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Game Designer in the Making... [Help!]

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Hello GameDev,

I have to start off by saying hello to everyone and I'm excited to start my experience here at GameDev while attending school at Full Sail University. We just began class on April 30 and have a long road ahead of us. Well to start off I want to make sure I'm going down the correct road as far as Game Design goes. I wanted to start off with a few questions that I'm hoping I could get answered from this awesome community. So let's get started...
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[*]What are great engines I can use with my brand new Macbook Pro? I want to be able to use XCode unless there is some other IDE out there that is a lot better. I also want to make my game for multiple platforms and not just Windows or Mac alone so keep that in mind. I have a Intel Core i7 2.4GHz Quad Processor and Radeon HD 6770HD 1GB GDDR5 and 4GB DDR3 RAM. I really don't know programming and I want to at least experience it and figure out the basics. I know later on throughout our school we will experience the basics but not really hands on so any advice in this area would be awesome. I want to make a game similar to Phantasy Star Online and the new PSO2 that is currently in development.
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[*]I have the id Tech 4 Engine Source Code that John Carmack released awhile back and thought about heavily modding the engine into my own just like others have done such as Infinity Ward and Valve. It really is such a great engine and could be a great start to my own game engine but I know this is going to involve getting a lot of help from experienced engine developers to even start working on this subject. I guess my question for this topic is would it be a good start for game development and how well will it work with platforms such as Mac, iOS, and Android? I'm not saying my game is going to be made for all these platforms but I just want to know how much flexibility I have when it comes to game engines.
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[*]Our school never gave us any great software for game development so currently I only have Blender, Gimp/Photoshop, and XCode currently installed on my system. Any advice on other pieces of software I could use? I prefer to develop on my Mac platform for the time being.
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[*]Online multiplayer MMO style networking similar to PSO is what I will be looking at where all players will be able to communicate with one another is some fashion but when a lobby/room is created, it is very limited to anywhere from 4-6 players. Any ideas on this subject? Would I be able to implement something like this into id Tech 4 or other game engines? This is very important to me as this will be a huge part of my game.
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[*]Last but not least, any feedback about my questions would really be helpful as at this stage in school I barely know what I'm doing. I know the basics of game development but actually carving everything out is why I'm currently in school in the first place so please let me know what you think.
[/list] Edited by Kevo

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[quote name='Kevo' timestamp='1335923818' post='4936627']
I'm excited to start my experience here at GameDev while attending school at Full Sail University. We just began class on April 30 and have a long road ahead of us. Well to start off I want to make sure I'm going down the correct road as far as Game Design goes.[/quote]

So you started class yesterday and they haven't taught you anything yet? Wow, how long is this going to take? [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png[/img]
Sorry. What I'm trying to say is, why not go through the rest of the week, see what kind of stuff they start you on -- and talk to your teachers, ask them what they'll have you work with. You probably shouldn't start learning something else in addition to the stuff they're going to start teaching you any minute now. I understand they're going to work your butt off. Just not the first day or two, apparently.

[size=2]BTW, one of the things they'll probably teach you is that programming isn't the same thing as game design.[/size]

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1335926877' post='4936647']
[quote name='Kevo' timestamp='1335923818' post='4936627']
I'm excited to start my experience here at GameDev while attending school at Full Sail University. We just began class on April 30 and have a long road ahead of us. Well to start off I want to make sure I'm going down the correct road as far as Game Design goes.[/quote]

So you started class yesterday and they haven't taught you anything yet? Wow, how long is this going to take? [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png[/img]
Sorry. What I'm trying to say is, why not go through the rest of the week, see what kind of stuff they start you on -- and talk to your teachers, ask them what they'll have you work with. You probably shouldn't start learning something else in addition to the stuff they're going to start teaching you any minute now. I understand they're going to work your butt off. Just not the first day or two, apparently.

[size=2]BTW, one of the things they'll probably teach you is that programming isn't the same thing as game design.[/size]
[/quote]

I agree. I do not plan on working on side projects other then school, I'm just seeing what I have available to me that would fit my needs as far as my final project for school goes. I'm familar with what they are going to teach us with Unity3D and other software but I just want to know my best options. I'm pretty good at multi-tasking and pretty sure I could learn a few things while attending school on the side. I just need some help going in the right direction.

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[quote name='Kevo' timestamp='1335927224' post='4936650']
. I'm pretty good at multi-tasking and pretty sure I could learn a few things while attending school on the side. I just need some help going in the right direction.
[/quote]

I recommend you talk to the faculty at your new school. I'm sure they'll have some suggestions. But I should probably shut up now and go away.

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[quote name='www.gamegugu.com' timestamp='1336034380' post='4937023']
hi, you can try our game engine and modeling tool, you can visit our website to get more information. good luck!
[/quote]

Not bad I took a look into it but I'm not looking to spend money at this time. Any other ideas would be great.

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[quote name='Kevo' timestamp='1335923818' post='4936627']
Last but not least, any feedback about my questions would really be helpful as at this stage in school I barely know what I'm doing. I know the basics of game development but actually carving everything out is why I'm currently in school in the first place so please let me know what you think.
[/quote]
This is more related to you going into school: Don't get too far ahead of yourself. I made that mistake and it made school very difficult for me. When i saw that my next semester i was taking "C++" or "Java" I went ahead and learned a lot of that language only to get into the class and found out that I had been doing a few things wrong. Each teacher has a different way of teaching programming and that's something you should really be aware of. Looking at syntax of a language to compare to what you know about other languages already is one thing, but full on "I'm making -insert project here- and its huge" is a little much. :P

Also on the note of the game engine, do you really wanna jump that far ahead? I've been into programming (in school and out) for years now and I haven't even touched a game engine yet. Just because I don't wanna get in over my head. Currently I'm going over C++ to get a very full experience of the language so I can use it for gamedev/employment. Now mind you, if a game engine isn't as bad as I'm thinking then it shouldn't be bad, but given that you don't have that much experience with programming I would say stick with more basics as you stated. :P When it comes to game engines I would ask your teachers and staff at the school as Tom Sloper said. (Congrats by the way! I almost went there myself)

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