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Game Editor

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I'd like to program an rpg and I'd like to program a game editor for it to make it easier to work with but I have no idea where to begin(With the latter), I barely have any idea where to begin with the game itself. Any guidelines/information about what I have to know, where to look, what I should take into consideration would be greatly appreciated. I need some advice.. I use c++ and right now I am working with directx. A 3D level editor btw. [Edited by - Antonym on December 5, 2008 2:39:26 AM]

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The fact that you "barely have any idea where to begin with the game itself" is really a red herring.
If you really want to make a game (instead of building an engine), here follows my advice.

My advice :

1- define the game mecanics :
- what objects an you interact with and how ?
- turn-based combat or real-time ?
- how do you interact with the npc (dialogue, combat, intimate ?)
- if fantasy : how magic fits into this ?
- is there special stuff like cut-scene or popup to mark death, enf of a quest, etc
( - realise this is gonna be a *lot* of work.)

2- define the minimum implementation that does all the above:
- likely in 2D or using an existing framework.
- ask yourslef if C++ is really necessary (it is a complex language), other could be better : c#+xna or python+pyglet...
- *deduce* from everything above what kind of editor you need. And look for something existing like Tiled (very good with 2D).

3- (if you want to do it yourself) define a general architecture for you program.
- do a first version. (long)

4- ask more precise question on the appropriate forums on each of the above point.

5- iterate : use the forum info and your reading, and refine the above.

6- don't hesitate to cut, cut, cut features. Even with all their resources, the pros do it, so you should to.

Good luck !

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Original post by Wagnerious
The fact that you "barely have any idea where to begin with the game itself" is really a red herring.
If you really want to make a game (instead of building an engine), here follows my advice.

My advice :

1- define the game mecanics :
- what objects an you interact with and how ?
- turn-based combat or real-time ?
- how do you interact with the npc (dialogue, combat, intimate ?)
- if fantasy : how magic fits into this ?
- is there special stuff like cut-scene or popup to mark death, enf of a quest, etc
( - realise this is gonna be a *lot* of work.)

2- define the minimum implementation that does all the above:
- likely in 2D or using an existing framework.
- ask yourslef if C++ is really necessary (it is a complex language), other could be better : c#+xna or python+pyglet...
- *deduce* from everything above what kind of editor you need. And look for something existing like Tiled (very good with 2D).

3- (if you want to do it yourself) define a general architecture for you program.
- do a first version. (long)

4- ask more precise question on the appropriate forums on each of the above point.

5- iterate : use the forum info and your reading, and refine the above.

6- don't hesitate to cut, cut, cut features. Even with all their resources, the pros do it, so you should to.

Good luck !


1 - I think I am done with all of that. Written pages upon pages about how the entire game will work, the combat system, what you will be able to do and not do. Written an entire list of the spells I would like to add, how stats would work etc etc etc.
And yes it was a freaking lot of work.
What I was refering with 'barely any idea where to begin' was the programming aspect of it all.

2 - I don't quite get this second part. Are you saying I try to make it on 2d before trying 3d? The only language I know is c++ so I am not sure what other language would better suit my needs. I would like to create my game using as little pre-existing material as possible. I want to do as much of it as possible by myself, learn and stuff.

3 - In what does this differ from point 1?

6 - Yes I am taking that into consideration as much as possible. I want to start simple and keep on upgrading it to approach the final idea as I get better.

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Original post by Antonym
What I was refering with 'barely any idea where to begin' was the programming aspect of it all.

How many games have you made before? What kind of games?

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Are you saying I try to make it on 2d before trying 3d?

I'd say, if you have little experience, then going for 2D will make several things quite a bit easier.

Quote:
I would like to create my game using as little pre-existing material as possible. I want to do as much of it as possible by myself, learn and stuff.

That's probably not the best way to learn. Taking on too many new things all at once quickly gets overwhelming. Learn them one by one and learn to take advantage of existing tools and libraries. Building everything yourself, especially when you lack experience, is a bad idea if you actually want to finish something.

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I haven't programmed a single game before. I've gone through and understood the source code needed for a 2d pong and a 3d tetris but that's about it.

I suppose you're right. I'll try to use tools here and there and eventually replace them for my own?

2D it is then. Now having made this adjustments to my work plan any advice/guidelines/information/pearls of wisdom you guys could offer me?

Thanks

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Original post by Antonym
I haven't programmed a single game before. I've gone through and understood the source code needed for a 2d pong and a 3d tetris but that's about it.

In that case, build a few simple games before you jump into a complex game like this. Otherwise, you simply lack the experience and insight needed to develop a game from start to finish. Just try to build a 2D pong game yourself to start with. You'll see that it's quite a different experience than reading someone else's source code. Don't underestimate the small things: you can learn a lot through such projects.

Quote:
I suppose you're right. I'll try to use tools here and there and eventually replace them for my own?

Nope, just keep using those tools. What's the point in rebuilding something that already works well? It only takes time and you'll likely end up with a worse product in the end.

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Original post by Captain P
Quote:
Original post by Antonym
I haven't programmed a single game before. I've gone through and understood the source code needed for a 2d pong and a 3d tetris but that's about it.

In that case, build a few simple games before you jump into a complex game like this. Otherwise, you simply lack the experience and insight needed to develop a game from start to finish. Just try to build a 2D pong game yourself to start with. You'll see that it's quite a different experience than reading someone else's source code. Don't underestimate the small things: you can learn a lot through such projects.

Quote:
I suppose you're right. I'll try to use tools here and there and eventually replace them for my own?

Nope, just keep using those tools. What's the point in rebuilding something that already works well? It only takes time and you'll likely end up with a worse product in the end.


Well I thought the purpose of writing my own tool was to make a tool that best suit my needs/ideas. I wouldn't be trying to reinvent the wheel. I always thought using a preexisting game engine or tools placed limitations if you wanted to do something 'different'.

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Original post by Antonym
Well I thought the purpose of writing my own tool was to make a tool that best suit my needs/ideas. I wouldn't be trying to reinvent the wheel. I always thought using a preexisting game engine or tools placed limitations if you wanted to do something 'different'.

That's true, if your requirements are quite different, then an existing tool may not serve you so well. You could still look into modifying existing tools, or other workarounds, but if that doesn't work, then you're going to have to roll your own.

However, you'll have to consider if it's worth it. Maybe those extra features just aren't worth the additional development time, maybe they are. Either way, for now, build some small, simple games, without different requirements. Don't worry about tools and libraries limiting you: at this moment, the limiting factor is still mostly your experience.

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