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Need help to make a simple game for a school project

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Ok, I am new here and most importantly I'm new to game developing. Probably I made a mistake when I told my lecturer that I would make a game for a project. But now what is done is done and the application is written and the project is a very important one so I have to do my best to get a good grade. Now the project is on Turbo Pascal, that is the language I know most, that is the language required. The game I planned consists in a 2D turn-based 'RPG' with very basic graphics and sound. For those who know what I'm talking about a kind of Pokemon Yellow on the GameBoy, you know with the character sprite moving here and there and probabilties of enemies cropping up, that sort of stuff. Now I know Pascal quite well but I never was taught at school (to my great dissappoinment) how to insert basic images (as in tiles for the map) and sounds in a pascal program. I thought it was no problem when I filled in the application, "There'll be loads of info on the net," I said. And in fact as always I didn't just find too many info but even too complicated and numerous for my needs. For starters I just need the basic commands to insert images and sounds and long as I searched (call me dumb) I found nothing so simple. PLUS most of what I found was about Delphi, C and so on, for obvious reasons: Pascal ain't the best for game developing. Well to cut a long story short I am in the S**T up to my nose lool. What I really need is basic help and commands to start making this game. I have planned it in my mind and though of it for long. If anyone can help me, please, and I emphasise PLEASE, do it. Feel free to ask me anything you need to know to help me and I'll asap. Thanks in advance VV0LF - a guy in trouble :p

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As far as I know, Turbo Pascal is for DOS. I guess it logically has libraries for VGA graphics or something like that, but is it absolutely necessary to write it for Borland's Turbo Pascal compiler? FreePascal, for instance, compiles Extended Pascal(Turbo Pascal) code, but it aims at modern 32-bit operating system such as Win32. As you can see the units include bindings for graphics libraries such as SDL(SDL4Freepascal) which is used heavily in 2D game developing, or OpenGL which is for 3D but can easily be used for making a spectacular-looking 2D game with tons of effects(but I guess this isn't your main concern, so go with SDL).

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I've seen windows created in Borland Pascal examples (but that was around 7 years ago). I suppose it's just the question of adding the correct libraries. Besides, I thought that Delphi is a kind of evaluated version of Pascal.

Anyway, VV0LF: have you considered the Gamemaker http://www.gamemaker.nl/ and this sort of utilities? I suppose you won't get away with a game but no code?

As far as I'm aware there are some free 2D engines available at http://www.sourceforge.net. I suppose they could speed up things but I doubt any is written in Pascal.

A bit of advice: if I were you I'd consider other type of game than RPG. I'm sure you have thought carefully about every detail of your game but things tend to get very complicated with time as you progress with your game. I found simple games like Snake or Tetris complicated here and there.

If a simple game in C (with the MS windows library though) is an option for you – give me a shout. I can send you some examples of the first game I've ever made. Perhaps basing on its code you can came up with something?

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"is it absolutely necessary to write it for Borland's Turbo Pascal compiler?" - probably yes but I will check with my lecturer to be sure. We used FreePascal when I was in secondary school and I personally have no idea why in this pre-university school we use TurboPascal (i like FreeP MUCH better).

"Anyway, VV0LF: have you considered the Gamemaker http://www.gamemaker.nl/ and this sort of utilities? I suppose you won't get away with a game but no code?" - now I guess gamemaker.nl is a site that creates games right? Well obviously I can't get away with no code. In fact I don't just need the code but a whole documentation (a very detailed one actually)

"If a simple game in C (with the MS windows library though) is an option for you – give me a shout." - Again I will check with my lecturer if I have to use TurboPas or not. He might accept FreePas but I guess C is out of the question

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Quote:
Original post by VV0LF
"is it absolutely necessary to write it for Borland's Turbo Pascal compiler?" - probably yes but I will check with my lecturer to be sure. We used FreePascal when I was in secondary school and I personally have no idea why in this pre-university school we use TurboPascal (i like FreeP MUCH better).

