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DesCr

Best type of game to program first

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DesCr    100
I always wondered why tutorials all start out at tetris or arkanoid type games. These seem like intermediate projects. An easier path to follow would be something like Tic-Tac-Toe, then Tetris, then Side Scroller, then 2D RPG, etc. etc. leading up to where you want to go. Anyways my main question is the "Tic-Tac-Toe phase". What are some other ideas for SIMPLE games to start with that would fall in this earlier category?

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Halo, Quake, but maybe they're too easy.

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Pxtl    354
Well, my first PC game was a simple 2d, non-scrolling multiplayer action combat game in grade 12. On win32, joystick libraries aren't hard to work with, and this way you don't have to code AI players. A friend of mine did the same thing.

Mine was a combat-style tank game with semi-inertial physics, a tile-based map including non-animating conveyor belts, lava, landmines, ice(slippery) and walls, and an in-game tile editor. My friend made a Space War game with a purchasing system and an inventory. We both worked in VB. Both our games were good, fun multiplayer games, so they had excellent replay and addictiveness (like any good multiplayer game). Things like that are a good place to start - I recommend working in .NET (C#, VB, whatever language, they're all the same in the back), Java (if there's a good game library, but I can't find one), or PyGame (don't know how good joystick support is in that though, but Python's a rockin' beginner language).

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vnillabrent    122
Quote:
Space invaders![quote]Missile Command might be a good one, that's pretty simple.


No way, they're way above tic tac toe level. Tic tac toe can be programmed in a console. The only game at a tic tac toe level I can think of is a high/low game. The computer picks a random number and you have to guess it. If you are above or below it, the computer tells you so. You keep guessing until you get it right. I've seen some that keep track of the number of guesses and store it in a high score table somewhere.

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Pxtl    354
Hmm - I don't think we're on the same page here. DesCr, do you have programming experience already? How much? The suggestions I gave were for someone with a highschool course of programming experience under their belt. The Tic-Tac-Toe suggestions are more aimed at the "first thing to program after hello world" mentality.

edit: whoops, didn't realise that DesCr wasn't asking for himself.

Anyhow, the point is still valid - my game and my friend's games were both made by 17 y.o. at the end of our second high-school course in programming, on our own, in about 40 hrs of work, in VB. Tic Tac Toe is only if you're getting into games a little early, or using a very hard-to-use programming language.

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Yamian    100
Level 1: Pong
Level 2: Blocks/Tetris
Level 3: Board or Card Game
Level 4: Arkanoid
Level 5: Side scroller
Level 6: Turn Based RPG
Level 7: Tactical/Stratagy
Level 8: everything else

Counting things I've finished, I'm on side scroller. Counting never finished, like level 20000000.

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DesCr    100
I guess I was misleading. I already program in C++, so I'm not trying to decide on a language or platform.

I simply think Tetris is not a good place to start. I guess Pong would fit in the category that I'm speaking of. And by Tic-Tac-Toe, I don't mean a console game. That's easy. I mean a DirectX/SDL/OpenGL type version where it stays small so you can see how the Game Logic mixes in with the Graphics/Input systems.

Tetris is a little (JUST A LITTLE) too much for a FIRST project, as you have to deal with creating a bunch of blocks and logic. Pong ( - physics) is simple. 3 Blocks! Thanks for the suggestion.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
asteroids!

miself i have done pong(qbasic) and asteroids(c++). working on a side scroller now

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Anon Mike    1098
A good first game is either Pong or that snake game where you have to run your snake around eating food. Every time you eat some food your tail gets bigger. You lose if you hit a wall or your tail.

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red_sodium    216
Quote:
The computer picks a random number and you have to guess it. If you are above or below it, the computer tells you so. You keep guessing until you get it right. I've seen some that keep track of the number of guesses and store it in a high score table somewhere.


D'oh. I did that, and I thought it was original. In mine, you pick either the red or the green button and if you get it right, it gives you the odds of getting each consecutive choice right, along with an encouraging message each time you get it right (kinda like UT's commentaries, "Killing spree!", "Godlike!", etc). I managed to get to something like 1/8192. Start with this.

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Diodor    517
Do some text adventure or RPG - this one won't require the use of any tricky libraries and let you focus on the programming part instead. It's also very easy to make a very small game, and then you can expand the program as much as you want.

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DesCr    100
Quote:
Original post by Diodor
Do some text adventure or RPG - this one won't require the use of any tricky libraries and let you focus on the programming part instead. It's also very easy to make a very small game, and then you can expand the program as much as you want.


