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Mick Travis

My Dream World

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I'm 48. I last programmed in BASIC about 20 years ago. It was a mastermind code breaker. I did it in a few minutes at a library to avoid studying. I looked into C++ and got a little way before my mind wandered off to other pursuits. I don't know if it's called “lacking discipline” when my mind refuses to go on with a project and demands to do something else. I thought I might be ADD, but I've been studying up on personality types. It seems to be a common bug in ENFPs. For science's sake, I'll call it ADD.

 

I've made a ton of art, sculpture, and music in my life. I was employed to make 3D animations in the early eighties working with Crystal TOPAS. My boss wasn't happy to see me go, but I clashed with the people in the field.

 

I'm hoping someone here is familiar with Mike Oldfield's Music VR games. It would be great if someone knows Colin Dooley, the programmer who designed Modelworks, the modeler, and Newlook, the engine for it. That's just because I'd like to chat with him if he's still on this planet. I'd really like to find that software or something similar.

 

I'd like to make the 3D world that's been building in my head from my nocturnal dreams. It's a free roam puzzle adventure. I'd like to get a similar look as the Music VR games. I'd like to use a WYSIWYG engine. I got AGK in a Humble Bundle, but that's a steep learning curve for making an immersive 3D environment.

 

I consider the N64 to be the pinnacle of console gaming, so I didn't build my latest computer for modern gaming. However, it should be enough for a low poly shadowless world. The specs are: 2.93 Intel quad, 6GB memory, 256 MB graphics card, Win 7 Pro 64-bit. Can someone recommend anything that comes close to what I'm looking for, that my scatterbrain might be able to work with?

 

I've been building in Bryce and SketchUp, but I'll use Blender if I can get this thing started.

 

I understand that most 3D gamers wouldn't be interested in a surreal romp. They seem to like shooters. This is just a personal pursuit.

 

Thank you.

Edited by Mick Travis

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I think you should try to find an authoring system that let's you create that world, or a very light-weight a programming system. Not so much programming, lots of content creation would be the idea.

 

Unfortunately, I am not so much at home in that area, but I can point you somewhat in the right direction perhaps. I have 3 directions you may want to look into

 

- Adventure creation systems. These things go back a long way. I only AGS (adventuregamestudios), but there are others too. AGS is however sort of 2D (it does do depth and in front/behind), so this may not be what you are looking for, but perhaps there are better such systems.

 

- RPG makers. RPG is a popular game genre, which is also quite explorative (I think, it's not my kind of games). Maybe you can find an authoring system in that area.

 

- Unity. Unity is a game engine, often programmed in C#, but it also has a scripting language system (forgot its name). It's definitely 3D. It's closer to programming, but maybe it's useful, at least it can't hurt to have a look at it.

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I got a bundle of game makers from Humble Bundle, because my daughter, like so many kids, said she wanted to do game design. It included RPG Maker XP. That's 2D.

 

It also came with GameGuru , but it is incredibly slow on my system, and requires at least a $300 graphics card. I know fantastic games were made on systems like mine  years ago. I tried to use FPSC without using the FPS aspect, but importing my own geometries was a nightmare. Just running an old program on a system with a Virtual Store is crazy.

 

Right now, the only solution I see is to drop a load of cash on a graphics card, create in Axis Game Factory (from bundle), Import into Unity, and then script with PlayMaker. I just don't want to drop a load of cash on something that will be a long term side project. I'd like to have an older engine that will run on my computer.

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Looking into this more, it seems I just need Unity and PlayMaker. Subscription based software makes me cringe. Would I be able to do everything I need in the free version? What's the cheapest card I can get for the game I'm describing? Would I need a higher spec card just to run Unity?

 

By the way, Mike Oldfield's Music VR games, Tr3s Lunas and Maestro, are now free. I'm not sure if it's OK to post a link to the forum where they're hosted, but Mike is the one who set them free and knows they are there.

 

Thank you.

Edited by Mick Travis

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 because my daughter, like so many kids, said she wanted to do game design

 

Really? I didn't know kids these days were into game design. That's nice to know :D 

 

Would I be able to do everything I need in the free version?

 

 

 

Comparison of the different version of unity, check for yourself, but I'd say that the free version is largely enough for an indie game developper.

 

 

 What's the cheapest card I can get for the game I'm describing?

 

Test with your current graphic cards, and if you can't run smoothly your game, pick a better one. A little research on google would tell you more.

 

 

Would I need a higher spec card just to run Unity?

 

Unity requirement

 

I hope it helps, and that you and your daughter will manage to do some nice games :D

 

Ps : I don't really mind, but most of your questions could have been answered with a quick research on google. Try making those research before coming here, you'll learn a lot by doing that ^^

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My suggestion would be to save up $10 every week and just start out doing what artwork or planning you can. Before long you should have enough to buy a decent graphics card. You don't need to spend anything like $300 for a card if this is all you're after. I've been using this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127783 for quite a while now and it runs everything I need just fine. Apparently there's a slightly cheaper version of the same chipset as well (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814127836) though that's clocked a little lower. You're probably going to want to use Blender to make 3D assets, and I'm not sure you can pull it off with what you have right now, but the card there will do it just fine.

 

If you're interested in visual scripting then you may want to take a look at UE4 once you have capable hardware. It uses a visual scripting system called Blueprint that's decently straightforward, and is fairly similar to Unity. There are a lot of tutorials on their site as well. Game Maker Studio is free now, if you're interested in 2D. I'd recommend poking around and deciding what best fits your needs.

Edited by Khatharr

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Thanks, Khatharr. I was confused about the Unity requirements page that says "Graphics card with DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities", so I came here to ask. There's a $50 2GB card at Staples, but I'm guessing it's missing features I need. If there's not a debate about the card suggested, I'll order it. If there is, I'll get some popcorn.

Edited by Mick Travis

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Perhaps it may be worth a look at unreal engine 4 and blueprint scripting?

You can do everything Unity and playmaker can do and more without paying a fee but you'll need to update your graphics card. Anything over $100 should be adequate for basic role playing games...

Hope this helps!

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Perhaps it may be worth a look at unreal engine 4 and blueprint scripting?

You can do everything Unity and playmaker can do and more without paying a fee but you'll need to update your graphics card. Anything over $100 should be adequate for basic role playing games...

Hope this helps!

 

When you speak of RPG, I assume you're referring to games like Fallout 3.

 

Thank you for telling me about Blueprint's Visual Scripting. I like the Unreal business model. I'll compare them when i get a new GPU. That MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti Khatharr recommended has a BIOS compatibility switch. My PCI Express slot is only Gen 2. I read that it's compatible "So long as its a physical X16 lane, with at least x8 bandwidth". I have no idea what that means. I have a 525 watt power supply in my DELL Precision T3500 and plenty of space.

Edited by Mick Travis

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