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trying to learn

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i'll be a senior next year and i have ideas for my senior project. the problem is the classes that i believe i may NEED to help me with my senior project aren't available to me until next Fall.. that worries me. so i want to teach myself, because i know damn well my senior project will not be something lame like an Alarm Clock. what i want to do: i've wanted to create my own strat/rpg since i was in 10th or 11th grade when i was first introduced to the C++ environment.. i can't really see myself doing much of anything else for the senior project besides maybe an RPG (which i've already done to some extent) or something like Castlevania. i only have two semesters of C++ under my belt, so i have knowledge of everything from cout<<"Hello World"; to class HelloWorld. a project i had last year was to create a text-adventure/RPG game using C++ and a "graphical engine" (the engine was created by one of my professors) which went pretty well and everything. of course for my senior project i don't want to use win32, but something like OpenGL or D3D (any suggestions for a "2D" game like Final Fantasy Tactics.. DirectX maybe? i'm sure FFT-like graphics is beyond the scope of something for a senior project, but i'm just looking for anything to get started in the direction) now i've been looking around the internet for info on how to "make games" and i feel like i'm just being lead around by bad FAQs.. or being pulled backwards by things that don't help me at all. the "How to make a game" FAQ on this site.. to sum it up: To make a game, you need to make a game. There was no information on how the games were made, etc. i learned nothing from it. no offense to anyone. if anyone could just link me to a place that would help me with getting started, that'd be great. language i want to use: C++ OS: windows (XP) if anyone has made a strat/rpg that fits my description i'd love to take a look at it as well as any documentation on the creation.

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first of all, im not sure an RPG is the best option for now. Since you will obviously be pushed for time, maybe a action game (space shoot-em-ups are popular) would be more suitable. The reason i say this is because whilst your learning your new graphics API (whatever you decide to use) and creating your game, you may not have the time to create a storyline, battle formulas, items, descriptions, maps etc that an rpg would need.

obviously you know how much time you have better than i do, but make sure you know exaclty what your game will consist of, and therefore how much work will be required before you start.

im at uni doing game development, and all ive ever used is DirectX, with a little bit of SDL. For me DirectX wasnt too bad. that was probably down to the great tuition i got. that said, SDL is far easier than directX. i managed to knock together a pretty decent spy hunter clone in around 8 weeks (thats with all my other studies as well) using SDL.

this link will take you to a list of classes that i took during one of my modules. It,s basically about using SDL to make a PS2 game, but just ignore the PS2 stuff, it works fine on windows. My lecturer made his own sprite class which you will have to download, but all the info on how to use it is there.
obviously dont just use it and pass it off any code as your own work, modify it to suit your needs or learn from it. (since learning is what its all about)

bear in mind the sprite class was really designed for a shhot em up type game, so it would need modifying if you plan to use it extensively in an rpg.

http://www.bolton.ac.uk/staff/adw1/GHAP/index.html

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Quote:
Original post by Multiverse
first of all, im not sure an RPG is the best option for now. Since you will obviously be pushed for time


yeah, heh, my professor last semester felt the same way about the RPG i wanted to make for my project. managed to complete that in about 4 weeks of actual work, ended up being 300 pages, completely dwarfing everyone else's 15-20 pages projects.

my senior project is two semesters, i think the first semester is to come up with the idea and get a lot of research done for about the first 8 weeks, then begin development for the last 8 weeks and the 16 weeks of the second semester.. i assume. so with that amount of time i don't think an RPG or Strat/RPG is really out of the question.

thanks for the quick reply and the link, useful information i'm sure but now i have to install powerpoint to check out the bulk of it :\

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If you want to find useful tutorials, search for "making a game" probably won't work so well. Game making is a very wide topic and there are many different approaches to take, and a variety of desired results. You should look-up more narrow topics. For example, if you want to use Direct X for graphics, look for tutorials on using directdraw or direct3D. As for putting it all together, tutorials about this are very rare, because the details vary widely from one type of game to the next.

The similarities that most games share is that they are implemented as a continuous loop that only exits when the user decides to exit the program. Each loop iteration you read for input, draw the graphics to the screen and update all of your data. Your game is controlled by state data that determines what is drawn on the screen and what the input does. Outside of that, the rest is up to you.

You may also want to look up how "tile-based" games are made.

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Quote:
Original post by Multiverse
first of all, im not sure an RPG is the best option for now. Since you will obviously be pushed for time, maybe a action game (space shoot-em-ups are popular)...


Thats good advice, cos you'll need to make editor software for all the items and maps, and make sure they are relatively complete before you start work on your scripting engine...

I use a very simple home made script compiler (very similar too, but nowhere near as complicated as HLSL) to handle in game events and plot progression. This is essential if you want your RPG to last over an hour, and you can fine tune everything without altering the game engine.

An RPG of some substance is best undertaken by a team.

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Quote:
Original post by ferr
now i've been looking around the internet for info on how to "make games" and i feel like i'm just being lead around by bad FAQs.. or being pulled backwards by things that don't help me at all. the "How to make a game" FAQ on this site.. to sum it up: To make a game, you need to make a game. There was no information on how the games were made, etc. i learned nothing from it. no offense to anyone.

if anyone could just link me to a place that would help me with getting started, that'd be great.


There is a link where you can download the source for a simple game on this thread.

For me, being able to examine the entrails of an actual working game taught me more than a dozen tutorials. Its like the difference between reading a book about how a car works and actually looking under the hood.

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