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Red Ghost

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About Red Ghost

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  1. Red Ghost

    Questions about game development platforms

    It all depends on the time and the money you want to invest on. You can create games on all platforms (PCs, APPLEs, handheld devices, game consoles). Jonbonazza already covered platform cost. I should add it all depends on what you wish to do and previous coding experience you have. Regarding a hobbyist programmer with little to no money and not much time to spare, I would suggest to use the PC or APPLE computer you have at home and download/install the Python language. It is more than enough to start out (besides many game development libraries exist for that language). Please note it is game content creation that is the time and money sink: all sprites, 3D models, sounds, musics must be created (or bought from an artist). Scenarios must be written beforehand and game mechanics must be thought out before starting coding. Learning C++ as a hobbyist is interesting if you have a PC (windows / linux). APPLE programmers use objective-C. In both case, compared to Python, the learning curve is steeper and development is longer (due to compilation, and creating the functions to interface with a graphic/sound library). Hope that helps. Red.
  2. I use InkScape and GIMP for 2D, Wings and Milkshape for 3D. Red.
  3. Red Ghost

    Steve Jobs

    It is indeed sad news. For me, it signs the end of computer pioneering era when people were trying to convert an engineer tool (IBM in the 1970s) into a person's everyday tool. He had chosen a different route than Bill Gates. While the latter was trying to normalize the behaviour of computers within one OS, Steve Jobs had chosen to refine a user interface over selective components. Both approaches have their merits since they cater for different people. Still, Steve Jobs was a landmark in user interface development and computer marketing. I remember as a kid when the simplest and best user oriented available computer was Apple II (later followed by the Macintosh). As a kid I couldn't have a computer (it was too costly for my parents at that time and home computers later in the 1980s weren't distributed in France yet), so I used to go after school at the professional computer store near home and spend time on that Apple II (it was the Apple IIe with its own screen at that time). When there weren't customers, the store owner would let me manipulate the computer (and even play on the two games available: Wizardry and Daedalus). At that time, I used to write programs on paper using a Basic language lexicon. Well Mr Jobs, I thank you for all those years. So long, and thanks for all the fish. Red.
  4. Red Ghost

    Irrlicht vs Ogre3D

    Hi, 1) Irrlicht vs OpenGL OpenGL is a graphics library. It provides low level functions for displaying 3D graphics. Implementing effects, model loading and display, organizing the scene is the responsability of the developper. Irrlicht is a graphics engine which provides high level functions to display effects, load and animate models, display a scene. Irrlicht is built on top of a graphic library (even 3 as it let you choose between 3 underlying graphics libraries : OpenGL, DirectX or a software emulation). 2) Physics engine Since I prefer turn based games, I have no use for physics engine. Basic physic implementation is enough for my own projects. I haven't compared existing physics engine so I can't really answer your question there. My own methodology to compare libraries is to: a) check what are my needs list all libraries that fufill my needs (checking if they have direct documentation for implementation) c) look at the libraries interface to see which are the easiest to use. That's all. Ghostly yours, Red.
  5. Red Ghost

    Irrlicht vs Ogre3D

    Hi, They both are good graphics engines with excellent documentation and helpful communities. Neither engine is a game engine: alone these libraries only cater for graphics. To me, the choice of one graphic engine boils down to personal preference. Irrlicht has a little less features than Ogre 3D straight out of the box (though you can easily expand Irrlicht to add more features). But it is completed by other toolsets: - a 3d world editor (irrEdit) - a 2d and 3d sound engine (irrKlang) As a lone programmer, I prefer Irrlicht because of its available toolsets which let me focus on realizing a game. When I started with Irrlicht a few years ago, it had a simpler interface than Ogre 3D. I do not know if it is still true today as Ogre 3D also improved its interface. For my games, I use Irrlicht for graphics, Irrklang for sound (though it can be replaced by another sound library), SFML for network management and multithreading interface. Note that most of my time is not spent in programming, but creating the resources for a game (especially in turn based wargames). This is why I favored simple interface and existing toolsets. Hope that helps, Ghostly yours, Red.
  6. Red Ghost

    A choice of engine by its package size

    Hi, Can you precise your constraints ? Are you developping with a specific space constraint ? Are you designing for a specific OS/platform ? Ghostly yours, Red.
  7. Red Ghost

