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FranklinNoble

Text-based sports sims, anyone?

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I''m a big fan of games like Front Office Football, Fast Break College Basketball, Out of the Park Baseball, Championship Manager, et al. I''m wondering if anyone here: A.) Even knows what games I''m talking about. B.) Has any experience with text-based sim programming. C.) Can offer some advice on where to start to a novice. Basically, my "dream" is to create a text-based horse racing management simulation. Graphics aren''t really a big deal. I have almost no programming experience. I have Visual Studio .Net, and am trying to decide whether to tackle this project with Visual Basic or Visual C++. I think I took some Basic in high school, and some C programming in college, but the sum of my experience is over ten years old, and hardly applicable right now - I''ll be starting out from scratch. I''m not a complete technical moron... I''m a Windows/Novell server systems engineer by trade, and have been for ten years - I''ve just never dabbled in programming before. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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If you want it to be text-based as in console, I personally think you''re better off with C++ or C#

If you''d prefer to do it "GUI Based" like a standard windows application, I''d personally consider C# instead of Basic but that''s a personnal choice really.

What I advise you to do is to look at the syntaxes for C#, C++ and VB.Net which I couldn''t find an example in 3 seconds

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quote:
Original post by xMcBaiNx
If you want it to be text-based as in console, I personally think you''re better off with C++ or C#

If you''d prefer to do it "GUI Based" like a standard windows application, I''d personally consider C# instead of Basic but that''s a personnal choice really.

What I advise you to do is to look at the syntaxes for C#, C++ and VB.Net which I couldn''t find an example in 3 seconds


I''m thinking standard windows application, with little in the way of graphics... to give you an idea, check out some screen shots of Front Office Football:

http://www.solecismic.com/fofscreen/main.php

Thanks for your help...

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VB or C# would be just fine for that sort of thing. I think that the VAST MAJORITY of the work will be actually designing the entire thing before doing any coding.

With that amount of statistical complexity, you''ll want every stat and the algorithms for obtaining it ready to go so you can tie everything together and basically "script" the windows.

I''m not sure that I made any sense just then. lol

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I would defintely suggest C# for something like this. But again, it is solely a personnal preference.

It is important however to state that you are NOWHERE NEAR doing something with that kind of depth. You should really just focus on learning programming and the language you chose. While it isn''t graphically impressive. The gameplay seems really complicated, and simulations like this are something which is very difficult to program AND play-balance.

Just take it slow, making little programs. When you feel you know enough, move to simple simulations and slowly climb the ladder. Also, looking into the details of Object-oriented programming is a must for this type of games, which are really suited for this approach.

Good luck

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Yeah, I''ve been writing a game design document, just to sort of figure the logic out, and that much alone is pretty overwhelming. I just want to know what direction to take as far as learning a language, because I know it''s going to take a while before I''m anywhere near ready to start coding the actual game itself.

Thanks for all your input.

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Try this game go to www.download.com go to games go to sports go to tradtional then soccer then newstarsoccer2 it is wicked your like a player and you get to do every thing and it is all text based

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i am currently working on a game like this, in C#, maybe do you want to talk more on the subject - you would be welcomed in the team :D

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Hi Franklin,
(A) Yes, I''ve played all the games you mentioned (except Fast Break). Champ Man was the crack cocaine of gaming... :-)
(B) Yes, I am currently writing a text-based sports sim as one of two ongoing projects.
(C) Advice? Well, here''s what I can offer:

Design - Whether you want to go through the whole design document deal is up to you; I went with rough sketches on a handful of A4 sheets. The key is that you need to map out how everything is going to be represented within the game. This leads on to...

Language - I''m not going to get into any "this language is better than this one" debates, suffice to say that Object Oriented is the way to go. It hurts my brain to think how you could write a ''heavy'' sim without OO, but maybe that''s just me.
I initially wrote most of the code in C++, but have recently started porting it all to C#.

Data Storage - You''re gonna need a database. You could write your own file format but my suggestion is to dump all player attributes/stats/etc to a 3rd party DB (I''m using MS Access, but there''s plenty of options out there). As long as you abstract the data import/export code so that you can change the storage method later (ie the main engine just says "Load/Save data" and the abstraction layer takes care of it - whether it be an Access DB or a custom file format).

UI - Hardest bit so far (I haven''t gotten to play balancing, yet :-). When using C++ I was attempting the GUI in MFC. Ouch! Sure i got quite a bit done, but it was a fair old slog and there were many times where I gave up in frustration. This was a big motivator in the move to C# where the WinForms are far easier to use IMHO. Of course, now I''m considering a DirectDraw UI but I''m a glutton for punishment... :-)

Where to start - Well, learning a language is obviously number one on the list. Get comfortable with it.
Break the project down into chunks. I started with the data loading/saving - can I load and save a list of player names to the DB? Right, now can I do the same with a bunch of attributes/stats as well?
Then move on to your data structures. I created classes for Players, Teams, etc. Then load stats from the db into them, and save to the DB from them.
Next attempt to implement some sort of match code. The key is to start as simply as possible - pass in two teams and have the match engine just stick random stats in and hand back a result. The point is that you''re not trying to accurately simulate a match, rather you''re wanting to make sure the *other* stuff is working. Did the players stats get updated okay, etc?
Then add code to allow multiple teams, and a season schedule, etc. Add logic to allow for the end of the season, player aging, retirements, etc.
Once all this is working and is reasonably robust you can start adding the ''cool'' bits like GM AI (trading, team selection, etc) and changing the match engine so it actually simulates a game properly.

Well I seem to have rambled a bit there... :-) Quite a fan of these sorts of games as you can tell. Hope there was something in there that you might find useful. Best of luck with it all...

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