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Asahane

Should I Use GameMaker or go from Scratch?

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Asahane    106

So I've had this idea for about a year now, and it's not really something that I'd want to distribute on a large scale--mostly it's just a learning endeavor, and something to satisfy my own amusement.

 

First I should say that I'm unfamiliar with pretty much all programming languages (save HTML) and I'm more of an artist, but I'd love to have a crash-coarse in whatever I need to learn by making this. Particularly javascript, which will help out with websites as well.

 

So! My idea.

 

Basically this "game" I want to make is the 3D interior of a house. The user will be able to navigate a character (which they can possibly choose at the beginning) through this house and examine and explore the rooms to find things, much like a single dungeon area in a Final Fantasy-esque RPG. I might have an animated sprite or I might have a 1st person perspective, still deciding.

 

Would it be easier to lay it out like the enviornments in the early FF games, with stationary camera? I suppose so, haha.

 

The goal of the game is to find codes that will unlock the front door, which is a portal to other places. For example, when the user finds the first code, she can use the code on the door and open it into a forest. If the next code is found, the user can step out into a street, etc. There will be popups like thought bubbles when the user examines certain things, and so on and so forth.

 

This house will have 3 stories and various different rooms.

 

Basically I was just going to create this 3D enviornment in Maya/Blender to practice using the programs, but then I thought it would be kinda fun to be able to navigate it in a game-like fashion.

 

I just have no idea where to start! Would GameMaker be able to handle this job? I would create objects in Maya--like tables and books and such--and import them. And then there's the animated sprite...

 

Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had any suggestions! I really appreciate the time you've taken to read this, and thank you in advance! :)

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jbadams    25714
Game Maker is really built around being excellent for 2d games. It does have some basic support for 3d, but it's a real weak point, and therefore probably isn't really suited to your idea.

You could perhaps take a look at Unity instead, which is much more 3d-oriented. Unity can be programmed with C#, UnityScript (which is very similar to JavaScript), or Boo (similar to Python), or if you purchase the third party "play maker" add-on you can use a visual drag-and-drop style logic editor.

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DejaimeNeto    4221

You could also check Leadwerks (a viable alternative to unity, way cheaper, but not as portable).

or check out the open-source Maratis3D before you marry buy a commercial engine.

Edited by dejaime

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DaBono    1496

You could also check Leadwerks (a viable alternative to unity, way cheaper, but not as portable).

or check out the open-source Maratis3D before you marry buy a commercial engine.

 

Unity3D has a free edition which is pretty functional, especially meant for those wanting to have a hobby project as the OP.

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Truerror    523

You could also check Leadwerks (a viable alternative to unity, way cheaper, but not as portable).

or check out the open-source Maratis3D before you marry buy a commercial engine.

 

Not saying those engines are bad or anything, but both use C++ (though I see that Maratis also offers Lua scripting). The OP said that he's an artist and his only experience with programming is HTML. I don't think dunking himself into C++ is what he wants.

 

BTW, it's off-topic but I'm a little curious: Leadwerks is a "game engine for Linux and PC", so why is there a Visual Studio screenshot in there? Do they mean PC as in Windows PC?

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DejaimeNeto    4221
PC as in Windows

Yes, PC means windows in this case. It is an old term used by some veterans, dating back to when windows still ruled the world. Not really valid nowadays, but well...

 

Look at this Warcraft3 expansion CD box (Yes, it is still sealed):

http://s11.postimg.org/vavd93eib/2014_04_19_13_12_14.jpg

 

We still see people referring to windows as PC today, but it is not nearly as common as it was ten years ago.

 

btw, Leadwerks and Maratis, both, offer Lua. And I don't think it gets any easier than Lua aside from logic blocks visual programming.

 

But, considering it, there is also Unreal Engine 4, that offers some sort of visual programming (Blueprints).

 

Unity3D has a free edition which is pretty functional, especially meant for those wanting to have a hobby project as the OP.

Unity's free version is actually very limited. It cuts out several optimizations such as LOD (what imo is pretty basic), you can't play videos nor create a dynamic navmesh (your bots will look pretty dumb unless you limit your game to fit this). And, in the end, it is not free, since you'd pay with a free advertisement, where you could add paid ads from google, for example.

 

Is Unity good? Well, I personally like Unity and always recommend it.

But is Unity free viable? I personally would get a pro license for any full fledged games, save showcases and prototypes.

In my view, Unity free is basically a learning tool, that you use to crash into the engine and learn how to use it, before you buy the pro version; not meant to create and release commercial games.

 

Also, for its price, Unity commercial license is certainly a good option. Can't even imagine how many man-hours were spent on creating it.

Edited by dejaime

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