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Strategy Game Design and Preperation

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Hey everyone, I''ve got a question for you all to answer, if you wish to. Anyway, I''m looking into creating strategy games like the Command & Conquer games, Dune 2000, Rollercoaster Tycoon, etc. What I wanted to know is, what kind of tools, equipment and programs would be used to create a strategy game? Also, since me being a newbie to the Game Programming Era, what would you recommend I do first in terms of reading various programming material? Thanks for your help and I''ll check back soon to see if anyone has replied to this message! Master Conjurer

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all you need is a compiler, I recommend getting a full IDE though. I got mine (CodeWarrior Discover Programming) for $50, it does C/C++ and java. You''ll also want a graphics program to make the graphics for your game. Paint shop Pro costs$80 I think. Then get something for sound, I have no idea what to use. The important thing though is the IDE, don''t even bother making graphics until you are reasonably far along with the programming. Here''s a short C tutorial I found, I only read the bits I needed but it seems well written: http://www.edm2.com/0408/introc1.html

it will apply for any of the commonly used languages (C/C++/java) since they are pretty similar, at least the basics are.

Oh and here is the best piece of advice I can give: start small, smaller than you think you should. Not what you wanted to hear? Yeah I know, but trust me on this one.

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Wow, a post so soon! Anyway, thank''s for that advice! I have the Visual C++ 6.0 Compiler, Genesis 3D SDK, Shadow Realm Model Animator 3D and the DirectX 7 SDK. Is this basically what I should use or is there something else? Thanks again for the help!

Master Conjurer

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You''ll want DirectX8 SDK, and some sort of 2D image editing program like Photoshop, PhotoPaint, PaintShopPro, etc.

Now for the hard part, the knowledge

Depending on your learning speed and how much time you have to devote to this, it should be about 2-5 years before you can make the games like the ones u mentioned. Roller Coaster Tycoon I think would be the easiest to do. RTS games like C&C would be hard imo because of all the speed issues regarding controlling so many units. Not that RCT is easy to do either.

You definitely should get some books on programmming. If you are up to the challenge (and a challenge it will be) then start with C. I personally started with Pascal and im glad i did. Don''t touch BASIC or Visual Basic, they will only create thinking patterns that u will later have to unlearn when doing game programming. VB was the last language i learned thus far and i can safely say im glad that wasnt what introduced me to programming since then i would never have seen programming for what it really is: art. Whatever language u pick though, books are needed. Lots of good books on C and C++ (and u will want to learn C++ after learning C). Charles Petzold is the author to look for when picking up a bookon the WinAPI (which u wont be doing for a bit, but his books are the bible on the WinAPI). Jeff Dunteman has a great book on assembly if ur interested in that. Lots of other great books out there too. Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus (by Andre Lamothe) you must read. No ifs, ands, or buts. Online sources are of course great once u get the hang of things, and they are cheaper than books but books are the way to start imo.

umm thats about it. Start off small, have some fun, and before u know it, u''ll be able to do some really cool stuff. Just dont expect it to happen overnight