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The next step?

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Good evening everybody,

 

A few years ago (about 2) i got back into game development after only having toyed around with it when i was a teenager. My objective is absolutely not to make any commercial quality games or even make money by developing games, i just love to try and build stuff that runs on my computer screen and games are the things which interest me most.

 

After reading a lot of posts on these forums i created my first few (relatively simple) games. Of course I started with Tic-Tac-Toe, then moved on to a really small 2D action game where you had to throw presents down chimneys (based on the Dutch concept of Sinterklaas) and finally some 2D tilebased games (an RPG and a small business simulation game). 

 

While i really enjoyed making these games, i also ran into a problem. Right now i am able to create small games (of course only to my own standards), but when i try to make something bigger, i mostly run into the problem that i lose control of my code. My code gets messy and i can no longer find all the classes, methods and objects i created. 

 

I would really like to solve this issue but i am not sure how to do this. I learned programming by reading some online tutorials and then just jumping in head-first. Another thing that really helped me was the MOOC Beginning Game Programming using C#. I would really like to continue learning to fix the problem mentioned above, but most resources available seem either too advanced for me (and therefore irrelevant) or too simple (since i am just past the beginners course).

 

Does anyone have an idea how i could procede in this situation? I realize the question is kind of vague, but maybe someone who struggled with the same issue could offer some advice.

 

Thank you very much in advance for your response!

 

 

PS. My current programming language is C# (XNA) and for the games i want to make, well let's say i prefer Civilization over Call of Duty; Football Manager over FIFA and HearthStone over WoW. I hope that says enough ;-)

 

 

 

 

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I'm afraid you have to begin considering engineering your code. You have probably just wrote your game code so far. Now the next step is to make sure the code can scale. Engineering it to be "better fitting" your head is a thing. The other way is to reduce the code size.

It's not this XOR that. You have to acquire both tools. 

 

How are you with data-driven systems? Is that term new to you?

 

Writing your code to be data-driven means writing your code to be flexible, ultimately reducing the amount of code. It takes some more effort but scales up better. That's why you see so many people writing about "engines" in those forums. "Engines" are data-driven frameworks in the end.

 

Now, without going to that degree, what you need to find is a way so you code less and artwork more. Is that a verb? :P

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Try writing code that you reuse a lot in a content agnostic way than store it as a class in a seperate header file stored away. Go through your current code see what functions you can refactor into seperate objects as the first step.

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