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AzzaMat

Computer game software

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AzzaMat    122
Hey i was wondering what software is used to make a relatively advanced game. i currently have 3DS max 9 and am going to be getting the havok engine. what else would i need? thanks for any responses

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chipmeisterc    268
The ability to search for this information would be a start. These threads are created on a weekly basis it's not hard to search for similar threads.

Secondly neither of the tools you have mentioned will allow you to create a game.

3D Studio Max is a tool for authoring 3d models and content etc. However this is useless you are capable of exporting to a format that your GAME ENGINE uses.

Secondly Havok is a Physics API, which is not freely available and unless you have very deep pockets I am intrigued how you have managed to aquire both max and havok with no knowledge of what they are for.

Without a game engine neither of the tools you have mentioned will be of any use to you, (Unless you are planning on writing your own OGL/DX engine and your own model importer), however It doesnt sound like you are any where near that level otherwise you would have a better grasp of the tools required.

So basically, you need a game engine, or game creation framework and you need to be capabale of programming within that framework in order to implement your game mechanics etc.

However I would advise against all of this and start teaching yourself the fundamentals of programming before you try and dive any deeper.

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AzzaMat    122
I know what 3DS max does. i dont have the havok engine yet but it is going to be released for free to the public if you check the website. also isnt havok an engine? if im right it deals with physics, behavior, animation, cloth and destruction. i have searched for this information but i would like to be able to get more detailed information. E.g. what music software should be used. as your interested you can aquire 3DS max for only £200 or so if you are a student which i am. i am definately not at that level yet though i would love to be. i am just interested in the software used. thank you for your input. any more would be apreciated.

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Kylotan    9866
A physics engine is just part of a larger system. You need much more code to make the game itself. Pretty much every 'relatively advanced' game has thousands of man-hours spent on writing a bespoke program that specifies the game.

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AzzaMat    122
So your saying an advanced game isnt built with one engine, but with many? i always thought that only one was used. so what other engines are used apart from the physics engine.

thanks for the response

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Mathmo    163
Well, think about how crysis would look with only the physics, without anything being drawn to the screen :-p pretty difficult to play too.

Hoavk is just a PHYSICS engine, I haven't used it myself but I would assume it can handle deformation of your meshes, do all the collision detection and realistic simulations of physics for you.

But, then you need a rendering engine to draw your nicely positioned meshes to the screen with all the fancy effects which are so coveted today.

Of course, a game would be no fun if all of the environemt simply reacts to physics, and is drawn - so you need some kind of AI engine or controller, and then you need a module to control input.

Don't forget of course a consistent interface for sound, and you really need to work out a networking protocol if you want any kind of LAN activity or, god forbid an MMORPG.

You are not going to be making a relatively advanced game any time soon. Sorry.
It is just too big. Back in the 90s, one man teams could make a cutting edge game, if the one person had mad skillz. Now, you need a 10 man team minimum to make a relatively advanced game, and most of that ten need to have experience.

However, there are far more self contained game engines, which actually deal with most of the stuff you need, I think irrlicht may be a good example, try wikipedia or googling it. (and it is free and opensource)

My advice would be to hang around gamedev for a bit. You will quickly see where hobby game development is at; specialised (but very pretty) tech demoes, and 2D or simple 3D games, made for gameplay and not for cutting edge.

What programming language were you planning on working in? If you haven't thought about that yet, you should probably stick to 3dsmax, and get good, any number of small projects would love a half-decent modeller to help them out.

Making a game is a big commitment.

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AzzaMat    122
Haha. dont worry im definately not going to be doing anything that advanced. i just wanted to know what was needed in a game. what you have told me has been really useful. il try irrlicht and have a look. i havent got much programming experience anyway. the most i have made game related has been a noughts and crosses game. that you have to play against yourself. im more into 3D modelling and things like that. im just interseted in what is used in a game so when i do get to that stage im ready.

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mikeman    2942
Quote:
Original post by Mathmo
You are not going to be making a relatively advanced game any time soon. Sorry.
It is just too big. Back in the 90s, one man teams could make a cutting edge game, if the one person had mad skillz. Now, you need a 10 man team minimum to make a relatively advanced game, and most of that ten need to have experience.


Not entirely true. Check out this beauty. Many art assets are contracted, but most of the development is done by a single guy.

Anyway, an engine is not the same as a drag-and-drop game maker. It's nothing more than a library of routines and classes that expose some functionality. Most of them are complex beasts, not really suitable for beginners. So even if someone manages to gather all the software needed to create a serious game, it doesn't mean he can do it; learning how to handle the engine and write efficient code for it is a task as difficult as learning a programming language;maybe even more.

