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My approach to Rpg development - Advice would be appreciated

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This is my first post on the site so i do apologize if it is slightly crude. (This was moved from the beginners forum) I have self taught myself C++, and created a console application RPG. I walked into a game company, in hind sight quite naively for a summer freelancing as a game-play programmer, and was told to come back with it 3D. To stop myself before i get too chatty, started working with the Light feather engine, an opengl engine, got to proper development after tutorials and found it is slightly incomplete in areas. Anyway talked to a member of the lionhead team, told me to move to the direct x engine that have everything pre-built so i could just code in the game play. What i would like as an end result is to be able have my character (hopefully find a model on the net), walk around a textured terrain (i have enough experience with DirectX 10 to do this, i have done some previously) have random battles with my monster(hopefully models again) using a timer (Ctime Rand library is what i currently use) and able to bring up a menu and save system. Oh buy weapons from random guy in terrain (already made code for the shop) This was the plan to: 1. Expand the monster classes(enemy groups already created) and move them to XML. 2. Then start working with 3D engine. 3. Top down approach design- title, then terrain 4. Bring improve game-play into the 3d engine 5. Get a Base working 6. Then working expand It seems good to me, but i feel that there are holes. Any advice would be much appreciated? Also if you know of a game engine can you tell me about it? I have tried irrichlict, orge 3d but felt they were slight overwhelming when i first started, having other views on it would be a great value. Some once told me to script lua for the battle system, can someone expand on this for me? Thanks

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Hi,

it's great that you have an idea in the form of the game concept, but console RPGs are a thing of the past. Whoever told you that you need to move to 3D and DirectX was right. :)

I wouldn't want this to sound discouraging but many people start out like you, and you have a long way to go judging by the things you list as important. Your little list is good, but point #2 should have around 20 sub-points. It is no mean feat to get to grips with a 3D engine and learn to use it efficiently. Point #1 of creating classes for NPCs and stuff is a fairly small task compared to the others, however it is one of the more enjoyable ones - for those who enjoy designing gameplay at least.

With a 3D engine you will need to:
-Learn all the basics of a 3d game loop, rendering, updating, lighting, materials, maybe shaders, model movement and animation, etc.
-Learn to load basic models in 3D view with appropriate textures and their texturing modes, model lighting etc. Not all models you download online have a single format, some may need to be converted.
-Find yourself a good terrain format (some engines already have this) and learn to create height and/or texture maps for it so you can build your world.
-Get a Graphical User Interface system fit for an RPG, as you mentioned you would need to have menus and items. This can also take up a lot of time to get right.

And after that, by the time you get to scripting battles, you will probably already know what to do and what LUA scripting is. :)

As far as engines go, I've seen a lot of successful newcomers start out with the engine I've been using for years: Truevision3D 6.5. BTW to be honest i haven't read all of the rules of this board so i'm not sure if this is considered as advertising, but anyway, imho, it is an engine that can easily contend and outperform irrlicht and ogre3d, only that is many times easier to use. There are many people who enter the realm of 3d game programming using it, and then it will be very easy to move onto other engines once you learn the basics with it. However, it supports all the features you'd need for a full-fledged 3D game, and my studio is developing just that - with some very advanced added features. You can also use it for free. There are also other "rapid dev" engines out there such as Darkbasic, Torque, etc, but i'll give my vote to Truevision any day - supported by personal extensive trial and error.

Hope this helps a little.

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