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#1 Yips  Icon User is offline

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Starting Game Design Class

Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:52 PM

So I'm starting a game design class for the first time as a junior in high school. We'll be using the software MMF2 (Multimedia Fusion 2), although that's not what I expected, I can see how it can introduce game design. I've used a little Unity with C# in the past, but haven't really gotten comfortable with it. Any tips to get started and comfortable with it?
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Replies To: Starting Game Design Class

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:15 PM

I haven't touched games at all, but the only way to get comfortable with anything is to use it. Start toying around and seeing what you can do.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:23 PM

Quote

Any tips to get started and comfortable with it?

Read a book on it. Go through examples.. get comfortable with the layout.. follow tutorials. Basically - how does one get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! Practice! Practice!
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#4 Yips  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:33 PM

Thanks to both of you. That helps. So far I've only created the game Pong. Not much but it's a start!
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#5 frazereastm  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:34 AM

anywhere is a start, even the greatest programmers had to start somewhere!
I am also new to my chosen language and this site helps a lot, a lot of great people/ knowledge resides here.
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#6 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:03 PM

That's really cool that you're getting into game design.

Like everyone said, there is just no substitute for practice.

If you want to use Unity, I might recommend YouTube videos. There's a lot of good tutorials teaching you how to do stuff in Unity on YouTube. I was not overly impressed with any of the Unity books and I have most of them. They are better than nothing, but let's just say I'm not impressed.

There's a whole lot to learn when we're talking about 3D game programming and a lot of it is going to be completely alien to you as you begin. So, it is extremely difficult to learn it without a good instructor. There's just a lot to it and you could spend a decade or more learning it. With the right instruction you should be able to cut that time down dramatically.

Without that, you pretty much just have to dive in somewhere, really anywhere, and just get started learning it piece by piece knowing that it's not going to all come together and make sense until you have the majority of the puzzle put together. It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle with no picture to guide you on what it is you are putting together. The only way to do it is to just take one piece and study it until you know how it works and can start finding other pieces to attach to it. At some point you may want to take another random piece and see what you can make join up with that. Eventually, you'll have a bunch of completely separate sections. As these sections become more and more complete they will start joining up with one another. Then eventually you'll start seeing the big picture and things will really start coming together at that point. But it all only happens by joining one small piece together with another.

There are really a few different skills involved. A lot of it boils down to art creation and code creation. Unity does most of the code for you as part of its engine. Still, it is so open ended that you end up needing to script a lot of stuff that is still relatively foundational. The bad part of that is that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to understand how it works because so much of what is happening is done by Unity for you and therefore is hidden from your view. If no one explains what's going on under the hood, you may misunderstand it or have no way to understand it. That's the biggest down side to using an engine. YouTube may help significantly with that. At some point you may want to delve super deep into it and do it in OpenGL or DirectX and then you'll start really understanding it at the deepest level, but this is even more difficult to learn and harder to find good instruction in.

So, Unity would be inclined to get you into the art end of things. However, with it's content store, you can buy almost enough models and art work to put together a game. You can also buy code as well. This is kind of good and kind of bad at the same time. The good is that if you need something now in order to learn something totally unrelated, you can buy it. For example, if you are trying to understand model animation, you don't have to first learn how to use a modeling program, learn digital sculpting, and learn animation in your modeling tool; you can theoretically just buy a model and go directly into using it to learn animation in Unity in Mechanim.

The reality is not all that. Most of the models in the store are not rigged and setup for animation properly, which means you still have to do a lot yourself and then that means you are doing a lot of what you were trying to avoid in order to get straight to learning something else unrelated. And you paid good money for this model.

The bad is that all of this can become a crutch where you're never really learning much because you're buying all the pieces of your game and merely assembling them like in a level editor. So, you aren't learning much.

Anyway, the important thing is to always every week be working on learning something you did not know the week before. Eventually, those weeks will add up and you'll know a whole lot.

And ask questions on this and other forums! There are people willing to help who have probably already solved your particular problem.
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#7 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:12 PM

Oh. Also, with Unity the concept of the GameObject and its transform is key to understanding the whole thing. You'll never understand Unity until you get that concept. Everything is designed to be a GameObject in Unity. It's transform positions it and rotates it in your scene. It does not necessarily have to draw anything to exist.

And game objects in Unity are expected to have children. In fact, your Unity scene will likely be a big tree of GameObject branches with children and grand children and great grand children and so forth. This not only organizes all your stuff, but builds relationships between them.

All children are attached to their parents. So, when you move a parent in the scene, all of it's children will likewise move. Children move independently of parents and do not cause their parents to move. So, if you have a player model, you can attach a sword to that player model's hand by making the sword a child of the player model GameObject and positioning it relative to the player model's hand. Then when you move the player model, the sword will stay attached. But you can still disconnect the sword or move it to the other hand or something.

GameObjects and these parent/child relationships is key to understanding how Unity works. Unity will create a lot of pre-made GameObjects for you which will help you get started, but you need to start creating your own and not using the premade ones in order to understand Unity.
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#8 Yips  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting Game Design Class

Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:14 PM

Thanks a lot for all that advice! I will definitely look into Unity more now. I'll get the concepts of everything you said as well as I can before delving too deep. Thanks again.
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