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Zed McJack

What to do next

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,


I am not new to programming as I am DB programer and I already tried(and succeded) writing Pong games in Python and Unity and a couple of text based games in C++ and C#.

This time I tried to bring one of my game ideas closer to reality than it was in previous (unsseccesfull) attempts.

I decied to go from really basic things. So I wrote some of my ideas on paper and started coding in my DB language - VFP, so that I can get to the point of having something.

Well after two weeks of sporadic coding I finished with what can be called smaller unit of game concept that works. Actions that player can do are buttons and the results are in grids, comboboxes and textboxes.

The question is what do I do next?

Do I extend what I have in VFP to test more areas of what works or do I move to Unity(thats my choice) and start implementing what I have already done in VFP, but now in game like manner.

If you recommend going to Unity, Id like to know how do I get to good (or at least usable) user interface?

Another question is related to information that I store in DB.

I already have a lot of tables and data in them. What game developers use for storing these data?





Edited by Zed McJack

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Move on when you feel you're ready, and as far as projects go make what interests you. I learned to code by making programs (games) I found interesting. Nobody here knows your skill level and can tell you to work on "x" project, and if you don't push yourself forward you wont grow.

Figure out what kind of games you want to make and start there. If you're motivated to make those games, you'll learn what you need to know in order to code them within reason.

Go out and try any engine you feel will allow you to complete your goals. I personally program my own 2D engines, and I'm on the Unreal wagon for 3D development. These are tools that allow you to bring your ideas to life, nothing more.

Making good user interfaces is a design topic, and you need to make them as user friendly as possible. I'm not sure how to suggest how one goes about making "great" GUIs, but you should make notes of games you've seen or played that had horrible GUIs, and ones that did it right and why. Over time it will come second nature.

On single player games I store all data locally. On multiplayer games, or games which have some form of a leader board system or online function, I use a server that connects to a database, and sends the data to the client as needed, or displays information online - such as a leader board.

I would only suggest using databases if you need to, it's pointless to just use them for the sake of it.

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Thanks Rutin for your leghty answer.

I cant say it helped me much but I guess you cant say more without knowing my game making skill levels.

When you said you store data localy you mean you use txt files or some other means of storing data, right? But you can use SQLite for the same purpose and it is a file stored localy, but with DB included. On the second thought not all games need data sorted in DB way so I guess its just overhead work for most of simple games,

I am a bit caught by the lack of response as my post had more than 400 views, but only one answer, but thats it...


My next question might need separate thread in other forums as I am not sure does it belong here or in the Graphics Programing or Visual Arts subforums? Anyway...

In the above mentioned game I need to create an 3D or 2D asset that will have hundreds of variations. Lets say its a book so its the same size but with a lot of different titles, front/back cover details different authors ets.

Do I create each of these varieties as a separate (I guess not) asset or I have some means to parametrise the look of the asset (book)?


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Hello Zed,

Sadly you're only going to get very generalized answers because it's hard to gage what a person is able to do without a reference point.

I usually post this for new C++ programmers before they start making games.

  • Compiling, building
  • Basic program structure (main(), header includes ...)
  • Basic data types
  • Composite data types
  • Control structures (if, for, while ...)
  • Basic functions, function signatures
  • Function parameter passing
  • Classes and general OOP
  • STL - Standard Template Library
  • Dynamic memory allocation, pointers
  • Type casting
  • Advanced OOP, inheritance, polymorphism
  • Advanced program structure, header files, linking
  • Debugging techniques This is important to be able to help yourself when the situation arises.
  • Templates
  • Operator overloading
  • Namespaces
  • Move semantics and other C++11 features
  • Metaprogramming

It's not always applicable depending on the language you use, so things like dynamic memory might not apply. In the 15+ years I've programmed, the top two abilities for me have been the ability to problem solve, and creativity use the tools and knowledge to build desired results. The more you know about the languages and libraries, engines, frameworks and APIs that you use, the easier it becomes to code your ideas assuming you're able to problem solve and put the pieces together.

These skills will later on become very cross referenceable. I program in just over 7 languages and use many of the same concepts when working, I just need to change my approach sometimes to fit the syntax, and way a language/API may handle a certain operation.

Storing data can be done through custom files, text files, excel files, local databases, ect... There are a lot of ways to do it. I was referring to using an online database in your prior post. I would never recommend requiring a game to connect to an online database for the heck of it unless you have a reason not to store data locally.

With 3D objects, you can keep the size and everything, you just load different textures that hold the alternative texts, and designs. 2D objects are the same, you can load all your different textures into a manager class, and use them on sprites as needed. It also depends on your approach, you could simply store book designs in texture files, and use built in fonts to display on top of the book covers themselves. When it comes to textures, I always program a manager class that loads every graphic I'm going to use, and assign it to sprites as needed so I'm not loading the same graphic over and over again using up memory.

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