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Seeking software advice

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Greetings,

 

I was hoping to get some opinions as to which software would be best for me.

 

My current goal is to create a working prototype for a 2-4 player multiplayer strategy game, for PCs.  If I had to describe it in short form, I would say it is probably close to an adventure-style, turn-based game with (hex map) battlefield and some rpg flare.  I obtained Unity3d in hopes of building what I can and modifying pre-made components, but I was way over my head since I am not a coder.  The game has 3d characters and battlefield, but more like chess - not characters running around in 3d worlds and rooms, so not a lot of 3d model making at all.  It will, however, call for some sophisticated items such as improving skills based upon decisions and activity.

 

I am graphically inclined, have build 3d models, used to be an animator and digital video editor, so manipulating audio and video files, graphics, folders, and even code to a limited degree (I fooled around with forum templates and stylesheets for a while), is within my skill set.  So, I felt that video game creation software was something I could adapt to in a general sense.  With the exception of coding, it all seems right up my alley.

 

Realizing that the heavy duty game developer systems like Unity3d are over my head, I was hoping I could put my skills to work with software that is more friendly to me and my codeless ways.  I am willing to sacrifice the 3d quality (and general aesthetics) for a working prototype that has the interfaces, functions, and so forth set up correctly ... perhaps allowing me to set things up, and then buy or modify the codework I need.

 

Is there any software out there that will let me have a decent shot at creating a working prototype of a multiplayer adventure-strategy game that works full screen (ideally) on people's PCs, without spending two years learning how to code?

 

I have full respect for the years of practice and effort real coders put into their skill set, and I do not in any way mean to minimize their importance by trying to bypass real coding work.  I am just thinking making some sort of working prototype is a more realistic goal to getting something actually done and working right that I can then use to take things forward.

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Edited by DarkWarlord

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Realizing that the heavy duty game developer systems like Unity3d are over my head, I was hoping I could put my skills to work with software that is more friendly to me and my codeless ways.  I am willing to sacrifice the 3d quality (and general aesthetics) for a working prototype that has the interfaces, functions, and so forth set up correctly ... perhaps allowing me to set things up, and then buy or modify the codework I need.


This sounds impossible.

Getting the "interfaces, functions, and so forth set up correctly" sounds like the game architecture. Game architecture is not the easy part. It's the hardest part to get right. Somehow you think you can do just the hardest part and then hire people to fill in functions - do the easier parts - when you have no ability to program. That's not going to happen. If you try to set up the architecture and hire other people to fill it in, you will just be making their work harder than if they did it themselves.

When I read your general concept, it sounds like something that might be playable in a physical form - cards, minis, pencil, paper - that sort of thing. I really believe that you would benefit from having a physical playable demo of your game, and that this game would help you move forward to the point where you would know whether recruiting programmers would be worthwhile. You might also want to play around with 3D printing as long as you're good with 3D models. An interesting tabletop version of what you want to do might help you enlist programming help for a prototype for free.

So, I believe you should take a serious look at hardware, not software, to solve your problem.

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You could probably do that with Game Maker, at least in 2d -- there is some very basic 3d functionality available, but it's really a second class feature, and you're unlikely to find specific examples similar to what you want.  A quick search turned up a tutorial and basic "engine" for hex grids in game maker, and I'm seeing plenty of other search results you could possibly look through as well.  You could very likely also achieve it with Stencyl or Construct 2, but a quick search didn't turn up any examples for those, so you would need to figure out the display logic for yourself.

 

Note that these sort of packages just save you some of the work, you'll still need to spend the time and effort learning how to use Game Maker and figuring out the specific logic for your game.

 

 

A physical prototype is probably a good way of testing things out while you're still working on the digital version.

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I really appreciate the time you guys took to respond.  A physical prototype has existed for a long time - it exists as a board game.  It was always playable in physical form.  However we want to take it online, hence my inquiry.  I will have to further explore the options out there, including the Game Maker one you suggested, jbadams.

 

Pink Horror - I realize what I was aiming for is a long shot at best.  Thanks for your honesty.  I am hoping someone had a similar architecturer set up and could modify it, etc.

 

Regardless, the journey continues.

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