Finding the right fit (help me)

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 08, 2006 at 21:45

Hello guys!

Im gonna start htis by being honest in that I have limited knowledge of programming/coding, and moderate knowledge of working graphics and modelers such as maya and blender, BUT I WANT BOTH OF THESE TO CHANGE!

Basically, I am looking at this from a perspective of a really fun hobby. Ive played so many games and mmos and thought “I can do better” I mean…who hasnt right? well I wanna put my money where my mouth is and begin to not so much build a game but some of the features Ive always found lacking in games.

So…where do I start? what engine can work with an utter noob but not be limiting in the regard that if I learn more and more programming I can grow within the engine…

I dont care if its free or costs money. Money I have (not thousands and thousands) but time I dont so I want to stream line my learning process.

I would like to caveat this by saying I am smart, and i learn fast, so it doesnt need to be an idiot proof system.

Some of the things I wish to look into making is:

Destrucable environments
Fantasy flight systems (proper wing thrust, use of thermals and dives)
mounted flying combat
dynamic fighting that is real
dynamic quest systems

I know these are ambitious but there just for fun, but I wanna have the tools to do these things.

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dave_ 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 00:28

You can’t get something for nothing. No engine is suitable for the complete noob. You need to learn how to program first. In any language.

I have one link for you: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 00:54

thats what i was asking for?

a programming language that is good to learn on, and a book/tutorial, heck a school I could look into. An engine that i can begin playing around with it on, because I for one am of a mind a person learns best by doing something.

ive been absorbing data for a week now, and Ive learned alot about the types of program languages that are out there, the engine choices, graphics, physics, ect…

but I was looking for ‘friendly” advice on where to look at to start that wont be a dead end. Because the chances are if I just pick something research it and try it, it might possibly leads me to know where except knowing what not to do.

I am trying to limit that.

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Jare 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 01:19

@TRUEHERO

ive been absorbing data for a week now

Keep doing that for a few years and things will be much clearer. Mix it with some actual “doing things” and it will also be useful. There is no silver bullet, and at the stage where you are, there are no dead ends. Any path you try, anything you do, will net you some valuable experience.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 02:12

thats fair information, and I thank you for your candor…

I dont truly understand where the hostility comes from, I guess its just the nature of the internet these days.

but I wasnt looking for a “silver bullet” or even a get rich quick scheme…just opinions on how people started out, and what sites were good or books that they enjoyed or didnt that were targeting noobies.

I guess thats to hard? to much of a guarded secret? anyways! I guess Ill post what im looking at now.

Blender and the blender game engine - I already know Maya preatty well, but I figured if they have a game engine Ill check out there 3d program as well. Seems to me since its open source and made by people that it would have tons more add-ons/scripts than others (course that means more bugs) but im hoping more people to work through them as well.

Realm Crafter 2- I saw a game one team i smaking with realm crafter 1, and it was very impressive, so Im going to look into this.

multiverse- seems ambitious but nothing anyone has made to this point looks any good, and the features seem lacking.

C4- the physics engine for this one looks nice! but the reviews on ths board alk of some problems, but its new so thats to be expected?

Questions: anyone know of any good engines with WYSIWG? i wanna look into this. I saw the cry engine and the intuitive ai was sweet!

well, dinner time im off.

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Razor 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 10:14

I started out with the unreal engine myself. Just pick up an unreal based game that has the editor with it. I can’t say it’s the best way to start, but the unreal engine is famous for it’s tools, and you can ease into the whole thing by making some levels. It probably won’t let you make an mmo, but 64 players should be plenty to try out your ideas right? And you won’t have all the restrictions the major mmo’s do. Oh, you won’t be able to destroy the environments, but that’s not feasable for an mmo anyway.

Just an opinion. Good on you for putting up with the jaded pros.

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dave_ 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 13:05

@TRUEHERO

thats what i was asking for?

