Getting into 3D

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gardon 101 Feb 20, 2006 at 23:55

What’s the easiest way to get into 3D from 2D? Are there any books out there that help ease the transfer, any tutorials, or any help even?

It just seems going from riding a bike to driving in the Indy-500….but is it?

Jason

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Nautilus 103 Feb 21, 2006 at 01:46

Delving into 3D is tricky if you ‘know’ only 2D, but it’s not that difficult.
There are a few new basic concept you have to understand, and a few new basic things you have to learn.
So don’t be scared if you feel initially lost.

It’s just that 3D can be overwhelming, especially the first times. But man, it’s so addictive :)

Books? Beware the books!
All of them will promise you wonders. Few of them will be written in an accessible language for the newbie, and most of them in the end will teach you nothing more than what you could learn by reading some free, well-written, tutorials on internet.
Yet, almost all of them will feature unreasonable high prices -given the real meat they contain- :no:

(rant ahead) Also note that more often than not there will be typos and some huge error in the text/source which will prevent you from successifully compiling your apps.
It’s amazing to see how this kind of bad luck strikes with surgical precision right on the bits of code you are most interested in :angry:
You already have to fight with 3D… no need to add other challenges.
On the contrary online tutorials work like a charm. I have yet to find one that won’t compile.

Forget about books for now.
Use google instead. Search for “Direct3D tutorials c++” and pick up your tuts.

Ciao ciao :)

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gardon 101 Feb 21, 2006 at 01:51

Thank you sir.

And as far as game programming goes…. is it mostly the same concepts? I mean, how much harder could it possibly be?

Jason

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gardon 101 Feb 21, 2006 at 01:55

Oh, and what do you guys think about game Institute’s courses?

they can be found here:

www.gameinstitute.com

I bought the C++, DirectX I, and DirectX II modules.

They seem fantastic, but I wasn’t able to really use them in projects. I mean< i could understand what they were doing, but it was hard to use that to my own knowledge and gain from them.

Jason

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gardon 101 Feb 21, 2006 at 02:04

Sorry to post for a 3Rd time.

And what about concepts? How much harder is 3D than 2D? Should I abandon my 2D RPG and move onto 3D?

thanks,

Jason

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Nautilus 103 Feb 21, 2006 at 02:42

It’s nothing you can’t achieve, if this is what you want to know.
However, it is easier said than done.
There is no magic tool that will create things out of thin air for you.
It’s important you understand this, or you are in for a rude awake.
On the other hand, nothing is impossible. You can do the same exact marvelous things you stare at when playing your favourite games.
Knowledge is all you need. Know how they did it… and you can do it too. As simple as that.

But knowledge alone won’t make you a game programmer.
I dare to say that the hardest thing in game programming (be it 2D or 3D) is finding the strength of will to go on and finish what you started.
The temptation to trash everything you’ve worked on and move to a new, more appealing, project won’t take long to manifest.
Especially as you learn new things or encounter a huge problem apparently impossible to solve.
The trick is to resist to that temptation. Save the new cool knowledge for another time and concentrate on solving the problem.
Repeat as necessary until you finish the game, then feel free to start a new and greater project :)

Ciao ciao :)

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Nautilus 103 Feb 21, 2006 at 02:48

Never abandon your projects!
And 2D games can be as beautiful as 3D ones.
It’s not the amount of dimensions that make a game great ;)

Ciao ciao :)

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SamuraiCrow 101 Feb 21, 2006 at 03:03

The artwork on a vector image whether 2d or 3d is more difficult to deal with than a bitmap image. That’s where most of the trouble emerges with 3d games.

