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foxtrot7

Books, Roles and Management

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foxtrot7    122
Howdy all, I am (or still concider myself) a noob in the relm of game developing as a hobby. I've started some minor projects but only recently finished one. It was a small 2d space trading sim. I have gotten some friends (and a guy I realy dont care for but can do some realy nice stuff in 3d studio) Together as a team to start off with a simple game. I actualy have set it up as kinda sequals and such... The first is quite simple although has some complex ideas scripting wise. The second set up to follow up if the team works well together as something that could be a decent 9.95 D2D game (in theory) The 3rd if were so lucky same as the second for the most part but supporting multiplayer over the lan. All 3 of these have already been hashed out on paper to include concept art, tech trees and level progression down to maps. My problem is...Ive made a simply game by myself but have no clue how to delegate responsibility so that everyone has a fair share of work yet is able to integrate into the whole seemlesly without any micro mannaging... I have 2 guys who know C based languages well but no gaming exp. 2 guys who are math wizes and can pick up any language real fast. A guy who does sound effects and music. 1 guy good at structural 3d design. A girl who is good at character modeling and a guy who can take a perfectly innocent game and in 3 days skin every character so they are nude. As for me untill now ive done everything in basic... My other problem is my coders cant agree on how to proceed engine wise...are there any books yall have come accross that deal SPECIFICLY to a game engine design...everything ive run accross skims the topic as somthing very minor. Im looking for a book that talks about only engine design..then ive got 900$ left for books...Ive got a prety good idea of what i want to get my crew but kinda want a good progression to step up..not to mention me id like to get as broad of an idea of what im mannaging...I appreciate all your help in advance thank you fox

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TheRealMAN11    142
So I am bout as much as a noob as your are when it comes to game design, but I have more clues on project management it seems. I would reccommend developing some test code, there is no one right engine. They don't teach this stuff is school. Test out some stuff, look at other peoples games (think open source). Quake 1 and 2 are open source I think. There is also ogre, and crystal space which can be used to develop engines.

Also check out other open source game engines for pointers. Wesnoth is an open source turn based strat game. Freeciv is a free civilization II clone.

Be prepared to be suprised at the amount of work involved in creating a game, although it sounds like you guys have some talent in your team.

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Ikana    160
I've been on a few amateur projects as a programmer and an artist, and here's what I would say is important, from my experiences, in no particular order.

Write code.

If you don't care enough about your project to be involved in creating it, then certainly no one else will in an amateur project. This helps in delegating responsibilities as well, because not only are you familiar with the subject matter, but you are also familiar with the actual code and thus better able to determine what work needs to be done.

Resolve conflicts.

This skill is particularly important, certainly one of the most important skills a leader can have. Unresolved conflicts can suddenly and easily sink an entire game development effort. Practice this skill on the guy that you don't like. :)

Organize the project.

Others emphasize organizational skills for aspiring game designers, and I think it's true for amateur game development as well. It sounds like you're doing pretty well in this area, considering that you have concept art and design documents and such. I personally recommend setting up both trac and subversion for project management.

Make it fun.

I don't think that the possibility of going commercial should be used to motivate your team, particularly so early on. It's likely that things aren't going to work out the way you plan them in the early stages anyway. So I suggest that you motivate your team by making your project fun to work on. Don't bother with the meetings and the bureaucracy if possible. Make the game you want to make, not the game that you think the most people will play. Avoid using negative incentives like deadlines. Discuss the direction of the project with them, get their input and ideas on the gameplay and such. Get them involved in more than just the technical work.

And that's what I'd suggest. I'm no expert, but I have seen a few projects die sudden, painful deaths because of failure in these things.

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foxtrot7    122
Great help guys thank you. I have coded in basic...curently I've finished a couple c++ books and it seems the more the more I know how much I dont know LOL but hey isnt that what everything in life is like. I did however find a couple good books on engine architecture on this site...WOW so many books to choose from. As for going commercial that realy isnt our drive. Mainly our driver realy comes from arrogance I guess you could say because, we would most like just to be able to say hey look at this...yea...thats write we wrote that..then breathe on our nails and wipe on chest lol..but more seriously we find writing a game to be the most difficult form of software design where as buisiness software usualy only a small handfull of simply routine problems a game has thousands of problems to solve.

What i would like to do is take one of my favorite games (hardwar) and de-compile it and look at the code but even the guys who know c++ cant figure it out...anyone got any tips???

Once again great info I appreciate all your help -foxtrot

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