    Learning to Draw Characters: The Basics

    Hi, Drawing characters is tough and needs a lot of practice. I personnally use simplified skelettons to strike a pose and check for proportions. Then I flesh out the skeletton using simplified volumes (good for shadowing). I end the drawing by adding whatever details I need (muscle bumps, clothes, and so on). A nice method can be found in the following two books: - Figure Drawings For All Its Worth (Andrew Loomis - can be found for free on the net): great if you are looking for drawing realistic figures. Though tough at first, it is very rewarding in the end. - Fun With A Pencil (Andrew Loomis again): easy to follow and more suited for sprites. No shadowing information though. I personnally dislike the manga tutorials on the net: most of them rely on an existing practice of figure drawing (create skeletton, flesh out, and so on) and become interesting only when you need to draw details (hair styles or eyes for example). I have started practicing with loomis' method. I am now takign a few drawing lessons since there are a lot of information you get there that cannot be conveyed in a book (not only about techniques, but also about what makes a drawing good). I also have a sketch book to draw movement of people when I am in parcs or on the beach: this is where I hone proportions and general volumes. I also practice by copying advertisements with full body or faces (perfumes, clothing or jewelry advertisements which show a variety of poses and sometime dramatic shadowing). Note that the simplified skeletton is essential in a drawing: if the proportions of the skeletton are wrong, your drawing will be wrong whatever you do after. Hope that helps. Ghostly yours, Red.
  8. Red Ghost

    Porting code to windows 7

    @ernow: Thanks for the link. I will take time to read this thoroughly. @reptor: I am not more concerned by one or the other evolution. I only state that doing both will be unavoidable work. I am just looking for previous experiences in that task regarding windows 7 and 64 bits. Through previous platform migration, I have learned that a major change of OS cannot be reduced to checking wether functions are present or not. It also implies different means to access resources (thus a rewrite of some sections of code). Ernow has hinted about UAC and given a link to the 7 software chart. The trouble, when there are major evolutions, is not that 'things' change but more how to plan the mandatory migration between existing development tasks. To be able to plan, we have to be able to estimate the amount of work the migration represents. @grantax: do you prefer that article: www.gamedev.net/reference/programming/features/20issues64bit Thanks all. Ghostly yours, Red.
  9. Red Ghost

