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    • By sausagejohnson
      Welcome to the 2D UFO game guide using the Orx Portable Game Engine. My aim for this tutorial is to take you through all the steps to build a UFO game from scratch.
      The aim of our game is to allow the player to control a UFO by applying physical forces to move it around. The player must collect pickups to increase their score to win.
      I should openly acknowledge that this series is cheekily inspired by the 2D UFO tutorial written for Unity.
      It makes an excellent comparison of the approaches between Orx and Unity. It is also a perfect way to highlight one of the major parts that makes Orx unique among other game engines, its Data Driven Configuration System.
      You'll get very familiar with this system very soon. It's at the very heart of just about every game written using Orx.
      If you are very new to game development, don't worry. We'll take it nice and slow and try to explain everything in very simple terms. The only knowledge you will need is some simple C++.
      I'd like say a huge thank you to FullyBugged for providing the graphics for this series of articles.
      What are we making?
      Visit the video below to see the look and gameplay of the final game:
      Getting Orx
      The latest up to date version of Orx can be cloned from github and set up with:
      git clone https://github.com/orx/orx.git After cloning, an $ORX environment variable will be created automatically for your system which will help with making game projects much easier. It will also create several IDE projects for your operating system: Visual Studio, Codelite, Code::Blocks, and gmake.
      These Orx projects will allow you to compile the Orx library for use in your own projects. And the $ORX environment variable means that your projects will know where to find the Orx library.
      For more details on this step, visit http://orx-project.org/wiki/en/tutorials/cloning_orx_from_github at the Orx learning wiki.
      Setting up a 2D UFO Project
      Now the you have the Orx libraries cloned and compiled, you will need a blank project for your game. Supported options are: Visual Studio, CodeLite, Code::Blocks, XCode or gmake, depending on your operating system.
      Once you have a game project, you can use it to work through the steps in this tutorial.
      Orx provides a very nice system for auto creating game projects for you. In the root of the Orx repo, you will find either the init.bat (for Windows) or init.sh (Mac/Linux) command.
      Create a project for our 2D game from the command line in the Orx folder and running:
      init c:\temp\ufo or
      init.sh ~/ufo Orx will create a project for each IDE supported by your OS at the specified location. You can copy this folder anywhere, and your project will always compile and link due to the $ORX environment variable. It knows where the libraries and includes are for Orx.
      Open your project using your favourite IDE from within the ufo/build folder.
      When the blank template loads, there are two main folders to note in your solution:
      config src Firstly, the src folder contains a single source file, ufo.cpp. This is where we will add the c++ code for the game. The config folder contains configuration files for our game.
        What is config?
      Orx is a data driven 2D game engine. Many of the elements in your game, like objects, spawners, music etc, do not need to be defined in code. They can be defined (or configured) using config files.
      You can make a range of complex multi-part objects with special behaviours and effects in Orx, and bring them into your game with a single line of code. You'll see this in the following chapters of this guide.
      There are three ufo config files in the config folder but for this guide, only one will actually be used in our game. This is:
      ufo.ini All our game configuration will be done there.
      Over in the Orx library repo folder under orx/code/bin, there are two other config files:
      CreationTemplate.ini SettingsTemplate.ini These are example configs and they list all the properties and values that are available to you. We will mainly concentrate on referring to the CreationTemplate.ini, which is for objects, sounds, etc. It's good idea to include these two files into your project for easy reference.
      Alternatively you can view these online at https://github.com/orx/orx/blob/master/code/bin/CreationTemplate.ini and here: https://github.com/orx/orx/blob/master/code/bin/SettingsTemplate.ini
      The code template
      Now to take a look at the basic ufo.cpp and see what is contained there.
      The first function is the Init() function.
      This function will execute when the game starts up. Here you can create objects have been defined in the config, or perform other set up tasks like handlers. We'll do both of these soon.
      The Run() function is executed every main clock cycle. This is a good place to continually perform a task. Though there are better alternatives for this, and we will cover those later. This is mainly used to check for the quit key.
      The Exit() function is where memory is cleaned up when your game quits. Orx cleans up nicely after itself. We won't use this function as part of this guide.
      The Bootstrap() function is an optional function to use. This is used to tell Orx where to find the first config file for use in our game (ufo.ini). There is another way to do this, but for now, we'll use this function to inform Orx of the config.
      Then of course, the main() function. We do not need to use this function in this guide.
      Now that we have everything we need to get start, you should be able to compile successfully. Run the program and an Orx logo will appear slowly rotating.

      Great. So now you have everything you need to start building the UFO game.
      Setting up the game assets
      Our game will have a background, a UFO which the player will control, and some pickups that the player can collect.
      The UFO will be controlled by the player using the cursor keys.
      First you'll need the assets to make the game. You can download the file  assets-for-orx-ufo-game.zip which contains:
      The background file (background.png):

