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game of thought

Is this achieveable with my current skill set

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I have had an idea for a basic rts somewhat like an old game which name i cannot remember(it involved insects and scorpions).

My idea is that their are 2 sides, each with 3 identical units.
1: machine gun tank(eg panzer I or II)

2: self proppelled anti tank gun(eg panzerjager or stug)

3: anti tank infantryman (panzerfaust, LAW)

These counter each other as expected and cost the same, 1 resource. There are 2 buildings. Barracks, which produces aforementioned units, and helipad, which gains 100 resources a minute. From these numbers you can probably deduce the massive scale of these battles.

The gameplay will be in 2d, in a c&c like graphics(the original, tiberium dawn). And the style will probably future war with one side being east and the other west.

The platforms i am planning to write for will be windows and linux later on...

My knowledge is a year of playing around with c++ and some dabbling in allegro 4.2, however i am moving in to allegro 5 or perhaps xna and c#. I have no knowledge of a* so i will be studying that shortly after the basics of allegro 5.

Although one thing stands in my way, matches. Should i write ai for the enemy or have networking? Which is faster? Which one provides better results for said time gram for gram?

In addition, what else do you recommend learning for this undertaking?
If this is the incorrect forum please post this where you see fit

Thank you for your time.

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Tobl    364
Hello,

I think this would fit best under "General Programming". However I'm also mainly working here at "Creative", so the only thing I'm somewhat certain of is that this is most likely not where people will be able to help you.
If, on the other hand, you wanted to discuss your game-idea and -mechanics, you'd be more than welcome to do so right here in "Game Design".

bw,
Tobl

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Radikalizm    4807
I don't think the description you give of your project or of your skillset is enough for anyone to really judge on whether you are ready for such a project or not.

Some questions which could help you out here:
-Have you finished any game projects before? If so, what kind of games were they?
-What exactly did you learn in your year of working with C++? Did you have any other programming experience before starting with C++, and do you feel that you have a good understanding of the basic principles of the language?

[quote name='game of thought' timestamp='1349042548' post='4985505']
Although one thing stands in my way, matches. Should i write ai for the enemy or have networking? Which is faster? Which one provides better results for said time gram for gram?
[/quote]

What do you mean with 'Which is faster'? Network-based matches and local AI based matches are two different things, in this case you'll have to look at which features you want to support instead of which gives you 'better results' (whatever that means in this context).
I would assume though that a decent RTS would have local AI matches, so it might be a good idea to start off with that.

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hustlerinc    169
We can't possibly know if YOU can achieve this with YOUR skills. We have no idea what you learned during this year of playing around with C++.

There is however an easy way to find out for yourself if you can do it. Try to imagine the code needed for specific parts of the game.
For example what will the unit objects look like, how will they interact, how will you structure the map and all the buildings/trees/mountains, and so on.

If you can solve the code in your head there is a good chance you can do it when coding aswell.

But since you have to ask the question, my guess is no, you are not able to finish this. Start by making some small games and build your skills. Edited by hustlerinc

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In terms if my first year, it was just playing around with small concepts, not much of functions, classes or structures(struct), i did some of that but not in my game projects. I have created maybe 5 different games, all are text combat apart from one which is a simulation, all are in 32 bit console.

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Radikalizm    4807
[quote name='game of thought' timestamp='1349045780' post='4985523']
In terms if my first year, it was just playing around with small concepts, not much of functions, classes or structures(struct), i did some of that but not in my game projects. I have created maybe 5 different games, all are text combat apart from one which is a simulation, all are in 32 bit console.
[/quote]

So basically you know almost nothing about C++ judging from what you describe.

If you want to build this project from the ground up there will be a ton of concepts for you to learn, ranging from graphics to AI, to networking, etc.
If you really want to go with C++ I suggest you start to learn about what C++ really is and how to actually apply the concepts the language provides.
Learn how to properly use classes, learn what object-oriented programming really is (there's a lot more to it than just using classes, like a lot of people seem to think), learn how C++ allows you to use this together with other programming concepts, etc.

Apply these concepts in simple game projects and advance to things like graphics and AI later on when you know how to use your language.

