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xhermit

First game ... RTS!?

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I'll be attempting a RTS as my first DirectX game (I'm new to DX, but not new to C++) and it will be a 3D platform similar to Warcraft 3. I don't want to get too involved in a 2D project, when I can just start 3D. This will be a long, step-by-step process as I learn the basics... but is that still getting in over my head? It will start as a very basic game, then I'll make improvements. The AI will be another story, so I'll jump that hurdle when I get there... I want to get DirectDraw covered first. I just ordered "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0" by Frank D. Luna, are there any other articles on the net covering basic RTS? Thanks!

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I have found zero articles on RTS games. DirectDraw is old. And learn quite a bit of directx before starting the game.

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Hi!
Even when you look really decided to do this, may I persuade you to try something smaller but on the same basic idea?

I.E. You will need a tile based terrain with heightmaps and objects. Why don't you try first to create a terrain editor, place some objects, load and save your files and the like? That way you will take a grasp on the basics of an RTS and terrains while getting used to D3D. Maybe you will need a GUI so you may practice all these skills before going for the big one.

Luck!
Guimo




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"This will be a long, step-by-step process as I learn the basics... but is that still getting in over my head?"

No, only if you want to make the long process a short one! Just keep up the motivation to finish it, and eventually you will..

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There's two ways to approach your desired end (an rts game).

A)Start from scratch working on your ultimate project.
B)Learn from a multitude of smaller, less complicated projects until you can comfortably embark on your dream game.

Either way will take you a considerable amount of time. Option A may seem the quickest route but that's not necessarily the case. Here is why I suggest option B.

First, by embarking on a grand RTS game you will immediately feel bogged down. Getting a guy running around on the screen is nothing compared to getting 10 units in a squad, battling an army of tanks, with buildings and terrain and pathfinding, etc. So morale is not going to be on your side. By creating small projects with smaller goals, every accomplishment feels huge.

Second, in an RTS game right away up front there will be a lot of things that you have absolutely no idea how to do. There's some complicated stuff in there like advanced AI, pathfinding, GUI stuff, etc.

Third, even if your progressing, your design and structure will change so much by the time you've learned what you need to. That means that a few months/years down the road, you are most likely going to have to completely start from scratch again. Why? Because in your current state of game development, you can't possibly foresee what kind of structure and code organization you will need to create initially.

Fourth, creating a game from start to finish is hard. There inevitably comes a time in a project where you just don't feel like finishing it. This is the biggest problem with new game developers. If most people can't finish a pong game that only takes 10 hours to complete, how much harder will it be for you to finish a massive conquest like an RTS?

The odds that you start your RTS, get frustrated with your level of progression, and stop developing games forever is high. I 100% recommend ALWAYS to start small, finish every project you start, and learn in steps. That way if you have to scrap a project, you don't waste a lot of time, and by the time you are ready to do something cool, you have a lot of already finished projects to glean from. Good luck either way.

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Yeah. I actually decided on an arcade-style 3D hoops game ... lol. Little gameplay, little graphics. I can concentrate on physics and learning DirectX. Not sure how I'll have the basketball hoop angled...?

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Good to see too many people start too hard off the bat and turn themselves away. Not that I'm complaining cause it leaves more room for the rest of us.

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