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gardon 101 Feb 21, 2006 at 03:24

@Nautilus

The temptation to trash everything you’ve worked on and move to a new, more appealing, project won’t take long to manifest.
Especially as you learn new things or encounter a huge problem apparently impossible to solve.
The trick is to resist to that temptation. Save the new cool knowledge for another time and concentrate on solving the problem.
Repeat as necessary until you finish the game, then feel free to start a new and greater project :)QUOTE]

I guess I’m up shits creek then… lol jk

I do trash a lot of my projects, but that’s not the problem right now. Although I have done that a lot in the past, currently I’m dealing with “over-design”.

Basically I know I can’t make a MMORPG, so I’m starting out small. However, starting small doesn’t necessarily do it for me, because I don’t know what “small” is. I keep adding things, changing things, re-thinking things, and trying to re-design things that don’t necessarily need ehlp.

So like I’m trying to get this RPG to work, and rather than just brute coding everything till it works and I ahve something to show for it, I’m taking the long way and trying to design huge systems and such that only will make things worse at the moment. Lol, one problem is trying to make everything smooth and have excellent scrolling while maintaining an excellent fps count and optimizing memory. I t hink i really should focus on the game instead :)

Do you guys have any tips on how to keep things simple and how to progress without taking on too much wook (sub-contiously)?

Thanks again,

Jason

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Nautilus 103 Feb 21, 2006 at 14:36

@gardon

[…] Do you guys have any tips on how to keep things simple and how to progress without taking on too much wook (sub-contiously)?

Thanks again,

Jason

Yes I have a little tip for you :)

Surely when you start a project it is because you have a great idea in mind. In your head there are millions of little ideas flying around and colliding with each other. You see a great game ahead and can already imagine yourself testing it until it’s 5 a.m. \^_\^

While it is a blessing to have a volcanic mind, it is a comon error not to put down and organize those ideas.
The simple solution is to write a document. Put down your ideas, with enough detail so that you can freely forget about them without worring, because the document you write will be there to remember you the strokes of genius you had 3 months earlier, but had to put on hold.

It’s important you do this kind of -boring- activity. It helps not only to maintain a coherent vision of the final goal, but let’s you rethink about things as you write them down. Makes you spot ‘weak’ points before you actually code ‘em in (the more time you spend writing this document, the less time you spend coding the game).

Most of the great ideas you have, will certainly need a good degree of modifications. Some will be dropped completely, others will be slightly modified to better integrate with the rest of the concept.

This document I speak of is a sort of huge to-do list, with descriptions of details and explantions of why you think you are gonna do a certain thing in that way.
You should roughly detail how you are gonna organize things in memory, and what kind of techniques you think you’ll use and why.
You know you have written a good document, when another programmer, after reading it, can picture your game in his mind exactly as you picture it in yours. Ever read Tolkien’s books? They are full of details. So many that you can easily picture the scenes the author is describing and imagine with good accuracy what the characters are dressing and how they move/behave/relate to others. That is what you must do.

I know it seems a huge waste of time, but it isn’t. It can really save your projects from being trashed to the bin, and will considerably speed up the creation process.
Look at this document as a sort of higher being you receive orders from. It’s easier when you just have to execute commands, rather then having to think of what you should do, on-the-fly, all the time.

Of course, it will also help you realize before time if you are ‘aiming too high’. The general rule is: if you have a great idea, but have absolutely no clue about how to practically realize it… then you’ll likely won’t be able to do it, and it’s wise to not even start with it.
Another rule is: if what you want to do is something you’re sure nobody has ever done before, then proceed with the utmost caution about it. You may succeed… you may not.
This doesn’t mean that you have to copy what others have done before you. It rather mean that if nobody else has ever done it before, then there must be a reason for it, though you may not see it right now.
Know that out there is full of talented people. You may be another talented one, but certainly not the only one. Therefore before starting something that sounds absolutely new and revolutionary on the paper, ask yourself: why nobody else has thought of this before? There is always a reason. Discover that reason, and decide if you can really make it or not (it will save you lot of disappointment).

Great, I’m sounding like a teacher now :p (I’m not)
Better to stop before they kick my butt.

Ciao ciao :)