Done that :) Thanks for the suggestion though. I do agree with you that a text adventure is a great and very rewarding first project.

Maybe I shouldn't have said first. I meant first graphical, but it's ok. I've decided on pong.

Hmm.. I could always do... Text Adventure Pong!

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
It seems to me that "Tic Tac Toe" and, for example, "Missle Command" are two completely different *types* of games.

You cannot say that either one is a prefered starting point without some indication of the *type* of game programming that the person wants to explore.

Also i think beginners tic-tac-toe ends up having extremly poor design and that those poor designs dont lend themselves to more complex games of the same type

Another simple game, of a different type to these, is Hangman. Perhaps a little too simple.



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abstractworlds    194
I would recommend pong first and maybe a breakout game second (breakout is really an advanced pong).

Tic Tac Toe is slightly more complicated than pong since it involves AI code for the computer opponent and slightly more complex game completion code.

With pong you dont have to worry about opponent/enemy AI, and it is easy to work out when each game is finished. Pong does require some physics but this can be very simple, e.g. assign ball an x and y value for its speed and move it by these amounts each frame, rebounding off walls can then be achieved by just changing the positive or negative sign of ball's x or y speed.


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d000hg    1199
If graphics are simple to use without having to use a library (ie basic) then pong is good, or remember Gorillas from QBasic?
In windows (MFC) something like minesweeper might be good since the actual windows components are very easy to use for simple buttons.

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DesCr    100
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
It seems to me that "Tic Tac Toe" and, for example, "Missle Command" are two completely different *types* of games.

You cannot say that either one is a prefered starting point without some indication of the *type* of game programming that the person wants to explore.

Also i think beginners tic-tac-toe ends up having extremly poor design and that those poor designs dont lend themselves to more complex games of the same type

Another simple game, of a different type to these, is Hangman. Perhaps a little too simple.


Well the whole point is to learn the overall structure of OO game programming. Tic Tac Toe, Missle Command, Halo - doesn't matter. The point is to learn about Game States, Rendering, Audio, the game loop, etc... All of which can be implemented in a tic tac toe game.

As for the second part, I've been designing an RPG for some time now that I'd eventually like to program.

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Alpha_ProgDes    6935
Quote:
Original post by Yamian
Level 1: Pong
Level 2: Blocks/Tetris
Level 3: Board or Card Game
Level 4: Arkanoid
Level 5: Side scroller
Level 6: Turn Based RPG
Level 7: Tactical/Stratagy
Level 8: everything else

Counting things I've finished, I'm on side scroller. Counting never finished, like level 20000000.

i agree.

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bobbyp    122
When starting game programming, three languages come to mind. VB,
C++, C#.Net. My preference would be VB but others might disagree and favor C++ or C#.
What is the opinion of the group ?
Also, in a first course, should OpenGL be included ?

TIA
bobbyp

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DesCr    100
Quote:
Original post by bobbyp
When starting game programming, three languages come to mind. VB,
C++, C#.Net. My preference would be VB but others might disagree and favor C++ or C#.
What is the opinion of the group ?
Also, in a first course, should OpenGL be included ?

TIA
bobbyp


My opinion? Don't let VB come to mind :)

Seriously, I don't know why someone would want to program a game in VB other than a simple puzzle game. I actually ran across a site yesterday which was a project page for a VB MMORPG.

I'm not trying to be an ass, as I was a VB lover for a long time. The appeal is that you can drag and drop stuff. In a game, you'd start to see things during "development-time". Mostly the UI, and some blank spots for buffers. Other than that you still need to write a lot of underlying code.

If you love the windows format so much, then you could simply use MFC. Visual Studio even has an interface where you can drag and drop just like VB. For a game though, you wouldn't be doing much of that so I DONT recommend it.

So you want to visualize as your designing? Simply make your own tools where you can drag bitmaps, events, etc. It's much more rewarding and a lot faster. Believe it or not, I think it's easier with C++.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
a pong game would be simple enough to do

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DesCr    100
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
a pong game would be simple enough to do


Why is it that anonymous posters never read the full thread?

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DrGUI    402
I am making my first proper game, Rock Paper Scissors 3D, but I have been making my engines for ages now. My only other game was Shooter where you have a tiny picture of a person then shoot them or blow them off. 2D in VB 6. Oh yes, and Rock Paper Scissors 2D, again in VB 6. Look at my sig. for what I am doing now.

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