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Creating an Open World game

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Hello, I'm new to game creating and my biggest dream would be to create an open world modern shooter game. For a bieginner, I understand it's extremely hard. But I want to know which engine is best for open world, which language fits best? And is it even possible to create this kind of game on my own? Thanks in addvance. :)

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I smiled when i saw this question :). I understand exactly what you mean as i am a beginner too and i have the same dream but not fps open world(don't really like'em).
Which language will fit best: C++. I know some replies might say otherwise but for me it's not. C++ is not hard, at least to me (the basics, which i'm learning as a first language). It's interesting and i like it. If you are planning on creating anything close to gta or assasin creed or COD (which i plan on) then c++ is the way (opinions might differ.
Which engine: If it's for windows pc (maybe others), then torque3d but torque uses a really slow scripting language but it's open source so you can tweak it (maybe) and if i were to advice on scripting languages, i would say LUA.
The only engine i know of that uses c++ and lua is cryengine but it has its problems.
I chose lua and c++ because of speed (matters to me). If you plan on taking my advice on learning c++ as a first language, search google for c++ beginner tutorial pdf and if you have money, buy books. (C++ is really symbolly):/

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Depending on how determined and experienced (in c++ and game creation) you are, from my point of view it's possible to create it. Could take up to 3 years, less or more depending on how you want it to be and how you work on it. (opinions might differ). My advice: Clone every game you've played most especially the bad ones and make it better starting from pong (i don't know the game but that's the first game they say you should create on this forum and on the net). When you're done with the cloned better versions, then you're ready.

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I would recommend starting with Unity3d. It's a great engine, and I personally think its awesome. Making an open world game is not easy: it's usually best to start small. However, if you do want to make that open world game, I would recommend breaking it into very small manageable pieces (like starting off with building just the shooter interface, or something along those lines). Best of luck!

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I smiled when i saw this question smile.png. I understand exactly what you mean as i am a beginner too and i have the same dream but not fps open world(don't really like'em).
Which language will fit best: C++. I know some replies might say otherwise but for me it's not. C++ is not hard, at least to me (the basics, which i'm learning as a first language). It's interesting and i like it. If you are planning on creating anything close to gta or assasin creed or COD (which i plan on) then c++ is the way (opinions might differ.
Which engine: If it's for windows pc (maybe others), then torque3d but torque uses a really slow scripting language but it's open source so you can tweak it (maybe) and if i were to advice on scripting languages, i would say LUA.
The only engine i know of that uses c++ and lua is cryengine but it has its problems.
I chose lua and c++ because of speed (matters to me). If you plan on taking my advice on learning c++ as a first language, search google for c++ beginner tutorial pdf and if you have money, buy books. (C++ is really symbolly):/

You do know that COD and assasin creed are AAA games created by studios (hunderds of very experienced people)?

 

Beginners already often have a surreal look on games.

Your post makes it look like it's easy (or even doable) for 1 person to achieve something like this.

 

I'm not saying indies can't make great games, nor that extremely talented people couldn't create something close to AAA.

I'm just saying, you should stay realistic.

 

Next, there is no best language.

C++ is a choice, not THE only choice (ofcource if you want in the business, then you should know it)

As a beginner you shouldn't really look at what is the fastest.

Being able to take advantage of the actual speed, already takes an experienced programmer.

Do note: I'm not saying you're wrong in any way.
I'm prefer C++ myself.

Edited by axel1994

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I smiled when i saw this question :). I understand exactly what you mean as i am a beginner too and i have the same dream but not fps open world(don't really like'em).
Which language will fit best: C++. I know some replies might say otherwise but for me it's not. C++ is not hard, at least to me (the basics, which i'm learning as a first language). It's interesting and i like it. If you are planning on creating anything close to gta or assasin creed or COD (which i plan on) then c++ is the way (opinions might differ.
Which engine: If it's for windows pc (maybe others), then torque3d but torque uses a really slow scripting language but it's open source so you can tweak it (maybe) and if i were to advice on scripting languages, i would say LUA.
The only engine i know of that uses c++ and lua is cryengine but it has its problems.
I chose lua and c++ because of speed (matters to me). If you plan on taking my advice on learning c++ as a first language, search google for c++ beginner tutorial pdf and if you have money, buy books. (C++ is really symbolly):/

You do know that COD and assasin creed are AAA games created by studios (hunderds of very experienced people)?
 