      The UFO and Pickup sprite images (ufo.png and pickup.png):
      And a pickup sound effect (pickup.ogg):
      Copy the .png files into your data/texture folder
      Copy the .ogg file into your data/sound folder.
      Now these files can be accessed by your project and included in the game.
      Setting up the Playfield
      We will start by setting up the background object. This is done using config.
      Open the ufo.ini config file in your editor and add the following:
      [BackgroundGraphic] Texture = background.png Pivot = center  
      The BackgroundGraphic defined here is called a Graphic Section. It has two properties defined. The first is Texture which has been set as background.png.
      The Orx library knows where to find this image, due to the properties set in the Resource section:
      [Resource] Texture = ../../data/texture  
      So any texture files that are required (just like in our BackgroundGraphic section) will be located in the ../../data/texture folder.
      The second parameter is Pivot. A pivot is the handle (or sometimes “hotspot” in other frameworks). This is set to be center. The position is 0,0 by default, just like the camera. The effect is to ensure the background sits in the center of our game window.
      There are other values available for Pivot. To see the list of values, open the CreationTemplate.ini file in your editor. Scroll to the GraphicTemplate section and find Pivot in the list. There you can see all the possible values that could be used.
      top left is also a typical value.
      We need to define an object that will make use of this graphic. This will be the actual entity that is used in the game:
      [BackgroundObject] Graphic = BackgroundGraphic Position = (0, 0, 0)  
      The Graphic property is the section BackgroundGraphic that we defined earlier. Our object will use that graphic.
      The second property is the Position. In our world, this object will be created at (0, 0, 0). In Orx, the coordinates are (x, y, z). It may seem strange that Orx, being a 2D game engine has a Z axis. Actually Orx is 2.5D. It respects the Z axis for objects, and can use this for layering above or below other objects in the game.
      To make the object appear in our game, we will add a line of code in our source file to create it.
      In the Init() function of ufo.cpp, remove the default line:
      orxObject_CreateFromConfig("Object"); and replace it with:
      orxObject_CreateFromConfig("BackgroundObject"); Compile and run.
      The old spinning logo is now replaced with a nice tiled background object.

      Next, the ufo object is required. This is what the player will control. This will be covered in Part 2.
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Education advise for total beginner

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Hello. I'm seeing this sort of questions are asked frequently here but here we go. 

I'm interested in a career of game development but I'm not sure what way would be wise to choose. Eventually I want to work in a studio designing games.

I haven't attended any university education. 30 year old and living in italy. 

I see there are some bachelor programs for game design. Also there are bachelor degrees for computer sciences. And there's web education. Considering these programs are in public universities, these are what i can afford.

A degree would take at least take 3 years to complete, not my first choice.

I understand that it's best to learn a language. Does this mean learning any language (easiest one) and then working from there is an idea?


I do not have almost any coding skills. I have done some 3d modeling in the past but still. What would be your advice for beginning?

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You don't need to know a programming language to be a game designer, although for some roles it can be a plus. 

Have you tried downloading tools like Unity or Unreal and using them to build out a game idea you have?

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Yeah, unity. But i gave up on it after frustration. I would give it another try but i am reading that even though it is possible to make a game on it without coding, you are way better off with having it coded instead in order to fix bugs and everything

What do you mean with game designer btw? Do you mean it is enough to have knowledge of one subject such as modelling would be enough for this

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No. If you want to be a game designer you need to have knowledge of game design. This is a knowledge domain that is distinct from the ability to create art or to write code. Having some understanding of how to write code or produce art is helpful, but it's not necessary.

Game design is about the flow and mechanics of the game, the things that make the game fun and interesting by using the art or the code that has been written to support the designer. There are various sub-disciplines within the design field, including level design or mechanical systems design. 

What aspects of "being a game designer" are you interested in, specifically? Why is it you think you want to "work in a studio designing games" and what do you think that involves?


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Well, playing games is so far my biggest passion in my 30 year old life. I am lucky enough to somewhat travelling the world since one year and all i can think of is playing games whenever i can. But again, i am 30. Which makes me realise that i have to be working again soon enough. So i cannot think of something better than spendingmy time and effort for creating them. I do not think it is much more fun than any other job, but at least the result of your work might actually be interesting to you sometimes

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Just keep in mind that even though you enjoy playing games does not necessarily mean you will enjoy developing games.

Much like you might enjoy Netflix or eating cake, making movies or baking cakes might not be the perfect job for you.


Just something to keep in mind :)

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6 minutes ago, Lactose said:

Just keep in mind that even though you enjoy playing games does not necessarily mean you will enjoy developing games.


What Lactose is saying here is critical for you to understand. That's why I asked if you've tried using Unity or Unreal to build a game: thta's what making games is for a designer. They will get some tools, many of which look like Unity/Unreal or various parts of Unity/Unreal, and they'll be using those to hammer out the ideas they have in their head into reality.

If you don't enjoy doing that, you probably don't actually enjoy designing games. That's why I asked what it is you actually enjoy (or think you enjoy) about making games. 

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So how do you understand that one can enjoy or not?

Trying unity and not pushing it any further means you are not the person for it, would you say?

Playing doesn't mean you'd enjoy making them. But you need to enjoy playing in order to enjoy making, don't you agree? Or are they completely irrelevant 

Edited by Hakan Ergin

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I disagree. They are totally different.

If you tried Unity and didn't like it, it could be that you didn't like some specific aspect of Unity. That's why you should try other tools as well, like Unreal.

If you try a bunch of tools and don't like them, that might mean you simply don't like what making a game entails. Or at least not that aspect of making a game.

No amount of liking to play games will change what actually making games is like. Nor will any amount of liking the idea of being a game developer.

That's why you should focus on trying various ways to make a game before (for example) considering going back to school for years for it. You need to know whether you actually want to do what the job actually involves, and ideally what specifically -- art, design, programming, audio, et cetera.

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