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Tsohee

Engineer looking to expand into games.

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I would like to learn how to make games/programs. I plan to start small and increase complexity as my understanding develops. For example Pong>2d>3d. The time I spend progressing to understand a 3d game, I plan to experiment in 3d simultaneously by just jumping right so I will know what to expect before I get to that point.

 

I currently have no plan whatsoever to make any money with this. It will just be a hobby so program costs are a factor.

 

I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Associate in drafting and design.

I have experience in:

road, bridge, and land surveying

residential and small commercial building design

mechanical(primarily large industrial machinery, but also small engines and a lawnmower(once, fun stuff that was))

topography, maps, and elevations

art(non-computer based pastel, watercolor, charcoal, ect/with limited experience photoshop type software)

 

Programs(owned)-experience

 

Cad-10+ years, Can easily draw anything without trouble in 3d or 2d, motion studies, fea, renderings, flythrough, animations ect.

AutoCAD 2007

AutoCAD 2012(student version)

Autodesk Inventor(student version)

Catia(work)(example in attachment, not rendered)

Cadam(work)

Solidworks(favorite by far)

 

Visual Studio-College class experience, own book, and just playing around

 

-html college class experience

 

Can still get free versions of autodesk software(student versions)

 

Other resources:

Mom-more years of experience than I am old(25), knows more programming languages than I can remember, and has written plenty of programs. Lives 10 hours away, but with phones and internet receiving advanced help will be available.

3 high end computers

Lots of old computer programming books(most 10+ years old)

 

What I am looking for is a list of programs I will need, to know if any that I have are useful, a tutorial/example for a simple game like pong, and a exceptionally simple(as possible) tutorial/example of a 3d game.

 

[attachment=16028:untitled.bmp]

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The first decision you have to make is exactly what kind of starting point you wish.  There is a kind of divide (though like many things its more like a spectrum) between starting with a more traditional programming language (c++, java, even python or c#), or starting with one of the many game engines out there such as Game Maker or Unity.  Game Maker and Unity are radically different from each other but both are "engines" which are designed to allow you to make games much faster than you would be able to if you were starting off with c++ for example.

 

My advice would be two-fold:

  1. Many beginners feel like they have to make a decisions and stick with it forever.  This is as far from true as possible.  If I were you I would go right now and download something that seems interesting to you and start messing around with it.  For the most part, whatever you choose will have plenty of tutorials and resources available, and even commercial software will typically have a trial version.  If you find something you really like you may find that you might consider paying for it where you wouldn't have before.
  2. I think in the beginning the most important thing you can do is just dive into creation.  You will have plenty of time for thinking and planning out your path later.  For now what you want to figure out is what tools seem right for you, and start getting a handle on how those tools work.  While a lot of people here are very knowledgeable about one tool or another, you're the only one that can decide which one is right for you.

So here's my advice... go get the free trial of GameMaker right now and start messing around.  If, in two days, you hate it, or it just doesn't feel good to you, then drop it and try something else.

 

:)

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I second Plethora's excellent advice.

 

I wanted to add that with your art background you may find the following free programs useful:

 

GIMP

Inkscape

Blender

Synfig

 

GIMP is a great program for 2d raster artwork (although some prefer Paint.NET). Inkscape is a great tool for vector based artwork. Blender is good for a whole lot of stuff including creating 3D models for games. Synfig is a good vector animation package (and there is a plugin to export from Inkscape into Synfig.).

 

You might also like:

 

Shoebox

Pencil

 

Shoebox is good for working with sprite sheets and Pencil is good for prototyping GUIs.

 

Good luck!

Edited by shadowisadog

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I agree with Plethora. Start with a tool, it can be an object-oriented programming language or something else that you are familiar and comfortable with.

 

Once you have a solid understanding of the programming language, you can learn about GUI(how to create a window), Graphics(how to load/draw/move images on the screen, learning about graphics context, how to load/play a music and collision detection.

 

I agree with shadowisadog. GIMP is really good image editor-good for making transparent images.

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Thank you for the advice so far.

 

I have started learning C# and XNA. It is similar enough to the laguage I already knew.

 

Gimp is the photoshop program I was talking about erlier so I will use that since I am familier with it.

 

I have Installed the following to see what I like best:

UDK

Blender

Maya

Autodesk motion builder(I'm not sure what this is for but I figuered I would check it out)

3ds

 

Also, I was wondering if there is any way I could use solidworks to build solid models and mate them together as a character(robotic) using their mate system as a way to control the movement. Then, import the file over to animation software.

 

My next question is similar to the last but with objects and landscapes, but not as solid models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Go with C# since you can both use it with a library(XNA, MonoGames) to get to know the inner workings game dev and it is also compatible with Unity to get you a game quickly.

It gives you the best of both worlds

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Hi,

 

Well, for just a hobby, XNA, MonoGame, Blender, and Torque 3D are my suggestions to consider for you.  There are tons of no cost or low cost tools and art assets to compliment your own.  

 

By the way, profitable pro games have been made with each of these, too.  The communities are very helpful.  Garage Games offers a Torque 2D so you could work with that for a while and then go to Torque 3D.

 

I would recommend getting used to Collada instead of native animation in 3D programs.  Other data besides animation is included in the Collada system of import/export.  The only version of 3DS Max that I recommend is '09.  Both 3DS Max and Blender have Collada plug-ins. Maya is another very good graphics creation program, in fact I like it best.

 

Buy a Wacom or other digital art tablet for drawing and painting.  Get used to using a program such as GIMP combined with other programs like Inkscape to create art, graphical interfaces, and concept art.

 

Finding a comprehensive and relatively friendly workflow pipeline will be a first priority for you, using programs and software each stage of the line. Discovering early the export/import needs and choosing programs to satisfy them will be crucial for finishing your first game as soon as possible.

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Also, I was wondering if there is any way I could use solidworks to build solid models and mate them together as a character(robotic) using their mate system as a way to control the movement. Then, import the file over to animation software.

 

My next question is similar to the last but with objects and landscapes, but not as solid models.

 

This is potentially possible. It depends on what file export options that solidworks has. You could probably export in .obj format and then import into something like Blender. I am not sure about the mate system. Typically animation for 3d models is done using bones and I think you would likely be better off setting up the rig in a 3D animation package (like Blender, 3DS, Maya, ect).

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