Beginners already often have a surreal look on games.
Your post makes it look like it's easy (or even doable) for 1 person to achieve something like this.
 
I'm not saying indies can't make great games, nor that extremely talented people couldn't create something close to AAA.
I'm just saying, you should stay realistic.
 
Next, there is no best language.
C++ is a choice, not THE only choice (ofcource if you want in the business, then you should know it)
As a beginner you shouldn't really look at what is the fastest.
Being able to take advantage of the actual speed, already takes an experienced programmer.
Do note: I'm not saying you're wrong in any way.
I'm prefer C++ myself.
It's doable, not in anyway easy but doable. Got the c++ code for a tic tac toe console game and it has 361 lines of code (comments included). So for an AAA game like gta, it'll probably be more than a million lines of c++ code. So it's doable (maybe not up to AAA level) but definitely not easy.

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I smiled when i saw this question :). I understand exactly what you mean as i am a beginner too and i have the same dream but not fps open world(don't really like'em).
Which language will fit best: C++. I know some replies might say otherwise but for me it's not. C++ is not hard, at least to me (the basics, which i'm learning as a first language). It's interesting and i like it. If you are planning on creating anything close to gta or assasin creed or COD (which i plan on) then c++ is the way (opinions might differ.
Which engine: If it's for windows pc (maybe others), then torque3d but torque uses a really slow scripting language but it's open source so you can tweak it (maybe) and if i were to advice on scripting languages, i would say LUA.
The only engine i know of that uses c++ and lua is cryengine but it has its problems.
I chose lua and c++ because of speed (matters to me). If you plan on taking my advice on learning c++ as a first language, search google for c++ beginner tutorial pdf and if you have money, buy books. (C++ is really symbolly):/

 
While I normally don't speak much on this matter, but I felt compelled. His question made you smile and your reply made me laugh. "Which language will fit best:" C, C++, C#, Java, etc. and there are FPS games written in numerous languages. "C++ is not hard" tells me that you haven't learned that much of it as C++ is one of the hardest languages to learn, even its creator says so (and he made it!). Torque 3D? Are you serious? Torque's scripting language is based off C# and C# is Microsoft's answer to Java. UDK is more widely used, free, and used for a lot of commercial and indie games from different genres. Scripting would be Ruby, Python, or Lua (also it's creator really HATES when people call it LUA as that is for something entirely different). You can learn whatever language and scripting language you want, but to be honest speed only plays a factor on old machines, consoles, and handhelds because newer computers have hardware that is fast enough to make the speed difference unnoticeable.

I smiled when i saw this question :). I understand exactly what you mean as i am a beginner too and i have the same dream but not fps open world(don't really like'em).
Which language will fit best: C++. I know some replies might say otherwise but for me it's not. C++ is not hard, at least to me (the basics, which i'm learning as a first language). It's interesting and i like it. If you are planning on creating anything close to gta or assasin creed or COD (which i plan on) then c++ is the way (opinions might differ.
Which engine: If it's for windows pc (maybe others), then torque3d but torque uses a really slow scripting language but it's open source so you can tweak it (maybe) and if i were to advice on scripting languages, i would say LUA.
The only engine i know of that uses c++ and lua is cryengine but it has its problems.
I chose lua and c++ because of speed (matters to me). If you plan on taking my advice on learning c++ as a first language, search google for c++ beginner tutorial pdf and if you have money, buy books. (C++ is really symbolly):/

 
While I normally don't speak much on this matter, but I felt compelled. His question made you smile and your reply made me laugh. "Which language will fit best:" C, C++, C#, Java, etc. and there are FPS games written in numerous languages. "C++ is not hard" tells me that you haven't learned that much of it as C++ is one of the hardest languages to learn, even its creator says so (and he made it!). Torque 3D? Are you serious? Torque's scripting language is based off C# and C# is Microsoft's answer to Java. UDK is more widely used, free, and used for a lot of commercial and indie games from different genres. Scripting would be Ruby, Python, or Lua (also it's creator really HATES when people call it LUA as that is for something entirely different). You can learn whatever language and scripting language you want, but to be honest speed only plays a factor on old machines, consoles, and handhelds because newer computers have hardware that is fast enough to make the speed difference unnoticeable.
Did you read what was in the parentheses. I said basics not intermediate, basic c++. When i reach intermediate level, i know what to do.
I called it LUA not Lua for emphasis. Did you think this is the first forum i've seen that.
Torque uses torquescript and even people on their forum (which i'm a part of) say it's slow, slower than .NET and C#. UDK would be the better choice as it has clearly stated licensing agreement than cryengine.
As for speed, that's for me. Do you use Torque3d?

