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Developing A Game

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Hi, I'm new to the forums so hopefully im doing all my posting right ;) Ive just finished a Uni degree in games development (imo the title is ironic..) But feel like i dont know have enough experience or knowledge to create a game (but this may prove to be wrong). I have basic knowledge i.e. OOP, how to design a program etc (software process models etc). So anyway, as ive finished my course i feel i should have something to show for it and want to build up a portfolio. I would like to make a game, was thinking along the lines of a pokemon game - well the style of it anyway, rpg, random fights, leveling, clean and clear gui etc (but i dont want to make a pokemon game ive got a storyline planned etc). But atm im stumped on how to begin, should i jump straight into designing the gui and build up the game around that? start with something else and work up to the full fledged game? are there any tips more experienced coders could give me or tutorials they think i should be reading? I'm not expecting to find all the answers here and leech of others knowledge and am currently reading as much as i can in the meantime but theres a wealth of knowledge out there. Hopefully my post makes sense and my random thought process isnt too hard to read lol Thanx

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A very bad way to start game development is to set a huge target straight away. You will get bored pretty quick. Start by building up a small game. (Could be a small RPG). Read some articles on tile engines and such. Then decide on an API to use. I recommend SDL. (www.libsdl.org). Find some other developers who like you`re ideas. From that position you can go onto make a fully fledged RPG.

Ive made the mistake in the past of looking to make somthing very big and losing intrest fast.

Good Luck.

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thanx for the reply.

Yea motivation can be a prob, atm im really psyched but can imagine me losing steam doing it on my own if things start moving slowly.

I will look up sdl now. I think i will try make a small town with random fights then and see how that pans out.

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Interesting that your course didn't cover that sort of thing. I have just finished my BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology at Abertay and we were required to make around 7-8 games up to their first stage of development as courseworks, over the 4 years of the course.

Check out ARCO/SOL which was my team's major project:
Clicky
">New Video Update

We were taught that the first thing you have to do when developing is develop a design document. I suggest you examine the process behind producing a design document first. Make sure you include a Gantt and PERT chart with this so you know your estimates as to how long your project will take. Then following this, you can go onto creating your framework for development and the tools which you will use for making the game. Make sure you decide the technology you're going to use before you start.

Do things in stages so you see little successes along the way. This way you'll constantly be seeing progress. For example, you can set a task as being "Design the GUI". After you finish this task, you'll get a morale boost and you'll feel one step closer to your goal. It's very much easier to achieve a few small goals than one very large one.

Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

It's definitely best to start small when you make your first game. My first coursework was a small platformer game and my second game was a top-down shooter game.

Best of luck to you in making your game. :)

P.S. Never be afraid to ask questions, game development is something you learn best from people, rather than from books.

[Edited by - Leo_E_49 on May 21, 2007 11:40:28 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by Leo_E_49
Interesting that your course didn't cover that sort of thing. I have just finished by BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology at Abertay and we were required to make around 7-8 games up to their first stage of development as courseworks, over the 4 years of the course.


mm thats very interesting, im working on my CS degree (not game development) and had to make a "game" during my second year. (Basically it was a combined multithreading and xml parsing exercise so we had to use multiple threads and store all levels using xml) (Polish was not an issue), But i would have guessed that gamedev students would get to make atleast one decent sized game.

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Yep, i thought the course was a waste of time but didnt actually realise until now how much it was, dunno whether to cry or be angry lolol.

I find the whole design process goes against my personality tbh but ill give it another try. Whats a PERT chart? is it basically the same as a gantt chart? or something totally different.

heh yea ill prob need a lot of luck at this rate.. well luck and hard work ;)


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I'm currently involved in looking at games development courses (and University courses in general), to see how the company I currently work for can better find and recruit graduates.

Out of interest, what university did you attend and what degree level did you attain? What were the modules that they taught you and most importantly what did they use to grade you?

As others have pointed out, it is surprising that a games development course didn’t prepare you for this, or give you the information (I assume it was a three year degree) you needed to have already created a few (maybe not so polished) games.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking on here, please PM me as I am really interested in finding out why this course didn’t do what it promised, and what it actually did.

Thanks
Spree

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Quote:
Original post by kaidiez
Yep, i thought the course was a waste of time but didnt actually realise until now how much it was, dunno whether to cry or be angry lolol.

I find the whole design process goes against my personality tbh but ill give it another try. Whats a PERT chart? is it basically the same as a gantt chart? or something totally different.

heh yea ill prob need a lot of luck at this rate.. well luck and hard work ;)


PERT Chart

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Luck has a bit to do with it but hard work and staying power are key. If you plan your work out before hand, you'll be far more likely to succeed in your goals. Also, working with other motivated people will help you keep your momentum.

A PERT chart is kind of like a flow chart for activities in your project. It allows you to figure out what tasks you require before you start on other tasks in the project so you don't end up at a dead end; or having to rewrite stuff after you've developed a module of your code.

Clicky

P.S. If you've got the cash and the time, maybe a masters course in Computer Games Technology at Abertay in Dundee will help you get the knowledge and experience you want. I wouldn't ordinarily advertise for the uni but I'd hate to see such enthusiasm go to waste. There are a few people in Abertay who just slack off (although they are the minority, most people are quite driven) and it'd be better if there were more people there with drive like you've got. Make sure you study your maths well though, it's VERY hard to get into Abertay without suitable mathematics background especially in terms of calculus and physical formulae. The mathematics covered at Abertay, especially in the later years of the degree, is very involved; including stuff like vector field theory, Bezier patches and rigid body dynamics.

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na its fine.. This can be a warning to others.

I went to the University of Lincoln. Actually repeated my first year due to laziness at end of first year (oops lol) so was there for 4 years. The course i started again was slightly better then my (first) first year but still not amazing.

cant rememebr exact units we done but can tell you more or less the subjects we covered.

OOP, java (had to make a program that could communicate via multicast, i.e. send and receive messages), binary math, networking, software engineering - Z-Notation mainly. I done a HL2 mod but that was only because I got lucky rest of the groups didnt get to do anything to do with games, some C++ programming where had to make a "screensaver" (loosest term there) that done diff things depending on diff comp stats. Some stuff on pervasive gaming. also done a bit of opengl where had to take a model we done befoer in 3ds max and import it using vml. Cant remember much else off the top of my head but thats most of it.

Alot of the students were dis-satisfied with the course tbh and didnt really get why we were being taught a lot of the stuff we were taught as they were not being taught from a games perspective plus we were in a class with 3 other courses (internet comp, straight comp and another one) but somehow still managed to be in the same class as them for for 8 / 10 units.

had more to say but got distracted and cant remember what it was lol if it comes back ill add.

edit: thanx leo and simon i will take a look at those links. Dont think I could manage another course tbh I need to get into a working environment more then anything.

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