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powermongor

being productive

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Productivity is one of the most important things, if not the most important thing, to game devs. I have two questions regarding productivity: 1) I am curious about how extensively they are able to reuse code from previous projects. For example, lets say that they make a game that doesn't really take off. Then next year they come up with a concept that might do ok, but they have saved a tremendous amount of design time by modifying existing code and slapping on new graphics. 2) I have noticed that there are alot of great game engines on the market that are reasonably affordable (less than $1-2k for a professional version) or even free open source ones. Some give you a GUI which give you level editors and the ability to insert game logic triggers. Would it be possible, even if major code tweaking is necessary, to use one of these to get the majority of the work done and put out a phenomenal game?

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Street Fighter 2
Super Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition
Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Fallout 1
Fallout 2

Some really great games can get away with using almost exactly the same engine. Vampire: The Masquerade used the Half Life 2 engine, and the games are quite different. As far as that goes, tons of games use the UT, Doom, and Half Life engines. It goes without saying that recycling is a good thing.

Try to keep game specific routines seperated from code that can be reused. What you consider specific depends on what type of games the engine is for.

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2) I have noticed that there are alot of great game engines on the market that are reasonably affordable (less than $1-2k for a professional version) or even free open source ones. Some give you a GUI which give you level editors and the ability to insert game logic triggers.

Would it be possible, even if major code tweaking is necessary, to use one of these to get the majority of the work done and put out a phenomenal game?


That's the point, my friend, so yes!

I'm 3D Game Studio's #1 Fanboy and thus I recommend it highly. Not as powerful as HL or UNREAL engine, but costs 100x less and give you EVERYTHING you need to make a game...graphics, network, and physics engine....model, level, and script editor.

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Vampire: The Masquerade used the Half Life 2 engine


No it didn't. It used a custom engine, and the Q3 editor. If you meant Bloodlines, then, yes.

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Original post by powermongor
1) I am curious about how extensively they are able to reuse code from previous projects.


I have an always increasing library of reusable code - whenever possible I reuse the code, to save time and because i'm unaware of any bugs in it. Sometimes it has to be slightly modified to fit in with a particular project, so I just make a copy of it and work from there.

These days the big commercial developers are relying more and more on middleware (especially in areas like physics) which can be plugged into many projects.


Quote:
For example, lets say that they make a game that doesn't really take off. Then next year they come up with a concept that might do ok, but they have saved a tremendous amount of design time by modifying existing code and slapping on new graphics.


Take a look at most sports games - there isn't that much difference between say, Madden 2004 and Madden 2005 - I suspect they have a high level of code reuse.


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Would it be possible, even if major code tweaking is necessary, to use one of these to get the majority of the work done and put out a phenomenal game?


Absolutely, however don't forget that level design, modelling objects, scripting, etc. are all going to take a fair bit of effort.

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There is tons of stuff out there to be sure. I feel like I should have tried to take advantage of more libraries - right now I just use fmod. I may end up using a physics package.

But one thing that I'd like to point out is that there are skills and a mindset that are well-suited to integrating other people's code. I don't have either of these for the most part. I am much more comfortable using someone's code for ideas rather than taking their code whole-hog. I'm sure these makes me less productive than others who are good at copy & pasting large chunks into their projects.

Just getting many libraries to build makes me want to scream. I tried to use some boost libraries that required building, and after 4 hours or so, I gave up and did it another way.

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Original post by Deyja
Quote:
Vampire: The Masquerade used the Half Life 2 engine

No it didn't. It used a custom engine, and the Q3 editor. If you meant Bloodlines, then, yes.

I didn't even realize there was more than one. I just remembered thinking the phisics engine was crazy in the fact that they didn't seem to use much of it, but it was so powerful. Then I played Half Life 2 and it all made sense.

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