Now, this is something which will take you a while, so if you're more intent on getting your project out there instead of learning the language and using it to build a game I'd suggest you use a program or engine which does all the 'lower-level' stuff for you so you can focus on gameplay. This could be something like unity, game maker, etc.

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Ok, however, i would like to learn a language as well. Is c# preferable to c++ in that it is 'easier' or quicker? I do not want to use a game making tool because i feel that if your not developing a real skill there is no point.

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Radikalizm    4807
[quote name='game of thought' timestamp='1349047143' post='4985536']
Ok, however, i would like to learn a language as well. Is c# preferable to c++ in that it is 'easier' or quicker? I do not want to use a game making tool because i feel that if your not developing a real skill there is no point.
[/quote]

It's hard to talk about one language being easier or quicker to learn as that's completely subjective, but I would definitely advise you to start with C# instead of C++.

C++ just isn't a beginner-friendly language, the possibilities to shoot yourself in the foot or even to blow your whole leg off (figure of speech) without you even realizing it are endless. A language like C# (or python, lua, java, and others for that matter) will teach you all the fundamental programming principles which you'll need as a base throughout your programming career while also providing a nice set of tools to work with without having to deal with the possible pitfalls which a language like C++ could pose.

You mentioned C# and XNA in your first post. This is a good starting point as there's a lot of documentation available with a large community behind it which you can turn to for help or to get started.

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Radikalizm    4807
[quote name='game of thought' timestamp='1349047765' post='4985543']
Wasnt it bjarne himself that said that 'in c its easy to shot yourself in the foot, in c++ its harder but when you do you blow your whole leg off' or something? Will look at c#
[/quote]

It could be that it was his quote, it's become a quite common saying and it describes C++ quite well imo :)

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DaveTroyer    1060
I don't know much about programming aside from the cold, hard fact that I'm not good at it, but I do know something about human nature.

If you need to ask if something is good enough; if something will scrape by, then it won't be good enough.

You want to create your RTS your way, right? Then it shouldn't matter if your skill set is "good enough". You'll learn new skills as you put the ones you have to work. If you want to see your idea become a reality, then do it. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/mellow.png[/img]

All I'm saying is if you have to ask, that means you haven't tried. If you haven't tried, it can't be done.

I'm not trying to be a downer; just don't second guess yourself and give it a go! If you spend so much time wonder if you can, you never will.

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alh420    5995
Also, I think its perfectly achievable (even without knowing much about your programming background), a clean design, not trying to cram in too much detail.

Learn a bit about drawing sprites, tilemaps, handling input and animations well, and beforementioned A* and you should be well on your way.

Hard to say about network/AI, they both have their different challenges, depends on what you yourself feel more comfortable with or desire most to learn more about.

Though, If you have no knowledge at all of any of the fields, networking is probably easier to pick up if you're not a math nerd.
limiting it to 2 player simplifies networking a lot.

(Then write an AI, and go coop agains it! ;) ) Edited by Olof Hedman

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Zouflain    548
I was able to make an RTS like the one you describe fairly easily with Game Maker, and learning it's scripting language GML was a good gateway to basic programming that eventually lead me to learn full C++. You have an interesting choice to make. If you go the C++ route, you will be learning to do a lot of things that are necessary and vital for games [i]under the surface[/i] but don't really make you think of a game. If you go the GML route (or just use the drag-n-drop interface) things will be much easier for you, and you'll find yourself making a [i]game[/i] rather than all the little things required to actually [i]have[/i] a game, as Game Maker handles all that for you. It's good to know all the under the surface stuff (graphics API's, sound API's, window libraries, GUI programming, game engines... you name it) but if your interest is solely in making a simple game, C++ might not be the best approach.

I would suggest C++ to anyone looking for a long term investment of time and energy in game development and or CS in general, and Game Maker to those only interested in making simple 2D games (it works for 3D, but it was originally meant for 2D and it shows). You can take Game Maker pretty far in the 2D world, and it's a good launch point. C++ is infinitely more powerful/portable, though. It's just a lot to deal with all at once.

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