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The Game Development Thread

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I'd like to make a game, or at least have a stab at it. The problem is I'm an imbecile with a terrible attention span and I know it'll probably fall by the wayside, but while I'm off reading the thread from the beginning can anyone point me to the absolute beginning of how I'd go about this. I have an old version of Game Maker and a couple of RPG Makers on Steam if they're any good. Am I best just looking up some YouTube tutorials for those?

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29 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

I'd like to make a game, or at least have a stab at it. The problem is I'm an imbecile with a terrible attention span and I know it'll probably fall by the wayside, but while I'm off reading the thread from the beginning can anyone point me to the absolute beginning of how I'd go about this. I have an old version of Game Maker and a couple of RPG Makers on Steam if they're any good. Am I best just looking up some YouTube tutorials for those?

 

Others will know much more than me, but I think it'll depend a bit on what you want to make/focus on. Unity presents a fair low barrier to entry in my opinion for a proper 3D engine (albeit I work with programming day-to-day so I'm not sure how easy it would be to pick-up from scratch). I've done a chunk of the GameDev.Tv courses on Udemy and I think they ease you in pretty well and you are actually making things as you go. I was making some progress towards learning what I needed for my game idea but alas work/family massively got in the way and the process halted about 12 months ago. I keep meaning to go back.

 

This is the one I have (and there 2D one) if it's of interest. Just wait for a sale though as they have them literally every other week and I got them both for £10 each for loads of content...

https://www.udemy.com/course/unitycourse2/

 

One thing I would say from my experience is the idea of just starting up to make that one idea you might have probably wouldn't work. You might have an end game idea in mind but I think you need to work through so many elements you'll need to either be massively iterative with versions of your idea adding complexity, or keep that idea burning on the side while doing other projects to learn the skills/techniques and then applying them.

 

I'd recommend getting stuck in though. The little I've done so far was really challenging but hugely rewarding.

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That's a point, my OH has a Lynda account so I can look on there. Someone else mentioned Pico 8 is good to begin with because it's so limited?

It's something I'd like to try because my current "career" isn't going great so I'd like to learn something when I'm in the doldrums, try and better msyelf. If I have to go to uber basics and learn through all that then so be it. I'm just worried that my brain isn't wired to learn things like this. I'm terrible at sticking with stuff but I do want to try it. I've had a look at Unity and tried a couple of YouTube tutorials but it made my mind boggle a bit.

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You definitely need to find something that suits your current mindset/time/skills so some of those solutions you've talked about might be good. Also, I haven't used it, but Unity have 'Bolt' which is their visual scripting solution if you want to try things before getting too stuck into proper coding. It might make scratching that itch a little easier...

https://unity.com/how-to/make-games-without-programming

 

However, I just don't think there is a solution to get into the detail of game creation without putting the time into the coding skills (which can sometimes be a grind).

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So, I have Pico 8 from that itch.io bundle, but I'd downloaded Tic-80 and started a tutorial before I knew that and I've been working through a Space Invader tutorial and I can absolutely see how this shit is fun and absorbing.

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On 18/06/2020 at 18:38, Melon_Bread said:

I've been working on a game called Voxel Tactics, it's a voxel based strategy RPG, we just finished a pre-alpha vertical slice demo that we are trying to get funding.

Been working on it in my spare time for years but it's really come together over the last 6 months, now seems like a good time to try and get funding and make it for reals. 

Here's a screenshot, you can follow the game on twitter @voxeltactics 

 

VT_SCREEN_8.jpg

I’d love to know what methods you used to choose your colour palette, the colours you have chosen really make your art pop out from the screen it’s great.

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11 hours ago, DarkCrisis said:

I’d love to know what methods you used to choose your colour palette, the colours you have chosen really make your art pop out from the screen it’s great.

 

Tbh, I just did it by eye, I may have used some of my old pixelart to grab the colours from.

 

Here's another screenshot...

VT_SCREEN_7.jpg

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On 16/06/2020 at 12:42, moosegrinder said:

I'd like to make a game, or at least have a stab at it. The problem is I'm an imbecile with a terrible attention span and I know it'll probably fall by the wayside, but while I'm off reading the thread from the beginning can anyone point me to the absolute beginning of how I'd go about this. I have an old version of Game Maker and a couple of RPG Makers on Steam if they're any good. Am I best just looking up some YouTube tutorials for those?


I depends what kind of game you want to make, and if you’re wanting to make more games afterwards. 
 

Set your initial goals mega low. My first idea was “space invaders but a bit ikaruga” with a basic Space invaders clone with two colours of enemies and you could change colour. Whilst I did eventually use that idea, even something that simple I gave up on the first two times. I ended up with just a basic clone the first time, and it still looked and felt like shit.

 

In terms of which thing to use, it’s kind of a trade off. The simpler the thing you learn, the more limited what you can do with it will be. That sounds obvious, but there are some whole genres that you can’t really achieve with old fashioned tools, and old genres that don’t really need anything new and fancy. 
 

