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crimson fury

This Newbie needs Your Advice

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This is pointless now (since I'm going to use Ogre), but just in case anyone cares, here's what I had so far...

Terrain, fog, physical objects:

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If you want to make something big, get together a team and go for it. Set milestones and make sure you have the determination to see it through. If you really want to make a full game, then you'll have few problems.

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A team, as in Artists and Modellers and Musicians? I don't have need for that stuff yet. Getting other people on the bandwagon means I need to have something ready to show and keep them constantly occupied. That creates overhead work and extra stress for me.


Quote:
Original post by Leo_E_49
If you really want to make a full game, then you'll have few problems.


What if I make it something simple and keep adding stuff on? Even if I decide I don't want to work on the same game anymore, I can still re-use what I have learned and created to work on something else.

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Quote:
Original post by crimson fury
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?


I'd say you need to do a serious short-term project first. ;)

One thing though, don't put your faith in 3rd party engines. They're not magic. If you don't have the programming skill to write your own stuff, then you'll also have a hard time writing code to use an existing engine.

Anyway, I guess all the usual stuff applies. Make sure you've bored yourself to tears with countless console apps, then made Tetris/Pong, and work up from there.

If you've ended up abandoning your project halfway through so far, then do you really think starting a *bigger* project is the way forward? [wink]

And finally, one good trick to at least avoid getting stuck. Sit down, and code. Make a simple prototype with no pretty OO design, no detailed design doc, no class diagrams, no nothing. Just quick and dirty code. At least it gets you started. Sooner or later, you'll get swamped in the mess you've created, and *then* you can start reworking your code and cleaning it up and making it more extensible and robust. But the nice thing is that you get to see first-hand which problems you're going to run into (instead of having to plan everything *before* you actually have experience with it, or know how to deal with various problems)

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I can't say it enough, plan, plan, plan! Everything will go to pieces sooner or later if you don't plan it first. Sure, you 'll have moments of triumph where you come up with a great idea and implement it on the spot, but in the end, that's all you'll have, a couple great ideas, and nothing holding anything together. So plan first, do afterwards.

However, if you find your self getting bored, stop planning and implement something you've already planned. Once you start repeatedly getting bored with your project it will hit the recycle bin pretty fast, so you have to keep the 'fire' going.

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Okay, I already have a plan for a first release: Heightmap and moving boxes. Next? Pathfinding boxes. Every release after that progresses in a similar fashion.


I've done heightmaps and moving boxes lots of times. The real challenge is learning to do it in Ogre3D. So far I've configured STLport and waiting for DirectX SDK download... not expecting difficulties, but prepared nonetheless.


So I don't think this stuff is over my head. I don't think that I'm going to abandon this project because the concept is so flexible and I'm covering a lot of new ground. If I do abandon this project, at least I will have learned how to use valuable tools and will have created a handy library of code.

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Hi,

I really think you should not listen to the guys that tell you
to choose unambitious goals (no offence guys, just trying to offer
a different perspective). It's common psychological fact that if you
set a goal that is reasonable to obtain you will most likely fail to achieve it.

It's because your mind doesn't really need to "grow" to accomplish the task,
it already has the skills to do it. (After all, the goal is reasonable enough if you can gauge it based on your knowledge/set of skills).

If you set a goal that is farther than you can chew, you need to grow.
And you are far more likely to achieve great results, if you stick to it.

Of course, you will need to also realise that there is only so much coding you can do per day (did you know how many hours of coding the Unreal Engine 3, as it is now, took?).

So, my advice is: take something ambitious that gets your juices going and make sure the road to your goal is as fun as possible. Garage teams are sometimes a way to increase the fun/productivity.. if well chosen.

About your abandoning projects, at less than 15 years of age it is pretty rare to stick with major goals for long, especially when you can't see the goal. I often get frustrated when my advancements are not tangible, and I'm 26 ;). So, make sure you have frequent "checkpoints" on the route to your goal. Points where your results look "pretty" to yourself and others. Worst case scenario, you have good material for later days, for finishing your get-me-hired demo. :)

Tudor Tihan

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Quote:
Original post by crimson fury
A team, as in Artists and Modellers and Musicians? I don't have need for that stuff yet. Getting other people on the bandwagon means I need to have something ready to show and keep them constantly occupied. That creates overhead work and extra stress for me.


Quote:
Original post by Leo_E_49
If you really want to make a full game, then you'll have few problems.


What if I make it something simple and keep adding stuff on? Even if I decide I don't want to work on the same game anymore, I can still re-use what I have learned and created to work on something else.


I didn't say "you'll have a few problems", I said "you'll have few problems" meaning you won't have many problems if you really want to.

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Quote:
Original post by ttdeath
I really think you should not listen to the guys that tell you
to choose unambitious goals

I don't think anyone said anything about unambitious goals. We're just saying you need to learn to crawl before you can, well, fly... teleport, maybe.
Going to argue with that from a psychological perspective? [wink]

Quote:

If you set a goal that is farther than you can chew, you need to grow.
And you are far more likely to achieve great results, if you stick to it.

Good, show me that you can become a world-class sportsman, beat everyone at chess and learn to fly then. If you can do that, I'll agree you have a point. Otherwise, I think I'll stick to the theory that you need to learn one thing at a time. [wink]

I'm sorry, it's not that I disagree that you need to set ambitious goals to learn. I just think that if you try something *too* ambitious, you're also going to fail.
But of course, only the OP really knows what he can and can't do.

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SpoonBender:

I think you don't realise that we say almost the same thing.

Failing is not just a possibility on the route there, it's a fact.
Certain battles WILL be lost. The important thing, however, is that
the war to be as interesting as possible to allow the "soldier" to
fight all the way through. Certain teams may fall apart, certain publishers
may make fun of you, etc etc. If your goal is not above all that, the entire war
is lost (or maybe the entire war would not be even conceived, no great game developer born there).

Of course he needs to have "pitstops" on the way there (i.e. minor goals).
But in lack of a broader goal, of a general direction to follow, his game
development interest may fade away. Yes he needs to learn to do things before he can arrive to a great goal. Many Many things. But They should NOT be end-goals themselves.

I like that Mr. Crimson fury has completed tasks prior to thinking of a serious long term project. It's something 90% of the programmers I know don't. That's why I think he needs to make sure he has all the fun possible to a major goal that is rewarding enough to allow him to set another major goal.

In 2 words: Major goal that you can't reasonably reach, then planned pitstops that take you there, one set of skills at a time. (all major successful people
have set goals that they could not reasonably reach. Think of the black getto girl that dreamed all day long about having an Oscar. Reasonable goal, for a black american child living in a getto, 40 years ago? Yet Whoopy Goldberg did it and in great style.)

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