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Need Help and Guides about GameDevelopment

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First of of all, since I'm also new to the forums, Id like to say Hi and hello to everyone(since i can't seem to find the "Introduce yourself thread" or maybe i wasn't looking hard enough) Currently, I'm studying computer science and at my third year now, and I'm planing on doing a 3D FPS(first person shooter)game for my project, I'm not thinking of a big and complicated game(like the next halo or Doom) but just a simple FPS game, that involve a player and an enemy(I Plan on doing Zombies since that would only take little AI behavior: e.g. If the enemy sees the player it will approach the player then attack), maybe 2 or 3 weapons and about 3 or 5 levels for the game, I know a "bit" of programing basics on C++, Java, Flash, and Visual Basic though I haven't tried programming games on them. roughly, I only have about 3 or 4 month(School days, not a vacation) to study and develop my game, and I badly need some help. I search on at yahoo and it landed me here. So here are my questions: what kind of Programming language should i use? and are those Programming language I mention good enough to make games with?? what is a "game engine"? can i use it along with a programming language such as C++ ..etc? can anyone give me a tutorial(link) about it(game engine) how can i create a GUI(graphic user interface in c++ since i know how to program on it) for a game? is there a program that does a GUI? Is FPS creator/silentwalk a game engine? is it good? can 4 months be long enough to finish my project?(since i hear that doing a game is hard and may take sometime) you can post in some links, suggestions, books and tutorials ... thanks

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Personally i prefer c++, but both java and visual basic is enough to create your game.
*) See note below regarding flash


A game engine is pretty much the code part of the game, where your job would be to come up with the game concept, 3d models, rules/parameters etc.
My guess is most engines would be compatible with c++.

Not really sure what kind of tutorial you're looking for, if it's for creating a game engine i'd look into OpenGL / DirectX (SDL? no idea)

The GUI you can create in Photoshop or Gimp, even paintbrush if you don't need it too complex ;)

Fps creator/silentwalk i got no clue about.


As for 4 months.. if you're experienced with c++ and get an outside game engine.. probably..
On your own.. unlikely.. 3-5 levels etc you'd need a map editor, probably use an existing format like say quake, getting it done within 4 months, when having to learn it as you go i'd say is very unlikely.


Now flash however, if you're experienced with flash actionscripts i'd say it's quite doable within 4 months.

Downside is that it has to be run in a web browser, creating some limitations in regards to keyboard input and fullscreen.

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You have studied Computer Science for two years and have not yet learned a programming language?

I suggest you stay away from 3D. It will take you more than 3 months to learn it well enough to make the FPS you describe.

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There is no 'introduce yourself' thread. So suppose this is as good a place to introduce yourself as any other.

To get to your questions, of the languages you named, all of them are perfectly acceptable for games. It's a matter of preference, really, and you can use whatever you feel comfortable using.

A "Game engine" isn't exactly something rigidly defined, but is generally the brick of code that sits between the code that really gives a game it's personality, and the system. Typical things included in a game engine would be graphics and rendering, audio, network management [if applicable], physics, timing, user input, world representation, etc... Notice all of these things are generally big topics, but also really general topics. They are the things that can be consistent across several projects. You aren't going to find many *good* articles on game engines, because 'game engine' is poorly defined, and the border between where any 'game engine' ends and where *your* game begins, isn't always so clear. Also, you can [and should, at least for your first few simple projects] create games without the use of a 'game engine'.

There are not programs that do GUI's in C++ [or other languages for that matter], but there are plenty of libraries/APIs/whatever that can handle that sort of thing for you in a variety of ways, with a range of complexity[depending on what you want]. Actually, many 'game engines' will include this sort of thing as well.

FPS Creator is actually a pretty neat program, but falls into the category of 'game creators', and imposes quite a few constraints on it's use [due to it not actually requiring the extensive knowledge required to write unique functionality]. It also doesn't require years of practice with various programming languages to hammer out a workable game. If you can work within the little box that it provides for you, and if you want to work within that box, then go ahead and do so. It's your choice, and your decision to make.