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AzzaMat    122
wow that looks great. if i did try to make say a really simple game but with those style graphics. which had just one person inside a box, and all you could do was walk around that box what would i need. this is all hypothetical of course lol.

And also thanks for the replies. you have all been great :D

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chipmeisterc    268
Might I suggest you take a look at 3D Game Studio, theres a 30 day demo and it comes with alot of the tools:- script language, model editor and level editor and tutorials to get you on your way, plus you can knock togehter simple fps type games without having to touch any scripts.

If you want to know the pipelines/processes involved in making a game this will give you a usefull beginners insight.

www.conitec.net/a4info.htm

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Mathmo    163
@mikeman: heeeheee that is indeed an awesome project. beats the pants off my 2d engine that's still months away from a game...

Looks like he's been working on it for some time though, like 2+ years, probably comes outside the OP's timescale for part-time fun. You win though, with enough time, skill and dedication modern cutting edge games can be made by a one man team. Must be like walking through napalm for your persistence, but almost worth it :-p

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Cygon    1219
@AzzaMat: Let me try to explain the process (and tools) involved, maybe then it becomes a bit clearer.

As you probably know, anything you see in games like Crysis, Unreal and so on to the computer is basically a huge bunch of coordinates, vectors, matrices and complicated math that's being worked by the game engine to determine what to show on the screen, what sounds to play, how to move enemies, etc.

Havok is a pure physics engine. That means you can feed it a list of 3D coordinates (eg. the corner points of a box) and let it calculate what would happen to the box if it was hit by an impulse of a certain force at a specific place. It would hand out another set of 3D coordinates, nothing more, nothing less. No graphics, no game, no level, nothing.

Havok is just one of many physics engines. Google for "Bullet", "Ageia", "Newton" or "ODE" for free alternatives doing about the same.


A game engine, and the term is often quite vague, usually glues together dozens of smaller systems, like passing data to a physics engine (Havok), feeding data into a 3D rendering API (Direct3D, OpenGL), query input devices (DirectInput, XInput, Win32), decodes sound data (Ogg Vorbis, MP3), mixes sounds and sends them to the sound card for playback (fmod, Audiere, OpenAL) and so on.

The game engine defines what makes up an object in the game (how it's represented in terms of pure data) and is often written in a language like C++ (I'd assume that about 95% of all games on the market have been developed using Microsoft Visual C++, hint: you can get Visual C++ 2008 Express for free).

This is not just some short put-together process like shown in movies, there's a lot of logic, complex math and data juggling involved. Think of building an jet engine right now. You can buy a fan and a fuel pump (the guessed equivalent of a physics engine), but there's so much more you need to learn or find people to do until you've got that engine built. That's not an exaggerated example, you can well assume the jet engine would be quicker and easier to build :)

I don't want to discourage you, but it's not just collecting some puzzle pieces and putting them together.

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chipmeisterc    268
Quote:
thanks il have a look at that. Do you know any software to make it in the 3rd person perspective.


Yes 3dgs has a toggle camera button in the default script so you can play in first or third person. However you should be aware that you shouldnt be looking for "software to make it in third person" you should be writing the camera system to make it third person yourself.

I suggest you download 3DGS and then start playing with the tutorials to get a better idea of how games are pieced together, then once youve mastered authoring some simple levels you can start thinking about learning to script and modifying the existing code. Again 3dgs includes tutorials with the download, and theres plenty of resources on the internet.


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chipmeisterc    268
Have you even tried using the above software? This isnt something that your just going to be able to do overnight, theres a lot of new concepts to learn.
Your really not going to find any software thats easier and allows you to make custom content easily. Although if your really that interested Blitz Basic is another one that people tend to use, although im not sure what this provides in the way of tools to generate custom content for the game, something 3DGS does really nicely.

I strongly suggest you download the software mentioned above and play with it for a few weeks working through the tutorials etc, you really need to be looking for the answers to these questions yourself rather than relying on the forums.

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AzzaMat    122
Dont worry im gonna work with game studio. just wanted to know any others. i have had a look around it and it looks good

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yaustar    1022
Quote:
Original post by AzzaMat
If anyone else can think of any other software thats good, that would be really helpful

Good for what specifically? Making games? Models? 2D graphics? Sound effects or music?

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AzzaMat    122
well if i can make a game in 3rd person. not straight away but after a certain period of learning. but if game studio can do it then it will stick with that see how it goes.

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