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# How do I go about starting my idea?

## 17 posts in this topic

Hello all!

First off, I apologize if this is the completely wrong section to post in, new here, and this seemed most appropriate.

So Hello, I'm Niall, most people call me Webbie/Webb and the short is, I'm going to go into a Game Technology course in University, that's a year away for me, and what I want to do before then is to get some initial experience in making games and have a few completed projects up my sleeve. Not necessarily full fledged games. But projects/games which have a games features such as objectives, rewards and so forth.

But I have a few questions and perhaps you lovely people can help me.

So first, I only know one language and i'm still learning via an AS Computing course and that is .NET, Do you reckon it's feasible to make a game in this? I've looked at it and seen potential but I feel like there may be some complications.

Secondly, How do I keep myself motivated? I've attempted this in the past and got somewhere then given up because I feel like if it saw the light of day everyone would think my idea/game is crap! What are your tips? How can I keep flowing and positive about what i'm doing?

For context on what my first project is, I want it to be resource management orientated, but not complex, best example I can think of is http://clickingbad.nullism.com/ I want something similar but to run in a client window, to have graphics and so forth. The theme of it however, i'm bordering on space mining so I can have fictional materials.

I feel like now is the time to do this. I've got a free week next week so lots of spare time to really get this started and it could be beneficial, and i'm taking whatever you can give guys, answers, suggestions, methods, your own experiences. Anything you really feel could help me i'm willing to listen.

Looking forward to responses and spending a lot of time here!

(Also once again sorry if this is the wrong place and such, point me in the right direction if it is!)

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So first, I only know one language and i'm still learning via an AS Computing course and that is .NET, Do you reckon it's feasible to make a game in this? I've looked at it and seen potential but I feel like there may be some complications.

Yes, it's feasible and common enough. I'm going to go out on a limb, since I don't have a very precise idea of your programming abilities, but based on what you shared I think that the complications of a given language in the context of programming games (or mini-games, game demos, whatever) are way beyond anything you might realistically produce at this point. For all intents and purposes, whatever .NET language you're using will be extremely similar to any other language you might choose.

Secondly, How do I keep myself motivated? I've attempted this in the past and got somewhere then given up because I feel like if it saw the light of day everyone would think my idea/game is crap! What are your tips? How can I keep flowing and positive about what i'm doing?

Choose small projects that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time. For example, make a functional copy of the initial screen of the Clicking Bad game you linked to. So, the player can cook or sell, with a counter tracking cash on hand. Once that's working you can add other features if you want, or move on to a different project.

Nothing is as motivating to a beginner (at least in my own case) as a successfully implemented feature, and nothing as de-motivating as a lot of work with nothing to demonstrate yet. A small, crappy game that is nevertheless complete and functional is far better than a bigger game that is only 1/4 done. A common theme here among newcomers (and this describes me as well) is that they choose a project which is too large and complicated for their skill level, toil away at it, and give up.

A big thing to remember is that you can reuse game features, ideas, and code from your projects as often as you want. So even if you're not totally happy with your first game, you can extract the pieces you like for another project, and you'll be that much closer to finished right from the start. You can (and will) also remove pieces of games you make because they are too complicated, don't work as you intended, aren't fun, and any number of other reasons.

In the same way that your handwriting might have been bad when you first learned to do it, your first game will probably not be stellar. But you won't improve your programming or game design skills unless you apply them, make mistakes, and learn from what you've done.

If you have more or more specific questions, always feel free to post back here. This is a friendly and accommodating community, and lots of people here would be happy to help with any issues, no matter how general or specific.

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Starting with small games and completing them is a very good motivater.  Starting off, stay simple.  Until you get used to how to make a game itself, stay away from graphics.  Graphics is a whole new school of learning.  I usually start off a new game ideas by building all of the functional code for the game and have all the output done in text.  Then I add the graphics.

Here is a simple idea.  Paper - Rock - Scissors.  Very simple with some decisions to figure results.

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I view it like this: With no games made, I will not be taken seriously as a game developer. With a bad one made, I will be taken semi-seriously. With a good game made, I will be taken pretty seriously. This motivates me, and this advice could potentially work for you because it says that even a bad game is better than no game at all.

For your game ideas, there is a Game Design section here where you can get feedback on them. Being an active member here can be beneficial because you often get valuable feedback and advice. However, you also have to be careful that you don't get so caught up in the forum, that you have little time to make a game, as well.
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I view it like this: With no games made, I will not be taken seriously as a game developer. With a bad one made, I will be taken semi-seriously. With a good game made, I will be taken pretty seriously. This motivates me, and this advice could potentially work for you because it says that even a bad game is better than no game at all.

Nice one, here.

Never thought about it this way; it's surely true.

I, myself, think that finishing a game actually does a great deal of difference on self-confidence. That's what I believe. It will actually save you from the fears of trying different things and doing something. As someone once said, the only thing you should fear, is fear itself.

Also, if you get past the initial learning phase, where most people jump off the wagon, you'll surely do well; give yourself time to learn.

