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Darc0917

I need some guidance

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Hi everybody. I know you all probably get this question allot, but I'm very confused. First of all, I want to make an MMORPG. I have written down most of the information I need as far as towns,outposts,skills,weapons/armor,monsters,npcs and the quests with steps to finishing them. But unfortunately, that doesn't mean anything. Also I have no knowledge or experience with game programming/designing and no knowledge of C++ or any language. Fail. But I'm a very ambitious person and I don't quit easily, so I decided I'll make it real myself. Here's a few questions I have-

1. How do I protect my work? I don't want my idea stolen, and if I actually get going on this project I don't want my work stolen either.

2. Where do I start? I figured I would buy a book on learning C++, but I don't really know if that's the main language I will need to know. Also I don't want to buy a book that assumes I have software to utilize it, which I don't.

Some additional info-
I'm 17 and I live in the US. I want to go to college to learn more about creating games and hopefully take it on as a career. The game I have in mind is actually kind of unique, not completely different, but you couldn't call it a rip off of anything. Also, if you want to really help me with this project maybe we could start a team, assuming you live in the US. (Online team of course)

Thanks

Oh and if this thread is in the wrong section could you transfer it please?^^

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I second Buckeye's suggestion, you're right that we get these questions a lot and you'll find a lot of good advice and help there.

To answer your questions directly, though:

1) You actually don't need to protect your idea at all. The world is full of design ideas for MMOs, and if you do a quick search there are many very well fleshed out designs on this site alone. Nobody is going to want to steal your idea, it's just one in a sea of many. I'm not trying to say that it's generic or worthless, just that nobody will take any notice of it until it shows a promise of being finished and making some money. If you had a game studio, would you go looking for ideas to steal, or would you want to make your own ideas come to life? In the same way, the pros don't go out trying to find a little guy to rip off because they'd far rather be making their own game ideas real.

2) Don't start with an MMO! Real MMOs are built by hundreds of highly skilled professionals working long days for years at a time. For a single person with no experience or skills to even attempt to do this on their own is madness. It's far better to start with smaller projects. In the same way that it's largely impossible to learn the Moonlight Sonata as your first piano piece, it's impossible to make an MMO as your first game project. Think of the smallest, simplest game possible (pong clones are a good start, my first game was a slot machine) and make that. Once you have that done, you can slowly work your way up to more complex projects. But remember to keep it small! You will be surprised at how much time and work your first simple project will take you, if you make it too large you are likely to lose hope before you finish it.

As for the language to start with, C# is a very good language for a beginner. It's freely available and the syntax is much friendlier than C++. While most games use large amounts of C++, picking that up once you already know another language will be much easier in the long run.

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Thanks. Your second answer made me laugh. I looked at the section for beginners and I couldn't really find anything too helpful, just links to buying books. Do you have MSN? If so could you add me and walk me through the basics? In other words.. Can I be your pupil? lol

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Quote:
Original post by Darc0917
Thanks. Your second answer made me laugh. I looked at the section for beginners and I couldn't really find anything too helpful, just links to buying books. Do you have MSN? If so could you add me and walk me through the basics? In other words.. Can I be your pupil? lol


Yes, there are a lot of books there because books are an excellent way to learn programming. They can walk you through the beginning steps of programming in small digestible chunks so that you don't get overwhelmed too quickly, similar to the way math book are structured. I would just go to Borders and start browsing the beginning C# books. Find one that seems clear to you and that (optionally) has some game themed examples in it to help keep your interest. And then begin working through it from start to finish. Don't just read the text, actually do the examples and the exercises. It will take a few months, but once you get through that book you will be ready to move on to making some simple games of your own.

Unfortunately I don't have enough free time to take on a pupil, but thank you for asking :).

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Quote:
Original post by Darc0917
1. How do I protect my work? I don't want my idea stolen, and if I actually get going on this project I don't want my work stolen either.
Your work is automatically protected by copyright... but that doesn't matter, because there are very likely other people out there trying to figure out how to make exactly the same or a disturbingly similar idea. It's not your idea that is important, it's the creation of an actual, working video-game that people can play.

Don't suffer from ""stupid paranoia", and keep in mind that there are good reasons why you should share your game designs.

Quote:
2. Where do I start? I figured I would buy a book on learning C++, but I don't really know if that's the main language I will need to know. Also I don't want to buy a book that assumes I have software to utilize it, which I don't.
As has already been said, don't start with an MMO! You'll need to keep that as your goal and work towards it, learning the basics and building smaller games as you go.

You'll want to pick a programming language to learn -- I would personally suggest C#, but Python or even C++ would also be fine as long as you pick something and stick with it -- the important thing is to choose one and to stick with it through your initial difficulties as you start to learn.

Go to one of your local book stores, and pick up a book on learning the basics of your chosen programming language, but probably one that isn't about games. Don't forget to actually do all the exercises in your book as you work through it, you won't learn properly just by reading! Once you've got through your first book and learned some basics you can look at starting to make simple games, and from there building towards more complex things until you're able to handle creating your MMO.


Quote:
Also, if you want to really help me with this project maybe we could start a team
Lots of people do that, and we even have a Help Wanted forum (where people are required to format their posts according to a template) especially for forming teams. I would suggest however that you would be better off waiting to do that until you've learned your basics and have something to show for yourself. My personal suggestion is to not try to recruit a team until:
  • You're confident in your programming abilities; you don't have to (and never will) know everything, but you should have made at least one small but complete (i.e. menus, sounds, 'game over' screens, etc.) game before you try to start a large project like an MMO. As you're planning an MMO you should probably have also made something involving networking, whether that be a smaller game or just a simple chat-client.

  • You should have a detailed description of the game you want to build; preferably a proper design document. You should have read and re-read your own document, adding and correcting things as you go so that there aren't simple, silly mistakes, and so that you're sure your idea sounds fun and exciting.
See also Promit's checklist to lead an online game project.


Also check out Tom Sloper's Game Design FAQs.


Hope that helps! [smile]

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