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Yes, I know you said basics, and your reply screams this fact as once a C++ programmer gets more experienced they realize just how difficult the language as a whole is and why everyone recommends learning a different language first. As for emphasis, doing all caps is the internet equivalent of YELLING, and doing LUA is not the same as Lua. If you want emphasis on the name this forum has a wonderful bold, italics, and underline options (as most forums do) to achieve emphasis on Lua. As for Torque3d, nope, I stopped messing with Torque after college where we used Torque2D (called Torque Game Builder at that time) and Torque Game Engine and Torque Game Engine Advanced. Shortly after college I swore off Windows and use purely Linux (which I've used for about the same time I have been programming). The college after I graduated went from Torque to UDK themselves. 

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Yes, I know you said basics, and your reply screams this fact as once a C++ programmer gets more experienced they realize just how difficult the language as a whole is and why everyone recommends learning a different language first. As for emphasis, doing all caps is the internet equivalent of YELLING, and doing LUA is not the same as Lua. If you want emphasis on the name this forum has a wonderful bold, italics, and underline options (as most forums do) to achieve emphasis on Lua. As for Torque3d, nope, I stopped messing with Torque after college where we used Torque2D (called Torque Game Builder at that time) and Torque Game Engine and Torque Game Engine Advanced. Shortly after college I swore off Windows and use purely Linux (which I've used for about the same time I have been programming). The college after I graduated went from Torque to UDK themselves.

So how would you know how fast torquescript is. Did you know it's now opensource. UDK on linux :-/? Anyways, i wouldn't know anything about that since i don't use linux, windows guy.

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The Torque engines have always used Torquescript. TGB, TGE, TGEA, and T3D all use TS. TS was developed for the first one and isn't anything new. We even had to use Torsion editor that was designed to make making Torque games easier. I don't use UDK on Linux as UDK is Windows only I believe, but it was nice when I did use it. I don't use engines or tools like that in Linux, as I feel less of a thrill using tools like that or Game Maker and prefer the nitty gritty part of doing the code and everything by hand.

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The Torque engines have always used Torquescript. TGB, TGE, TGEA, and T3D all use TS. TS was developed for the first one and isn't anything new. We even had to use Torsion editor that was designed to make making Torque games easier. I don't use UDK on Linux as UDK is Windows only I believe, but it was nice when I did use it. I don't use engines or tools like that in Linux, as I feel less of a thrill using tools like that or Game Maker and prefer the nitty gritty part of doing the code and everything by hand.

The Torque engines have always used Torquescript. TGB, TGE, TGEA, and T3D all use TS. TS was developed for the first one and isn't anything new. We even had to use Torsion editor that was designed to make making Torque games easier. I don't use UDK on Linux as UDK is Windows only I believe, but it was nice when I did use it. I don't use engines or tools like that in Linux, as I feel less of a thrill using tools like that or Game Maker and prefer the nitty gritty part of doing the code and everything by hand.

An almost AAA style game will probably be 2x harder for you.

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I'm an indie developer. Most indies don't care about making AAA style games. I can't speak for all of them, but I do this because I love video games and I love making them. If I wanted to make AAA games I would be using Windows and trying to make 360 Indie Marketplace games. Also, the only reason a AAA game has the style they do is because of the dedicated teams of artists, programmers, sound engineers, etc. that work together to make them. Look at how Mortal Kombat or Final Fantasy has changed through the years for evidence of this. The first MK was made with like 4 or 5 people and now MK9 was made with a huge team. It is the talent, dedication, and determination that dictates how a game will look. The team size (assuming they are focused) just makes it possible to implement things quicker so that you can try more things in the game and make it larger than what a smaller team could do.

