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RTS with OpenGL

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Greetings Do you think that an RTS would be a good kind of game to do whilst learning OpenGL? I've always wanted to make an RTS, but I'm not sure if that would be too much to do while learning OpenGL. Thanks.

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Something like tic-tac-toe, pacman, or snake may be more within your initial realm of doing. but if you really design well and put your mind to it, its possible.

good luck!

-visage

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I've done Tic Tac Toe, pacman already. Tried tetris but for some reason it dissapeared off my harddrive... I'm not very good with 3D stuff though, so it might end up being 2D unless I can figure 3D out.

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It depends on what other programming background you have. If OpenGL is your first experience with graphics, then I'd suggest you build from simpler games.

Personally, I started with a simple point and click game like whack-a-mole, then Tetris, then my feeble attempt at an RTS (hadn't had any data structures courses or knowledge). But that was all in Java, and OpenGL is a lot more interesting to me. The best advice I can give is to start simple and build on what you know. Maybe dissect what a simple RTS needs and learn the concepts you need, making sample programs to explore them as you learn. It will take a really long time, but I'm sure it will be worth it. There's nothing like having friends request the latest version of your game.


I also plan on doing an RTS, so let me know how yours works out.
psilocybin665@yahoo.com

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I think you would probably learn more by programming specific effects and learning how they work (or how you can fake it) would be more beneficial than making an RTS. A true RTS game throws in a lot of AI concerns, along with networking if you are doing multiplayer (which is it's own nightmare). There are definately simpler games that can be made as a learning experience that don't drop to the level of tic-tac-toe. I think doing a simple(r) game but doing it really well would be a better learning experience.

Perhaps a simple tank game? (3D in-cockpit or top-down "Bolo" clone would both be interesting)

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I actually think there is a lot of logic to starting with an RTS game. The more problems you encounter with your learning the better, an RTS will provide a lot. There is a general problem with starting a new topic such as learning graphics or game programming; there are a lot of problems you are not aware of. Making (or attempting) an RTS will introduce them to a lot of them.

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OrenGL makes a good point i didn't explain very well: an RTS game has a lot of non-graphical elements you may not even be aware of yet. You would end up spending most of the time on those non-graphical elements which have nothing to do with OpenGL.

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I've played with RTS builds, and I think it is possible - it's just a matter of breaking it down into small chunks. For example, think of the skills you'd learn (openGL and game-related) following this progression:

1. Wireframe flat landscape with navigable RTS-style camera.
2. Add texturing to the landscape.
3. Change to loadable mesh i.e. no longer flat.
4. Load in a single unit and place on the mesh.
5. Click on unit and get it to say 'Hello', or send a message to HUD.
6. Click on position on map - unit now drives to position (without falling through terrain or exploding or whatever).
7. Load more than one unit - each of which can be controlled in the same way - so when you click on a unit control changes to that unit and the controlled unit is always the one you send to any position clicked on the terrain - either changing current destination to new one or queueing up commands.
8. Add the ability to select several units at once using a drag-box.
9. Add shooting as a new command - can use this to add temporary objects (projectiles), particle effects (impact with earth, for example).
10. Add enemy (non-clickable) units.
11. Add enemy Mastermind - creates a new unit every 10 seconds, then when it has 5 units it sends them to attach one of your units.
12. Etc.

Jim.

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What Jim suggests is certainly possible and might even be a good idea if a more experienced game developer wrote out a couple hundred step guide. Not on how to implement anything, but just a sequence of goals, or milestones. Could help people like the OP alot.

The real problem with being new to game programming is that you are going to be rewriting your code constantly as you learn. This is fine for Tetris and pacman. Since the total amount of code is fairly limited. But when you realize that there was a way to do something 10x cleaner and you just finished your basic click units and make them move engine its going to be painful (but necesary) to make the changes that you know are right in the long run.

The difficult part of this is that it will keep happening every step of the way. The good news is that it means you are learning. :)

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