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Overall game planning help

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I'm not sure if this topic is in the correct section, but I didn't really find one to fit it, so, either way, it's here.

I'm writing a game development document to keep things organized during my game's production. Part of what I'm defining on this document are the softwares I'm going to use to actually produce my game, But I'm not totally sure if I'm making the best options, since I'm not entirelly sure if the GPL license of some of those programs won't get me legal issues later, neither if they're all compatible with each other. so some opinions sure would be welcome.

I'm looking forward to have a high quality game with the minimal overall price as possible (everyone wants that, right?).My game would be published for sale, meaning these software licenses should all allow me to do so, and without having to give away my source code. Here are the programs I'm intending to use so far:

Visual Studio IDE, since my game will be written in C++;
As a result from my researches, I believe this is one of the best IDEs for C++. I've been using DevC++ for a while now, but this IDE's devolpment has been abandoned for a while, so I'd rather move on tho somethingvless buggy. No problems with the IDE choice, I think. I believe it's easily compatible with the softwares I'll need.

Blender 3D, as 3D content creation tool;
As far as I know, Blender is the only really good free 3D modelling tool around there, so there's not much choice here. All other programs are far too expensive, and Blender is the only 3D modelling software I've already used before. The only thing about it is that it's GPL licensed, and I believe I can't use it's output on it' usual formats since GPL says that if part of the output is a copy from the program's code, this part is also under GPL license. I read somewhere on Blender's website that this would be the case, but there'd be a solution, which I didn't get which it is, but that's ok, I guess...

Photoshop, as 2D content creation tool;
Now, here is a problem. Photoshop isn't cheap, but it's the only 2D tool I'm really experienced with (I work using it). I know there's a Serif Photoplus, or something which resembles it, but it's just not as good. I'm thinking about getting a Photoshop license, but if there was a cheaper choice, I'd happilly consider it.

Irrlicht, as 3D graphics engine;
Irrlicht, for as long as I know, is capable of doing what I need. I've considered Ogre too, but Irrlicht apealled more to me since it is more complete. Ogre is better with the graphics, but it has no other features, so I believe Irrlicht will come in handy. My game will ha a Isometric camera, by the way, meaning I don't need the beeeeeeeest graphics. The license for Irrlicht is zlib, if I'm not mistaken, so it's totally ok to use it for commercial projects.

Newton Game Dynamics, as physics engine;
My game will have a few physics, like ragdolls, car crashes (I don't need car deformation, just a bumpping physics) and some object interaction (like dragging furniture to barricade a door, or something like that). For what I've seen, Newton is totally up to the task, and it's license is also zlib, so it's fine to use it.

SFML, as sound library;
I'm still uncertain abou the sound library. From the free ones I've found, this is the only one zlib licensed, that's why I've chosen it, but I have totally no idea how good it is. I'll use it for the musics and sound effects, well, all audio on the game, so It'd rather be good =P I believe Irrlicht deals with it, but just as a note, the game will have 3D sound.

Raknet, as network engine (is it an engine?);
Raknet is another problem. It's free, for as long as I've reached a mark with my game's sales, then I need a license. Is there any other good network engine? The muliplayer won't be mmo, just, dunno, 16, maybe 8, maybe less players playing together.

Darkwave OR LMMS, as sound content creator and editor;
I'm still looking for a software for sound content creation. I really mean creation, Since I don't have the hardware to go out record stuff to further edit, so I'd do my best on the pc with VSs and DAWs. both GPL licensed

Audacity, as sound content editor;
I know, one way or another, it's impossible to do sound effects without harvesting some stuff, so Audacity would help me out editing those things. GPL licensed

I've done some stuff before, but never this big, that's why I want to plan it well. Also, I don't want to have legal issues later. If anyone there has any opinion on how to improve this list, please, you're totally welcome. Above anything, the sound related softwares are the ones giving me more doubts. Any help is welcome, thanks!

