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Mayple

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  1.   I agree with this, but also disagree with it.   I feel the respect factor goes both ways. Not so much as a brag factor, but the respect of someone going to school and completing the system by dedicating their life into doing so. It is the same reason you respect someone going to Yale vs an online Chinese get your degree in 10 hrs school.   I agree though that you take the degree to learn and build off. You explore alot more than you think using a degree learning style. It also shows that your able to start something, stick with it even though its not enjoyable or a burden and complete it. Most game companies that I know of usually use the line of BS/MS or Equivalant experiance. This isn't just game design, this is about the field and the supposed knowledge you would have gotten at the school should you have attended the courses. They ask for that because the bare min that these offer will at least help push you in the right direction since you have the implied logic.
  2. The problem your having is your controlling the element of gameplay to much.   War, unfortunatly is something that players love to do. The reason being is competition. Mind you not everyone wants to do it, but there is 0 competition in your game right now. You need some element that keeps everything at bay, keeps you holding onto the game, keeps you coming back for more. Right now as it seems, what you do in the game is...well nothing. There is no penalty for not doing anything and no penalty for just doing things. The progressional chain that you have reeps no rewards towards a show off system.   You could add some way to make it so you earn items, collectibles etc that give an advantage. Or hold a social aspect of voting for best town, house, farm something. What you need is a socially driven magnet on making someone better than the joneses. Or add in PVP and allow people to kill eachother off. That will form alliances, guilds. Maybe accelerate your time a little, you said you wanted it close to historically accurate right? Why not have contributions towards a war that happened, have people make blackmsiths, do missions making weapons etc. You can have alliances that attempt to make more resources for the war.
  3. Honestly, there are a ton of text-only RPG games on mobile phones. The problem is they aren't marketed as a book.   Not sure if you remember the game Mafia Wars, Drug Wars, there are even more that are medival.   Mind you some of these examples use graphical clues to keep the player interested, majority if not all of the games components are stats, math and story that is text based. You will see that alot of these have graphics to appeal to the larger audience. As for pure text, with the distribution of media these days, e-books and the fact that real time story mud's isn't used as much its a very very small market. However adding a little flair with some attractive graphics as eye candy help break the barrier of entry for players getting into the Text only style gameplay element.
  4. What level of Details should be posted to the GDD? Answered OTHER I wrote other, though I was leaning towards Clarity and End Goal. I say this mainly because a GDD is a reference, not a final cut dry statement. It is something that is used from beggining to end and helpful as a reference if anyone has questions for clarity sakes. Is one required, nah its not. I have seen some single page GDD that have 1 liners for how they want things. I have also seen very percise level of detail GDD's because of how the information will be handled and worked on as well as the future goals and why something is setup like it is. I believe the answer to the question is:   As much information is needed for the referencing material to be clean, easy to understand and able to be dechipered by the individual looking at it. Think of the GDD as an API library. If you have a question on how, why, what it does or you wanted to see why its implemented you can look at it and understand without having to dig in the nitty gritty. Examples help clarify key points. Over documentation is a bad thing in my opinion but sometimes its needed.     Is it important to include artwork? ANSWERED OTHER Both. Images can be useful and they can be just a pain because they really don't describe anything. I feel its a hit and a miss. If I wanted to convey to you that I want the screen to be dark, like looking through sunglasses at night time, do you need a picture I took of what it looks like at night through sunglasses? On the other flip side if I was describing a mechanical monster and how it has 7 tenticles that look like Axes with carved out engravings on the hilt. You may want to see the clip-art.  Is the GDD a living document? ANSWERED OTHER Yes the GDD is a living document and it should be changed. But NO it should not be changed every time theres a new iteration. You would be there forver. As I stated before its a reference document. Because of this you look at it when its time to use it and make a decision on what your making and how your implementing it. You may not be able to make that auto aiming reloading minigame it says in the GDD. However do you delete that entry? No, don't touch it. Make a note saying who/what/why and move on. Readdress it during a meeting and ensure you leave it in the GDD for future iterations you don't pull a dummy move and just remake the same idea you scrapped.
  5. What you have here is a story.   A game needs game play. This is where your going to have your meat and potatoes of a story get chopped down into 4$ steak with some instant mash potatoes.   To be blunt and honest, its a decent story-ish... almost like a HALO meets PROTOTYPE meets aliens style. But how are you going to convey this. What are your plans? What mechanics are you going to use to carry the story forward. If your character is introduced too early and being full of life to early your game gets stale because there is no challange. Yet, if you do it too late you have the issue of boredom from non-character progression.   The story could work, but the arc of the story vs the gameplay is going to have to be redone. I say this because your going to have to make some decisions on your game play elements and ensuring your making a game and not  just an interactive movie (AKA FF13.)   Since this is in the Game Design forum,   You told us the story, start discussing the ideas of play. What format are you exploring? An interactive story? A top down survival shooter? What year is this set in? Is it a flight simulator? Maybe a Parkour style like Mirrors edge..   Give a little more on the subject of the game and a little less on the story. Remember, in games everything has to be flexible. Including the story. It will more than likely change from iteration to iteration based on gameplay and how it flows.   As cool as this dramatic story line is, the attention span of players is how fast can I hit the X button bypass this story. Story games seldom get the attention they need/deserve mainly because people just don't have the patience to explore it. So how can you translate your story from Story to Game.
