Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

MMO Warfare.

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#1 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:04 PM

I've spent the last few days poking me head all over this place, reading and understanding what I can...
I'm interested in making a game... and I realize how many years of hard work its going to take :crazy:
Either way the game idea I've got I've had it for awhile (5 months?)- I've even taken the time to already write down the theme, name, random ideas I'd like to incorporate, character classes, levels... did a good bit of writing.

The game is going to be a MMO Warfare game, similar to the one thats been floating around the net for awhile, "Shatter Galaxy" by Kru. I'm wondering what would be a decent program in the long-run, in terms of simplistics, multiplayer programing ease, and general over all performance, and noob friendlyness? I've got a copy of several prog makers already, Flash 8, Flash MX, VB 6, C++, Dev C++(Or CPP)... the last time I made a program was along time ago when AOL 3.0 Punters and "Progs" were the most enjoyable toy on the net. Either way I pretty much lost on concept and grasp of the lango for the OLD VB, I've already started to learn abit of C++ (http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/) but not much so I'd rather pick a decent programing platform before I get to far into it.

I realize the amount of energy that it will take to make a game, and that I most likely won't even be writing the first line of code for this game for years to come, rather making simple calculators, chess games, and even TIC-TAC-TOE! YAY!

But I need some help on getting my footing down in place. I had a friend give me some old books for 5 bucks - they include "Multiplayer Game Programming (with CD) Prima Tech's Game Development, Visual Basic Game Programming with DirectX The Premier Press Game
Development, Game Programming Tricks of the Trade The Premier Press Game
Development Series, Swords & Circuitry: A Designer's Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games. As some roleplaying elements might come into play. I plan to use my own computer as a sever to get things up in running and only have a handfull of beta testers, when I say handfull I mean something my computer can support ... like 5... tehehehe. Afterwards I might looking to buying my own server, but I'm leaning towards renting one.

Either way I'd like some direction, figred I'd stop poking me head about in these forums, and post something.

Thanks.

This post has been edited by Dean Corleone: 15 July 2007 - 12:14 PM


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#2 1lacca   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 02:43 PM

Project Darkstar is an opensource and free MMO engine and framework. Maybe it is worth a look, so you don't have to start from zero.
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#3 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 03:26 PM

View Post1lacca, on 15 Jul, 2007 - 02:43 PM, said:

Project Darkstar is an opensource and free MMO engine and framework. Maybe it is worth a look, so you don't have to start from zero.


:^: Thanks for the heads up, I'll check it out - but I also like to travel the more rocky of the roads if ya' know what I mean... so any other suggestions are welcomed also. I've played around with the little boys toy-boxes like That RPG Maker 2000 or whatever and quickly got bored. I'm currently still blasting into the C++ tutorials, learning the basics.
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#4 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 07:24 PM

So far all the tutorials I've done seems to be interesting, Dev C++ seems to be alot more user friendly in terms of finding errors and correcting them... Spent the day learning about Typedefs, Functions, Headers, Defines, Increments, Function Overloading... (at which now that I think of it I forgot what that is... *goes back*) there seems to be alot of gaps in the tutorials I've found - that or they've just yet to been explained. Half the time I don't know why I have
#include<iostream> which I guess is a header?
#include<conio.h> on the screen, nor does it explain what it really is...

Also when I add random code ( I call it random code because right now I'm under noob status in programming) rather then just change the information (I feel I don't learn crap from just changing numbers on a demo calculator I'd rather add addition code, or try atleast) it always says end1; is undeclared... abit confused.

Spent some time pretty much just getting a black screen to and say, calculate or not work all together for me. :D Any useful tutorials would be lovely - I've been visiting the "http://www.ultimategameprogramming.com/" to get my feet under me.

This post has been edited by Dean Corleone: 15 July 2007 - 07:34 PM

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#5 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 08:04 PM

Okay, first of all, I'm glad you're sane enough to realize that it'll be years before you write a stitch of code. Seems like most people say "I don't know how to program, I don't know anything about graphics or sound, but I want to write Quake 5!"

First thing: You talk about using your machine as a server. That might work for a short while, but not very long, and even if you have a kick ass machine, you have a whole other concern: Bandwidth. You're going to need a lot of it. Take that into consideration.

Second thing: If the plan is for this game to be down the road a ways, you're going to need some high end equipment. Why? Because to make the game competitive in a future market, you've got to be able to get ahead of the curve in hardware. That way, your game isn't years behind everyone else's.

Third thing: You're going to want to write this in a compiled language. I suggest C or C++ (but that's my bias talking. Don't just go by that.)

Fourth thing: Games (or apps for that matter) generally aren't written by one sole coder anymore. You need teams. Worry about that later, though. Learn to code in whatever language you choose first. Start the project, and then get coders to sign on. You can use resources like Sourceforge to host the code (not run the server, just host the coding project.)

Fifth thing: Games require graphics and sound. If you can't design graphics and sound, network with people who can.

Finally: Just have fun, please. Coding should be enjoyable. If you never get the game off the ground, but you learn to code, then that's still good enough. Don't beat yourself up. Most projects never seem to get finished, no matter the intention of the project's initial designer.
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#6 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 08:17 PM

Almost forgot, for game programming tutorials you can check out Gamedev.net and Gamasutra.com

Gamasutra require a membership, but it's free.

