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Question about Game Engine

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I've been thinking about a sort of game lately, but I'm not sure what engine (I believe they're called that) to use for it.

A game like:  

Windows9Installer

File

Sara is Missing (Sort of)

It's like it's a fake computer, and you move the mouse and click on programs.

I'm not good at explaining, and the answer is probably obvious but I thought I might as well just ask.

-Garrett

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I did something of this far far in the past insipred by something like a console based hacking game (for real nerds only because it was very hard to solve) that ended up in a graphical UI in the later stages. After playing made something similar with a full UI, Email Client and Web Browser simulating a real computer system with file system, disk and so on (and an imaginary opponent player)

It was fun to made but I wouldnt doupt that there are real engines for this out there. The niche is too small for such games so you have to fiddle yourself on some kind of engine. What you would need is just some kind of Kernel that is able to execute/start/stop applications and something that handles your filesystem in the game.

Because I have looked for such a solution heavily there are two ancient projects that process on something that behaves like an operation system you might take a look to

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_OS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EyeOS

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Thanks for the reply Shaarigan.

Online OS seems to pretty much not exist anymore, and if it does, it is pretty hard to find.

I had a look at eyeOS, and it seems to just be a virtual computer unless they are hiding/I can't find anything about changing the desktop. I also have no clue how to install/purchase it.

If you know anything else about these projects or other ones, please tell me if you have the time.

-Garrett

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Don't worry, regardless of what anyone tries to say, choice of engine is never an obvious one.

Without some coding experience, making a game is always going to pose... difficulties.

That said, your best bet is probably either GameMaker or Stencyl. I'd recommend GameMaker as a better start-point (perhaps because it was actually designed to be an entry-point to game development)

If you were making a genre-typical 2D platformer, you could make the whole thing with just GM's drag and drop functionality.

However, your idea is an atypical genre, so you'll need to work around that in some way. For icons that you can click, windows that appear/disappear, and the general progression of the game (e.g. user opened 'file.exe' on the desktop, so a new file 'ReadMe.txt' appears on the desktop), then you can probably do that with just drag and drop features.

 

I should probably elaborate on drag and drop. Basically, you create objects (like an icon) and place them in the scene (the game world). You can then set an object's behaviour and conditions for that behaviour. For example, move an object around the screen if it's clicked on.

 

Anyway you slice it, you'll want to understand variables and the basic structure of a game. GM does a fairly good job of easing you into it.

 

For anything more complicated than simple user input however, and you're going to need to delve into GML (Gamemaker's scripting language).

For instance, if you wanted a text box to take in player input, and then wanted to interpret that input as something (e.g. the user enters 'hello', you might want to write 'hello' in response. Or if the user enters 'hello Yolanda', you might want to write 'my name isn't Yolanda' in response). You'd need to get stuck into the code for sure.

 

And of course, Unity is always a decent engine if you're unsure. Not particularly great at any one thing, but it's probably the most versatile one out there. Highly recommend playing with it and C# if GameMaker feels too restrictive for you

 

EDIT: I've made the assumption that you don't have any (or much) coding experience. Please shoot me down if I'm wrong :)

Edited by FrankEnCode

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Thank you for the reply FrankEnCode, it is too late here for me to read it properly, but I will definitely read it tomorrow.

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Sorry for my late reply. I link ya the Whitepaper from eyeOs that could be found on there website https://eyeos.com. It describes how they setup there webinterface WDI https://s3.amazonaws.com/eyeosorgs3/articles/eyeOS-Virtualization-HTML5.pdf

I could not find a clue too if they sell anything yet so far so lets assume that there product is just in development. As I wrote, I have had setup something more game like in the past in C# for simplicity.

Depending on your needs you would just need to setup something kernel like that is able to load/start/stop small programs that are written for your environment, maybe a plugin behaving piece of code and something that manages your filesystem inside some kind of virtual harddrive file to get anything running.

Anything else like the game loop, gameplay, win/loose conditions depend as I already wrote heavily on whatever you are planning.

Your project let me remind on something I was planing in the past like Watchdogs for the real world, some kind of mobile, social community live hacking game (Pokemon GO for nerds) :lol:

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Thank you FrankEnCode, I'll check those out for sure. I will have to check reviews on gamemaker, $99 is a fair bit of money for a beginner's program.
Thanks again Shaarigan, I'll look into finding other programs similar to eyeOS.
-Garrett

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GM offers a free trial which, unless they've changed things, isn't too restrictive.

Unity is of course free unless you make a certain amount of money from it.

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I made a simple network game a while back with a similar (but certainly more simplistic) idea for a games jam: http://globalgamejam.org/2017/games/wave-cloud-office

I really just used ANSI C and OpenGL (to draw 2d images so any drawing API will be good such as SDL, Allegro). I think for this, a 3D engine such as UE4 or Unity will just get in your way.

Another idea (and this may make it look more authentic), just use a GUI toolkit such as wxWidgets, Borland's VCL, Java's Swing or C#'s Winforms. These GUI toolkits will not only provide buttons and things but also a pretty decent 2D drawing APIs for anything you need to be dynamic etc.

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