  6. I usually start by IDEA  to paper. I wait a day, and write the idea on another piece of paper. Usually about 3-4 paragraphs of things I want to see and small little thought clouds.   After I make a rough prototype of the Start and How I want the game to end. This means for example if I am making a 2 player game, how the game starts and how the game would end.. death match, start them in a room, end with a death ->Scoreboard   From there I start to develop the story and shaping the terrian. Based on my original ideas I start to line through and make edits until I get a rough solid list of everything I want in the game.   When I get the finalized list to make sure its good I do something new which I just started doing.   I actually was talking with a game developer that asked me if I had ever interviewed my characters or a fake character that would be in the idea. I said no, and so I decided to conduct an interview such as:   -Who are you -What are you doing -Where are you going -What is your biggest challange? How do you over come it -How long have you been doing this... Very very broad open ended questions.   While doing this it forced me to think story concept with design ideas on mechanics I wanted to implement. I would revise a few times and then look at everything. When something didn't make sense or it started to look like a gimmick or just an addition that really shouldn't be there, I would ask the same questions to the mechanic.   I know it sounds stupid but joking aside it actually has helped alot. Heres an example of one I did for a fire trap.   -Who: I am a Fire Trap -What: I am a metal trap that blends into the grass when placed, only the user that placed me can see me. -Why: I am here to burn the target on the GROUND for (FIRETRAP_DMG_1). -When: I am placed on the ground by the player. After releasing me I am good for 60 seconds. My srpings give out and I break after that so I am 50% less reliable. -Where: I cover the exact block the player puts me on. I am 2x2 and fill one movement box. -How: Players that step on me get burned. If the player is wearing Metal Boots I do less damage..   you get the point.     After all this, I start to test. Thats right, I actually wait until my core stuff is in before I test. I found that testing each object over and over I become fixated on making that one object perfect before moving to the next. Doing so really hurt my balance designs because I would make something have 100% of my dedication cause I thought it was cool.   After, I like to have noninterested 3rd party people, usually friends and family play with the idea in there heads or by showing them, or even the rough prototype. Getting feedback helps you understand how people think. You may find that fishing for 5 hours is fun, but another person may think its boring. So how do you appeal that? Thats where I start to change gameplay to broad my audience.
  7.   C++ is a steep learning curve, however that doesn't mean it doesn't make a good choice for people without programming experiance. The reason I say this is because a fresh mind in my opinion is a better mind to learn on. I came from the web world, learning Flash/Javascript and PHP before learning other languages. In the web world you learn hacky fixes to make it just work and don't really care about what the user is using as a browser since you mainly build for one. PHP is also a very dirty language which allows you to learn VERY VERY bad habits when it comes to programming.   Translating my PHP experiance to C++ I started to do alot of bad bad practices because its ones that I had picked up from prior experiance.   I say, if you feel you can handle a large curve, try it out. If its a little to much and overbearing, throttle back a bit. If you are having a little trouble with the basics, don't be scared to take up something lite like Python. Just don't compare your progress to things you play daily. Compare your progress to the folder archive you have on your desktop for applications you programmed.
  8. I will probably get the your a dummy look.   Worked on a game with a group of people using Flixel. Was good but we needed a few things that FlashPunk offered instead. Ported all the code over to FlashPunk. Decided to mock up some UI in good ol Flash oldschool style. Linked everything together and.. voila. White Screen.   Tried again day after day after day after day. We were all stumped on why the project file wasn't working.   That day I learned I was somehow able to link a .as3 file to a .as2 FLA. I still do this day have no idea how I was able to do it. However when the problem was fixed it still was a white screen.   Stepping through everything we relized we were all a bunch of dummys. Line 3 started the Flixel engine. We never started FlashPunk. Everytime we started it we did isolated tests with Flashpunk with some Copy Pasta.. man I felt dumb.
  9. [quote name='JTippetts' timestamp='1345478605' post='4971502'] ZBrush single User - $699 Maya - $3675 3D Studio - $3675 None of these options are suitable for a beginner unless you are a student and can get student pricing, and even then can cost some bucks. I sure do see these products recommended a lot, and not always by students or pros. Must just be a lot of novices with thousands of dollars to burn, eh? Blenders and Sculptris offer legitimately free solutions to learn by, without bankrupting yourself. [/quote] I agree, However I was looking at the fact it was for a final project and most of these, if not all of these offer some sort of trial period. I did not really consider the price tag as these kind of just showed up one day at the office . Thank you for reminding me were not all made of cash... being spoiled kind of sucks sometimes.