For information about coding in any language, you can check out cetus links.

You might find useful info at The Free Country as well.

Hope I've been helpful. Good luck.
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#7 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 08:30 PM

Thank' ya sir! I'll check them sites.

I'm lucky enough to be able to draw up whatever I want when it comes to a 2D game like the one I've got set in mind, I'm abit scared of 3D... along with that I've got a friend that thinks he will one day be a rapper... (Yes, hes white.) so any audio parts of the game I'm sure he'd be happy to assist with. When I talk about running it off my own machine I only mean for the purpose of beta testing, with a rather limited number of persons (most likely under 10). The games going to be a point with the mouse, click, your units move type deal, which I seem to see as using less bandwidth then a FPS or something in that area, so I should be ok for the testing - correct? The game I've got in mind is simple and will last down the road... because there will always be cheap people that are looking to get hooked into a highly addictive stat claming game. :D Very good for me since I've decided I want to capitalize on them. C++ seems to get alot to good credit, VB 6 not so much... why is that? In the long run I see myself most likely seeking other coders as well to help along the process, but I want to be at the core of it - want it to be pretty much my game. When I was younger I attempted to make several RPG's, but youngster A.D.D. seemed to side-track the progress and I'd give up. Again, thanks for the links. I'll let ya know how things are going.
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#8 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 15 July 2007 - 08:38 PM

View PostDean Corleone, on 15 Jul, 2007 - 10:30 PM, said:

Thank' ya sir! I'll check them sites.


Sir??? Now I do feel old.

Quote

C++ seems to get alot to good credit, VB 6 not so much... why is that?


All a matter of taste, I guess. I have a natural abhorrence of Basic in general, though I know it. First language I learned in fact was TI Basic. I do know Visual Basic, but I rarely use it anymore. I used to use it for designing simple applications quickly. I use python for that now.
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#9 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:44 AM

Ok well I managed to stuff my head into some books, and I've been messing with afew langos to try and understand which would be a good one to learn on. DEV C++ seems to have nice support to help lamers like me figure things, abit more ease to use then C++ 6.0, but I guess thats just because DEV seems abit more simple... is that normal to be scared of a more complex programing lango? :X I understand now why Flash in general wouldn't be a good game making lango - all the added features and simple user-friendly interface actually SLOW the program down, which is why you'll never see the same performance that you would with C++, or any other better compiler (I guess thats what they call them?) at which you can make a frame work for yourself...

Or I could be wrong and someone should step in and correct me. :)

Either way I figured I would use this posting to track
1) how much I thought I knew that I didn't
2) how much I've learned
3) more important its going to be around 4 years before I even start on this game (that is the design stage, I'm still going to draft the system that I want to create up) if I pick things up fast I guess...
4) making a Pong game from nothing takes more then I thought. It could take afew seconds in Flash, but making it in C++ takes alot longer, for that is.

Still trying to learn what some of these commands mean, and get my foot in the door...
stactic HWND GetHWND();

I keep seeing HWND, hWnd, s_hWnd, etc,. in these chapters, and maybe they've yet to explain it - what the hell is hwnd? Some kinda window command? I can't wait to look back on this question and laugh... :()

The book I have has alot of commands in it that its not seeming to explain - although I'd like to point out that the books lesson is also on how to make your own frame work rather then use someone elses engine - rather then learning lango (I know I know, I should start with the basics I got the basic book today I'll start on that after you vets get a kick outa what I've posted.)

Cheers :D
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#10 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:51 AM

View PostDean Corleone, on 19 Jul, 2007 - 01:44 PM, said:

Still trying to learn what some of these commands mean, and get my foot in the door...
stactic HWND GetHWND();

I keep seeing HWND, hWnd, s_hWnd, etc,. in these chapters, and maybe they've yet to explain it - what the hell is hwnd? Some kinda window command? I can't wait to look back on this question and laugh... :()

Cheers :D


It's a Handle to a window. In other words, it provides a method of connecting to the messages and other features of an individual window.
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#11 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:04 PM

View Postdogboi, on 19 Jul, 2007 - 10:51 AM, said:

View PostDean Corleone, on 19 Jul, 2007 - 01:44 PM, said:

Still trying to learn what some of these commands mean, and get my foot in the door...
stactic HWND GetHWND();

I keep seeing HWND, hWnd, s_hWnd, etc,. in these chapters, and maybe they've yet to explain it - what the hell is hwnd? Some kinda window command? I can't wait to look back on this question and laugh... :()

Cheers :D


It's a Handle to a window. In other words, it provides a method of connecting to the messages and other features of an individual window.

Thank you very much SIR :)
dogboi I might have to add you to the friends list or something. I'm sure I could have found out the answer myself with abit of google - but you make the process much faster. I started to chip into the game prog'in book I got today, for noobs like me! Works hand in hand with DirectX - now my next question I guess would be what is the difference between DirectX and OpenGL - I hear this sparks alot of hate replys - kinda like a PS3 loyal fan meeting up with a Xbox 360 loyal fan and having a pow-wow about why their systems good, the book said several reasons but didn't want to step into depth on why they are different, or what differs them the most. can OpenGL handle sound as well?

