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Lauren Tuccy

Totally new to this and having a hard time

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So my only coding experience is with writing Interactive Fiction games with Inform, so I get the logic and stuff, but, I'm so used to starting with a program with libraries and assets already built in, that I have no idea how to build something from scratch. 

I'm would like to make this simulation game where the player is a student in a [magic] school, and I've got stats for the students, their personality types, and ideas on how that should effect their performance in class, and experience rates, and all this data in a google spreadsheet, but I have NO idea how to start creating this game on a code level. So, I'm just struggling on finding out how to get started. Can anybody give me some advice?

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One thing that's always been true for me, no matter complexity of the project or my current mood, is that if a thing seems to big for me to point I don't even know where to start, that means I have to break it into smaller pieces. Design documents help with this, which is why it's commonly suggested.

For more specific advice, I'd need more specific information. It sounds like you're going to be making a pretty big leap in complexity from interactive fiction to simulating a magic system while taking into account stats and personality traits. For something like this, a good way to keep motivation and to find better starting places, is to break the whole game up into a little portions like: a spell casting game, then add in a character with stats, then add in going to classes... etc. Taking on something like that as a whole is like staring up at a 2000' cliff and it's extremely daunting. But finding a way up by using 20' cliffs is manageable.

Are you going to be using a third party engine or starting completely from scratch? I recommend third party engines, and the best suited one will depend on the project. I prefer UE4, but Unity3D is awesome as well. There are other good ones if you're doing a 2D game.

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2 hours ago, Lauren Tuccy said:

but, I'm so used to starting with a program with libraries and assets already built in, that I have no idea how to build something from scratch. 

What are you currently using for this project? It sounds like you have something already. Are you doing this in 2d or in 3d?  From what I found out about Inform, it seems like it's not using its own language. 

So just based on what you've written, some starting points for you will be:

1): If you haven't selected what you will build this project with, you need to do that first. You'll need a 2d/3d game engine, depending on what you're building. Some popular engines are Unreal and Unity3d. Beyond a point it won't matter what you pick, so long as you feel comfortable with it.

2): Once you've selected an engine, you'll need to learn how to program in the language the engine uses. You'll then need to learn how to build basic things in that engine. Some people start with basic games like pong in 2d. With some engines, even getting a basic FPS type first person view camera and character controller can be quick as well (Unity3d does this really easily, and I'm sure Unreal has something similar)

3): Now comes the fun part. Break your project into smaller pieces that you can solve. The visuals would be one part, i.e. designing assets etc (or buying, if you don't want to spend time making 2d/3d assets). Controls could be another piece. Stats could be another. View your project as a series of smaller tasks and you'll find it makes much more sense to start building it that way. 

And remember: Rome wasn't built in a day. Take your time, and don't expect wonders in one day, keep building up to your project, and one day you'll look back and realize how much you've accomplished.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

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Thank you guys for your advice, I have tried both unity and unreal, and I think unreal is going to be my best bet. 

I guess I am just going to have to start smaller, which is good advice in itself.

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34 minutes ago, Jack Simmons said:

Thank you guys for your advice, I have tried both unity and unreal, and I think unreal is going to be my best bet. 

I guess I am just going to have to start smaller, which is good advice in itself.

This was me, wrong google account. That’s embarrassing 

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