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Sixoul

Not sure where to start.

9 posts in this topic

Hi. I started a club at my college for video game programming and it seems like quite a few people are interested but they all don't have much experience programming. My friend and I have some decent experience but we both don't feel too confident enough to say we 100% know what we're doing.

 

I was wondering if there are any suggestions on where to start. Should we make something in C++, Java, C#, HTML5, or something. Should we start from scratch or should we find a free or open source engine? If we do use an engine which one is good for beginners? I want us to focus on making the games and not getting images, sprites, sound, etc. working properly. Since I'm not sure on the skills of the people joining I'm not sure what to do for the project.

 

Even though my friend and I have taken a lot of classes at the college for programming they don't really do anything for us when it comes to video game development or even normal program development. None of the classes have touched on libraries or how to make a window except the visual basic class. So I'm not sure I know the starting place.

Edited by Sixoul
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 I want us to focus on making the games and not getting images, sprites, sound, etc. working properly. Since I'm not sure on the skills of the people joining I'm not sure what to do for the project.

 

Hearing that I feel that writing your own engine is not what your are looking for, but instead want to get started with the functionality of the game right away.

So you probably should search for Engines that are not too complex. Unity is probably the most known right now but I personally have never worked with it.

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Do you have any experience with other engines? I'm willing to get everyone to pick up unity. I myself have stayed away from it because I heard that the tutorials or documentation is generally just holds your hand through everything and doesn't really teach you what you need to know or something along those lines.

 

Does anyone know how Unity is for 2D projects? I remember getting an email about them adding dedicated 2D tools but I don't know when those will be released.

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I've learned a lot from BASIC-type languages and so can you, especially when the language comes tied together with a game engine and leaves you only with the worry of coding your game functionality, not its technical features (which would be loading several image formats, creating display contexts etc.).

I would recommend languages that deal with that philosophy.

 

You can find a demo or trial versions of everything I listed here, so you can use these for you club:

  • BlitzPlus (2D only, is now available for free even for commercial uses.)
  • Blitz3D (It's a several years old language and engine, but its educational value is perpetuous.)
  • BlitzMax (Most modern of the three with an advanced module system, and includes OOP aspects.)

You can find out more about the above products here (http://blitzbasic.com/Products/_index_.php). They have a community with tons of examples and archived material for learning, including tutorials.

The three above are more recent languages and, with the exception of Nuclear, feature cross-platform support, supporting even some obscure platforms such as GP2X (in the case of GLBasic).

Edited by Kryzon
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You could give the Blender Game Engine a try; I did a series of video tutorials that cover simple, and not so simple systems.

 

Although, I should note: Every engine comes with its own set of concepts, and a kind of general idea about how games should work. So, while it can be very helpful when you're just starting out, it might actually prove to be an obstacle later on, because you might want to make the objects talk to each other in a specific way, which doesn't align with how the system functions.

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Should we make something in C++, Java, C#, HTML5, or something.

 

This should be determined by languages already known to speed up the process. If a lot of members know C++ or Java, run with one of those languages. Group up based on languages if there is a decent variety.

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I've learned a lot from BASIC-type languages and so can you, especially when the language comes tied together with a game engine and leaves you only with the worry of coding your game functionality, not its technical features (which would be loading several image formats, creating display contexts etc.).

I would recommend languages that deal with that philosophy.

 

I to use the Blitz Products.  Their simplicity allows as a Gamer first, to focus on designing the game.  No need to compile each time you want to test newly added code.

Graphics and animation is Extremely Easy  in BlitzPlus,  All of the versions mention come with a manual which is accessed from within the IDE.  Sample artwork,  Sample games.

 

For someone starting out, these products are a good plattform and I am finally glad to see someone else reccommend them.

 

Everytime I do, Someone who is in Love with C++ gives me a Negative Vote (-).  I hope that does not happen here.

 

An opinion on what language to use is just an opinion, and is based on personal experience.  If you disagree, state your opinion and why, Do Not Down Vote someone for an opinion,  Save that Function for For Bad Code or Mis-information.

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Hi,

 

 

Obviously your group of people needs to have a leader of the group organize an assessment of experience and interests.  For example, you might be surprised to find somebody in the group who is good at 2D graphics such as using GIMP.   Such a person can always find a role in a group of people getting into game development.   Another person might have some experience with coding vector graphics which can be used for making game objects or interfaces.  Probably several people in the group have skills in coding with one of the languages that are common in game development. Here is where assessment is critical before being able to make the strategic decisions ahead of any tactical efforts.

 

Someone should take the responsibility of coordinating the information about both the goals of the group and the capabilities of the individuals.  It is possible to pursue a two pronged approach to game development where one team handles basic game functionality and the other team creates the end-user features such as art assets, GUI, score board, and so forth.

 

Only after you make a detailed assessment of the club's talents, skills, and amount of time available to each person will you be ready to decide on game engine or to make a vector graphics 2D game from scratch. 

 

1) Assessment

2) Organization

3) Establish roles

4) Game development strategy (game engine or 2D vector graphics game?)

5) Task grouping

 

Someone needs to be the main person who handles version control (source control) and decide on everyone using the same system so you can all help one another expediently.

 

More is to be learned and accomplished if you all work on the same game source code.  Each person going willy-nilly doing their own game gets very mixed results and will not teach good standard game development practices as well as would be the case if you work as a team. Added advantage of proof-reading of one another's coding will greatly accelerate the synergy, learning included, if you hone effective teamwork.  This will be huge for your school and your members if you organize it well.

 

 

Clinton

Edited by 3Ddreamer
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If possible, figure out who's good at what and try to make the most experienced person in the group the leader and then you all can work on the game with him coordinating it. Projects tend to run best when the Project Manager has experience.

If all of you are new, you might have to run the project and be the Project Manager.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management
http://unity3d.com/
https://www.scirra.com/
http://www.yoyogames.com/studio
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