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cauta

RTS game advice

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I am new to game programming. I know C++ and C#. I would like to develop a professional strategy game 2D, 2.5D (similar to Red Alert 1) that I could sell on Windows platform (98, XP & Vista). There is no time limitation and my budget is really small. I would prefer Open Source software. I need some advice on what engines (game, graphics) to use. I have found this post http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=449303 which talks about using SDL, OpenGL and FMOD. Please list some that you think might fit the listed criteria. I would like to have a starting point for evaluating these engines. Thank you very much,

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Just a tip: change "I would like to develop a professional strategy game" to "I would like to eventually, some day develop a professional strategy game."

With that in mind: those games are really friken complex. Hope you're good with AI before you start.

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if you're looking for suggestions on technology, don't consider the word "professional", because you would not believe the amount of time and skill it takes for a team full of experienced professionals to develop a "professional" game.

That being said, RTS games require alot of ai(especially pathfinding) and unit management(100's of units, you have to manage where they go, why they go ther, and what they do once they get there, plus creation and destruction of these units)

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Thank you for your replies. I understand that it's necessary to make a correction regarding the use of the word 'professional'. When I said to develop a game like Red Alert, I wasn't implying to create something that complex and at that level of 'professionalism'. So, what I am trying to say by 'professional' game is a game good enough to be sellable to the PC market.

I would like to know what technologies and programming aspects should be used. Any books that discuss these programming techniques? You have mentioned, AI & unit management and for API OpenGL & DirectX. In the projest originally mentioned by me, I noticed that OpenGL & SDL & FMOD are being used.

Would this be a good match? All suggestions, ideas are welcome. Thank you,

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well AI and unit management are API independent, it's all game logic.

openGL is a 3D Graphics library, it is strictly used for drawing on the screen, no more, no less.

FMOD is an audio API, it's sole purpose is to load, and play sounds, again, no more, no less.

SDL is a 2D graphics library, but is also(and specificlly when used in conjunction with openGL) a windowing library(plus has sound, networking, threading, input, none of which openGL handles), because openGL needs to link into a windowing library, whether is be SDL, or a native OS's windowing (Windows has the WGL library for linking openGL rendering to an win32 window)

check out lazyfoo.net for SDL, plus a tiny bit of openGL, and nehe.gamedev.net for info on openGL, and more recently SDL/openGL



this being said, i am 99% positive that you're way in over your head, even the idea of producing a game that could be sold in any capacity takes a minimum 2 years of solid game programming experience, it's the equivilent of wanting to be a rock star, then booking a gig just before you buy your first guitar


that being said, good luck, and ask lots of questions here, this community is unbelievably helpful.


PS. none of these libraries are engines, an engine is a similar concept, but it encompases teh majority of what you'll need into one interface, graphics, sound, input, networking, sometimes including asset creation, ai, and physic as well . i've never used an engine, but i've heard ogre3D is a somewhat popular, and free option

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Quote:
Original post by godsenddeath
PS. none of these libraries are engines, an engine is a similar concept, but it encompases teh majority of what you'll need into one interface, graphics, sound, input, networking, sometimes including asset creation, ai, and physic as well . i've never used an engine, but i've heard ogre3D is a somewhat popular, and free option

Ogre 3D is a rendering engine, not an all-encompassing engine. As far as I've seen, it's pretty good at what it does.

For 2D games, I think Haaf's Game Engine would be a good starting place, but you'll probably want to experiment a bit with various engines and frameworks to see which one suits your needs best.

Quote:
Original post by cauta
I would like to know what technologies and programming aspects should be used.

None 'should' be used: it's about what works best for a given situation. Having that said, your question is very broad, which makes answering it pretty hard.

Quote:
Any books that discuss these programming techniques? You have mentioned, AI & unit management and for API OpenGL & DirectX. In the projest originally mentioned by me, I noticed that OpenGL & SDL & FMOD are being used.

It certainly helps if you have some experience with developing larger programs; I'd say you're going to need some experience if you want to pull off such a complex project. Theory alone (books) is not going to cut it (although good books certainly are useful).

Can you sum up the requirements of your project? The various areas that you'll need to work on (AI, pathfinding, etc.)? How many of these are new to you? How many are familiar to you and to what extent?

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