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Blender 3D, as 3D content creation tool;
As far as I know, Blender is the only really good free 3D modelling tool around there, so there's not much choice here. All other programs are far too expensive, and Blender is the only 3D modelling software I've already used before. The only thing about it is that it's GPL licensed, and I believe I can't use it's output on it' usual formats since GPL says that if part of the output is a copy from the program's code, this part is also under GPL license. I read somewhere on Blender's website that this would be the case, but there'd be a solution, which I didn't get which it is, but that's ok, I guess...


It is important to remember that Blender isn't just a 3D modeller anymore, it is also a game engine thus the confusion.

the GPL does not apply to data output, only derivative works, Thus:

If you use Blender to make models/animations/movies/etc for a game then you can ignore the GPL.
If you use the Blender Game Engine to make a game then you have to release that game under the GPL.

As for a cheap photoshop replacement i would look at:

Photoshop Elements
Paintshop Pro
Paint.Net
The Gimp

one of those might suit you better.

SFML is a good choice in general (Not just for sound, but also input, window creation, etc)

Visual Studio is a good and popular choice and is one of the best C++ IDE:s for Windows development.

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I noticed that you haven't specified any version control system. If you're working with other people version control is a must, it's handy even if you're working by yourself.

Version control maintains a repository with a history of all changes to your code or assets, you can commit changes to this repository and pull code out of your repository for editing. When working with multiple people it allows you to easily merge changes together. You can also pull older versions of your code or assets out of the repository if you need to undo changes.

Subversion is the one I use the most, but Mercurial and Git are also well featured and popular. Subversion, Mercurial, and Git are all free to use and open source, as well.

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Keliac,
What you're asking about is a TDD - a Technical Design Document. As such, it doesn't belong in the Game Design forum, and you're right, there is no TDD forum, so I'm moving it to a technical forum where, hopefully, you can get some good answers.

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SimonForsman, Thankyou for the information about the GPL license, that surely takes away part of my worries =)
also, good to know about SFML, and I'll check out those replacements for photoshop, thanks!

ShawnCowles, Interesting information there, that will surely make my life easier, thankyou a lot!

Tom Sloper, Sorry about putting it on the wrong section =P and thanks for moving it ^^

if anyone has more ideas or different opinions, please share them. also, if there's any other softwares I'm probably gonna need and haven't chosen any on the list, please tell me, just like ShawnCowles did. Thanks everyone

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I'll second Paint Shop Pro as a good art program. I've never used Photoshop, so I can't compare, but I use PaintShopPro heavily. I think I bought it for about $80; but it's $60 currently on their website. I'm about 3 versions out of date (version 11, from 2007), but my current version works well enough, so I probably wont upgrade for another year.

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I'll second Paint Shop Pro as a good art program. I've never used Photoshop, so I can't compare, but I use PaintShopPro heavily. I think I bought it for about $80; but it's $60 currently on their website. I'm about 3 versions out of date (version 11, from 2007), but my current version works well enough, so I probably wont upgrade for another year.


Hmm, sounds a powerfull toll. Only as a sidenote, I'll be using it both for the creation of the user interface's graphics as well as for the textures. Does Paint Shop Pro, or any of the other programs above good also for the creation of the textures? Since the game will use an isometric camera the 3D models don't have to be too much detailed, but good texture is probably a must, to have a convincing and immersive graphics style.

Thankyou for the reply, I'll surelly check out paint sho pro^^

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I use Paint Shop Pro for 2D tile art, but yes, it should work fine for textures and user interface. (My 'textures' just happen to be very small biggrin.gif)
It doesn't have any automatic texture generation abilities, but it has alot of 'effects'/'filters' you can use on your tiles, and I *think* it supports the same effect plugins that photoshop uses.

You can download the trial version and see how well it works for you, before committing one way or another.

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I'll second Paint Shop Pro as a good art program. I've never used Photoshop, so I can't compare, but I use PaintShopPro heavily. I think I bought it for about $80; but it's $60 currently on their website. I'm about 3 versions out of date (version 11, from 2007), but my current version works well enough, so I probably wont upgrade for another year.
I'm 10 versions out of date (version 4 from 1996) :D So you are using cutting edge software from my perspective :D Overall, I think PaintShop Pro is very nice and liked by programmers because it is "normal". But for artists it would be unusable I guess...