"Anyway, VV0LF: have you considered the Gamemaker http://www.gamemaker.nl/ and this sort of utilities? I suppose you won't get away with a game but no code?" - now I guess gamemaker.nl is a site that creates games right? Well obviously I can't get away with no code. In fact I don't just need the code but a whole documentation (a very detailed one actually)

"If a simple game in C (with the MS windows library though) is an option for you – give me a shout." - Again I will check with my lecturer if I have to use TurboPas or not. He might accept FreePas but I guess C is out of the question


If you like free pascal you should give c++ a shot. Free pascal is basically pascal linked with c++ libraries. It is great though.

If you do need I have excellent Turbo Pascal demos and libraries for you. A very nice one for loading sprites and using them

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Graphics in turbo pascal aint an easy subject. Try the search function on this forum with "pascal vga", that gave me some results.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
for pascal graphics i would suggest asphyxias VGA tutorials, they are a bit old and do use x86 assembly quite heavily, but the graphics library that is included in turbo pascal is really horrible. (and asphyxias tutorials teach you how to make some nice effects aswell).

here is a link to the PCGPE (PC GAme Programmers Encyclopedia)

it contains asphyxias tutorials + a bunch of stuff for joysticks, sound (soundblaster i think), + other useful stuff for DOS gameprogramming with turbo pascal.

(it was what i used to learn game development a million years ago :))

ftp://x2ftp.oulu.fi/pub/msdos/programming/gpe/pcgpe.zip

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Guest Anonymous Poster
oops , that link doesn't work it seems,

the entire PCGPE is avaliable here though:
http://www.qzx.com/pc-gpe/

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"Does it have to have sound and graphics?" - yep that it does. I wrote in the application form that it will have and that is law :p lol

"If you do need I have excellent Turbo Pascal demos and libraries for you. A very nice one for loading sprites and using them" - those I REALLY need lol. Especially the example on loading and using sprites. You know you might have just saved my neck here LOL, tnx champ :D Just tell me how you can send them.

Tnx for the link, I'll look in there a little

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Guest Anonymous Poster
RPGs require content, map loading/format, inventory mang., character/entitiy objects, sprite level graphics

Tetris requires a big array, a few block strucst, and pixelplot level graphics

Tetris wins
if you didn't specify RPG on your app, definetly do Tetris to minimize the number of work generating content and game logic
from the sounds of it, you are already going to be swamped with getting I/O and graphics alone

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Guest Anonymous Poster
... once you have basic user I/O working, and basic pixelplot graphics
Then you can make an attempt at sprites and replace the tetrix color blocks with some nice rounded block sprites...

best to have a small project that can easily expand to get more points, but still remain a complete product at all stages
insurance, you never know just how hard its going to be

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I really wish I could get away with a Tetris, but I said it was an RPG and now it has to be an RPG. To make things clear it is not an RPG with attributes (like, you don't increase Strength or Dexterity) the only thing that increases is Level and that only affects HP, Attack strength and Defence. Plus it will have just 3 levels with a 'boss' at the end of each. Each level has to have just 2 different types of enemies (which 'crop out of the ground' upon a probabilty calculator - like in Pokemon Yellow of the GB). Also the only items there will be in the game (like inventory items) are Health Potions and the Key to go to the next level.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by VV0LF
I really wish I could get away with a Tetris, but I said it was an RPG and now it has to be an RPG. To make things clear it is not an RPG with attributes (like, you don't increase Strength or Dexterity) the only thing that increases is Level and that only affects HP, Attack strength and Defence. Plus it will have just 3 levels with a 'boss' at the end of each. Each level has to have just 2 different types of enemies (which 'crop out of the ground' upon a probabilty calculator - like in Pokemon Yellow of the GB). Also the only items there will be in the game (like inventory items) are Health Potions and the Key to go to the next level.


did you Specifically say that RPG has3 levels with a boss, and HP/attack/etc stats?
RPG means Role Playing Game, and technically, any computer game is: a game where you play a role.
So you can seriously do Tetris, IF you add a Role to it (an intro screen with a backstory explaining that you are some guy who needs to do some task with these blocks... or the world will be destroyed!)
if those Stats really are in the requirements, its not very hard to add them to Tetris, just modify the speed you are allowed to move blocks, and change the height of the gameboard as a measure of strenght/defence.
after X poitns awarded, your stats level up and now you are allowed an extra row of gameboard at the top -more room to stack blocks, etc
be sure the have text screens between each level to explain more story to keep it a technical RPG.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by VV0LF
I really wish I could get away with a Tetris, but I said it was an RPG and now it has to be an RPG. To make things clear it is not an RPG with attributes (like, you don't increase Strength or Dexterity) the only thing that increases is Level and that only affects HP, Attack strength and Defence. Plus it will have just 3 levels with a 'boss' at the end of each. Each level has to have just 2 different types of enemies (which 'crop out of the ground' upon a probabilty calculator - like in Pokemon Yellow of the GB). Also the only items there will be in the game (like inventory items) are Health Potions and the Key to go to the next level.


