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Author Topic: New Trades  (Read 3112 times)

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Disposable Ninja

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New Trades
« on: February 06, 2008, 07:26:15 PM »

ITT we expand our horizons

So I decided to get of my fat, lazy ass and sit my fat, lazy ass back down and learn how to write C++. I figured, "Hey, I like coming up with vidja-game idears so much, might as well actually try and realize them". And I'm doing C++ because I have a certain philosophy when it comes to learning how to do new things: rush in guns-a-blazing and try to kill the biggest guy first. Sure, I'll die a few times. I'll die a lot of times. But eventually I'll learn how to dodge those cherries.

Still, though, I was at least expecting to succeed at those step-by-step tutorials that come with the Compiler software. Jesus Christ, I suck.
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Kazz

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 07:51:00 PM »

I had this idea.  Guess what, it's a really bad idea.  There's a tremendous amount to learn and C++ is not, as it happens, much more than the best available calculator.

I concluded that it takes years of practice and experience to make anything worth a damn in Visual C++, because you also need firm backgrounds in Windows API and probably DirectX and so on and so forth.  And you could power through without school, but the fact that you haven't done so already means you're probably not the sort of person who's really going to do that.  I know I'm not.

So, the next idea I had was, how about if I take an idea and then see about realizing it via the path of least resistance?  I mean, look at IWBTG.  It was made with some game generator program and everybody thinks Kayin is pretty fucking cool anyway.

The most practical idea is to actually bite the bullet and go to fucking school and get a fucking degree.  Then, if you don't realize your dream of being a self-made indie game developer, at least you can go make $50k a year helping old ladies check their e-mail.
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sei

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 08:29:51 PM »

#include <cstdio>?
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Disposable Ninja

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 09:38:17 PM »

I had this idea.  Guess what, it's a really bad idea. [...]

So, the next idea I had was, how about if I take an idea and then see about realizing it via the path of least resistance?

Oh, yeah, don't get me wrong: if push comes to shove (and it almost certainly will), I'll probably fall back onto the Verge engine. But it's not like there's anything to lose by trying to learn it, and I imagine having even a basic understanding of it could probably help with using Verge. And, who knows, maybe I actually can succeed with it and make some really cool things? So, hey: why the fuck not?
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Classic

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 10:35:16 PM »

Java is most often taught because it's a language that it is relatively difficult to  completely fuck up. You can't really optimize anything... but... that's not something to worry about now.

I'm guessing you have a good grasp of the basic data structures?
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Kazz

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 11:11:40 PM »

Also, DN, I often come onto the boards and go "Hey, I'm going to do this really cool thing!" and then I end up not doing that really cool thing that I said I was going to do.  Sometimes I think it'd be best if I kept the things I was going to do to myself, so that if I don't do them, it isn't embarrassing, and if I do do them, it's a pleasant surprise.
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Brentai

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 11:22:01 PM »

I've tried that.  Doesn't work.  The best thing I've found is to have someone holding you accountable for it, and be forced to give constant status reports (and/or excuses if you're slacking off.)
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Classic

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 11:27:31 PM »

So, ave you found any clever excuses yet eloHtai?
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Brentai

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 11:46:50 PM »

Being life-threateningly ill seems to work.
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Sharkey

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 11:51:21 PM »

Two points that I will make as clearly and simply as possible regarding amateur game design. Hopefully I won't have to repeat this anymore:

1) If you have no programming experience, or hell, even if you do-- use fucking middleware. There is no shame in this. The insistence upon learning a language and reinventing everything is admirable, but impractical. It's like wanting to build your own home and staunchly refusing to use a fucking hammer. Unless you want to do something that's technologically impossible without doing everything your own damn self, just suck it up and make use of what's out there. Sure, it's less class from a hackish POV, but you're not going to put the raw bits on a drive by hand with a magnetized needle. You have to compromise somewhere, anyway. Do it in the most logical place.

2) Do it from the ground up. Gameplay first. Period. Every other damn amateur project does this backwards: "I have a fantastic, elaborate story full of interesting characters" or "this kind of shooter would look awesome," which is shorthand for "I just want to see this thing I have in mind done within the constraints of an already defined genre that has been adequately explored by people with way the fuck more resources than I have." Stop thinking of story and aesthetics first. Your primary and, in fact, only asset is the ability to take a shot at a novel gameplay concept. Large developers will rarely do this because there's sure money in something that's proven to work. You, on the other hand, can crack out the next Cartels and Cutthroats, Sopwith, Every Extend, Narbacular Drop, or whateverthefuck because nobody's breathing down your neck. Appearances and story come last, if at all.
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Kazz

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 11:54:22 PM »

I think DotA is a great example of those principles.  It's an extremely popular game in its own right, and it's just a custom map for another game.  I bought Frozen Throne just to play DotA.  DotA is divorced from War3 in much the same way CounterStrike was divorced from Half-Life.
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Sharkey

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 12:10:27 AM »

Well, I'm glad you came around, at least. I still want to see something like Pod. Hell, I have ancient posts on the forum-that-shall-not-be-named about pretty much that same thing. And the best damn way of doing that would be to strip down something like Freespace and jigger the physics. Or some similar engine. I'm easy.

Or Angels in Heaven. Attacking that as 2.5D from the getgo is suicide, especially with the assets that would be necessary for what is described. Especially stupid when the choice is purely aesthetic and has fuckall to do with the gameplay. If it's a fun idea it will be fun with Combat's damn graphics. Do that first.

