My next game programming project...2011

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#1 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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My next game programming project...2011

Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:36 PM

Hi Everyone,

It's been 2 years since I posted details for a game I was working on here at DIC. I had to stop because of a new job and responsibilities. Here was the project. Battle for Kursk

I did manage to complete three other computer games since then (one is not posted yet). Other Games They were smaller projects.

I've spent some time working on a chatbot and decided that parsing grammar is not something I really enjoy at the moment. I thought I would take on a long-term game programming project this year...something to waste time on. :bananaman:

I must admit I've worked on only 3 long-term projects that did not finish. So this will be my 4th attempt (at a different game). They failed in the past because of a new job, team members couldn't remain committed, or life got in the way.

Goals for 2011
1. Expand my knowledge of C++ by incorporating more efficient techniques into my existing framework.
2. Review and implement DX techniques.
3. Incorporate 3D sound.
4. Build a game that I really want...one I've thought about for some time.

Game Overview: Game is a 2D top-down military strategy game. Player directs activities of military assets such as big guns, tanks, rocket launchers, helicopters, aircraft, radar units, factories, etc. for the purpose of defending his/her rebel base and to defeat government forces protecting the dictators primary center of military operations.

I'll prepare a spec soon. In the meantime I'm sketching details in an old fashioned paper notebook.

Game System:
Platform: Windows
Language: C++ game engine (home made), VB/VBA for an editor as required.
Graphics: DX9
IDE: Visual Studio 2005
Sound: Bass
Partical Effects: TBD

That's about it. I'm glad to be back. As before, feel free to provide feedback, comments, criticism, etc.

Regards,
Chuck

This post has been edited by chuckb: 13 May 2011 - 08:53 PM


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Replies To: My next game programming project...2011

#2 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:49 AM

Hi,
I've spent a few hours working on some high level design concepts. I'm writing the specification today. I like specs. After reading one you can pass it through the 'sanity' filter. You can ask yourself: Will it really be fun? Is it too much for me to do? Is it a stupid idea?

Here's a snippet from the spec. I'm not great at creating titles but I gave it a go. Title can always change.

“Rebels with a Cause” (RWAC) is a military Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. Rebel forces surround the Regimes’ main military base. However rebel forces are lightly armored and are greatly outnumbered. The player commands the rebels south of the regime. Other rebel outposts are fighting along the western, northern, and eastern fronts of the regime. The player’s goal is to defend the rebel’s southern outpost and to attack and destroy the regime’s military base.

It probably sounds like a lot of games out there. The only distinction I can offer is I have never created such a RTS game before.

My grandson is playing tanks, planes, and other military vehicles on the floor. I didn't ask him to do it. Must be a sign I'm on the right track. :bigsmile:

Regards,
Chuck
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#3 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:35 AM

Sounds like an interesting project Chuck. I've played a few of the games you entered in the game programming challenges at GI and they always been excellent. I understand about not being able to finish something because of a new job or responsibilities. I haven't been able to do near as much as I'd like since starting school.

Keep up posted with your progress. I, for one, look forward to seeing it.
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#4 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:26 PM

Hi Six,
Thanks for dropping by and saying hi. Congrats again on your testing progress.

I was reading the links in another thread last night about writing a GDD. One writer recommended a good paragraph with a key sentence. I've been thinking about that. I had an epiphany this morning in church. :smile2: The choir (contemporary music and band) was singing one sound that stoked a lot of emotions. That's what I want in the game...good music that foreshadows events and accompanies intense battlefield fighting. Something that feeds the emotions.

So, I'm going to ask my two youngest teens to help with composing music that changes with the mood of the game - glorious victory at hand, or looking defeat in the eyes.

I continue to work on the GDD.

Regards,
Chuck
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#5 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 16 May 2011 - 05:18 PM

*Update*

Hi,
Working through this GDD Guideline. Really nice! I copied his post and am working through the list in my GDD.

I walked with my 16 year-old son today. We were gone for nearly an hour but we discussed this game I wish to create. Sam is a very objective and articulate person when it comes to describing game features - the good, the bad, and the ugly. He made several valuable suggestions which I hope to include in the GDD tonight as I type. The downside is my 4 month project will now take 5 years. :dontgetit:

On the other hand, its good to know all the requirements up front, so I don't design the engine too small. It's annoying trying to implement a feature that was not considered after the game framework is up and running. Hope to avoid that this time. I've added scripting to some of my non-game apps, thinking about something similar here.

Regards,
Chuck
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#6 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:46 PM

*Update*

I spent some time last night reading up on physic engines and scripting libraries. Tentatively I'm going to consider using Box2D and Angelscript. Of course I need to setup some test projects for testing. However, these two features alone will move my 'game framework' much closer to become a small 'game engine'.

I've completed the rough draft of the GDD (Game Design Document). I'll let it sit for a day and then come back to add detail. The goal, as I understand in writing GDDs, is to be thorough and remain flexible.

Regards,
Chuck
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#7 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 18 May 2011 - 12:25 AM

Good luck with this attempt chuckb, looking forward to seeing the final version!
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#8 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:59 AM

Hi Shane,
Thanks! I see you in your profile that you and share the same birthday, June 8th. You must be an excellent programmer indeed. :bigsmile:

*Update*
Did a lot of reading of the Box2D document last night. It's very well written. The author describes a "Hello Box2D" program using only a console display. Object interactions are displayed as numbers. This was extremely helpful in separating visual art from the physics.