did you Specifically say that RPG has3 levels with a boss, and HP/attack/etc stats?
RPG means Role Playing Game, and technically, any computer game is: a game where you play a role.
So you can seriously do Tetris, IF you add a Role to it (an intro screen with a backstory explaining that you are some guy who needs to do some task with these blocks... or the world will be destroyed!)
if those Stats really are in the requirements, its not very hard to add them to Tetris, just modify the speed you are allowed to move blocks, and change the height of the gameboard as a measure of strenght/defence.
after X poitns awarded, your stats level up and now you are allowed an extra row of gameboard at the top -more room to stack blocks, etc
be sure the have text screens between each level to explain more story to keep it a technical RPG.


Yeah, he can also write a console "guess the number" game, where the player assumes the role of a secret agent trying to turn off bombs. When he levels up, he increases his stats by having more time to guess the number.

Somehow, I doubt that playing with words to "get by" easily will earn him any good grades from his proffessor :)

The OP said he has a specific assignment with specific requirements: 2D RPG written in Pascal. Why are we suggesting ways to circuvement them instead of proposing ideas on how to actually implement them?

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<offtopic>

The most obvious answer to the problem is: "hey professor, i drastically underestimated the complexity of the project i proposed. I'd like to scale it back to a text based RPG. My bad". That'll actually earn you points not take them away. Even a "simple' 2D graphical RPG, having never written any type of game before, will take you at least 1-3 months to develop; especially in an old-tyme language like pascal for which there are no readily available tutorials.

but i digress...

-me

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by mikeman
Yeah, he can also write a console "guess the number" game, where the player assumes the role of a secret agent trying to turn off bombs. When he levels up, he increases his stats by having more time to guess the number.

That wouldn't work, High-Low (number guess) is a 1 dimensional game, and he did say 2d was needed. But I do like your idea for the storyline. If you extend the number guess to a 2d grid where you guess a coordinate that might work (think Battleship).

Quote:
Original post by mikeman
Somehow, I doubt that playing with words to "get by" easily will earn him any good grades from his proffessor :)

That depends, based on the fact that the proff approved the proposal; I am assuming that the class is general programming, not gamedev specific. Thus the term RPG is rather loose in that context. I base this assumption on the fact that a gamedev specific course Would have raised red flags over the OP obviously biting off more than he could chew; as is the proff probaby assumed a game was 'easy' and isn't expecting too much. So you can probably get away with quite a bit here.

Quote:
Original post by mikeman
The OP said he has a specific assignment with specific requirements: 2D RPG written in Pascal. Why are we suggesting ways to circuvement them instead of proposing ideas on how to actually implement them?

I don't know Pascal, so I am helping in the best way I can, by giving meta-strategy advice for approaching the assignment as a whole.

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"did you Specifically say that RPG has3 levels with a boss, and HP/attack/etc stats?" - Yep that I did.

"The most obvious answer to the problem is: "hey professor, i drastically underestimated the complexity of the project i proposed. I'd like to scale it back to a text based RPG. My bad"." - I'm sure the prof would agree to that for he's ok. The problem is this not just a school project (as in a project which is internal to the school) BUT a project for national exams which we call A-Levels (A=Advanced). These are from the University Of Malta (where I live) and you need them to go there. The application was sent to the University and I REALLY doubt they'd change the system for me haha.

But to look on the bright side (and encourage myself a little bit) I know people who did this sort of thing before me (as in I heard about them not know them personally, else I would have asked them for help).

dawidjoubert PLEASE, and I stress PLEAAAASSSEEE I really need those TurboPascal demos and libraries you said you could give me. Please tell me how you can send them *begs*

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