Getting started

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33 Replies - 3862 Views - Last Post: 19 August 2012 - 03:03 AM Rate Topic: -----

#1 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 02:21 AM

So, I know this is a frequent question and I've tried to use the search function the best I could :) However I was unable to find a suitable and satisfactory answer for my questions, so here I go!

Oh, and I'm going to try and be a tad original! (You should hymn the pokemon theme as you read this by the way)

I wanna to be the very best, like no one ever was. To learn them all was my test, to use them is my cause.
I will travel across the boards, searching far and wide. Each language to understand, the power that's inside!
(Sadly at this point it proved harder then I thought to change the lyrics to fit my purpose. But you get the idea)

So I'm one of those "kids" (20 now but I refuse to call myself anything else then a kid) that has way to much sparetime which I spend gaming and reading. Somehow this made me get somewhat into programming, at which point I wanted to try my hand at game development. I'm a somewhat realistic person so going to shelf my "Going-to-crush-WoW-MMO-Made-In-A-Week" for now and work on that later. For now I'm more interested in making a 2D game with some features that I want ^^

But I have this one problem, I'm somewhat familiar with C++, Java and C# (As in I can make some crap games in them) But I'm uncertain about which language I should choose to learn more of for the purpose of this game. So instead of going the normal "Which language is best" I'm going to try and list all the things I'm looking after then hope someone could point me in the right direction.

Also about time, I doubt I'll ever get to finish the game they way I want to, not simply because of time. But also patience and technical limits. This is more and learn by doing project where I hope to have some fun while doing it.

The game('s) I want to make are going to be 2D games. Not because I have anything against 3D but I find that 2D games show progress faster and they normally don't require sick graphics. But let's get on with what I'm going to demand from the language!

  • There has to be support for efficient drawing of graphics
  • I also want to build the game world using a tile system. (I think that's what its called at least. Think Pokemon in terms of movement and map) So an already existing Library would be awesome.
  • Support for Online play. Ideally I want the game to end up as a online game, using a server+clients
  • A way to create an efficient save system
  • It has to run quick! Nothing is more annoying then games with fps spikes
  • There has to be books and lots of reference material so I get plenty to read up on.
  • A good IDE free and open to the public that supports the language


I think these are the major points, I know some of these are kinda weird. Like the map system with tiles. Seeing how you could most likely write code with most languages to do the job. But I would love a language where I could somewhat skip that part and just use a preexisting library or follow a tutorial to get the job done. Then tweak it afterwards perhaps.

I hope that's enough info to get what I want ;D Any and all additional info that you guys think might be useful would be
awesome! And ask if there is anything you're wondering about!

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Replies To: Getting started

#2 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 02:45 AM

First of all, welcome to </dream.in.code>.

Have you looked at the stickies, they are very helpful and will help to get you started.

http://www.dreaminco...ing-start-here/

As for your questions and language/framework recommendation I would suggest you check out the starling framework for AS3. It's really nice and will get a game up and running quick, it will also be completely cross platform and able to run inside a web browser. Also, with flash player 11 you can harness the power of the GPU, which starling allows extremely easily.

Some good news for your tile loading map system is that I just wrote an extension for starling that loads in a TMX map format, so you'll be covered there :) Making multiplayer games will be a lot easier too with the built in functions of AS3.

There are many other options such as SDL with C++ (I have tutorials linked in my signature that will get you started) or XNA.
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#3 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:01 AM

Thank you for a very helpful post, bookmarked all of it so I can read up on it when I have some spare minutes. I have to admit that I haven't touched ActionScript since high school and that might be why I'm somewhat looking down on it. How is the state of that language these days? For the purpose of a making lets say a 2D version of Minecraft how would AS do?

Once again thanks for the help! I'll look into it either way!
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#4 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:12 AM

I cant seem to find a button to edit the prev post of mine. But wanted to add that yeah, read the stickies and checking out your signature now :) (Also, no giggle at my awesome pokemon rewrite?)
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#5 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:19 AM

Ok, SDL looks like something I can put to good use. Also that Mapeditor you linked looked really sweet. Going to check if I can find out TMX support in C++ :)
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#6 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:57 AM

I also wrote a map loader for SDL with C++ that uses the TMX map format. It's not that hard to do and to be honest I would look at writing your own rather than using someone else's.

