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RousingNotion

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About RousingNotion

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  1. This is obviously not a topic regarding hard skills. But much more about how you keep going in graphics programming despite the huge frustrations involved. Or even about any tips on avoiding slumps and/or frustrating content in your workflow. I would consider myself still really on the beginner side. I did some hobby-game-programming, text based and SFML-2D-Applications for about four years now, and I am trying to get into OpenGL programming for about 2 months now. I spent alot of time on octree-like datastructures for some kind of ARPG-Game, as well as in understanding quaternions and other math basics. So I got a fly-cam in a world, that dynamically renders blue triangles in the areas close to my camera position. Wuhey! Yeah well, during the past 5 days, my progression basically stopped. I am writing my own model-format, with converter via assimp and importer in my game. At the same time, I tried to figure out how bone animation works. And even though I understood the basic concepts, everytime I sit down to get stuff done, I suddenly lose my motivation. It feels like there are thousands of different things I have to deal with, I feel like I am lost in some kind of vast ocean of "TODO"s, and whenever I think about where I want this program to go, the ToDo-List seems to expand even further. I start becoming nervous and angsty, feeling like I´m just not made for this kind of stuff, yet, it is still really fascinating, and I am way to determined to give up right now. Yet I still have those hours and days, in which I just sit in front of my IDE and anxiously stare on my screen, unable to type a single line of code. Is it only me? Or is this a common problem among graphic programmers, or even programmers in general? Is my project too big for a single person on beginner level? Do I have to keep everything I need to render a fluid 3d environment in mind? Or is it alright, to take some not-really-understood-but-working algorithms and rely on them? Do you set yourself goals for single days? What keeps you motivated? What do you do, once you are in one of those slumps? Taking a break? Forcing yourself to go on? Id be glad if some of you could share your experiences.
  2. Hey everyone, I have been programming for like 6 years more hobby-wise and just finished my first small team project a few days ago. I recently came to the conclusion, that I need to specialize, if I really want to land a job in the game making industry. I really enjoy most of the steps involved in making games, I did the prototype art for our project as well as the UI and input programming. But what is the most fun for me is basically making the screen display the colors I want. I took like 3 attempts to get into openGL programming and really enjoyed those (didnt take it much further because programming graphics AND everything else at the same time just didnt work out). On the other hand, i visit math lectures at university every now and then and... well, dude, those guys are on a whole other level! I dont have an easy time understanding all the complicated math stuff to be honest. Is it math skills, that make a graphics programmer? Can someone without being a math genius be a successful and job-landing graphics programmer? Is there even a need for programmers, who dont achieve bleeding edge graphics?   Would really be grateful for some advice, since I dont want to go through the frustration of learning graphics programming the best I can and still end up being a dead-weight jobwise.
  3. Hey everyone, I did a lot of java stuff during the last two years and Im tired of the reaaaaaallly poor 3d rendering qualities of your average java framework. So to make things short, I am looking for a C++ library that does the following: -Supplies me with a model class. I dont want to connect vertices myself, I just want a function like "loadMyBlenderFileIntoAModel("pathToModel.blend). (Not necessarily blender ofc but i guess you get the idea) -Manages (at least) skeletal animation. Additional animation types would be welcome but are not necessary. I dont want to write all the vector multiplication stuff myself, I just want to tell the library which animation should be played at which speed/frame. -Bonus points if compatible with SDL or SFML. -Hardware Rendering. I dont mind if OpenGL or DirectX, since I really am a windows fanboy. -Nothing that needs its own IDE, GameLoop or Interface. I really need to have full control over my own custom game loop and I really hate to work in some GUI-Code-Hybrid-IDE, I just want to open Sublime and crunch the code lines. So dont even dare to mention Unity :D   Tried Ogre 3d but it looks pretty abandoned to me and for some unknown reason has a really not-so-good rendering quality. Anything else comes to mind? Would really appreciate your help!
  4. RousingNotion

    Strategy mmo what would it take?