Thanks in advance. :)
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#12 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:22 PM

View PostDean Corleone, on 19 Jul, 2007 - 05:04 PM, said:

Thank you very much SIR :)
dogboi I might have to add you to the friends list or something. I'm sure I could have found out the answer myself with abit of google - but you make the process much faster. I started to chip into the game prog'in book I got today, for noobs like me! Works hand in hand with DirectX - now my next question I guess would be what is the difference between DirectX and OpenGL - I hear this sparks alot of hate replys - kinda like a PS3 loyal fan meeting up with a Xbox 360 loyal fan and having a pow-wow about why their systems good, the book said several reasons but didn't want to step into depth on why they are different, or what differs them the most. can OpenGL handle sound as well?

Thanks in advance. :)


What you're talking about (OpenGL vs DirectX), especially asking which is better, leads to what programmers call "A Holy War" (things like Emacs vs. vi, Linux vs. Windows, Firefox vs. Opera, etc.)

But since you didn't ask which was better, you're on safe territory. :-)

In answer to your last question: No, OpenGL does not handle sound. OpenGL is a 3d rendering library. If you're going to write games on multiple platforms, OpenGL would probably be worth your time to learn. If you're going to stick to windoze programming, then you can stick with DirectX, though knowning OpenGL wouldn't hurt, since you can use it in Windoze as well.

Personally, I don't use either. I use one of the libraries that sits on top of them, like SDL or allegro. Right now, I tend to use SDL more. There's also clanlib. I've never used it, so I can't speak for it.

Even if you're going to use one of these, though, you should probably learn DirectX if you're going to program in windoze. That way, you understand why you have to do certain things with those libraries (like lock a screen bitmap before you write to it).

Keep at it, though. In all of my programming, game programming has always been the most rewarding to me. It covers so much territory, so I never, ever get bored with it.

And stop calling me sir. It makes me feel old. lol.
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#13 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:33 PM

Gotcha. Yeah the book told me to stress NOT to ask which is better, simply ask the differences. I figure I'll go with DirectX, but stay opened minded to both (DirectX and OpenGL that is) but first I've got to learn abit more... or well, alot more...

*Waaamp wwwwaaammmpppp waaaaaaammmppppppppp sound effects play in the background* :)

I'll try to stop callin' ya SIR startin' now. I'll lay off this thread until tomorrow when I start to rack up more useful questions - rather then waste posting space on DreamInCode.

Peace 4 now. :)
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#14 Dean Corleone   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 20 July 2007 - 11:21 AM

Ok so I did some more reading last night, mostly about VB and how it can be used to make games, but was never really intended that way. I think I'm going to use VB 6.0, with DirectX to get me started. I'll learn other things and most likely move to C++ at some point, unless I some how become happy with VB. Learned about simple things such as making a window, how to resize it - and define it for certain setups... started to read about windowsAPI, but I don't want to cram information otherwise I'll most likely just have to repeat a chapter in the book... learned about code modules - subs, functions, propertys, and events - making them public or private (which I think I understand), also learned about data types and parameters (kinda lost here though, might re-read) I understand the data types and how they are used, but parameters confuse me abit, don't know why. Maybe someone could break parameters down for me into "Even an Idiot will understand" form? Learned all this without getting to know windows API (the book wants to teach me the hard way to code, then give me the added features of API and DirectX I think...)
Learned that most game companies don't even make the game really - rather license a engine from someone, and then, for the most part "add detail". I don't want to take someone elses work and make from it - rather I know this would save a VERY large amount of time, but I want to learn to program from the bottom up - no other way then to really give myself a hard time and besides I hear it will expose me to raw code alot more often, rather then copy and paste from a tutorial over some open scource frame-work and learn nothing... I'm interetesd in VB to now simply because I've looked at the application as a RAD tool like alot of people do - now I understand that they have more then just one RAD tool (more then one type of program like VB) but the book I got is very informative and noob-friendly when it comes to using VB.

I'm sure I'll have some questions later - but figured I'd give a update.

Thanks in advice!.

This post has been edited by Dean Corleone: 20 July 2007 - 11:35 AM

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#15 dogboi   User is offline

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Re: Startin' a game, with very little know-how.

Posted 20 July 2007 - 02:21 PM

Okay, let me try and break down parameters for you.

A parameter is a variable that is passed to a function, procedure, or subroutine. For example, in the following C function prototype:

int factorial(int n);



n is the parameter.

In the following function prototype:

void AddMe(char * Name, char * Address, char *City, char *State, int zip);



Name, Address, City, State and zip are the parameters

In most languages, C and Visual Basic included, when you pass a variable to a function as a parameter, the variable is passed by value. This means that a copy of the variable is created, so that any changes made to the variable in the function doesn't affect the variable's value outside of that function. In C, you can also pass by reference, which means that any changes the function makes to the variable change outside the function as well.

But to break it down: Parameters are simply the variables you pass to your functions, subroutines, and procedures.
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