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skNiNe

Little Map (World)

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Hi, i am new to game programming and worked through the most of the tutorials on directxtutorial.com. I think i understood a lot and programmed myself a tetris 3d without the help of the tutorial (premium member). Now I want to build a small shooter (i know how difficult this is, and no, i don't want to build a game like crysis :D). I thought about a little counter-strike aim-map. This means, a world which contains a few boxes und 4 walls :>. Now i don't know where to start. Do I have to set every box and wall and so on by manual or is there a programm which generates me a .x file which i can load into the game? If i have to set everything by hand, do anyone know a good tutorial? I looked for a terrain tutorial but i found only tutorials to build a realistic world with mountains and great textures and so on :D. Sorry for my bad english :< I hope anyone could read my english and can help me :(

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You've run into one of areas of game programming for which there are many approaches and solutions - unfortunately, none of them are simple.

How much time and effort do you want to invest to create your game?

Since you're new to game programming, I strongly suggest you just get on with it and create something quickly for the experience. Create some box model meshes and a skybox and export them to x-files. Manually position them in your world and continue on.

Beyond that, it gets much more complicated as there are many model editors (Blender, Maya, Softimage, etc.), game engines (modeling, game and level design, all-in-one), texture editors, collision detection, etc., etc.

It all gets a bit more complicated with all the choices. Just create something simple and relatively quickly to get your feet wet. See what interests you and go from there.

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thx :)

i didn't set me a time limit now. Because this is my first big project, so i want to learn something. I have no exact target, i just want to start and set me a small target, if i reached this, i set me another one and hope to finish a small shooter anytime :>.

You said that meshes and .x files aren't the best way to create a map. What is a good way? I read about .raw file ... is this a good choice?

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Depends on your map. You need two things for a simple game: drawing the map, and collision detection and response against the map, so that the player can't walk through walls etc.

As long as you don't have huge maps or use performance-demanding effects the drawing is easy, you can get away with just drawing the whole map (such as with a mesh). If you want larger maps later on you need some way of determining what parts of the map are visible, so as to not waste too much time drawing things you can't see. I wouldn't bother with that when choosing your first map-format though, since things get more complicated when taking that into account, and it's not necessary for small maps.

Collision detection however gets complicated much faster, and implementing working collision detection against anything but the very simplest polygonal meshes can be quite a challenge, even for an experienced programmer.

I would recommend making your first levels similar to the old Wolfenstein game, where the whole map is made up of squares. With a format like that collision detection is very easy, since you just need to make sure the player stays out of solid squares, which shouldn't be too hard to solve.

If you don't want to use such simple maps, or when you move on to more complicated maps later on, I would recommend using a physics engine such as PhysX for collision detection. It gives you much more power in the form of easily integrating physics into the game once you have it working, and is known to actually solve the problem well.
It can be a bit complicated to use PhysX (or other physics engines) though, depending on how experienced you are with programming in general, which is why I still recommend starting with an easy map-format first, and then converting that to using a physics engine when you're ready to improve it.

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