probably get a 2d background image up with your player running about picking things up or something, but do you guys even know any programming language yet? You are right your freind doesn't have much of a clue

[edited by - Stevieboy on April 16, 2004 6:33:19 PM]

[edited by - Stevieboy on April 16, 2004 6:34:25 PM]

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8 weeks? A FPS? Even if you''re a highly experienced programmer, this is nearly impossible if you''re planning to build your engine from ground up!

I think I do not have to provide a more detailled insight. Just a recommendation: forget about it, try something simple instead.



Indeterminatus

--si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses--

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It sounds a bit too optimistic yes..

Questions:
What language are you making it in? Prior experience in the language? How many levels is the game supposed to be? Single player + AI or network? What APIs/ toolkits can you use? What have other teams made in the past, what are the other teams in your class making? I don''t know what level your class is.. If other''s are making pacman or tetris clones, why should you make a (possibly non-working) FPS?

Tips:
1. scrap the level designer plan. Get a Q3 BSP editor or something. An additional bonus is the readily availability of info on how to get it into the game.
2. Make it simple. A "dual" game with both mech combat and outside the mech doesn''t seem simple. Choose one. You can make the player model look like a mech, or like a human.

A game is just as good as it''s content. You need decent models, textures, levels, particle effects, music, sound effetcs. Possibly shaders, story, AI.

If the guy calling the shot''s have wanted to design this since before he entered college, did he really plan on making it only 8 weeks? Can''t he wait until this grade-hinging project is finished?

No clickies because it''s *your* assignment.

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The short answer would be "ROFL!!"

This, of course, is of no help.

The somewhat longer answer would be something more along the lines of... wow. Someone is WAY over-ambitious. In 8 weeks' time, building an engine from the ground up, getting media for your game (even if you rip it from an other game), designing levels (even if it's just a test level), and coding the game AI, is practically impossible. Unless your name happens to be Carmak, possibly.

Tell the guy calling the shots, plain and simple, that this is impossible. It's not impossible, but it might as well be. Pick a smaller project, possibly something 2D. Setting up a 2D engine with, say, SDL, is pretty easy. You could probably get a decent platformer up and running in 8 weeks' time if you're willing to put effort into it. With a willing and able team, you might even be able to have something somewhat impressive if you really put your heart into it.

The important part is getting your project to work and to have the bare minimum first. You'll probably be able to do this in 4-6 weeks' time. Then comes the debugging and the actual meat and flesh. Take advice from someone who's done the same kind of project (only, solo, as there weren't enough of us in the class to make groups): do NOT work on unecessary features until your game engine works. That's the most important piece of advice anyone can give you. You want something that works. Purdy flashes and cool moves can be added afterwards.

Good luck; just remember that nothing's preventing you or your team from working on that FPS after this project's done. Just don't stake your grades on something that you most likely will only be able to do after many, many sleepless nights of hardcore work (if at all).

Edit: Wait, never designed a game? Ok, forget this idea completely. Please. Start by writing something boring yet simple, like a Tetris clone. See how long it takes your team to understand the basics of a simple graphics API, handling player input, etc.. Then think back to your FPS. You'll be glad you changed your mind. Plus, you'll have time to improve on your project afterwards, so it won't be bad or anything in the end.

[edited by - RuneLancer on April 16, 2004 7:15:30 PM]

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quote:
Original post by frostburn

Questions:
What language are you making it in? Prior experience in the language? How many levels is the game supposed to be? Single player + AI or network? What APIs/ toolkits can you use? What have other teams made in the past, what are the other teams in your class making? I don't know what level your class is.. If other's are making pacman or tetris clones, why should you make a (possibly non-working) FPS?