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As long as he studies and practices a lot before starting the "big" project, I am sure he can pull it off if he stays realistic.

 

An intermediate to experienced game programmer who was put together some smaller games first, can probably put together something equivalent to GTA 3, technology wise. And it doesn't need anything close to 1 million lines of code. This can be done over the course of a few months if the programmer manages to stay focused and productive through this time.

 

The problem is that then you have all the technology, which already took at least 3 to 6 months to make, but no assets, which isn't a trivial matter in a open-world game. Then, a game like GTA 3 is very basic in what comes to physics and rendering, which cuts down development time quite a huge deal, instead of going for objectives like GTA 4 and more recent.

 

Still using the GTA 3 example, and summing it up, I would say that one person can achieve a open world like the one in this game, down to a smaller scale in every aspect, as long as this person can model and program quite efficiently, has at least 3 months to focus on this full time or at least some valuable help from a team. And here I am assuming some free models would be put ingame for the sake of completing it as fast as possible..

 

So, its doable, but not trivial, especially not for a begginer.

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As long as he studies and practices a lot before starting the "big" project, I am sure he can pull it off if he stays realistic.

An intermediate to experienced game programmer who was put together some smaller games first, can probably put together something equivalent to GTA 3, technology wise. And it doesn't need anything close to 1 million lines of code. This can be done over the course of a few months if the programmer manages to stay focused and productive through this time.

The problem is that then you have all the technology, which already took at least 3 to 6 months to make, but no assets, which isn't a trivial matter in a open-world game. Then, a game like GTA 3 is very basic in what comes to physics and rendering, which cuts down development time quite a huge deal, instead of going for objectives like GTA 4 and more recent.

Still using the GTA 3 example, and summing it up, I would say that one person can achieve a open world like the one in this game, down to a smaller scale in every aspect, as long as this person can model and program quite efficiently, has at least 3 months to focus on this full time or at least some valuable help from a team. And here I am assuming some free models would be put ingame for the sake of completing it as fast as possible..

So, its doable, but not trivial, especially not for a begginer.

The most perfect reply i've seen on this forum :)

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As long as he studies and practices a lot before starting the "big" project, I am sure he can pull it off if he stays realistic.

 

An intermediate to experienced game programmer who was put together some smaller games first, can probably put together something equivalent to GTA 3, technology wise. And it doesn't need anything close to 1 million lines of code. This can be done over the course of a few months if the programmer manages to stay focused and productive through this time.

 

The problem is that then you have all the technology, which already took at least 3 to 6 months to make, but no assets, which isn't a trivial matter in a open-world game. Then, a game like GTA 3 is very basic in what comes to physics and rendering, which cuts down development time quite a huge deal, instead of going for objectives like GTA 4 and more recent.

 

Still using the GTA 3 example, and summing it up, I would say that one person can achieve a open world like the one in this game, down to a smaller scale in every aspect, as long as this person can model and program quite efficiently, has at least 3 months to focus on this full time or at least some valuable help from a team. And here I am assuming some free models would be put ingame for the sake of completing it as fast as possible..

 

So, its doable, but not trivial, especially not for a begginer.

 

I disagree. Here is a list of classes in GTA 3: http://www.3dhole.com/gtafiles/ghost_bear/GTA%203%20Source%20code%20classes.htm

 

That certainly doesn't look like 3 months of work. While you could base your game off an existing engine just because the content is lower poly doesn't mean it will take any less time to create then it took them (which looks to be about 2 years). While a game like GTA 3 might be a more realistic target, I think the time frame of 3 months is way too low.

 

Also since the OP mentioned "modern" in their post I don't know if a game that was released 12 years ago fits the bill.

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Arguing about lines is useless. With good application design you can greatly reduce the number of written lines (even in terms of magnitudes). For some parts you can also try a new, different, approach, reducing the number of the lines even further.

 

A simple linux application 'tree' has around 90 KiB of code (around 3.5k lines I think, but thats just a guess), written in C. You can do the same application in Haskell on less than 400 lines, my version (simplified) has around 12 KiB (with tons of comments) ... there are even shorter. So yeah, by changing approach to the problem, you can reduce code written (and if you know what you're doing, you can also reduce time spent coding/thinking how to code it).

