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#1 AndreygFranca   User is offline

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Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:40 PM

Hello everyone. I completed a course in C ++ programming but I want to apply this knowledge into something real. So I decided that I will develop some games. But where to start? I am studying SFML and quite liked it. But what I wanted to know it is the logic behind a game. Should I create an engine? a map editor? before creating the game. I decide to make an RPG but where to start?

I'm not Native American, so excuse my grammatical errors and semantic :rolleyes:

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:47 PM

No.. I would advocate _not_ making an engine.

Grab an existing engine - Unity, Cry, etc . Have a plan on a proof of concept game. See how the bits work together. Up tick the difficulty of and complexity of the actions and see what end to end development would look like.
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#3 AndreygFranca   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:57 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 May 2016 - 02:47 PM, said:

No.. I would advocate _not_ making an engine.

Grab an existing engine - Unity, Cry, etc . Have a plan on a proof of concept game. See how the bits work together. Up tick the difficulty of and complexity of the actions and see what end to end development would look like.



But all the big games are not made with their own engines?

I'm looking for knowledge, not exactly a game that will sell
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#4 macosxnerd101   User is online

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:08 PM

Folks who bite off their own engines without having strong backgrounds end up with shitty code, a broken product, and negligible learning. Folks who are asking where to start generally don't have sufficient backgrounds to engage in their own game engines. If you look through old forum threads, this is a recurring thread.

We also have a pinned thread in the Game Programming Forum telling you how to get started with game programming. ;)
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#5 SixOfEleven   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:22 PM

Another who advocates against trying to create a game engine. These big companies that you talk about using their own engines employ many people who make their career doing this after years of experience in the business. I've had years of experience and I will not start building an engine. Each game that I build is with parts from other games, not an entire engine.

RPG is also a bad game to start with. I've seen too many beginners start out with the XNA tutorials that I wrote and end up in a hole that was so deep it was getting very hot and they were never seen again. Play with SFML. Build simple games and build upon what you know/learned from your other projects.
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#6 AndreygFranca   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:39 PM

We are a group of 3 friends hungry for knowledge. We don't want just operate an engine, we want to know how everything works inside the thing.

Do you recommend using a framework (SDL, SFML) or engine (Unity, Game Maker)? We don't want to make money from it for now, just start developing games. :rolleyes:
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#7 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:42 PM

View PostAndreygFranca, on 12 May 2016 - 06:39 PM, said:

We are a group of 3 friends hungry for knowledge. We don't want just operate an engine, we want to know how everything works inside the thing.


"Where to start" I would suggest not with this method.
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#8 e_i_pi   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:06 PM

I'll throw my vote in the "don't build your own engine" bucket as well.

I'm probably one of the few people here was has built their own game engine from scratch, and it's not pretty, it's not glorious, and it's not fun. (Shameless plug: Art of War Game #1950). For example, I have spent the past 3 months working on a responsive UI so that I can launch in the mobile space using just a WebView, not even going to the extent of having a natively rendered UI. It will probably take another 2 months before I'm ready to launch.

I have rewritten the game engine 3 times now, and with my current knowledge and skills being much better than 2-3 years ago when I started the latest rewrite, I can see that it needs to be rewritten again. The latest rewrite was composed of about 10% building the framework, 40% building supporting code (i.e. an interface where I could load up assets and push them through workflows), 20% on the game itself, 10% on creating assets, 10% on server and external maintenance, and 10% on business activity (e.g. accounting, paying bills, sourcing contractors, etc). I have not got anywhere near enough time to do this. As such I have missed a litany of critical deadlines that have ruined the success of the game:
  • 2008-2009 I spent too much time getting everything "just right" that I missed the tail end of the browser game market. Similar sites that launched 12 months before me reached $30-50k/yr income almost instantly. I languish at $100-200/yr
  • 2013-14 I spent too much time getting the supporting code ready, which is what would have gave my site a point of difference to competitors and made it successful. Another site launched a similar thing to me months before I did, got the media coverage, and now they are the most successful site of it's type, with 3 FT employees.
  • 2015-2016 I got a friend on board to do a native app for the site, rather than throw a quick WebView app together. He specced the native app at 2 years of work. The WebView is probably 2-3 weeks of work on the app, 3-5 months of work on the site. 10 months later, he bails because it's too hard. I'm now looking at doing everything myself and hitting market 12 months late because we wanted to make our own engine in Android Dev Studio.

