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Ganman

New to game design, actually...

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Game design is not something I see myself doing commercially, though it is something I would love to become exceptional at and perform as a hobby. I'm a writer and a musician first and foremost, and I hope that I will become most recognized by these developing skills than by whatever I might one day achieve in the field of game design. I'm new to this, obviously. I know there's a great deal that I need to learn... open GL, C++, Java, not to mention a great deal more calculus than I currently know... if I want to effectively design a game. I'd like to design a game within the next three or four years, and I'm willing to put any amount of time and effort into learning how to do it. I expect no compensation for my efforts, as I think it is something I will ENJOY. Anyway, why I'm here: I recently rediscovered an old game from my childhood, Pokemon, and began playing it again. I stumbled upon several hacks of ROMs of the original games, and decided two hours ago that I wanted to do that too. However, I decided that I wanted a more complex template than the one on which I would be working were I to simply hack the game. I decided that the game was lacking in complexity, and that I would like to make my own contributions. For example, maybe I should be able to buy my own house in the game? It would appeal to realism... after all, you are off on your own. For any of you unfamiliar with the Pokemon series as a whole, I apologize. I actually resent myself quite wholeheartedly for liking it, as I am an adult now, and adults should move past such games. But, I digress. Anyway, I want to know if it would be possible to independently design, in the course of say, three, four, five, six years, a game that would be of the quality of game that I attempt to mimic, as far as graphics and performance go. Make no mistake... I know attempting to market my work would be copyright infringement in the highest, and I have no interest in attending a federal penitentiary. However, I would like to achieve this, and I'll stop at nothing to achieve it independently, (though I am also a writer, and novel-writing also occupies a small amount of my time... hard to balance your interests and a job, though.) I want to know, first off, if what I hope to achieve is possible, and what it would take to achieve it. This is entirely new ground for me... I am a student in its most literal meaning. I would also like to know where I should begin, and what course of action I should follow in order to reach my goal. I don't want to know how long it would take to achieve it... I don't want to limit myself. I just want to know if it's possible, and then aim to accomplish something in the field of game design, even if it is only I who gets to see it. Thank you for your time! For some reason, I'm feeling extraordinarily literary tonight, so I apologize if my language was a bit too flowery for a game design forum!

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I'm still fairly new to game development and programming in general. However, I do have two very small completed projects. One is a vertical shooter and another is a Tetris clone.

Making a 2d game similar to Pokemon with the ideas you suggested shouldn't be very difficult to get going. You'll need to pick a good language and API but if you work hard it shouldn't take more than a year to get something small and fun.

I use C++ with an API called Allegro. So that is my suggestion with where to start. I have heard good things about the API called SDL and the XNA game studio using C#.

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Well lets start from the top.

Quote:
I'm new to this, obviously. I know there's a great deal that I need to learn... open GL, C++, Java, not to mention a great deal more calculus than I currently know... if I want to effectively design a game.

You're mixing up words, game design and game development are two seperate things.

Quote:
For any of you unfamiliar with the Pokemon series as a whole, I apologize. I actually resent myself quite wholeheartedly for liking it, as I am an adult now, and adults should move past such games.


Pokemon is a good game series, i still play it, you should stop kidding yourself and thinking its a 'kid thing' if you enjoy playing it.

Quote:
Make no mistake... I know attempting to market my work would be copyright infringement in the highest, and I have no interest in attending a federal penitentiary.


Simple answer, don't copy pokemon, if you really want to make games, apply yourself to make a game that follows the style and genre of the pokemon games, i would advise against any kind of copyright infringement whether you want to sell your game or not.

Quote:
I would also like to know where I should begin, and what course of action I should follow in order to reach my goal. I don't want to know how long it would take to achieve it... I don't want to limit myself. I just want to know if it's possible, and then aim to accomplish something in the field of game design, even if it is only I who gets to see it.


Like i stated above, it is game development as opposed to design, but that aside, it is very possible to create a smaller version of a game like pokemon by yourself, and within a year or two. Alot of it depends on how much work you put into it and how much you learn.



Now that those are out of the way. To make a game you need a few things obviously, code is the building blocks of a game, and it is essencially the one thing you -require- to begin creating a game.

Obviously on a more complete game there are other fields to fill such as design, level creation, art, sounds, music. However, i won't burden you with things like that, for a simple hobby game they can all be accomplished by you when you need them, on a very minor level at the least.

Essencially your basic challenge, will be coding the game. Luckily the internet has plenty of material on that. Your first job would be to select a programming 'language'. Yes, it is true, computers can understand multiple languages just like we can! More or less anyway, computers actually only understand certain things. When you write code, you use a compiler to turn the code into something the computer can run. Obviously you use various languages to write this code, each language has it's own quirks and syntax, just like a spoken language.

C/C++, Java, i'm sure you've heard of languages like that. Learning a language is the first step to learning to program your game. Since you don't seem to have any coding experience, i'd recommend an easier to understand language such as C# or Python. Both languages have plenty of documentation and a few searches on google should get you on your way to learning coding. Nobody can give you a specific guide on how to make the game you wish to, you simply will have to learn programming and work your way up from there, educating yourself.

But anyway, that should get you started, good luck, and most importantly, don't give up!

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Gan wrote:

>Game design is ... something I would love to {do} as a hobby.
>...there's a great deal that I need to learn... open GL, C++, Java... calculus...

OK, well. As a previous poster already noted, you aren't talking about just game design. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson28.htm

>I want to know if it would be possible to independently design {correction: create}... a game that would be of the quality of game that I attempt to mimic, as far as graphics and performance go.

Two answers:
1. Anything is possible. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson50.htm
2. Whether you can do this is rather dependent on you, don't you think? Not only on your determination but also your ability.

>I want to know... what it would take to achieve it.

Find out. Research. Read. Read the FAQs here on this site. Buy books. Take classes. Educate yourself.

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