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wasted_druid

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Alrighty then... where to start... I know C++, or at least I know it well enough to do most anything I want as long as I've got my books handy ;). The only games I ever completed were a VERY simple breakout (in QBASIC) and a whack-a-mole game in *shudder* TurboPascal (both were years ago). I understand and have used basic concepts like game loop and simple animation techniques. I've never stuck with something long enough to finish. And like most noobs, I have visions of grandeur and my own MMO. However... I'm not going to jump into a project I know for a fact I'll never finish. My idea here, is to complete and polish a simple game. I was thinking, a tetris clone. My question is, how do you all hold out till the end of a project. Do you ever get to a certain point and say to yourself, "This is good enough. I've learned what I needed to."? Or do you always push through to completion? I guess I'm just frustrated with my vast number of uncompleted projects. Any advice?

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I will tell you, this plauges the majority of people making games.

Personally, i try to keep a couple of things in mind.

Have something that is able to show progress at all times. Compile your program and see stuff, dont just write a bunch of code then not implement it until later...see what you do first hand..make it work.

Do something you want to do. Yeah, doing the motions with a game that you think is boring stinks, so figure out a game type that you like and move with it. My project as of now is a side scrolling space shooter, which i have always loved. You are porbably not going to be able to do Quake 3 on your first try, but a simple 2D shooter is something to go for.

If you get de-motivated, take a day off and come back the next, or work on some other aspect of the project. I try to have at least one back up thing i can do if i get stuck or bored with what i am doing.

Challenge yourself. Make it hard. The best feeling is when you are tearing out your hair over a small bug and then solving it....that motivates me to keep going. Just dont make it a game that wont challenge your mind in some way.

Thats all i really try to stick to...

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I know what you are talking about and I'm pretty sure so do nearly 97% (Disclaimer: All figure entirely made up by my whimsical mind) of the people here.

My last "nearly" completed game was a 2d side scrolling shooter. And I would have completed it too if I had not waited for some artist to send me some graphics (since I'm crap at it). Needless to say, the graphics turned up a zillion years later by which I had moved on to something else and never got the inclination to go back.

Anyhow, I did manage to 90% of the things I wanted with the game: a) Smooth scrolling of the background b) Tiling of images c) frame-independent movement d) Some alien formation behaviour e) cool weapons like guided missiles f) A splash screen and highscore table and g) Sound effects and in-game music (shamelessly ripped off from Xenon 2 for Genesis) using DirectSound. All in all I'm pretty happy for how things worked out for what was primarily a first time effort using DirectX.

The trick I suppose then is to set clear achievable short term goals and then go all out to implement them. Also do what you think is cool. I guess as long as things are challenging AND fun, the motivation factor remains high.

That's my two cents then. :)

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Hi. When I'm writing a particular bigger program (in an ex: a game) i do one handy thing: document it for myself. That is, I create doc, wchich is divided into sections: overview, details, diary, ideas and notes. Before I begin to write code, I write overview section - what the main purpose is, what the program is supposed to do, what should it look like. The details section is updated every time I'll change my mind on how the program should work. Every time I have some new idea, i write it into ideas section. When I learn something new, and it's very important, I write it into notes section. And the most important section is the diary - dated annotations, which I write on end of every day of working on program. I write there what I've achieved today, and what should be done tomorrow, and in the future. This way I can always see in which way I was going a week ago, and what progress was made so far in that way. It's a good way (a least for me) to "power-up" myself, and keep working on project despite of problems. Try it, maybe it'll help you in some way. Greetz.

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Just a little warning :)
The last time i've forced myself to do something i didn't want to do i got bored of programming and came back to it only a few months later :D (That was writting a menu for a pong clone with alot of options, it was damn hard and boring, I shouldn't have tried doing it).

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