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Using engines...

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I've been coding for awhile (although not so much recently) and while I get the basics, I have (half) made a game in allegro (admitedly I then realised I had done it all wrong and that it wasn't gonna work). But I've downloaded a few engines and... I can't figure out what I do with them... Currently the one I'm looking at it is Quake 2. I assume I edit the files that come with, add my own to and that kinda thing. But having looked through some of the many file contained in it... I have no idea what to do.

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It sounds like you might not be at the stage where an engine can be of any use to you.

Engines are not a substitute for good, solid hard work and code. Especially for somebody with no apparent experience in finishing medium (or even small?) scale projects, it can be very difficult to use them to produce anything useful. And then there is the fact that a lot of them have poor documentation.

My recommendation would be to try your hand at building your own game again, without using a 3rd party engine (note that "engine" is not "API," so use SDL or OpenGL or whatever you like) before you try to get a handle on using an existing engine.

It will become easier with time, but again, making an engine do something useful is still going to require a lot of your own code and may also involve a lot of build practices that you are not familiar with.

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Keep in mind that you do actually need to be a fairly proficient programmer in order to work with an engine. You've also picked one that isn't particularly easy to work with. It may be beneficial to play around with something a little simpler and better documented first, such as Haaf's Game Engine or the Popcap Framework.

An engine generally provides a lot of the functionality you'll need, such as rendering, collision detection, etc. What you would need to do to make a game using an engine would be writing the rest of the code - actually initialising it as required, putting in the game logic, loading your own game assets, etc.

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Hmmm... back to messing around with Directx I suppose.. :(
I'd just sort of assumed that using an engine wouldn't be that difficult if you know the basics, altough maybe I should of got that when I couldn't figure out what to do.
Thanks

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Quote:
Original post by xancithus
Hmmm... back to messing around with Directx I suppose.. :(
I'd just sort of assumed that using an engine wouldn't be that difficult if you know the basics, altough maybe I should of got that when I couldn't figure out what to do.
Thanks
Well it does tend to be a lot easier than doing all the work yourself, but there's usually still some fairly complex programming involved. It also helps a lot to get used to being able to read the documentation that often accompanies existing engines, and working with some simpler engines aimed more at beginner-intermediate level developers would probably help you out with that.

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