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kostasrag

Making a game: reducing workload ?

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ok guys i want to make my own RTS startegy game ( similar to SC2 / AOE 3/LoTR Battle for middle earth 2 ) you know the classic 

keep>barracks>defensive towers> units thing . 

since i am complete noob i did some personal research and i have a couple of questions. 

 

the workload is way too much for a beginner to surpass by himself, so i wandered , since the basic mechanics of all RTS are the same , unit management/movement/creation/building upgrades are the same ( some have more advanced code making gaming experience better though) is it possible for me to get the source code from open source games like hostile worlds/megaglest/age of empires and use to create my coding base? ofcourse i will have to do adjustments  to fit my game but is it possible to use another's game source code in my game engie ( unity / UDK) to jump through the start up/ basic mechanics coding and focus myself more on the art? 

 

 

 

Also are there any other ways to reduce workload by using existing games as base?

Edited by kostasrag

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Using an existing project might only reduce some workload. It depends on how exactly the same you want your title to be. If you need any special requirements (even say, C&C infrantrymen, if you want them to fire more often than they do in the core game) youll have to find the area in the code that does that and make your tweaks, test to make sure nothing breaks, and move on. 

Of course, all assets would have to be ripped out and replaced. This is mostly a job for a Designer and/or a Graphic Artist. The raw amount of assets to replace is mind-numbing, from every unit and terrain texture, to every element of the menus. Pretty much none of the original products visual assets can exist in your product. This is work you'd have to do anyways, but it can be devastatingly overwhelming at first to see your first spreadsheet titled: "required assets to even launch the game without crashing.xls"

 

Lastly, if your using a pre-existing game as a base, your bound to that games engine and pipeline unless you REALLY feel like gutting out the gameplay code and formulating it into a different engine. It's best to just stick with how the original game was made, its tools, its editors, its exporters, its code. 

 

Thing is, with Unity, there is an RTS starter kit, and even detailed tutorials on how to make an RTS from scratch in Unity. So it may be worth just biting down on a piece of leather, bracing yourself, and just go balls to the wall creating your own system while being guided by YouTube Videos and Articles teaching you how to make it. 

The benefit of this, is that you have 100% control over everything that goes into it, your own balance tweaks, your own procedures. 

 

Im also sure theres UDK tutorials on making RTS's, but I just havent seen any with my own two eyes yet

 

 

In conclusion:

 

Should you use a pre-existing game as a base?  Sure, but its scope is probably best laid to rest as a "mod" to the existing product. Itll be MUCH easier, and MUCH quicker paced than starting from scratch making your own standalone.  Check out moddb.com for more information on how to do this

Should you use a framwork/engine instead? Sure, if your scope is to do something entirely original!

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Define complete noob. Do you know how to program? 

 

I just stumbled across this article and can't recommend it enough to "complete noobs":

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/game-programming/your-first-step-to-game-development-starts-here-r2976

 

Do some google searches on RTS Game Maker or RTS Game Creator. There might be something out there that lets you crank out an RTS without too much programming knowledge.

 

- Eck

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is it possible for me to get the source code from open source games like hostile worlds/megaglest/age of empires and use to create my coding base?

 

Starting with an existing game engine is definitely an option. Your best bet is to pick a game engine which is libre software. This way you have unrestricted access to the engines' source code, can modifiy it as needed and will not need to pay licensing fees.

 

Since you mentioned MegaGlest - there you just need to edit some XML files and add your (Blender) models and other game art (again using standard formats) - this makes it pretty straight forward.

 

Good luck!

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