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Would a "Party Game" be a good start?

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Hello all, I have been designing textures, 3d models and environments in 3ds Max and Photoshop for years now, and have decided to expand into game programming as well. I realize its smart to start simple, but I am very ambitious and really dont want to waste time with making tetris, tic tac toe or Pacman style games. I am interested in making a sort-of "Mario Party" type game where players roll a die, and then progress around a game board space by space. Basically I would start simple and design the board in 3DS Max, and then program the very basics like the random dice roll and then the players moving around the board. As I progressed I would add things like items, action spaces, character selection and mini-games after so many turns. Is this a decent way to start? I'm no programmer yet, but from what I can see a basic board game shouldn't be too hard to start with, right?

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It's good to know what's generally required before you jump in and design the art content for your game. For example, how will you display the models you designed in 3DX in your game? Making even the simplest game requires a ridiculous amount of work and experience.

Start out simple and keep it that way until you're truly ready for the next stage with your game development. Design the models for a pong (ball and paddles) and then try to import them into the pong clone you're going to make [wink].

Many people start with a game using the console. Textual games are an amazing way to start off as they teach the absolute basics of the language without getting into fine details like the game loop. Once you've mastered the language, you can then turn to 2D game development as it's yet another step forward. This is yet another great stepping stone as the game design of a 2D game is a whole dimension easier to work with then a 3D game. Once you're completely comfortable and ready for the next stage (I'd say five completed 2D games is a good marker), only then can you look to the mathematics of adding that third dimension. Good luck!

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I would suggest actually learning to program first. I'm learning OpenGL from nehe.gamedev.net and am trying to work it out. I still have a long way to go, but I know it's really a bad idea to try and outright make something like that. Your probably better off starting with a simple 3D Asteroids clone. Then move to more complicated things. None of us are super geniuses who were born knowing how to program the best 3D games on the market (except me ;)

Hope I helped.

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Learning to program first is definitly the way to go, however i wouldn't go for opengl when you're just starting out. I myself like openGL / C++ best , but if you are new to programming and want some results fast you might want to start on a combination of C# and DirectX.
Big newbie pro: DirectX already has classes built in to display models which can be exported from 3DS max, among other helpfull things. This will help lots if you don't have the knowledge to program it yourself, and you can focus on gameplay (for now).

In a later stage, you might want to learn C++ (and OpenGL), but i would recommend learning a (OO) language (C# or Java) long before that.

As for the type of game, i would take the time to program some textual games, pong and possibly some platform style and a lot of other 2D stuff, for you will learn lots of it and this will save you a lot of time when you actually start on something you like. Don't rush things...
A 2D board game will make a good 4th project, especially since you can add mini games into it, extending your knowledge.

Good Luck,
Limitz;

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