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Gabry Hyrule

Bored

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I everybody, I'm new here (althought I was replying to some threads), and I've got a major problem. Every time I start my Dev-C++, I just start a new project, edit the default glut template, and close it right away just because I don't seem to be in the mood to program, like if I was already bored to program. I learnt C++, OpenGL and some Windows programming, but I can't seem to work on any project, because I always end up deleting the files, then trying another time, either because I think my idea is bad, or I don't know how to do a particular thing or again because I try to do something that would seem obvious in books, but it doesn't work. In fact, I nearly ever tried to program in OpenGL nor in Windows, I just read my books without trying. Am I bored too easily or is it just because I lack the skills to start something without stopping after ten minutes of work? Thank you! Gabry Hyrule

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You suffer a lack of motivation more than anything else. I was like you, too... until I became aware of the 4 Elements contest. Unfortunately for you, it's really too late to start a 4 elements project now, but certainly consider it for next year.

In the meantime, just write random demos. Try stuff. Don't try to make games yet; make stuff that looks cool/weird instead. Read up on as many data structures and algorithms as possible, and if at all possible write a simple demo program that uses them.

Many of my solutions to learning stuff is involve trying them out for myself on some project or another. What you COULD do is have a project that doesn't realy have a design, but that you just throw random ideas at when you have something to test. For instance, you could get a simple tile engine up and running using OpenGL, and then make it do cool stuff. You'll end up with a neat tile demo that you can use in future games!

You can always write your own wrapper library for OpenGL, too, if you're really THAT bored... That too will give you something to use for future projects, and you'll learn a lot from it as well.

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Thanks for the quick reply! but what's a wrapper library? seriously, I never heard about that... lol, anyways, I'll try your idea, throwing as many stuff in a program and make something cool... in the end!

I'll also check out the 4 elements thing you speak of.

I was also wondering, would being in a "team" of some sort increase my motivation? Because I could try to recruit peoples and do programs together.

Gabry Hyrule

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Make it your task to do a Tic Tac Toe clone using four different APIs: SDL, Allegro, DirectX and OpenGL. That'll keep you busy for a while and will most definately tell you which API you prefer for later projects.

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i find that when i lose the clarity needed to program, smoking some 'motivation' helps ;)

Seriously tho, you need to find something you can build that the very idea of makes you think "cool!". Find something to build that gets you excited.

For example, when I read this article, i thought "I could make some wicked cool vehicle physics with that!", and went off and programmed for a day and I had deformable boxes i could throw around, a few days later I had a jeep i could drive...
http://www.teknikus.dk/tj/gdc2001.htm

Or when I read this paper i thought "That is such a cool way to make bots smarter!". A few days later my bots could find good cover/ambush/hiding/sniper positions etc...
http://www.cgf-ai.com/docs/gdc2001_paper.pdf#search=%22terrain%20reasoning%22


Also, making a mod for something like HL2 (or the original HL) is great, coz you can get stuff on the screen faster. It only takes an hour to build a scientist launcher that explodes into a a cloud of head-crabs once you've played around with some simpler weapons ;)
(and seeing a scientist come out of a rocket launcher and go screeming across the screen is very cool!)

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Quote:
Original post by Gabry Hyrule
either because I think my idea is bad, or I don't know how to do a particular thing


Nothing you make is stupid, if you learn from it. If you think other people will think its stupid, then just don't release it if you don't want, and keep it to yourself and your freinds or whatever.

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I have had the same problem. I find it helps to not try to code until your ready. Don't even start programming until you've fully wrapped your head around what your going to do and how your going to do it. Usually when I write a game, (keep in mind I mostly write simple applet based stuff) I write 80% or more of the game in the first sitting. When it comes to coding complex(complex relative to your skill level) things most of the work is not the physical act of typing it out. The work mostly consists of figuring out what to do rather than doing it.

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Ah yes, this mindset, I fall into it all too often.

However as Oberon_Command said the key is to definately make/learn something cool, for example on my most recent adventure I decided I wanted to play with some 'cool' graphics, and I didn't fancy using direct X (don't ask why, just fancied a change), so off to the amazon bookstore I went, bought that OpenGL 'redbook' and I'm currently working my way through the book.

I understand that it's not everybody's cup of tea, but if you can think of an area that really interests you, maybe that you don't understand/know about yet, it could be time to find out how it works to get you going again.

