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How Does a Noob Start Creating a Simulator?

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#1 HREC   Members   


Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:07 AM

Hello, world!


Because I want to create video games, but have no experience, I've been looking for introductions, courses, interviews, books (and even a job as QA tester), etc. I have managed to collect a nice amount of information to begin my adventure in game development. There is loads of information dedicated to creating platformers, shoot'em ups, but....


....I really want to create a sim, but I can't seem to find information explicitly dedicated to this particular genre (except dreadful stuff about 'serious' gaming that does not sound like FUN to play).


If there is anybody out there with some links, tips, anything relevant at all, please contribute in this thread.


Greatly appreciated.



#2 Hodgman   Moderators   


Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:22 AM

Sim could be anything from a 3d flight sim including intense physics, to a mil-sim that's basically as complex as an FPS game, a management sim that's basically a 2d isometric game, or a spreadsheet based accountancy simulator!

What kind of sim specifically do you want to create?


What have you created before? Sounds like you're completely new to programming? If so, and if your sim has any complexity, you should probably start with pong and other arcade games as practice cool.png

#3 Gian-Reto   Members   


Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:02 AM

Well, before thinking about any genres, you need to learn the basics. These will be the same for a platformer or a Simulation. Game Loop, 2D / 3D Navigation, how to use engines / how to create your engine from scratch, handling player input, and so on....

Common advice is to start with small easy 2D Games before starting increasingly more difficult projects, so that you learn the topics involved bottom up, you get to finish projects which helps both motivation and building up a portfolio for future use and never bite off more than you can chew.


If you want to ditch the basics and start running before you can walk (not advisable, but people and the amount of challenges they can take on at the same time differ), as Hodgeman said, you need to be more specific.

Are we talking about Flight Sim, Race Sim, Economic Sim, Military Shooter Sim, Tank Sim, THE SimS? Are we talking 2D or 3D? What is your Scope - just a small Sim (like driving through the mud in your backyard) versus a big Sim (recreating the whole City of London for a Drive Sim)? Are we talking simplified Physics or full Physics support?


In the end, what most people understand as a sim today is just a game with very deep and complex game logic in ONE CERTAIN AREA. A Drive Sim is not much different from a current Arcade Racer in most aspects. Both will feature topnotch graphics (a lot of the arcade racers include an abundant amount of details like damage to graphical models even though there is no real damage model influencing the game logic), both feature the same physics and game logic - just in one case logic and physics have been tweaked for a realistic result, while in the other they are tweaked purely for fun (therefore some parts of the game logic have been cut out or simplified.... not many people like driving around in a damaged car, even though its realistic that this car will not go at top speeds anymore and the steering will be difficult).


So if you want to do a driving Sim, I would look at tutorials for arcade racers.

Edited by Gian-Reto, 03 September 2014 - 04:02 AM.

#4 Felix Ungman   Members   


Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:18 AM

Install some IDE, there are many good free ones like http://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/ and try to do something really simple, like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life

Implementing Game of Life will highlight some of the basic concepts of writing simulation systems, yet it's possible to implement in few hundreds line of code.

Edited by Felix Ungman, 03 September 2014 - 04:19 AM.

openwar  - the real-time tactical war-game platform

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