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hello_derr

What game mechanics do I start coding first?

9 posts in this topic

I decided that I would try out a game engine. I downloaded Unity a few months ago and have been playing around with some scripts and creating simple scenes. Over the past couple of years I have had a game idea and I have been continually updating a design document with all of my ideas. What I want to ask you all is where do I begin with actually coding the game?

 

For some background on what I have done:

I have written a few scripts already. I want a third person camera for my game so I wrote one. I also have an animated model that I have written player movement scripts for. I am happy with the camera and movement so I want to move on and get into the game! But, I don't know where to begin. I have also created a simple day/night cycle in Unity.

 

How do you all start coding your games? What main mechanics do you try and start to code? I am really stuck and I really want to start making my idea a reality, I just do not know where to begin. 

 

Thanks for any help!


-Dan

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Whichever mechanic you want to target first in the game and something you genuinely find interested to implement. No matter how difficult the mechanic is, if you are genuinely interested in it, there is no stopping you not even its initial difficulty. At least that is how I approached it. Once you figured it out, it will pay off and feels rewarding. 

 

Rather than spend time worrying which mechanic to work on, just spend the time working on it and figuring out how to make it work.

 

When I started my arcade shooter, It only started with a ship that could move within the game window and shoot lasers. Later I evolved it by teaching myself and figuring out how to implement adding monsters, monster movement, collision detection and monster animation respectively and a health system for the ship

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I'd start from scratching everything on a piece of paper (as you apparently already did).

You talk about "the game" but I have no idea what this game is supposed to be. Is it a third-person shooter? A puzzle game? Platformer? Explain this idea you had.

Edited by Krohm
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Determine the feature the player will meet first when they start playing the game. Maybe login, menu, character creation, etc. If the player needs to login first before playing the game, then make it first. You may want the player to be able to create a character after logging in, so create the character creation after you finish the login stuff. After creating the character, what can the player do? And the process continues. :)

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If you have a list of the mechanics that you'd like to implement, you can always just sort the list by easiest to implement or by fun value. Make sure you hae considered any interdependencies and just start. Often I find it's good to start with easier task because it's easy to lose motivation when you can't see progress.
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I would say to start with the things that are going to be done first and are most important to getting the basic functionality going.

You've got movement and display down, so what is next in what the player would be doing in the game? Are their enemies to fight? If so, get them on the screen and get the player some way to attack. Nothing fancy, just something for the player to attack the enemy and get the interaction working. Once it's working, then you can spruce it up.

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Personally i'd implement the core mechanic(s) first (most games only have one or two of those), test and tweak it until it is fun in isolation and then build your game around those mechanics. (If the core isn't fun the game will most likely suck (unless the game is primarily driven by something other than gameplay, such as story)).

The core gameplay should always come before anything else. You must ask yourself what is absolutely necessary so that I can play this game. If after you have done this and the core gameplay is not fun then you know you have much more work to do before you can even start on gold plating anything else

 

Feature creep can be a dangerous thing early on!

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I think if you evalute your project closely, you should be able to determine what is best to start with.  Making a game is an iterative process.  It's not like you tackle the fighting system and then move on and never touch it again. You will visit and revisit that piece.  What is next for you?  What can you do that does not have any missing dependencies?  What are some of the biggest questions that need to be answered?  Some questions require experimentation to answer.  If that is the case, then start experimenting as soon as you can so that those questions can be answered.  Always try to find the shortest and clearest route to the destination you are trying to acheive.

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Try not to ask questions like these on forums. It's such a specific question that if you can't figure out the answer, it's not likely that a random dude on the other side of the world is going to give you a good answer. Also, part of the learning process is making your own decisions. There will be much tougher decisions to make when you actually start coding, so you might as well get used to it now.

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