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Parrot

Authoring Systems

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Hello everybody. I'm new here so excuse me if this topic has been covered before (the website search isn't working, but I looked through many of the previous posts to see if anybody was talking about authoring systems at all). I'm not new to programming, I've been doing it ever since the old days using Basic on the Commodore 64. I've studied many languages, inculding the usuals like C++ and Visual Basic. Before recently I hadn't done too much game creating, or at least the only games I did create were dinky little games that never really got finished. Anyway, since college I've been mostly doing website programming with Perl, PHP, and javascript. So I decided to set a project for myself to re-learn some of the languages I knew in the past and also learn some new languages as well. I've found that using authoring systems are excellent ways of having fun programming. In college I learned to use a system called Asymetrix Toolbook II, which was pretty cool (they've since changed to another company I believe and the name is now Toolbook Instructor). It was a really nice system to use for making games, although I believe it's expensive. (I have an old secondhand copy that a friend gave me for free because he didn't want it anymore). I also learned Macromedia Director in college, but I remember that I didn't much care for it. A lot of the solutions to problems that the instructor told us to use seemed like half-baked ways to get around the limitations of the system. I felt kind of dirty using it. Maybe they've improved it since then though. Recently I found Game Maker by Mark Overmars ( http://www.gamemaker.nl ) which I've found to be really good. You can technically make a game without using any code, but only really simple games. For more complex games it has a nice language (called GML) and I've made a couple of games using this system. People have made some pretty sophisticated and fun games using Game Maker. There are a few other authoring systems that I'm looking at playing around with but haven't done much with yet. There's BYOND ( http://games.byond.com/start/ ) Which is completely free. My first impression is that it seems kind of limited, but it has easy built-in multiplayer functionality and may be very useful for certain types of games. I'm also looking at Game Editor ( http://game-editor.com/ ) and 3D Game Maker ( http://t3dgm.thegamecreators.com/ ) Since this is the beginners forum, I thought it would be a good place for a discussion on the game authoring systems that are available - information that a beginner might find useful in figuring out what to start with. I'd recommend Game Maker as a good way to introduce beginners to game programming myself. So if you have used any of these systems or know of other interesting ones please post them here.

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Hi Parrot, I've been playing around with Game Editor a lot lately. I did try Game Maker for a while and loved the interface and the ready-to-use templates for just about everything. Architecture-wise, it seems really well thought out. My only issue though is that any game you make from it seems to have a pretty big overhead even for simple games. For that reason, I see it more as a gameplay prototyping tool than something I'd use to go commercial.

Game Editor feels like something authored for two decades ago :) While it is a little bit more clunky to use, games coming out if are a lot more optimized (although the engine file size is pretty big. 970 kb for a game containing nothing!).

It has similar click-together functionality like Game Maker, but because of the interface is a tad less accessible. You do get the hang of it after a while. The scripting language is exactly like C, but I don't think it is extensible. i.e. you probably cannot add network and 3D.

Actually come to think of it, a lot of the implementation is dodgy (collision sucks ass from the get-go) and you will find yourself writing your own algorithms in the long run. I'll have to play with it more and get back to this thread with a more informed opinion, hehe :D

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