    Porting code to windows 7

    @ernow: I have already read the article and conducted a first quick survey of my code. Due to the code design I chose, I have few impacts. Still, I will need a deeper check to remove these few impacts. You are right that a lot of third party libraries are not yet ported into 64 bit code. I think I will follow your advice and wait for libraries to migrate. @reptor: IMHO the question is not a what but a why. We have two major OS evolutions: 64 bits and the 7 architecture. I do not know how much time we have before having to port code from XP to 7. But I know porting will be mandatory. I remember porting code in C from Dos to windows 95 knowing windows 98 was on the way: it was a lot of work (especially when looking at libraries, memory representation evolution, ...). I am wondering about the impact of the 7 architecture on my code (independantly of the 64 bit architecture). @rufelt I have seen indeed that feature. However, I wonder for how long it will be available before being abandonned by the next Microsoft OS. Any idea ? Ghostly yours, Red.
  10. Hi, I am wondering wether it is time to migrate from XP (32bits) to 7 (32 or 64 bits depending on libraries) or not. (Note: most of my programs are in C++, the rest is legacy code written in older languages). I wanted to know if anybody has ported his/her game code under windows 7. If so what should I watch for ? Ghostly yours, Red.
  11. Hi, This is more a marketing question. Quoting the name of the source game in your advertising has more drawbacks than advantages. Linking your game to the source game will have two direct effects independant of your game: - target audience will think your game as a follow up of the source game (if it is not the same settings or the same mechanics, they will feel cheated), - target audience will expect improved game experience over the source game (they will have expectations as to what the gameplay should be - if you don't meet these expectations, you are toast). Better analyse what are the characteristics of the source game that appealed to the target audience. Mention those characteristics and explain in what way your game improves the source game genre. Let's analyse a simple example: a racing game based on Trackmania but in a mad max world with improved player interaction (you harm other players through the use of weapons). Why does the target audience like Trackmania (non exhaustive): - modular circuits with special track elements (like loopings, ramps, ...) - simplified car physics (no collision detection between players) - multiplayer gaming available - race recording available for sharing Now in what ways does the new game improve over the previous one: - mad max world settings - car customisation with offensive weapons and defences - broader objectives: either finish first or disable all opponents first Once you have listed all the characteristics, then you write out a first advertisement pitch that sums up all these characteristics: Trapped in a post apocalyptic world, you must race for survival through incredible scenery. Your opponents won't leave you a chance as resources are scarce and make the difference between freedom and despair (world setting). Customize your own car and be the first to finish with a functional car( customisation and objectives). Defy other players on the existing acrobatic circuits or your own ones built using our modular circuit builder system (modular circuits and multiplayer gaming). Record your deeds for all to see that you are fit to survive this world (race recording and sharing).Will you accept the challenge ? The pitch above is a little simplistic but conveys the information. Now you must tell your target audience that you have a game that may interest them using the pitch above. You can advertise: - by requesting in their forums beta testers for your game (to check wether the game is right on target or not - and use the beta testers to spread word of the existence of your game). - by advertising in their forums the existence of your game (within the rules of their forums). - by advertising in specialized newspapers (having a review for example of your game). Never use in your advertisement the name of the source game as it may predate the target audience's perception of your game (see above). Hope that helps. Ghostly yours, Red.
  12. Hi, IMHO, it is more a design problem than a grammar problem. It depends on what you want to do with your objects. I would dissociate the main object storage problem from object transmission problem since both problems have their own specific set of constraints. Of course there are exceptions due to interactions. You mentionned one in your example: when storing classes (and not pointers) to a stl vector. In that case, the class address will become invalid when the stl vector will need to resize. (However, it is not the case with stl list or stl map where the underlying object is stored in a node). Your main object storage depends more on the lifetime of your objects and their interface. What I mean is: - if you have few objects which never vary in number and which are created at game startup, then a static array is enough (even a std vector provided you reserved space beforehand). - if you have objects that are loaded/unloaded at different times in your game then you will need more dynamic solutions. For the renderer part of my own game engine, I stored all object pointers in my scenegraph into a stl map (std::map<long, object pointer>). I chose pointers for simplicity of resource management (for removal: delete object then erase iterator pointing to the node with the container). The long value is a unique ID of the object I passed over to different parts of my renderer. I chose to pass over a reference (others would have used a smart pointer) to avoid problems in case an object was removed/destroyed during a rendering loop. That is my solution to my own set of constraints. Hope that helps. Ghostly yours, Red.
  13. Hi, Here are my 2cents. You have 2 to 3 hours available per day for your game. It is easy to get your motivation back. 1- Your game is composed of code and resources. If you are not in the mood for coding, draw resources or build levels. You can also use pen and papers to try on your kitchen table your game (provided it is not a platformer, all other genres can be translated to pen and paper games). Creating the resources for your game will help to advance your project. 2- Always have a development strategy (even for hobby programming). It helps you focus on what you really need for your game and will protect you against creeping features. If you build a house, you need an architect's map. Same with programs. 3- Also keep a log of everything you have already done until now for your game, and keep a log of the tasks that need to be done. The first log will motivate you and show your progress, while the second will keep you on track when you are in the mood for coding. 4- show your project advance to other people (your friends, GameDev community IOTD, your family, ...). Their feedback will give you a fresh eye on your project. 5- use a good work environment (chair + table + computer): this means no bedroom. This place should be free of interruptions for the duration of your development. That's all I can think for the moment. I follow myself all these recommendations and it does help structuring one's work and keeping focus. Good luck. Red.
  14. Red Ghost

    How To Learn Game Programming

    Hi, I would also recommend to read a few books on the subject of game programming that encompass all these topics (non exhaustive list to follow): - Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX - Jim Adams - Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus - Andre Lamothe These books are just for helping a beginner start from scratch. Once she/he gets more experience, she/he will be able to read more advanced books (like the Game Programming Gems series, the AI Game Programming Wisdom series, and so on ...). Ghostly yours, Red.
  15. Red Ghost

    Beginner - RPG game engine?

    Hi, Do you have the book "Programming Role Playing Games With DirectX" by Jim Adams ? It covers all areas for RPG games programming. It is definitely worth to read. Ghostly yours, Red.
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