Did you read it the link? I’ve read it. Its quite insightful. I wish I’d known that when starting out!

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Ellis1138 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 18:55

The hostility was because the OP can easily do the research himself if he felt like it. I never had to post a “How do I make a game?” post, because all I had to do was sit and read these forums and articles here, on gamedev.net, gamasutra, igda.org, and you’d be surprised what you can Google with the right words. I got books out of the library, bought several of the recommended game developing books on eBay and Amazon, and someone keyed me to the best site: http://sloperama.com/advice.html

Ourselves, we decided (mainly budget-based) to work with Panda3D, Blender and/or Milkshape, and we’re using Python for the actual scripting.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 21:28

Im glad we live in such a cut throat society….(sarcasm)

but anyways…

Razor: I like your idea but if I use an unreal engine and make some “levels” can I make my own art that can then be transitioned into a diffrent engine that caters more to mmo style? (i know nothing of unreal, i hate fps games)

ellis,

Im atually looking at some of the same things. I know python enough for basics and to get mysefl in trouble, but I like the way it works so im going with it for now.

I am also using blender, and maya because I know it. Im going to look on the boards for some converters for diffrent formats. If anyone has some suggestions? or you can just yell at me for asking, that works too.

Now I saw panda on the engine list but I havent looked into it. Hows it working for you?

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Razor 101 Dec 10, 2006 at 00:55

@TRUEHERO

Razor: I like your idea but if I use an unreal engine and make some “levels” can I make my own art that can then be transitioned into a diffrent engine that caters more to mmo style? (i know nothing of unreal, i hate fps games)

The levels would of course be specific to unreal, as would the code (being in unreal script). Models, including static ones (as long as you have the “source files”) and textures should work in another game. If I’m not mistaken, UT2003 came with a slightly unlocked version of Maya PLE for making models with. I wouldn’t worry about transitioning the art to another game myself, because by the time you switch engine you’ll probably be so much better at it you’ll think what you’ve done is crap anyway.

But once again, it’s just a possibility, pick your own path.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 10, 2006 at 06:47

lol your probably right about that. ive done alot of 3d modeling, and some 3d static art on maya, but ive never animated anything….I dunno though…unreal and doom and wolfenstein stuff…its never been my cup of tea, in fact I really really abhore it.

Ill look into it though…OH HEY! I was at a “guys night” tonight and one of the gents was a programmer and told me about how he got into it, and some of the diffrences in programming languages and what is good to learn with for what I wish to do…was very helpful!

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Ellis1138 101 Dec 11, 2006 at 03:42

Panda3d is doing all right for us, since we’re not aiming to be the next World of Warcraft. Another thing we like is that it has a lot of support (forums, several colleges are now using it), so the likelihood of help and getting more workers eventually is a good one.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 11, 2006 at 15:52

ill look into it. Im still playing around between maya, 3dmax, blender….I also like them in that order.

but ill look into panda.

so far this is where Im at now; HOLDING PATTERN!

Im taking some programming tutorials and ive signed up for both a programming and a graphical design class next semester.

There are three mmo designs i am looking into in order of my favorite

torque engine with the mmo kit (they have great support and tons of good add-ons and documentation) from what I can tell.

realm crafter 2 (realm crafter one looks nice, but the grpahics suck, sounds like thats to be fixed when 2 comes out)

multiverse (sounds ambitious, dunno what its capable of, so I am a bit apprehensive.)

What knows though in 6 months though? woooo!

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Durastik 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 01:08

Although people hate to hear this, it always has to be said.

Make something in 2d efore stepping into the 3d realm, then make a 3d game before making that MMO.

MMOs are a massive amount of work, and although there are tools around to speed up the process, you’re still looking at 2+ years to get anything decent.

Keep in mind you’ll have to find a server, aswell as some GMs, not to mention that you’ll probably end up needing 3-4 team memebers just to get something done.