I've got a console framework I built that supports color and placement of the cursor. I did this for my Tetris clone. I'm going to give this a try and see if I can get some stuff moving on the screen...bouncing off the walls or something. Resolution will be awful, but it might be enough to learn how to play with the physics library.

Regards,
Chuck
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#9 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:21 AM

Hi,
Broke down and replaced my old PC. Got a Gateway with too much RAM and hard drive space. :bigsmile: I've been lusting over a larger monitor...so bought a 32" TV with HDMI.

Got it setup last night. I had several apps up on the screen at one time...lots of real estate. It was awesome!

Installed Visual Studio and Office software. Did the telephone activation about 1:30 am. That was a lot of numbers. Whew! Downloaded and installed DirectX SDK, Anglecode, BASS library, and Box2D.

I need to do some more to get my apps configured and data transferred from the other box.

I'll be dividing my time between working on the GDD and tinkering with new technology such as physics and scripting.

A friend of mine created these basic scripting tutorials for Anglescript. I'll be using them.

Regards,
Chuck
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#10 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:32 PM

Hi,
Been setting up the new PC this evening.

I downloaded the latest version of Box2D. It was a bit annoying because there were no precompiled 'lib' files. On top of that VS2005 is reporting that something is wrong and it must be repaired. I'm doing that now.

While VS2005 is repairing itself, I've downloaded Codeblocks (ming2).

I've never created a lib or dll before in C++...always used the binaries so I could start coding. Guess I need to learn.

Regards,
Chuck
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#11 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:43 PM

Okay, it's late...or early I suppose. Need to go to work in a few hours.

* Reinstalled VS2005.
* Found an earlier Box2D version with VC8 solution.
* Compiled and created my first ".lib" file.
* Created new project, added include files and lib file...and Eureka! It worked. =)

Tried compiling in CodeBlocks. Strange errors...need to figure out options. Getting close.

That's it for the night.

Chuck
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#12 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:17 PM

*Update*

Programming at work was a bit sluggish today...this new PC and late nights has taken a bit out of me. However, game development is pretty exciting and has given me a real boost this evening. Here's what I've done.

* Setup my new game folder and subfolders.
* Setup a 'test' subfolders. I'll build dozens of applications testing various ideas before applying to the game framework.
* Successfully setup a Box2D v2.0.1 program. Started tweaking values to study the effects.
* Played with the Box2D test bed program. That's very cool. I'm really inspired to build a battlefield with tremendous physical interaction.

What's next?
* Keep playing with Box2D in console mode.
* Setup my 2D DirectX framework...tweak...and get it ready.
* Finish the GDD.
* Scripting...the next unexplored frontier.

Regards,
Chuck
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#13 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:51 PM

Hi,
My friend created these 3 tuts on scripting with Angelcode. It took me a while to get them to compile on my system. However, there are three test apps now that compile and may be modified, for learning purposes.
Tutorials
Regarding particle effects, I've used Pyro in the past. I need to get that working. I'm also interested in looking for something else.

That's about it now.

Regards,
Chuck

This post has been edited by chuckb: 21 May 2011 - 09:41 PM

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#14 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

*Update*
I've had some good success tonight creating a wrapper for Box2D. It's a great way to learn new code. I can define the world, add a ground box, and add dynamic bodies that move about. I need to implement additional methods to add more functionality. Here's a small example using the class CPhysics I'm creating.

#include "Box2D.h"
#include "CPhysics.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <iomanip>

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{

	CPhysics myworld;
	myworld.SetWorld(-100.0, -100.0, 100.0, 100.0, 0.0,0.0f, true);	
	myworld.SetGroundBox(0.0, -25.0, 100.0, 20.0);
	myworld.AddDynamicBodyBox(0.0, 4.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 0.3);
	myworld.AddDynamicBodyBox(3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 0.3);
	myworld.SetVelocityXY(0, 0, 1);
	myworld.SetVelocityXY(1, 2, 0);

	float32 timeStep = 1.0f / 60.0f;
	int32 iterations = 10;
	float posX = 0;
	float posY = 0;
	float angle = 0;

	for (int32 i = 0; i < 5; ++i)
	{
		for(int j = 0; j < myworld.GetBodyCount(); ++j){
			myworld.Update(timeStep, iterations);
			myworld.GetPositionAngle(j, posX, posY, angle);
			cout << j << ": " << posX << ", " << posY << ", " << angle << endl;
		}
	}
	return 0;
}



In addition, I've cleaned up my 2D framework. It's ready for the CPhysics class to be added. This will allow me to see the results.

Regards,
Chuck
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#15 chuckb  Icon User is offline

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Re: My next game programming project...2011

Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:05 PM

*Update*

I've been working on the game framework this afternoon. I've constructed a 3 tab user interface for selecting assets. Each tab is a group that can store up to 100 assets related to that group. This has gone very well.

Worked on the GDD some more last night. Still sorting out the details related to game play. In the meantime, there is a large list of things that can be done.

Regards,
Chuck
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