  10. @Estabon; I see your point about making a game engine from scratch, but I also see a new persons development stand point. I highly doubt that the first thing you did when you first learned programming was take a skill you already were familiar with and start to write SDL shaders or GUI handling from I/O devices on day one. I hardly doubt that any tutorial you learned from also sayed that you need to tackle the most complex thing there is to bug's and said, "Don't worry you need to learn to fly in order to walk." My point being is the OP learning from other engines and improving on it will help him 100x more than just throwing him with a bunch of libraries with little to no programming experiance and say make something of it. Programming is easy to some and worse than algrebra to others. Some understand basic logic and finite math, where as others don't understand that computers are as smart as you tell them to be. Telling someone to grow balls right up is not the right attitude, if anything you linking a game engine source with some examples to an easy to use game engine like Pong, Tetris for math matrix handles or even a clone of Angry Birds to show collision and vectors would be more helpful than all of your posts combined. There is alot more to just 'learning programming'. With that being said, My experiance with Unity3D is a short lived one sadly. We had an issue when it came to 2D assets and applying set textures to a 3D object on the scene. The engine is built for 3D and only wants to render in 3D. When force to use a 2D asset, when applying a 3D asset to the scene the game engine needs some custom scripts to run. All in all we found it a little to troubling and ditched Unity3D and started to tear down UDK. Thats where we are right now. In my scope of using it this is where I had issues: -Files get messy because Unity wants to control them all -Everytime we update a build we have to create a fresh install and re-distro to everyone vs a simple patch change. Very annoying when we do 30-40 builds a week. -Had a couple lock ups happen when pre-defined scripts would attempt to run during play testing. -As stated by CLB we also has memory management issues, ours came during development more than anything because of the scripts issue. -Importing models gave us issues when we used Cell Shaded. It would mess up the draw points for outlines and everyone would have mustaches as it would start tracing the models in a wierd pattern it apparently thought was the priorities or the way the model was built. Not really sure what it was doing but our engineer said it to me so I said Ok. Point being, it hated it. -M
  11. I would reccomend Blender, however if I am not mistaken Blender's use of size/grid on initial starting and setup does something wierd to the model when imported to UDK and you have to fidget with creating sizes. Don't qoute me on that, but I am almost positive that Blender still has the scaling issue for UDK exporting/importing. *IE: You export a model which looks correct in Blender, on import it brings everything to Godzilla size portions into UDK. I would reccomend Maya (Personally love it) as well as 3D Studio Max. If your running on a budget, give Milkshape3D a try. They are very useful to make animations/models in as well as porting/converting. (I have been guilty of importing models from one system through Milk3D and exporting to another format.) If you are wanting to just do a basic sculpt, try ZBrush.
  12. Depends really on a bunch of things. What is your Art Style? What is the mood? How about the style of game, I know you said RTS but what style or RTS is the flavoring? Alot goes into a name. Maybe you could come up with something like: -Routine -Tracer Maybe play off a Meme and say [i]Pingus[/i]. -M
  13. [quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1345347675' post='4970999'] Given the problems many have with algebra, I'd suggest a system where you don't need to use variables at all. I believe flowchart style is more comprehendable to many people. [/quote] [quote name='Dark Star Studios' timestamp='1345193729' post='4970476'] Maybe you could create your own easy-to-understand-for-normal-people language. Just an idea, it might take some work converting strings into normal code or however you would do that. But it might be more user friendly that way. Logic blocks is a good idea too. [/quote] Those two have really great suggestions. Your target audience may be into 'hacking' but 'hacking' involves alot of different things and means different things to different crowds. An engineer will read it different than a script kiddy, a coder, a code-monkey (thought I hate using that term), programmer lead who will read it different than a QA or research analyst. Using a guided version using basic logic blocks is good, but you are still going to run into issues with peoples basic logic. Not everyone acts the same which means your game is going to have a linear path, which just defeats the purpose of having the game as the logic would just be a puzzle game more than a 'hacking' game. It can be themed around putting puzzle pieces but then again your going to have a hard time teaching someone MVC based ideas or even OOP concepts. You bring it back to shallow of a learning curve though and you wind up with a 'perfection' style game where the only pieces into the slot make the right selection. You are also going to take a bit of flak if you don't understand what your doing. Your target audience is going to be people that aspire to do this obviously or want to do this. They are going to want some kind of realism. Talk with a group of greyhats or whitehats. See what they reccomend for missions. Things they use on a daily basis. I would avoid talking with Blackhats unless your doing minimal amounts of research for the fact of legality in teaching. I would hate for someone to make a artistic product that teaches 14-16 year olds how to take down MySQL database using tools they learned how to use in a video game. Thats the last thing we need in the game market. -M
  14. Just a quick edit to what was said in this thread. I do not believe that Unity3d supports C++. It allows you to use a semi limited version of C# inside. Though C# still works inside, you have to talk to its engine langauge by passing scripts. Javascript | Boo (I think its called) is also useful inside there. Don't qoute me on it, but I have not really seen anyone using C++ inside of the Unity3D engine. You can however have C++ application interface with Unity3D and toolsets interact with Unity3D which are programmed in any language, just as long as it sends the right information to the engine. [url="http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/index.html"]http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/index.html[/url] Here is a quick overview to get you started.
  15. If it is flash based then it is just seperate layers for the graphics. The ball is using a simple "scale.movieclip[scaleamount];" most likely to give the appearance of going backwards and forwards. In flash you can make a predetermined path of how the ball should travel using GuideLayers.