If you do want to make a MMO, go read www.devmaster.net/wiki , you’d be surprised about how many people want to make a MMO, and how many consider themselves unique.

I do ike the whole fly dragons thing, espcially if there was massive combat, now that would be cool. But keep in mind that aiming for realisim in a MMO will equal instant death, as it’ll eat up too much time. It’s probably best to build a simple mouse driven flight system similar to Freelancer, but mix it up with magic etc.

Peace

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 02:10

yeah i understand, what you are saying and maybe i didnt state it clearly enough or emphasize it, but I am in this as a hobby. Im not trying to make the next wow, or make anything really….

maybe if the “mechanics” i wish to create work out, I could sell those, but I am not aiming for that. I just love physics and I want to work with it in games.

Oh! and I have made seven 2-d games in the last week. I bought a book from borders called…

“beginning game programming”
by Michael Morrison

and from it i built a basic engine and 7 games, that are kinda fun to be honest.

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Durastik 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 04:42

I understand you are in it as a hobby, but so is every second person here. If you want to make a physics perfect game, you’ll want to make a basic single player system first, as networking and security will end up eating up too much of your time otherwise.

Peace

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 05:49

not if i dont even bother with it, haha!

there are many people out there i can pay to do such things, or if people like my project if I ever inquire for help…

im not planning on working inside a bubble, heck i already have two others but they dont really count since they are…

my brother, and my best friend! one of which is a graphical designer for an animation studio. (which helps little with programming)

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Durastik 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 06:32

Why are you even asking for advice then? Everything people have said with intents to help you, you have gone and argued off.

I don’t see much point in helping someone who just disagrees with everything said.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 16:10

i liked razor and ellis’ advice?

and I am disagreeing and agreeing with you mostly…

Your points are VERY VALID and I was just trying to inform you I had though of these (sort of) and I appreciate you working through different things I need to be made aware of, and reminded of…

Im sorry if your feelings were hurt, It is not intentional, and I am not trying to belittle you or your opinion and if thats whats coming across to you then I am truly sorry.

In fact I was most excited that you mentioned doing a 2d game because thats what i thought, and your reassurance that it was a good plan, made me happy. Im having tons of fun programming a missile defense game right now.

Question: Are you saying I should apply my wants for a good physics system to a single player aspect so I can focus on that and not the aspects of making it multiple people capable? If so, then I never thought of it like that…but if I go with that approach can it then be transitioned into a multi user format easily? (not that anything is really easy, nor do I want it to be!)

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dave_ 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 16:35

@TRUEHERO

Question: Are you saying I should apply my wants for a good physics system to a single player aspect so I can focus on that and not the aspects of making it multiple people capable? If so, then I never thought of it like that…but if I go with that approach can it then be transitioned into a multi user format easily? (not that anything is really easy, nor do I want it to be!)

I think the phrase, “learn to walk before you run” is appropriate here!

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 18:46

i agree 100% dave, which is why im working on these 2d games and will slowly transition to something 3d based.

but id still like to be on a path where i can walk…and then run. Instead of being stuck in walk mode…..if that makes any sense.

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Reedbeta 167 Dec 13, 2006 at 18:49

@TRUEHERO

but id still like to be on a path where i can walk…and then run. Instead of being stuck in walk mode…..if that makes any sense.

I wouldn’t worry about that. The experience you gain in developing 2D games will make a lot of difference when you then decide to pick up 3D games, or physics or multiplayer or whatever, even though they may not seem to be that closely related now.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 19:03

thank you for that reassurance :)

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dave_ 101 Dec 13, 2006 at 23:05

Personally, I’ve never made a 2D game. I started out moding. Its an excellent way to get to grips with programming cos you can quickly make big difference to the way that a game plays. 2D or 3D makes little difference, the maths is the same usually.