    Hey Property, dont let anyone here shoot you down! All the guys here telling you "its impossible, dont even start" either dont have the balls for it or misunderstand your question. Theres nothing wrong with making an "MMO" in the first place: Once you set up a server and dont need much real-time calculations (like bullet collision or something), it doesnt make too much of a difference if 2 or 200 people connect to that server. But first things first, what you probably will need (I never did something the like, so this might be a bit vague and you may need to do additional reading): Client Software: You need to programm a client which runs on every users pc. This Client should probably have some kind of Graphical User Interface (GUI), that means: Buttons, Text-Fields etc. And you probably also want to render some pictures. So here is the first branch: If you want to have a very easy time and dont need any advanced image filters or moving sprites or animations: Learning some Java Basics and diving in the native "SWNG" library* has most of what you are asking for. Just play around with that one: Write your own buttons, learn how to pass text-strings from one function to another and so on. If you want to use advanced Image stuff you probably want to use Hardware-Rendering (means: your graphics card), and for that you could use Java with libraries like Slick2d (it is fun but its not especially "good" in matter of rendering speed), or if you really want fast paced graphics: C++ and a Library like SFML or SDL.   *Libraries are basically code written by others, that can be used as a template. So I could write a library containing a type of "Button", and you could use that library, with some code like "new Button(X-Screen-Coordinate, Y-Screen-Coordinate) to place it on the screen. Rendering Libraries are far more advanced in themselves, but can be learned quite easily. You just need to decide on one for yourself, since each one has its own characteristics and code-syntax.   Alright, whats next? Gamedesign! Grab a pencil, grab some paper and sketch out, how your game elements interact with one another. Sounds pretty simple but never underestimate your step. Everything of which you think "I have a vague idea about it" is far off from being sufficient. You need to put each and every idea and mechanic of yours in numbers and letters, thats what programming is about, thats all your pc understands. Better do this AFTER you have learned a tiny bit of java, because it will really benefit to know how code is basically dont for your game design.   So whats left? Server soft- and hardware. MMOs run not only on the client side (meaning: on your pc at home) but are connected to a server. That server runs a serverside program which is connected to each and every client program. This part is a bit tricky: You need to read up some (or many!) tutorials on how networking is done in the programming language and library of your choice. Basically, you set up some kind of "channel" on an adress, which then is used to pass short code messages between both programs. The client and server loop through each of the received message and processes them accordingly. This may be not that easy, because you need to synchronize between different channels, make sure you have some kind of safe identification to avoid cheating and hacking and so on. A lot of code architecturing which you wont really be able to figure out unless you make at least 5 attempts to code it. May take about a month or five, depending on how much time you have to spare. So for the hardware part: I never really did this myself but basically you need to rent a server, so basically like renting webspace for a website but with the possibility to run your own program on the server and not only some html stuff. If you made it as far as finishing the server-side programming, you are probably knowledgeable enough to read up on how and where to rent a server and make the stuff work out.   So thats "my" approach. You always need to start with the basics of course, but in my opinion: Basics can be learned in a very short time period. Dont listen to anyone telling you that programming is something only masterminds can do. When you got your basics straight, keep pushing forward and get used to a GUI- and Networking library and you are almost there. Some drawing skills may make your game more appealing, but I struggle with that myself :D Another approach may probably be the use of HTML and java-script. Many browser games even use 3d rendering via Javascript and run in your browser. Networking via html and jscript is obviously very easy, but I myself never did anything in jscript and am not too familiar with html, so you might wanna ask someone with more experience in those fields if you are interested.   So I hope you are still reading here and did not get intimidated by all those pessimist "cant do" jerks who will never land a game. Go get them!
  5. RousingNotion

    Rendering awesome Text

    Hey everyone,   eversince, I wanted to show awesome Text stuff like Quest and skill descriptions as seen in well known MMORPGs. Yet I never figured out how that is done. I ve heard of UI-Frameworks like Nifty which support css/html, but for some reason I am pretty uncomfortable with the thought of having xml elements on my screen and not being able to address them in a more "c++ish" way directly from my code. So I wonderd, if there is some kind of well kept secret, that gives me the possibility to render nice looking text using OGL without producing like huge amounts of overhead by loading each letter as a texture.   Id appreciate your help and ideas!
  6. Hey everyone,   to be honest, i am not that sure, if i placed my question on the right spot in this Forum, since most threads in this category are about 3D calclation and things like that. So feel free, to tell me, if i should chose another section for this question.   But now, to my Question: Lets assume we are creating a 2d Plattformer. We want our main character to be able to change his apperance, for example: Haircolor, Weapon, Pants... lets assume we got 3 slots of "Equipment", with 5 options for each. That makes (5*5*5 i guess) 125 possible Combinations. Do i have to create sprite sheets for every combination? And call them by well.. checking a 125-if-Condition-Loop to pick the right sprite sheet, when changing the apperance in Game?   Guess thats - besides the point of taking at least 9000 years of coding - the least effective way regarding memory...   How is it done properly? Is there something like a easy to implement "on the fly sprite-sheet-creation"?   I would be very grateful for your help!
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