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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1323986455' post='4894297']
I'll second Paint Shop Pro as a good art program. I've never used Photoshop, so I can't compare, but I use PaintShopPro heavily. I think I bought it for about $80; but it's $60 currently on their website. I'm about 3 versions out of date (version 11, from 2007), but my current version works well enough, so I probably wont upgrade for another year.
I'm 10 versions out of date (version 4 from 1996) :D So you are using cutting edge software from my perspective :D Overall, I think PaintShop Pro is very nice and liked by programmers because it is "normal". But for artists it would be unusable I guess...
[/quote]

Hmmm... What if I'm both? =P Well, the two things I'd say I've got more knowledge to do this game is programming and visual content (specialy 2D), including concept art, and the one I know less is the sound related part (I've got some basic musical knowledge from eletric guitar an keyboard classes, but I'm not good enough to call myself a musician with any of those instruments)

Either way, I think the best way to get a definitive answer is checking the trial version. One thing though, if, or when the game gets done, I'll get all of you who are helping me out an appearance on the credits (at least your Gamedev's nicknames =P) Thanks a lot!

Any new piece of advice, please, you're totally welcome^^

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Both programmer and an artist? Unusual indeed...

Anyway, the thing is, are you going to do it alone? You listed things like "physics engine" so it does not sound like a simple game.

If you are doing it all alone then the answer is choose whichever you like, I guess. But if you are doing it with other people then:
- 3D artists will use 3DSMax or Maya, any other options are totally unaceptable (Blender is terrible, plus no one uses it).
- 2D artists will use Photoshop, you simply won't be able to find good artists who use another software.
- programmers are rather easy to please so they could do with whatever, plus the cost of programmer's software is insignificant. Anyway, they will want to use Visual Studio (there is Express version which is free and they say it is not shabby at all).
- sound library, it is very easy to code so you could even do it from scratch, or use a random one
- network engine, I'm not familiar wth these but get one at all cost, never do it on your own, most programmers find it a living hell, definitely I would not save on that one and bought the best one possible
- sound content creator and editor, you don't need it, buy a pack of royality free samples, these are quite affordable.

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Both programmer and an artist? Unusual indeed...

Anyway, the thing is, are you going to do it alone? You listed things like "physics engine" so it does not sound like a simple game.

If you are doing it all alone then the answer is choose whichever you like, I guess. But if you are doing it with other people then:
- 3D artists will use 3DSMax or Maya, any other options are totally unaceptable (Blender is terrible, plus no one uses it).
- 2D artists will use Photoshop, you simply won't be able to find good artists who use another software.
- programmers are rather easy to please so they could do with whatever, plus the cost of programmer's software is insignificant. Anyway, they will want to use Visual Studio (there is Express version which is free and they say it is not shabby at all).
- sound library, it is very easy to code so you could even do it from scratch, or use a random one
- network engine, I'm not familiar wth these but get one at all cost, never do it on your own, most programmers find it a living hell, definitely I would not save on that one and bought the best one possible
- sound content creator and editor, you don't need it, buy a pack of royality free samples, these are quite affordable.



Well, let's just say I've got a big interest with drawing and painting, and also for computers in general, so games were my best way to put the two things together =P.
I am doing it myself, but everything I've ever done until today wasn't this much complex, so I'm not trying to be fast doing this game, It'll be mainly a way to increase my knowledge about the topic, and the profits are only a secondary idea for when it's finished, I only mentioned it because I wouldn't like to finish the game and realize my licenses do not allow me to sell it.

the physics aren't sooooooooooo important, I just need some smooth movement for objects for things like car crashes, but no car deformation necessary, or ragdolls, like I said up there. It'll be more for the appearance of the game than for the functionality itself

thankyou for your reply ^^

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