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TRUEHERO 101 Dec 14, 2006 at 00:15

So a mod of a existing game hey? hmm….so make like a “level” and custon meshes or something of that sort? hmm again….

i have never winter nights 2, is that a good one to mod up? Maybe ill look into when I get home….

Ill buy any system/game someone suggests they have found better to mod with, better tools and the like, more ablility to change the game and the like.

GREAT SUGGESTION DAVE THANKS!

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Durastik 101 Dec 14, 2006 at 07:36

@Reedbeta

I wouldn’t worry about that. The experience you gain in developing 2D games will make a lot of difference when you then decide to pick up 3D games, or physics or multiplayer or whatever, even though they may not seem to be that closely related now.

Leanring to make a devent gamplay model is probably one of the most important things you’ll learn in 2d. It isn’t a matter of making a pretty game in 2d, it’s about making it FUN.

If I hadn’t spent the majority of my game develpment experiance in 2d, alot of my vcurrent gameplay designs would lack.

Being able to place concepts down without the fancy graphics means you can test your mechanics, rather then your engine.

Peace

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chmod 101 Jan 01, 2007 at 22:00

@TRUEHERO

anyone know of any good engines with WYSIWG? i wanna look into this. I saw the cry engine and the intuitive ai was sweet!

Yes, the CryEngine (for the new upcoming game Crysis by EA) is nice looking.

Have you taken a look at the Torque Engine? It’s great for the advanced or beginer game developer. They also have the 2D simple Torque Game Builder to start you out on. As far as the programming language, I would start out with C++. You can download it for FREE from MS.

Hope this helps!

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IceBlade 101 Jan 02, 2007 at 01:57

@TRUEHERO

ill look into it. Im still playing around between maya, 3dmax, blender….I also like them in that order.

but ill look into panda.

so far this is where Im at now; HOLDING PATTERN!

Im taking some programming tutorials and ive signed up for both a programming and a graphical design class next semester.

There are three mmo designs i am looking into in order of my favorite

torque engine with the mmo kit (they have great support and tons of good add-ons and documentation) from what I can tell.

realm crafter 2 (realm crafter one looks nice, but the grpahics suck, sounds like thats to be fixed when 2 comes out)

multiverse (sounds ambitious, dunno what its capable of, so I am a bit apprehensive.)

What knows though in 6 months though? woooo!

Hey TRUEHERO, sorry that you are getting attacked.

Well, anyway. Based on what you are looking into I would suggest several things.

As others have said, work with Torque, it is the best place to start because of all the cheap and/or free engines, it has the most literature.

If you’ve read Beginning Game programming, I would suggest you pick up Game Programming All in One by Kenneth Finney (Get the Second Edition of the Book, because the first uses an older version of torque). It will expand your C++ knowledge and let you learn how to use the C-Script that Torque deals with.

After you’ve gotten that down, then look into Getting Torque w/ TGEA EA (if v.1 of TGEA(Torque Game Engine Advanced) isn’t out yet. Learn with it and start doing what you want to do towards making an MMO(get better at implementing the combat system, and physics you would need to handle the flight that you want).

*If you find that you want a little bit more structure (the Torque Developers Resource by GarageGames is a mess, but they are working on organizing it and fixing the code, so that might help you out) you can purchase “The Game Programmer’s Guide to Torque”. Its essentually a Torque Reference Book, along with some lessons.*

Then purchase TITAS(it is the TGEA version of the MMOkit) which by the time you’ve read through everything should be out as a version 1.0. Now you have a prebuilt system to use, and you’ll have full working knowledge of how to use it.
*NOTE: Torque doesn’t ahve a true WYSIWYG editor, but its Terrain editor and Mission Editor are alot like one. It is nowhere near as featured as many other engines have(Cry Engine 2, UE3, etc), but it does allow you to see whats going on in your game and plot some basic game features visually.


Minions of Mirth has shown that an MMO can truely be done from start to finish on Torque, and it was created before the MMOkit was released.


Hope that helps.
\~ IceBlade