 

It is the same with good application design, if you cleverly separate your program to parts (even making some parts of it modular), you can save a ton of time ... although this means that you need to think forward.

 

...

 

First of all, why do the AAA games have so many people working on them? The answer is simple, most of it is art. Creating good art takes really a lot of time, and for large open worlds you need a TON of art, and what is more important, it needs to look consistent in different parts of world (so basically small team of people is better than huge team here). The less artists in the team, the higher art consistency is. I don't know about 2 painters producing exactly same mood with the picture - this applies for games too. Although less artists = more time to get art done.

 

...

 

Open world games are doable in small teams, especially if know how to use tools. Generating terrain and nature is not really hard, filling the world with animals and enemies can be automated, but filling the world with story and interesting stuff can't (just not yet, procedural quests are still the worst one out there). This is where you will need the help of others, or your world will either look empty, or it will eat huge amount of your time.

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@ shadowisadog

I must disagree that all "open world games" are built with huge programming teams.

 

@ OP

 My advice would be to pick a language that is easy to learn the basics of programming with, and go from there.

 You don't have to start out with overly complex rendering engines, start with basic simple stuff until your programming skills improve, and move onto more complex items.

 To get started learning how to program you can use a language as simple as JavaScript ( Canvas is great), Python ( with Pygame libraries ), Lua, Ruby .... e.t.c.

 

Java is a good "middle of the road language" that has decent native rendering libraries, however most folks prefer using C++ for graphics intensive games.

Edited by Shippou

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I think "Open World" is a term that causes a lot of confusion. Building a game of GTAV or Assassin Creed's calibre is NOT in any way achievable by one person. There are thousands of art assets. Hundreds or thousands of animations (depending on animation requirements and how many types creatures that have their own rigs there are), hundreds of sound effects, hundreds of pages of recorded voice acting, dozens of hours of scripted quests, and more. That's not even including the programming requirements.

 

This doesn't mean making an open world game is impossible for one person (one as deep and as detailed as the AAA titles however would be). If you develop a fairly detailed design document, you can break down all of the assets you need, come up with time estimates it would take you to make the assets, or code the feature, etc., and see roughly how long making the game would take. If it's too long, revisit your design and scale back.

 

I personally don't think having a "dream game" is a problem. I have lots of dream games that are completely unrealistic for me to build (and I've build AAA games for the last 8 years, so knowing how to do it is not the issue). Sometimes working on my dream game gives me ideas for my other games. The problem is if you let your dream game stop you from working on achievable games, or from learning.

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Thanks to all those that realise creating an open world game is possible but not for a beginner

Such narrow thinking. I've come across several open world FPS games by beginners who made it as their first game using some tool. Torque3D has FPS, RPG, MMO, etc tutorials. UDK has tutorials for making open worlds, FPS, and other game genres. With the tools out there today it is no trouble for a beginner to make an open world game.

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Thanks to all those that realise creating an open world game is possible but not for a beginner

Such narrow thinking. I've come across several open world FPS games by beginners who made it as their first game using some tool. Torque3D has FPS, RPG, MMO, etc tutorials. UDK has tutorials for making open worlds, FPS, and other game genres. With the tools out there today it is no trouble for a beginner to make an open world game.

Are you not the same guy that said it was not possible:/

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Thanks to all those that realise creating an open world game is possible but not for a beginner

Such narrow thinking. I've come across several open world FPS games by beginners who made it as their first game using some tool. Torque3D has FPS, RPG, MMO, etc tutorials. UDK has tutorials for making open worlds, FPS, and other game genres. With the tools out there today it is no trouble for a beginner to make an open world game.

 

Arguing semantics more than 2 times in a thread makes you look like an asshole imo.(hint words:beginner, lua) Of course the guy has some illusions when it comes to game making - but most people do, especially when they are beginners, however that doesn't explain why you sound so pissed every time you reply and start nitpicking every single word. Don't worry, even if a person has unreal expectations of what he can create - sooner or later he'll either manage to make it(at the expense of tremendous efforts), or he'll get disillusioned when it comes to "his dream". Trying doesn't hurt most times.

 

P.S. Don't bother replying I'm not into E-drama.

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