Games nowadays are about having something fun to play, easy to pick up, easy to put down. No-one appreciates that you spent 120 hours on your DALs to ensure that race conditions don't occur and data integrity is retained, whilst also caching rarely-dynamic data in memory to reduce the number of calls to the database. No-one cares that you have honed your data object of thousands of nodes to a complete relational entity in JSON that takes less than a quarter of a second to generate and pass over the wire.

The most successful games are those that listen to and respond to the market. The more time you spend on the nitty gritty, the less time you spend with your community. Ask yourself - do you want to make a game, or a game engine? Do one or the other, not both. Use other people's code whenever you can, you save yourself time and frustration while you get on with the things you really want to do.

This post has been edited by e_i_pi: 12 May 2016 - 06:06 PM

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#9 AndreygFranca   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 13 May 2016 - 06:00 AM

Thanks to all the answers ... Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from now on, becouse I'll make a game :rolleyes:
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#10 BBeck   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:39 PM

View PostAndreygFranca, on 13 May 2016 - 07:00 AM, said:

Thanks to all the answers ... Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from now on, becouse I'll make a game :rolleyes:/>


Your questions are always welcome. We look forward to helping any way we can.
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#11 IntVoid   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:51 AM

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I definitely vote against making your own game engine. As others have covered this pretty well I'm going to skip over why and give you a suggestion on if you want to know how an engine works or dig into one, grab an existing engine, such as Unity/Unreal 4/Cry learn how to efficiently use an existing framework, and when your skilled enough and are proficient with the engine, then begin digging into the source code to study and not to make changes. You will see how intensive and involved a game engine really is. You will have more luck and progress in learning if you use an existing tool set.
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#12 Recoil   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 13 June 2016 - 09:53 AM

I guess I am on the opposite end of everyone else, but I come from someone who doesn't want to make an RPG.

I finally made my own RPG engine, then further developed it to an ORPG client/server. However, this took a looooong time to do on my own. To me, it wasn't about making something that could be played, because you have to team with people to create graphics, sound effects, audio file, etc...or you have to add in the additional time to do all that on your own.

No...my goal was just to extend my programing skills and understand how an engine is supposed to work. That being said, the term "Engine" is so overly used when it comes to games. An engine can be anything from a shell framework that games can be built with, such as setting up templates for everything through code, working with SFML to setup how the graphics are going to draw for tiles games, and so forth. It can go far more complex than that.

All this has led to my most recent project that I am working on, a Virtual Tabletop app. Now I'm working on extending it to have online functionality as well. But for me, this is just a hobby.

Ultimately my point is to figure out what you want to do, then setup your goals from there on how to proceed. An engine should not be out of the question if that is what you are wanting to work on making ;)/>

This post has been edited by Recoil: 13 June 2016 - 09:56 AM

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#13 SixOfEleven   User is offline

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Re: Where to start in game programming?

Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:44 PM

Yes, a Game Engine means different things to different people. When I talk about Game Engines I talk about things like Unity and Unreal. They are complete tools that are extended to make a game by adding content and logic. Some of them just allow you to script things and others allow extension of the engine itself.

Other than complete Game Engines there are numerous frameworks/libraries for creating game, examples are XNA, MonoGame, SFML, SDL and many others. These allow the developer to concentrate on game logic rather than the low level skills need for presenting content to the player, playing sounds, handling input. In and of themselves these frameworks don't do much with out the programmer.

There are also libraries that are not complete frameworks but address one area of game development. A good example is physics libraries. The physics engine that immediately leaps to mind is Box2D. There are also libraries that are specifically for network communication.

The product of writing a game does not in of itself give you a Game Engine. It gives you a playable game. Now, if you've written the game in a well formed way then you will have components that can be dragged and dropped into another game, speaking metaphorically of course, that allows reuse of the code you've written.

That's my $0.02 at least.
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