But...I wouldn't necessarily recommend SDL and C++ to you considering the requirements you listed. AS3 is excellent for fast game development, especially if you are doing this on your own. But that's my recommendation, of course you are free to ignore it.
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#7 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:04 AM

I do agree with the writing my own, and chances are I'll end up writing my own in the end. But I think one of the better ways of learning code is looking at what others have already done. I'm still working on the thinking like a programmer so I try to read and understand as much code that I can.

Also, out of curiosity. If I were to make some 2D RPG'ish game, how hard would it be to make it work online compared to writing the game with online play in mind from the start?
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#8 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:13 AM

And why wouldn't you necessarily recommend C++? Which one of my requirements makes you go for AS over C?
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#9 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:07 AM

You should be designing the game with multiplayer in mind from the start. And the reason I wouldn't recommend C++ is that if it's just you making this game it will be extremely difficult and there are tools out there that can do it faster.

Most of your list would be simpler to achieve using AS3.
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#10 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:18 AM

Yes, but wouldn't that speed come at a cost? Like loss of certain features? But once more. Thank you for the help. Got some material to read up on now. One question about this forum though if you could answer. Is it accepted to post certain aspects of game ideas and then say how I'm thinking about doing it then have input from people? (Not as in asking for code at all. Just asking for the logic behind some stuff)
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#11 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:22 AM

Of course there would be a cost but for what you have in mind it will be negligible, you aren't making a large scale 3D MMO here. What features do you think you would lose? you are still writing this stuff from the bottom up.

You can post your game in the share your project forum. You could also make a link to it in your signature so others can easily see what you are working on :) but for general help questions you can just use this forum and post your code.
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#12 Silver1992  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:40 AM

Awesome, to be honest I don't know which features I might end up losing. I already have the game planned out(ish).

I'm kinda thinking that if I'm going to actually learn a language properly it could be either C++ or Java since they are somewhat the big ones from what I gather. So I think that I'm going to start with C++ and have AS as a backup if it proves to be too much work.

So at the moment my idea is that I'm going to
  • Finish all the tutorials you've made + read through everything I can find
  • Learn how TMX works
  • Find a way to implement TMX maps into my game
  • Get a moveable sprite
  • Write a save file system
  • Add stats and ability to "train" some stats in game
  • Add the ability to use abilities like a beam or something that can hurt objects
  • Learn how to make it so more then 1 person can play using a server+client relationship.


Is a my rough rough rough to-do-list. Any major flaws or anything I should change in your opinon?
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#13 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 09:21 AM

It's certainly worth a shot. Try to really get to grips with the framework you have decided on first and also read a lot about your chosen language, the basics will help you in the long run. Don't just fly into this, that is a huge mistake that most beginning game developers make. You need to plan out your game in explicit detail including features,graphics,limitations and full code design.

Did you notice that your lists did not include any gameplay features apart from you can shoot things and train? Could get boring pretty quick. One of the best pieces of advice that I can give you is to plan,plan and...wait for it...plan!
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#14 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:26 AM

You might want to consider C# in your list there, with XNA of course. It is very easy to get a tile engine up and running with XNA. Loading in the TMX maps has been done before and you can probably find good tutorials on the subject. There are many books available and lots of tutorials as well. You can find some good ones, though I'm a little biased :P, on my site in my signature.

You can't go wrong with the C++ route either of course. There are many ways for you to get where you're going. I'd suggest taking a look at all of the options: C++, C#, Java, AS 3, Python even with Pygames, or even VB.NET with XNA. Look at each and see which language makes the most sense to you and you're most comfortable with. While our word here should carry a little weight in the end the decision is yours. If you don't like the language and you have a hard time programming with the language you won't be very productive.
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#15 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting started

Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:31 AM

View PostSixOfEleven, on 13 August 2012 - 11:26 AM, said:

You might want to consider C# in your list there, with XNA of course. It is very easy to get a tile engine up and running with XNA. Loading in the TMX maps has been done before and you can probably find good tutorials on the subject. There are many books available and lots of tutorials as well. You can find some good ones, though I'm a little biased :P, on my site in my signature.

You can't go wrong with the C++ route either of course. There are many ways for you to get where you're going. I'd suggest taking a look at all of the options: C++, C#, Java, AS 3, Python even with Pygames, or even VB.NET with XNA. Look at each and see which language makes the most sense to you and you're most comfortable with. While our word here should carry a little weight in the end the decision is yours. If you don't like the language and you have a hard time programming with the language you won't be very productive.


Exactly.
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