:o)

Good luck!


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Many people seem to be having the same problem as me. Anyway, I'm trying to make a simple asteroid-like game, but about ten times I wanted to stop, but I just tried to keep on, like you guys told me too :)

Thanks again.

Gabry Hyrule

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also, one major problem I have like you is starting over too often. I've had to train myself NOT to go off and start a new project and waste 10 minutes setting it up every time I have an idea for one. Instead I resist such urges at least once, going to work on an existing project instead. When I've had that urge 2-3 times, enough to write stuff down on paper, then I let myself waste time setting it up. In fact, working on paper in between early computer sessions is one of the keys that keeps me going forward.

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One thing I suggest is give your self a goal. I have noticed when I just code to make something look cool, then I do that but I find I want this in there. So I keep on adding stuff in there, and my code becomes messy, because I think this is the last thing I put in there, but's not. I always end up putting more stuff in. You just have to set yourself a goal that is achievable but then yet it is something that will make you strive for it and in the end you will like what you made. One thing that can fix this is actually a design document. Write down what you want to do, and how this is going to work. Don't get to technical with it though (I get technical in my Code Design Document I write for projects).

That is what I suggest. Just set your self a goal and go for it. In the end you will like what you made most likely.

Also, make sure you keep your code clean! Dirty code can easily turn you away from your project, as you don't even want to open the code up and do something to it as it is to dirty.

Chad

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For me the greatest inspiration and motivation comes from listening to music, watching movies and playing other people's games.

And I agree, if you don't have that feeling that you really want to implement that idea in your head or else you won't be able to sleep that night, better don't program at all that day (unless you actually get payed to do it ;).

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Quote:
Original post by Chad Smith
One thing I suggest is give your self a goal.

Yeah, this is right on the mark, it's also worth noting that smaller goals are easier to achieve, and don't seem as far out of reach as some.

Also it might be worth setting mini-milestones for your projects, for example, for your asteriods game you might consider the following mini-milestones:

1. Set-up window.
2. Draw player image to the screen.
3. Add user input to control the player.
... etc.

Ok, set-up the screen might be a little over-the-top for a milestone, but you get the idea, this is what I was doing on my last major project, identify small tasks that collectively build together to reach a larger goal. This way you can always be sure you are moving forward with your project (and subsequently feel less down-hearted when you feel you still haven't finished).

Look forward to seeing your asteriod game on here soon, :o)
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I've had exactly the same thing. I have the theory to build an engine with Directx or OpenGL, and i read lots of tutorials, but when i really want to write something i find myself lacking the motivation "because i already know how to do it". Well after reading Chad's tutorials (EXCELLENT tutorials Chad, thanks man!) i thought "Now i'm gonna write a DirectX program and it's gonna work", and well it's working :) You just have to make simple projects, divide them into small pieces that can be programmed easily, and you'll see that you'll write cleaner code you understand and can use in future projects. And when it really works, hopefully you'll get motivated to make more complex things.

Good luck!

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I like the milestones idea pretty cool! In fact, I nearly erased all the game source code and started doing things at the time.

My problem is not that I get bored because it's too easy, it's because it is too hard!

Gabry Hyrule

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Quote:
Original post by Gabry Hyrule
Many people seem to be having the same problem as me. Anyway, I'm trying to make a simple asteroid-like game, but about ten times I wanted to stop, but I just tried to keep on, like you guys told me too :)

Thanks again.

Gabry Hyrule


I find the best thing to do when you get bored on one project is to work for a while on another small one.

I have been making a networked asteroids for... well it seems like forever [smile]. Every time it saps my energy to the point where my eyes bleed to look at it, I start something else, something unrelated.

My latest side project was me learning to use ODE, a physics engine. Now I'm starting back into the networked asteroids again.

Finishing any project is hard. I'd applaud anyone who finishes even the simplest game just for getting to the end.

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Quote:
Original post by rip-off
Finishing any project is hard. I'd applaud anyone who finishes even the simplest game just for getting to the end.


I'll applaud too, it's hard just having some input and output (and I don't talk about cout/cin/printf/scanf, with the mouse and graphics...)

When I was working with Game Maker, I couldn't get any big project done, so I was too, starting smaller projects, which becames my "principal" project, and so on. So I can't work with many programs at once.

Gabry Hyrule

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