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crimson fury

This Newbie needs Your Advice

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I'm a 15-year old programmer from Canada wanting to make a sci-fi 3D RTS. Experience: 3-4 years with C/C++ using Win32 GDI and OpenGL. Have done basic things like loading models, heightmaps, textures, and fog. Have been trying to make a worthy game ever since I was 11, but abandoned most projects half-way through. Have occasionally visited gamedev for programming help. Now I need advice... I want to start a serious long-term project. What should I do first? Are there any game engines to make my life easier? Any sites to visit?

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Some generic long-term project advice: have a design before you start doing any serious coding.

I know this from experience. The project I'm working on now, I didn't really know what I was doing, and just started writing code. As a result its taken much longer than it should have because I've had to rewrite so many parts (some parts I've rewritten several times).

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Well if your biggest problem is abandoning projects half way through, perhaps starting an even larger project isn't the best idea. I personally prefer working on smaller stuff that I know I can finish, and make it fun and polished, rather than a large project that will most likey never get done, or if it does will be buggy and not fun.

However, if you want to make an RTS you should check out Torque and the RTS Starter Pack.

Best of luck!
Matt Hughson

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My advice: don't be overly ambitious.

4 years of experience with C++ does not equate to 4 years of experience with large projects.

Perhaps to get used to working with a large project and a large codebase, rather than do a difficult game (e.g. RTS) do a simple game and add a huge feature list (e.g. Pong).

I also suggest you shy away from 3D graphics. My reasoning is simple: it is entirely possible to make a complete, enjoyable, technologically sufficient game wholly in 2D, and doing so greatly reduces the complexity of the game's implementation (and possibly also the size of the code architecture).

Do you really need 3D graphics to do your game? If not, do it with 2D. You'll save yourself a lot of time and a lot of trouble, but most importantly, you'll be able to concentrate on matters most: designing the code architecture/class hierarchy properly.

Lastly, don't over do the class hierarchy!.

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Thanks Rayno. I already have a flexible gameplay concept, but I think some of things I want to do will depend on the engine...



Basically, the game idea:

Starcraft in 3D,
but with a richer, deeper sci-fi immersion,
more complex economy,
more realistic physics than other 3D RTS's,
automation controls,
and a unique, intrigueing "AI element" to the game that evolves.

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nilkin, matthughson, thanks for your advice guys! I know I should keep my ambitions humble (everyone tells me to), but I badly want to do this. I want to keep a clean, uncluttered project, but I also want to expand and add lots of features in the long-run. Because, the way I see it, if I invest time into a small project right now, I want it to pay off big in the future.


Thanks for the engines. I'm sure it will help a lot.

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Quote:
Original post by crimson fury
Umm... are there any other game engines that can be used for a 3D RTS? Something to compare with Torque?


All-inclusive game engines? As far as I know, none (at least, not with competitive prices).

Graphics middleware? There are many, the outstanding among which being Ogre and Irrlicht.

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you sound just like me. I always make projects that are far too ambitious. I ever try to make a simple project but it it too ambitious, because what is simple for a 5+ member team is pretty ambitious for a solo programmer.

What I'm currently doing is making a really, really, really simple game. Then I realized that it is still pretty complex. So I am only making part of it, and then I will fill in the details afterwards. I'm nearing completion but it is still a huge effort.

I recommend a sort of iterative design. For an RTS start with scrolling around the map. Then make some units that move from one part of the screen to another without any input. Then add input. Then add buildings and tech. Keep adding. Start small.

Oh, and thanks to well-written code I did not have any trouble relearning the code after taking a year off to get my initial army training out of the way. So yeah, make sure that another programmer can read your code, because not only will the you of the future not remember much, he might have had his mind dulled from who knows what. It was kind of cool scrolling down yesterday to where I wanted to add a new function, and found that the me of years past had already put the stub there for me. Damn I was smart and on top of things.

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Quote:
Original post by crimson fury
Now if anyone knows about engines (middleware?) for Networking, or Audio, or Physics... Actually, shouldn't there be a section for these? I can't find any listings for them on gamedev.



Nevermind guys. I'm dumb.

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=291432

[Edited by - crimson fury on August 27, 2005 10:40:59 PM]

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