4 months time to finish a project? That depends on you, and depends on the project. Typically though, a 'first project' isn't a fps. If you don't plan on using a creation program like 'fps creator', plan on a much longer learning curve [because you'll have to learn a language, then learn other things about other components, then design your game and implement that. These are not trivial tasks]. 4 months to learn from scratch and implement from scratch is unrealistic, frankly impossible. 4 months to implement once the learning is done isn't so bad for certain projects. Programs like 'fps creator' take the learning step out of the mix by presenting you with a really easy and intuitive sandbox to play in. Just don't expect the experience you pick up working with one of those programs to carry over when/if you decide you want to branch out.

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well I'm planing on using Cristal Space(http://www.crystalspace3d.org)
along with CEL, and CELstart. is this software good? is it all i need to start developing?

and on other source that i read of(http://www.gameiterator.com/index.php/Games/HowToCreateAComputerGame)
Base on what I read about.

here are the things/tools that i need:
programming language: maybe I'll start with c++(since I know how to program on it)
3d engine: still not sure what to use(but thinking of Cristal Space)
3D World and Level Editor: I think I'll use what the tutorial suggested or Cristal Space
Audio: Same here
correct me if I'm wrong though and if I'm missing something


Quote:

You have studied Computer Science for two years and have not yet learned a programming language?

I suggest you stay away from 3D. It will take you more than 3 months to learn it well enough to make the FPS you describe.


Quote:

Now flash however, if you're experienced with flash actionscripts i'd say it's quite doable within 4 months.


Quote:

You aren't going to find many *good* articles on game engines, because 'game engine' is poorly defined, and the border between where any 'game engine' ends and where *your* game begins, isn't always so clear. Also, you can [and should, at least for your first few simple projects] create games without the use of a 'game engine'.

4 months time to finish a project? That depends on you, and depends on the project. Typically though, a 'first project' isn't a fps. If you don't plan on using a creation program like 'fps creator', plan on a much longer learning curve [because you'll have to learn a language, then learn other things about other components, then design your game and implement that. These are not trivial tasks]. 4 months to learn from scratch and implement from scratch is unrealistic, frankly impossible. 4 months to implement once the learning is done isn't so bad for certain projects. Programs like 'fps creator' take the learning step out of the mix by presenting you with a really easy and intuitive sandbox to play in. Just don't expect the experience you pick up working with one of those programs to carry over when/if you decide you want to branch out.


well sadly, Computer Science here in the Phil. is not that advance so they encourage us to look on other resources...
actually i first suggested a simple 2d game but they(prof) turned it down, and said they'd only take 3d programs for the project, i tried suggesting 3d application but there were too many students doing the same thing so they suggested for a 3d game instead. I already know its hard and virtually impossible.. thats why I'm seeking some help... hmm.. if not FPS than what could be a good game to start with?

anyways I'm also keeping FPS creator as my backup(if every thing else fails
and also, thanks to everyone who replied, hopefully If i manage to pull this off I'll let you know about the game.

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Together with 3 other students, I created a fairly simple 3D game using Python and the Panda 3D engine. In 3 months, I was able to set up a fairly flexible scriptable entity system, complete with triggerable actions and all. The 3 level-designers/artists could place doors, triggers, enemies, items and player starts inside their levels, link them up with a script file and everything was running fine. They created 2 levels, including textures and music, as well as a player and some enemy models.

However, that was with a team of 4, using a higher-level language, and all of us had some experience already. We still didn't finish everything that we wanted, but it certainly was an educative and fun project. And yes, it certainly taught us that projects of this size are easily underestimated, and that planning is very important. Reserve some additional time for testing, polishing, and some buffer time for unexpected happenings, especially when you're new to certain things.


Anyway, my advice would be to use as much tools as possible to speed up the development process. C++, while powerfull, usually doesn't allow for very fast development. While this was my first time using Python, I still did much more than I could've done in C++ (which I've worked with for 4 years). Of course, no language is perfect, and there's a lot of personal preference involved, but in this case, I don't think C++ is the best choice simply because it's not fast and easy to work with.

An alternative could be to mod an existing game. Several games offer a development kit, including the source of their game-code and their in-house tools for level-design, model convertors and so on. It's still not easy, but it would give you a more solid base to built on top off.

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I just visited your blog an saw some screen shots of the game.it certainly looks neat. thanks much for the advice, I'll be looking at Python and Panda 3d Engine and will give them a try. and also I'll be changing my plan for my game, maybe making it a little bit more smaller and manageable.

feel free to put in some link on tool/resources/etc I’ll definitely need all the resources(free of course) that I could get my hands with.

thanks..

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