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scissors_lizard

Advice for developing 2D rpg.

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I'm looking for advice getting started on a hobby project with a friend of mine. We're both CS students at GA Tech and we'd like to try making a 2D tile-based rpg, inspired by roguelike games with fairly lightweight graphics but high depth and replayability. Neither of us is a stranger to programming, and we'd like to do the project in C++ in hopes of becoming more comfortable with the language while making something cool.

My question is this: What tools do we use for the job? I'm looking for advice on compilers, engines, resources, anything that would likely facilitate this sort of project. Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated. The interwebz are full of options and it's very difficult to narrow things down without some guidance.

Thanks folks,
Lizard

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I tend to use Mingw(windows port of gcc) on the windows side for my compiler and gcc on linux, right now as a media layer i'm liking sfml, handles input audio and loading graphics, on top to that i have my own custom opengl code to handle drawing tiles, fonts and animation and game logic, also my own custom gui code in game interaction buttons mouse ect...

for graphics i use i combination of tilestudio/gimp and blender

tilestudio is getter really out of date, but it has 95% of the feature i love for tile editing then i import those tiles into gimp for setting transparency levels of my tiles and various other little nitpickings i have then continue on my way



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I'f you're interested in going down the cross-platform route, mingw on windows and gcc on linux / MacOS is a good choice, along with SFML or SDL, or raw OpenGL + FMod would be dandy. Doing something cross platform would be a good way to get another learning experience in on top of what you're already doing, but it might also be biting off more than you can chew if you're not already familiar with C++.

If you're only concerned with Windows, grab Visual C++ Express 2010. Its completely free, you can release the stuff you create with it free or for profit, and its probably the best IDE around, aside from maybe SlickEdit, which is 300 bucks. Eclipse isn't bad either, but it can be a pain to set up just right.

Also grab yourself some version control software. distributed version control systems like Git or Mercurial are great, particularly if you want to share code without setting up a server process or like to work away from a network connection (eg, if you want to take your laptop to your local all-night dive for a coding session). I've used both of these a little -- my super-short summary is: Git = very flexible and powerful, but slightly daunting; Mercurial = most of the benefits of Git, and perhaps less bewildering. I've decided I like Git better of the two. If the distributed version control model is too much for you all to get over, Subversion is probably the best completely free centralized version control system, but I've also heard good things about perforce and they have a free 2 seat liscense (I think possibly for non-commercial use though, which may or may not matter to you.)

In any event, if you need hosting/management of this stuff, there are plenty of options for everything except perforce. Most version control hosts have free plans for open-source projects if you don't want to pay anything -- SourceForge, GoogleCode, GitHub are some of the options.

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I dont have any direct experience, but id suggest starting small with whatever engine you choose. maybe tetris or something.

Id also like a shameless plug to make it crossplatform. SDL is pretty easy to learn, and as mobiles are getting faster and faster its only a matter of time before being platform independendence is a good skill to have.

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Quote:
...but id suggest starting small with whatever engine you choose

Yes, this! The two of you should work on a couple of light arcade games. If the two of you work together, you should both be able to finish 2 games in 2 weeks or less. Plus this also gives you the opportunity to get your feet wet in graphics, threads, buffering, timing, sound effects, etc.

Afterwards you'll have a better understanding of how to go about structuring your rpg.

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Quote:
Original post by isometrixk
Quote:
...but id suggest starting small with whatever engine you choose

Yes, this! The two of you should work on a couple of light arcade games. If the two of you work together, you should both be able to finish 2 games in 2 weeks or less. Plus this also gives you the opportunity to get your feet wet in graphics, threads, buffering, timing, sound effects, etc.

Afterwards you'll have a better understanding of how to go about structuring your rpg.


Bah... i'd call BS on this... I wouldn't waste time on something you're forcing yourself to do just to learn, you have a simple game type chosen and are passioniate about it, stick with it, but keep it real simple to start with.

Think about what you can make or design into the game at a very basic level to get the main game mechanics/structure working (keep as simple as possible - a skeleton). For example don't spend a day on creating all kinds of weapons, make 1 or 2 weapons and get them working the way you want and you can add in others later as "filler" work...

For tools I'd suggest MS VC++ 2008 or later and for modeling men/creaters I'd suggest Poser...
http://www.microsoft.com/express/Downloads/
http://poser.smithmicro.com/poser.html

Good luck...

rhuala

[Edited by - rhuala on December 9, 2010 6:02:12 PM]

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For general development articles related to roguelike games, look here: http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org/index.php?title=Articles

There are some good links to follow on that site, as well, such as where to get some free (albeit very simple) graphical tiles - useful to get something up and running quickly without having to deal with creating art resources.

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Look for a coding environment (IDE) that provides intellisense/code completion. That particular feature is invaluable in getting up to speed with a programming language.

If you're only interested in Windows development, Visual C++ would be perfect, and it's free. I've tinkered with Qt Creator for cross-platform development.

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