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About Morzorr

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  1. As dpadam450 is alluding to, there's many different things that you can call "modding" -- from editing a few textures, to using a level editor to make some missions, to re-writing an entire rendering engine. The thing that makes these activities "mods", is just that they're based on an existing game instead of being done from scratch. Some mods just add a new coloured monster to a game, other mods take a game like Half-Life and reinvent it as Counter Strike. In the first extreme (just tweaking content), you're not going to learn much other than how content files are created for that particular game. In the second extreme (making a whole new game), there's really no difference between it and professional development. So what you get out of it depends on what kind of modding you're doing, and where it lies between these two extremes. For me, when I was first learning C++, I wasn't very familiar with how to structure projects, or how to write anything bigger than simple text-based games. When I downloaded the C++ source code to Half-Life, it made for a great learning environment for me -- for example, I could take existing weapon class and play around with it's code to see how it works (e.g. making machine guns fire shotgun shells, etc)... From there I'd eventually learn how their whole weapon/inventory system worked, and how it was structured. Keep repeating this play/exploration for long enough, and I'd read/learnt the whole C++ code-base for a real commercial game. It was as if I had been a part of their programming team, and had worked on the code-base alongside the original programmers - I knew how it all fit together, and which parts I needed to change to make a particular modification to the game. N.B. this was a long process, I played with that code-base for about 5 years in my spare time, while attending high-school/university. After a few years of "modding" (by which I mean, "writing C++ and making content for the goldsrc engine"), my confidence as a game programmer was through the roof, to the point where I could happily write my own engines from scratch without assistance, and intuitively know how to structure things. So if you learn well from playing with other people's code, then go ahead and download some real game code and mod the flip out of it. Alternatively, if you learn better from books/tutorials, then stick with those instead. It's always helpful to be as multi-skilled as possible, but if you're interested in a career, then you need to pick one of these and specialize in it more than the others. IMO, modding lets you be quickly exposed to many different responsibilities (designing levels, writing game code, writing new engine systems), so it might be a good way to find what you like the most. Regarding the required programming skills: Designer, Level-designer - often no "scripting" knowledge required (just design knowledge), sometimes something like Lua programming would be required. Gameplay programmer - Usually a higher-level language, like Lua or UnrealScript is required. Sometimes C++ is also used. Whether or not C++ is used, it's probably assumed that you're proficient with it. Engine programmer - A high level of proficiency in lower-level languages like C/C++ is required, plus some technical speciality is appreciated, like knowing DirectX/OpenGL, or knowledge of physics engines, streaming systems, audio libraries, etc... [/quote] Thanks very much! So what games would you advise looking at, apart from your example of HL1?
  2. No offense, but that's complete BS. If modding requires you to write thousands of lines of C++, how could you nor learn coding? If it requires you to make 3D art, how could you not learn how to make 3D art? If you're exposed to the internal structures of a real commercial game project, how could you not learn about how to structure game projects? Actually working on a real, professionally-written code-base is going to teach you much more about game-structures than your own unguided attempts at making your own code-base from scratch. And when I used to try and make teams with people on Moddb.com, those modders never ever got better at anything or really made even the simplest game. It is much better on a resume later to have written your own tools in say c++ and know how the game engines work. If you already took ambition to learn c++ then you are on your way to be a c++ engineer. And one more thing, I don't know any engineers that actually modded a game.[/quote]You can't say that you know "how the game engines work" unless you're experienced with them, which means working with a game that uses that engine. Modding an existing game is a lot easier than making a game from scratch, so it's a good way to gain experience with an engine. On my first resume for a games job, my main experience was movein.moddb.com, a HL1 total conversion that a team of newbies built over ~4 years, involving countless lines of C++, and a huge list of new game assets of every type. A bunch of my university classmates applied for the same job with their portfolios containing their home-made "game engines" -- guess who got the job? They guy who could explain the content-creation pipeline of every HL1 asset type and the inner-workings of every system in the HL1 code-base (including AI, rendering, effects, networking, audio, physics, gameplay, UI, persistence, asset compilation, etc), or the guys who can show off their D3D 101 classwork? [/quote] So what advice could you offer, if any? Thanks in advance.
  3. Surely this is a beginners question, am I'm asking about a route of study (although I agree, the title is misleading given the actual queries)
  4. Ok, so, I want to make games. I have the capability of learning everything (or I'd like to think so), I just have absolutely no direction. I want to make games, be that writing storylines, scripting, actually programming, engine development; I just want to make games. I read somewhere, that its worth dabbling with modding for a while until you understand what makes a game and how to structure a game/project. Would any of you agree with this? Any further advice on this would be great too (where to begin, tut sites, games to mod, etc) The ideal is that I will learn c++, then dive into working with opengl/directx until I am comfortable to begin "from scratch" projects. As i said earlier though, I have no idea where to begin. Iv been rereading over c++ primer and getting into the nitty gritty of it and feeling comfortable. Is there anywhere I can go or anything to read that will guide me on some sort of path to learning what I need to? I understand that I'm not going to make a game over night, I just need some direction on the learning. Thank you in advance.
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