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The best thing to do is to break the problem (the game) down into chunks.  One of the hardest things I found doing personal projects is finding a place to start but with some thought I was able to overcome this issue.  Keep in mind there is much you do not know yet so the best thing to do is to start with what you know how to do.  If you do not know much about graphics you should start with the subsystems that do not revolve around graphics like a sound player, or some of the game objects like various objects to represent your resources and such.  This will get you over the getting started hump.

Once you get over that hump you begin to feel more productive and you start to see things fall in place at which point you should be learning about the graphics api you want to use.  For example XNA or SDL.Net or whatever.  This helps keep motivation going and before you know it you have a completed project.  The worst part is starting so you just have to start :D

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You've all been very helpful and as soon as I got home and read your tips I started on my idea, it's fairly basic, but it's a definite good start.

Choose small projects that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time. For example, make a functional copy of the initial screen of the Clicking Bad game you linked to. So, the player can cook or sell, with a counter tracking cash on hand. Once that's working you can add other features if you want, or move on to a different project.

I've taken your advice and i'm basically using .NET to make a game where you mine and then sell rocks, however I have encountered an Issue in trying to find a way to stop the rocks from below 0, I have managed to stop the cash, so it's not exploitable however (Cash is still increasing when selling non-existent rocks which showed me, hah) you're losing rocks you don't have. I'm need help with a method or if anyone knows a specific function that would be appreciated, again guys thanks for helping, I definitely feel motivated.

Edited by Webbie27
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You've all been very helpful and as soon as I got home and read your tips I started on my idea, it's fairly basic, but it's a definite good start.

Choose small projects that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time. For example, make a functional copy of the initial screen of the Clicking Bad game you linked to. So, the player can cook or sell, with a counter tracking cash on hand. Once that's working you can add other features if you want, or move on to a different project.

I've taken your advice and i'm basically using .NET to make a game where you mine and then sell rocks, however I have encountered an Issue in trying to find a way to stop the rocks from below 0, I have managed to stop the cash, so it's not exploitable however you're losing rocks you don't have. I'm need help with a method or if anyone knows a specific function that would be appreciated, again guys thanks for helping, I definitely feel motivated.

Sounds like you need to just wrap the logic in a if rocks > 0. If that doesn't immediately sound like a solution, posting your code will let us have a look.

Edited by CoreLactose
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So I thought I'd screen-cap to best show what's going on here.

For reference:
RocksHeld (current number of rocks)
ObtRocks (Rocks Obtained from a click)

Same for cash.

Sorry if code is messy, still learning!

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ObtCash = 5
ObtRocks = 1

If RocksHeld >= ObtRocks Then
CashHeld = CashHeld + ObtCash
RocksHeld = RocksHeld - ObtRocks
lblROCKS.Text = +CStr(RocksHeld)
lblCASH.Text = +Cstr(CashHeld)
End If


Something like that? (Edited with improved answer)

This would replace all the stuff in your btnSELL_Click function.

Edited by CoreLactose
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ObtCash = 5
ObtRocks = 1

If RocksHeld >= ObtRocks Then
CashHeld = CashHeld + ObtCash
RocksHeld = RocksHeld - ObtRocks
lblROCKS.Text = +CStr(RocksHeld)
lblCASH.Text = +Cstr(CashHeld)
End If


Something like that? (Edited with improved answer)

This would replace all the stuff in your btnSELL_Click function.

That is perfect my man! Thank you very much. Looking at it I see how that makes sense haha, cheers!

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I noticed that your "btnMINE Click" variable did not have an underscore, as opposed to your "btnSELL_Click". Thought I'd just mention it.

Edited by Malabyte
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I noticed that your "btnMINE Click" variable did not have an underscore, as opposed to your "btnSELL_Click". Thought I'd just mention it.

I think that's just an artifact in the posted screenshot. Several horizontal lines seem to just be missing (several equals signs look like minus signs, and some letters have parts missing, for example).

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I noticed that your "btnMINE Click" variable did not have an underscore, as opposed to your "btnSELL_Click". Thought I'd just mention it.

I think that's just an artifact in the posted screenshot. Several horizontal lines seem to just be missing (several equals signs look like minus signs, and some letters have parts missing, for example).

Most Likely the reason, I checked it and it is there, anyway, new situation now. It's probably simple to you guys! But my idea now is that once an item has been purchased, the button hides, so that it cannot be purchased again.

Any techniques to this? My current idea doesn't seem to be working haha.

If UPG1 = True Then
End If


UPG1 is a Boolean statement of whether the Upgrade has been purchased.

The error I get is:

Error 1 Expression is a value and therefore cannot be the target of an assignment.

Edited by Webbie27
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If UPG1 == True?

I don't know the language syntax, but double equals is very often used for equality checks, while single equals is used for assignment.

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If UPG1 == True?

I don't know the language syntax, but double equals is very often used for equality checks, while single equals is used for assignment.

Unfortunately this didn't work, it's saying the error itself is with the btnBuyUPG1.Hide statement.

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Some quick googling seems to indicate that Hide is a function, and Visible is the variable.

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Well this is weird, I tried the Visible function earlier and it didn't work, however now it is, strange, must of had a syntax error somewhere, but it works fine now thank you! I am slowly but surely making progress and it feels great!

Once I've added in a few more upgrades to flesh it out, I need to add in a per second mining/selling system, then upgrades for that.

Edited by Webbie27
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