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Lightweight

advice/choosing a game engine

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys. Total beginner just signed up. 

I suppose I've built two games before. The first was 20 years ago at school. It was some basic physics of a ball bouncing around the screen. IIRC I wrote it in notepad following instructions. The other was a couple of years ago it was using the engine in steam and I just followed the tutorial it was a scrolling shooter.

The game I would like to make is a strategy/management game.It will almost certainly be text based only. I'm open to maybe add some visual representation later in development but I don't feel it's essential. It will be based around fighting, the player will sign fighters, train them, book fights, etc. The fights will be decided by stats + random modifiers + some player choices. I will also have some random scripted events. I feel this is a fairly realistic expectation for someone with very limited capability. Some examples of similar games or inspirations would be Age of Gladiators, World Boxing manager, Crusader Kings 2 and the Football Manager series

I have not found many tutorials or advice on games like this so if you have any I'd greatly appreciate them. 

My main question is I would like to make the game using an engine. But which one to choose? I downloaded visual studio 2019 and tried to go through the tutorial but I was completely intimidated by it. So ideally something that doesn't necessitate knowledge of coding or at least something that breaks you in gently. I'm open to spending a bit of money but nothing too crazy. Ideally I'd like the option to publish to various platforms. But I'd be happy enough with just PC. Please let me know if you need any more information and any replies are appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by Lightweight

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u can try unity that go with visual studio ( can youtube brackeys, he teaches with step by step explanation).

or maybe unreal, u can install blueprint which is a node scripting editor, so that u can create behavior without coding 

here is another link:https://www.websitetooltester.com/en/blog/best-game-engine/

they give different example of games that matches with the different engines

good luck!

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Thanks I read that article before, it's really good. The trouble I had was that none of the option really sounded like the game I want to make. Unity and Unreal both seem like they're suited for more graphic heavy games and are also the harder ones to use. I actually was lurking on the Unity forums where someone had asked a similar question to my own and the advice given there was just to use C#. The ones I was sort of drawn to were Stencyl, Construct 2 and gamemaker studio 2. But I have no idea if any of those are right for the job. Of the games I mentioned all were built with custom engines except world boxing manager which was C++ and Qt.

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Actually I think I've realised that there is no short cut for what I want to do and that I'll need to learn C# or C++. If I'm wrong about that or if anyone has any other advice on making strategy games I'd love to hear it. 

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27 minutes ago, Lightweight said:

Actually I think I've realised that there is no short cut for what I want to do and that I'll need to learn C# or C++. If I'm wrong about that or if anyone has any other advice on making strategy games I'd love to hear it. 

I think you should first write down the features/requirements of your game. From what I understood, that is not too much. If I am getting you right the game is just a GUI. In this case, if you don't care about nice Graphics, you can use an existing GUI toolbox. Qt for example. There is an integrated development environment (IDE) called QTCreator that makes it very easy to generate GUIs. As far as I know, you can also choose between some programming languages. At least my version gives me the option to choose between Python and C++. Which lead us to the next point:

Choice of programming language:

If text and basic graphics are the only things you need for your game, I would forget about C++. Reasons can be read here:

https://www.gamedev.net/forums/topic/702672-help-me-choose-between-these-programming-languages-for-game-dev/

 

I think Python might be a good choice for you since it is a rather easy language to learn, has a lot of nice support tools and for such a simple game, performance is not an issue.

Feel free to ask more questions.

 

Greetings

 

 

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45 minutes ago, DerTroll said:

I think you should first write down the features/requirements of your game. From what I understood, that is not too much. If I am getting you right the game is just a GUI. In this case, if you don't care about nice Graphics, you can use an existing GUI toolbox. Qt for example. There is an integrated development environment (IDE) called QTCreator that makes it very easy to generate GUIs. As far as I know, you can also choose between some programming languages. At least my version gives me the option to choose between Python and C++. Which lead us to the next point:

Choice of programming language:

If text and basic graphics are the only things you need for your game, I would forget about C++. Reasons can be read here:

https://www.gamedev.net/forums/topic/702672-help-me-choose-between-these-programming-languages-for-game-dev/

 

I think Python might be a good choice for you since it is a rather easy language to learn, has a lot of nice support tools and for such a simple game, performance is not an issue.

Feel free to ask more questions.

 

Greetings

 

 

Yep you are correct, just a GUI. I might add some graphics later but these would only be a representation of what is happening in the simulation of the fight, so not player controlled and very basic. The GUI is the least intimidating part of what I need to do as I have done similar things before and there's a ton of tutorials for that sort of thing. 

What I'm more intimidated by is creating the different levels of behaviours. My plan is to start very simply. Create some fighters. Give the player some money. Have a market where they can hire fighters. Create a match screen where the player's fighter fights the NPC. I'll start with two attributes for each fighter and add more later. Say offence and defence and have the fight decided by something like player offence + player defence - NPC Offence + NPC Defence. Once that's working I'll add training where stats can be modified over time and just keep expanding and adding more and more layers until I'm happy. 

I'm most worried about the math. Not the math itself but inputting it correctly. The world boxing manager I mentioned has 30k lines of code and would be a good game if it could make it more than an hour without crashing. I was looking for a shortcut where I would have to do the least amount of coding, input the data I need more simply, so I could minimise the risk of major errors. 

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Under the named circumstances I think the Python+Qt combination might work well for you. But maybe somebody else can also name some options since apart from C++, Python, and QT I do not have enough experience with other languages and GUI systems to give you a full overview.

 

39 minutes ago, Lightweight said:

I'm most worried about the math. Not the math itself but inputting it correctly. 

That's not too hard. Start with some simple Python tutorials after installing the IDE of your choice. You will see it is rather easy. I saw nothing in your description that needs some fancy operations that are hard to understand. Most of the stuff should be basic programming.

The only thing you should learn as early as possible is how to use your debugging tools. For example, you can set breakpoints in your IDE where the execution of your program is paused. This enables you to check all the variables current values. Or you can just print messages to the console. Don't assume calculation results to be right, check them ;)

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Yeah It'll get harder the more complexity I add but that's for later. For instance I want to create an actual simulation of the fight which will eventually be based of a lot more attributes including tactics and a random modifier like a dice roll. Then I want to generate text based on the numbers which will scroll as the fight progresses. I will then maybe need an AI that can choose the correct tactics for the NPC. I did think of.a way I could cheat this and avoid any AI. For instance if the player has a choice of 3 tactics for the correct choice the player would get a 7 for a neutral choice the player would get a 5 and for the wrong tactic a 3 whereas the AI would always get a fixed number say 6. 

But I'm getting way ahead of myself....

I'll start by getting the GUI and creating a base to build off of. 

Thanks for the advice!

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Out of curiosity, which languages did you program your previous two games in?

It may be better if possible to expand on knowledge you already have and strengthen your existing skills.

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