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Ramendik

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  1. Ramendik

    Picking a real-time strategy engine

    Thanks - this will be very useful as we tinker with them.
  2. Ramendik

    Picking a real-time strategy engine

    Well, I did not expect him to develop the UI for commands etc at all. I wanted that to be provided by the engine, which is why I was looking at SpringRTS. A quick google says that there actually is an RTS asset pack for Unity but it costs $19 (not a prohibitive price). A "simpler option" might be tower defence, as it is a subset of RTS functionality. (An RTS would have towers anyway, and a tower defence also has moving units, except their routes are fixed). He is not very keen on visual development stuff, he actually wants to be writing lines of code, but I do like the general approach proposed here. We'll start by spending time tinkering with a lot of agents and libraries. He needs to learn to thrive in the modern situation, where you nearly always look for someone else's existing implementation first. This is true way beyond the game segment of software.
  3. Ramendik

    Finding a project to join and learn?

    Thanks, I think with this and the other RTS-specific thread I'm good. There are advantages and disadvantages to different approaches. SpringRTS seems to be an easy pathway to RTS fun without spending the enormous time needed to implement the basic logic (including pathfinding), but somehow it is not very popular on this site. What I'll do is sit down with him and start tinkering with a few different things (Spring included) and see where it goes. This is the advice I got on the RTS thread, but I will also include the games mentioned here; MegaGlest, notably, seems to take a similar approach to scripting as SpringRTS but it might be more suitable as a start if he picks the "make a bot first" route. I will certainly give him the option of starting with simple retro games, but I strongly doubt he will take it up. I suspect he will look for the shortest route to creating something with brag value (among his peers who can't really code). He would want to make a game that other kids his age, specifically those he knows personally, would find genuinely entertaining. This is certainly a lower bar than "marketable", but it is *a* bar. Taking a longer time to do it would probably be an acceptable trade-off. At least, in woodworking (his other interest where I can help much less as he already can do much more than I ever could) he gravitates towards making whatever his classmates want to get, literally from a sword to a dollhouse part. And in the modern software world, the easiest way to such a product is to stand on the shoulders of giants; learn to incorporate things that already exist and are freely available, not code everything on his own. This is one thing I am going to teach him, because it is quite true outside of the game world. And this is what might enable him even for RTS; I do realize the features I listed are complicated - more complicated than I thought at first - but they are all already implemented. So it will have to be a discussion of libraries and engines, followed by trials of same. ...and then he will watch a lot of videos. Because he always does that, whatever the subject. (That's where he gets his woodworking tricks...)
  4. So I have a 12 year old son who wants to dip his toes in game development, while I am good enough at programming but know very little about game dev specifically, or graphics. And from the advice I already got. trying a project of his own is (surprisingly) a favored option. His favourite genre is real-time strategy, and I do have a ready lore set that would make for two factions with wildly different units (balancing that is a topic for another say). But while my favourite language is Python, I'm not exactly optimistic about him implementing a full RTS UI from scratch with Pygame. What with a search for an RTS in Pygame yielding a huge lot of unfinished stuff... So I think he needs to start with a genre specific RTS engine. Python bindings are not essential. I can work out any language and help him work that out. While something like ANSI C would be a major pain, most modern high-level languages, from Java to LUA, would be acceptable. Free to use is a hard requirement, open source is preferred but not essential. Running the games on Android and making them available as Flash would be a bonus but very much not essential. From googling alone, SpringRTS is the number one contender for now, but I would really appreciate advice from people who actually know what they are talking about. (Unlike y own position at this point).
  5. Ramendik

    Finding a project to join and learn?

    Upon some research - should I just let him loose on SpringRTS, let him play a few games based on the engine, then point him to a Lua tutorial and see if we can build one of our own? This seems like a play+development community not unlike Scratch but not that kindergarten-ish? And it already has the approach to AI development that I like. The main downside is that SpringRTS game development appears to be all in Lua, but really, it's just another language. Not as fun as Python, perhaps, but still a language.
  6. Ramendik

    Finding a project to join and learn?

    I asked what kind of games he likes, he tends towards realtime strategy. A classic-style RTS (like my old favourite, WarCraft II) might be tricky to develop on one's own because an AI is not easy to make, but we could look into either PvP RTS (non-massive) or perhaps tower defence (unlike proper RTS, tower defence does not depend on an AI). One idea I had right now is to make a WarCraft-like PvP RTS with a scripting mechanism, so that anyone (ourselves included) could develop a full AI or "assisted play", with AI vs AI play a possibility. But the idea sounds a tad too obvious. Someone probably already did this? (DOTA seems to have Lua scripting, is that it? Never actually played it, from people who do play I heard they abandoned the resource aspect of WarCraft and it was a huge turn-off). Also, one still needs a server for non-massive PvP over the 'net, but this might be doable (especially if one piggybacks on a protocol like Jabber and the server is just a standard thing; one would need one of the clients to be the master, enabling cheating, but really who cares). Despite all this talk, an RTS based on freebie graphics is likely to look like that much garbage. I'm decent at writing and could make up lore, but even good lore with bad graphics... (I actually have a ready set of lore for some years, but it has IP issues and can be seen as 18+ ; basically, a somewhat alternate Earth military invading John Norman's Gor. Come to think of it, this can be laundered pretty quickly, but still, freebie graphics might mean a fail).
  7. Ramendik

    Finding a project to join and learn?

    Dad knows the language but dad stinks at graphics. And son is not great at that, too. We don't have an artist, which sort of makes independent development impossible, except if we head into roguelikes I could theoretically write up a parody roguelike, but we're talking serious retro here. Just how many players would even understand a humorous rendition of current events that requires understanding of Nethack? Not to mention the fact that roguelikes are not generally entertaining for most 12 year olds. Without an artist we're stuck with either text UIs or repackaging of current games (I sorta wanted to push him to remake Sopwith in Scratch but what's the point?). And yeah. he did use Scratch and more or less grew out of it. I was considering Stencyl, what with its really cool graphics engine - but again nothing works without original art. And we're not bursting with really good ideas, either.
  8. Hello, I am in Ireland. I am in IT for 20+ years, I code in Python and Java, but never developed games and am not really familiar with game-specific libraries and engines. My son is 12 and understands the basics of coding. He is interesting specifically in game development. I would support him in getting in there, but we don't have a good idea nor, really, the capability to do something from scratch. I think it would be best for him to join some open source game project and do "grunt work", stuff that is boring for experienced adults. I would certainly help him in working out the technical particulars if he joins a project and needs to be using such-and-such tools. But how can we find a project for him to join, one that would allow him to learn as he does mundane tasks for it? A sort of apprenticeship - except without money involved and without them having to teach him all the details. I can help him do the research if I know the general direction.
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