We plan to make it in C++, we all have prior OpenGL experience but i really believe mine is better than most of them. This optimistic guy claims to have made his own raytracer, but then i looked at some code he showed me that he was implying used some techniques for this FPS and all it was was a fucking pyramid floating around in mid air surrounded by walls: Basically the "hello world" of OpenGL. I asked to see the raytracer and he refused to show it to me, i don't think he actually made one

He innitially suggested it's going ot have all these modes of play like capture the flag, destroy the enemies base, multiplayer with teams, and all that crap. Then i said we should just try to make it single player with a couple of AI on totally flat ground and with no ability to get out of the mech. So he agreed, but i think the guy actually thinks maybe by week 6 we'll have done enough to add some of those features!

We will be using OpenGL and GLUT. I suggested SDL and he's like, "We have no time!" I also suggested using CVS as opposed to his idea of putting the code on his website and he also acted like, "We have no time!" until i really tried to get him to do this. Because i was planning on making the level editor (which i may not plan now thanks to valid advice in this thread) I was expecting to use WTL (sp?) to make the user interface but probably will not have to worry about that now.

The level of the class is: Almost everyone has taken a graphics theory class. Each person knows lighting and how to create objects and stuff and at the end of this graphics theory class everyone had to work on a little mini-project like "make a particle engine" or "make shadows" or "make a ball bounce around a box", etc. I know that one other group was planning on making a RTS, but unlike this guy in my class, they actually understand how much work they will end up putting into it. Another group was going to make a little Mario Party Clone: where they make a bunch of really crappy games that are easy to make and put them together in one game. I think everyone in the class is a little more ambitious than tetris and pacman.



[edited by - tieTYT on April 16, 2004 7:27:34 PM]

[edited by - tieTYT on April 16, 2004 7:46:06 PM]

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It totally depends on the features and stuff you want. I mad a mostly complete FPS in a couple days...but it was a Doom style raycaster with no AI, menus, or multiple levels. I also started a small FPS engine in Direct3D in about a week, but all I made was the level rendering and collision detection. However, you''re friend has much higher goals and it''ll take you a lot longer. You just need to be realistic in what you try based on your experience. There''s no way you can make a complete Mech Warrior style game, but a simple FPS is probably with your grasp if you''re reasonably proficient with OpenGL and your tools. However, if you want a really polished project, you need to go a lot simpler.

tj963

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After one graphics course you guys plan on making an FPS? Ambitious...

I hope you all code really well. Writing a game by yourself can be done, but as soon as you have multiple developers, issues will undoubtedly arise. Communication is key, and when you''re referring to yourself as being "far and beyond" in terms of skill, I already foresee problems.

One piece of advice, to be great you ought be humble...

Other than that, if you guys are organized, motivated and set on ____finishing____ this, I''m sure you''ll get something done. How much it deviates from your initial design (I hope you actually have one) is dependant on time constraints and of course your abilities.

However, if you''re arguing and trying to convince people to use a source repository, well then... you seriously have other issues to worry about before you can start coding. ie. are the people you''re working with capable?

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Please people, i''m begging someone, please make a little list like the example in my original post I know it seems unnecessary, i know it seems like it should be obvious and everyone would see the error of this idea, but I already told him this crap is impossible before i even asked for advice. His response is, "What are you, afraid to succeed?" This guy SIMPLY doesn''t get it and the rest of my group just isn''t motiviated enough to reject his idea because he''s making all these false promises to them. I really need a way to make it clear to everyone in my group that if they follow this guy, they will fail. That''s the only way i can make them take a side. I need to make them understand how enormous of an undertaking this is by giving them a list of the techniques that would be involved if they decided to go with it. Otherwise, he''ll just counter my argument with, "All we need to do is build the engine and once that''s done it should be easy!" or something like that.

Thank you for your help

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quote:
Original post by Bashar

However, if you''re arguing and trying to convince people to use a source repository, well then... you seriously have other issues to worry about before you can start coding. ie. are the people you''re working with capable?


I"m not sure, i don''t know them. But the guy that''s causing these problems is suggesting that it would just be me and him coding the majority of this thing. I like the rest of the group though. As for my cocky attitude, it''s a result of this guy asking for the impossible out of me and acting like this is an issue of being afraid to do such a project, not my true personality.

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