Also, an additional note:

3) Making content takes a LONG FUCKING TIME. Even if you're just cracking together a little platformer, placing all that shit will suck away your life. Do you really wonder why there are a million screwball multiplayer mods kicking around? Because multiplayer is its own damn content. Complexity emerging from simple rules through human agency beats the hell out of handcrafting every little damn thing every time. And if you're a really talented motherfucker, procedurally generated content will work if you're not doing something social. Of course, keeping that from getting dull is a trick and a half.
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Disposable Ninja

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 12:34:18 AM »

1) If you have no programming experience, or hell, even if you do-- use fucking middleware. There is no shame in this. The insistence upon learning a language and reinventing everything is admirable, but impractical. It's like wanting to build your own home and staunchly refusing to use a fucking hammer. Unless you want to do something that's technologically impossible without doing everything your own damn self, just suck it up and make use of what's out there. Sure, it's less class from a hackish POV, but you're not going to put the raw bits on a drive by hand with a magnetized needle. You have to compromise somewhere, anyway. Do it in the most logical place.

Oh, Jesus, fuck, of course. If I ever managed to get to such a point, why would I not do that? That was my plan all along.
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Bongo Bill

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 07:29:23 AM »

If you want to understand C++, learning C first is the way to go.
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...but is it art?

Arc

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 08:36:13 AM »

Gameplay first.

ABP. Always. Be. Prototyping.

If your design turns out to be faulty, you've only invested a week as compared to months, and learned from the 'failure'. For a project that will devour anywhere from one to three years of your time, this is a key component to finding the right work that'll keep you coming back for more. Afterall, nearly 90% of all independent projects remain unfinished due to the donkey being placed before the cart.

As for myself, conveying a story is usually my central goal. A graphical text adventure engine would serve me well, with possibilities of rendered revisions down the line. Anyone know of any group created interactive fiction?
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Kashan

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2008, 09:38:43 AM »

Gameplay first.

ABP. Always Be Prototyping. If your design turns out to be faulty, you've only invested a week or so as compared to months, and learned or evolved from the failure. For a project that will devour anywhere from one to three years of your time, this is a key component to finding the right work that'll keep you coming back for more. Afterall, nearly 90% of all independent projects remain unfinished due to the donkey being placed before the cart.

As for myself, conveying a story is usually my central goal. A graphical text adventure engine would serve me well, with possibilities of rendered revisions down the line. Anyone know of any group created interactive fiction?
http://www.renpy.org/wiki/renpy/Home_Page

Is this the kind of think you're looking for?
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Arc

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2008, 10:29:43 AM »

Ah, actually I meant interactive fiction written and produced by a group, or committee.

Think 'Eroge Doctor Who'.

Or not.
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James Edward Smith

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2008, 01:46:18 PM »

Or Angels in Heaven. Attacking that as 2.5D from the getgo is suicide, especially with the assets that would be necessary for what is described. Especially stupid when the choice is purely aesthetic and has fuckall to do with the gameplay. If it's a fun idea it will be fun with Combat's damn graphics. Do that first.

Yeah, I'll probably try to bang something out a lot simpler than the final polished vision, obviously. I mean the main work for me is going to be getting the planes to fly right and getting the zoom ratios to be such that dog fighting is possible, practical, and fun, while still allowing you to see the planes at all.

The point of making it in 2.5D from the start was that my boss was going to provide me with an engine for doing so and as such, there would be little point in spending the time making any sort of 2d displaying architecture myself, just to end of throwing it away anyway and remaking the whole thing as scripts in his 3d engine.

But there may be some value in doing so anyway just because it would let me develop and toy with the gameplay and then actually be able to test it as soon as I was able to make it and not have to wait for the engine to be at the stage where I can use it.

Honestly, it all just depends on what is availiable and when and what I have to be doing in my life and when. Right now, I have to work and get my Blackberry game Atlas Stone done and then I also have a Blackberry Rogue-like that I might want to make first too. But once those are done, I just start working on Devils in Heaven using whatever is the best tools or lack there of at the time. If Octane(bosses engine) is still too primative, I'll just whack together something 2d and crap myself, because honestly, game mechanics wise, that's all I need is sopwith2 level graphics.

Expect me to start making a prototype where you can maybe play as the US or the commies or something and one map at some point and then try to make it multiplayer. Maybe 3 planes a side that are all multi-role.

US
F-86 Saber
F-100 Super Saber
F-8 Crusader

Commies

MiG-15 Fagot
MiG-17 Fresco
MiG-21 Fishbed
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Sharkey

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2008, 03:46:20 PM »

Commies got the coolest names for their jets. Fishbeds are rad, though. I remember playing Yeager's flight sim a million years and the crazy detail that thing went into somtimes. I remember seeing that the Fishbed's guns had greater range than a B52s, so I figured I could just come in behind and shred the things. No such fucking luck. It actually took into account air resistance- I was firing against the wind and they were firing with it and I got ripped the hell apart.

Grognards for ya.
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Classic

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Re: New Trades
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2008, 05:54:37 PM »

I didn't understand that statement either Demo... but I wasn't going to recommend getting your bearing for high-level coding first before moving to more fundamental languages.

.. That is what you're saying, right?
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