I imagine the Pico is like Basic, but with a route to release. I learned some basic, and it was a fantastic way to get familiar with programming concepts, but I stopped because there was nothing I could really do with it, aside from make retro looking games. I ended up feeling that I should’ve spent that time learning something more modern, but it’s possible that the only reason I understood the other stuff at all was that basic I learned. Obviously with Pico 8 you’ve got a way to share your games, but I imagine you’re still going to face significant difficulties going from Pico to Unity.

 

I would not recommend perusing RPG maker unless you’re 100% sure that you only ever want to make JRPG games. I can’t imagine wanting to lock myself into one genre. It’s a great tool, that makes it very easy to make a JRPG, but it’s still intensely complex and nothing you learn there will be applicable to other software.

 

Game Maker is good, understandable, and versatile. You can make basic stuff with very little coding, and it’s really good for exploring ideas. It’s slow and your games all run like shit unless you learn to use its code, but if you’re making something simple that’s not really an issue. I spent a few hours with the scripting language and it seems fine, but like RPG Maker you’re learning something you can never use anywhere else. 
 

Which leaves the big ones, Unity and UE4. Unity is a tool that programmers love. They LOVE it. It’s clearly working for them somehow, but even with some coding experience I’m more doing generalised design stuff and I hate it. It’s confusing and janky and none of the templates work. It takes twenty minutes to get a basic floor and a controllable character, and it all feels awful to play. The guy who sits near me refuses to use UE4, he’s a big programmer. He can knock up a turn based strategy, FPS, or 2D RPG in ten minutes and it’s clearly an incredible tool, but I can’t get on with it at all.

 

I fucking love UE4. It’s perfect for me. You can get something simple in first, third, or overhead views in seconds with appropriate controls and be trying your actual ideas in no time, even if you’re shite at it. The visual scripting means you kinda learn code but kinda don’t have to. All the versatility of code with some streamlining, although as with all things designed to avoid coding, everything runs a bit poorly.

 

There’s tonnes of free assets for both/either so you don’t need to make models. However, given that you’re such a talented artist it might also be worth considering trying modelling or sculpting. You don’t get the problem solving fun but it is amazing and exciting.

 

Ultimately, anything that makes games will give you a taste of game dev, and they can all produce great games. It’s mostly down to how hard you work and how easily you get disheartened. There’s not one of my projects that failed that would have succeeded if I’d just used the right software or something, it’s all about being able to motivate yourself though the shit bit at the beginning, like learning an instrument. And there is nothing like running your game or letting someone play it, no matter how shit it is. 
 

Another alternative would be identifying one bit you like doing, then looking for people to collaborate with, especially if you do models. Everyone is constantly desperate for modellers, and I’m sure you could find someone who would be interested in letting you have creative input on the project but you wouldn’t necessarily need to learn the actual programming or anything if it turns out you don’t enjoy that.

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Get Unity. Follow the Tom Francis tutorial on YouTube on how to make a game. It's really good and you'll learn loads and have fun. 

 

 

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Although I came in with a lot of programming experience, all these engines require some relearning and general time to understand.  It's well worth the effort, it would take years to accomplish the same things from building your own engine up from scratch.

 

For me the choice was simple, Unreal Engine kept falling over on my old iMac I started using but Unity worked, so I used that.  I went through one of the courses on Unity's web site https://learn.unity.com/course/create-with-code It's quite a long slog, and with the course aimed at beginners some of the stuff seemed woefully slow, but there were some real gems hidden in there that I really needed.  Like understanding the UI system, or how to be able to communicate between scriptable objects.

 

I hadn't heard of GoDot at the time, I've had a look and started twiddling with it - but it's just too much of a stretch to relearn all the stuff that I'd already become comfortable with in Unity.  Worth looking at if you are coming at it new, and if you want to do 2d games.  It's quite nice that the code editor is built in (as opposed to using Visual Studio or something) and it's very lightweight so will run on less powerful systems.

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I'm going to get back to Broker's post in a bit, but I started the Unity tutorials and pretty much immediately bumped up against it, so I needed something super simple. Even then I'm doing a Space Invader clone in Tic-80 and I'm struggling to get my head around what needs to go where. I think I'm getting the basics of heirachy and how shit needs to be nested inside other shit but if the tutorial goes "Have a go and see if you can get it to work" my brain just shits itself and goes "Nah, man."

 

I haven't done any for a couple of days but I'm surprised I've stuck with it as long as I have. I'm going to get back to it when sitting in front of the PC isn't akin to having the oven door open and sticking my head in there.

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I've got a three-quarter-finished Space Invader clone project (it's a project I may yet revisit one day, because it's a little different). It was actually trickier than I first thought. Normally with games you want enemies to take care of themselves - i.e you put a script on them that tells them how to behave, and let them get on with it. With Space Invaders all the enemies act as one, so you want one piece of code somewhere that takes care of all of them. Even realising this I struggled with getting the behaviour right - getting them to speed up nicely as their numbers dwindled. It was only after reading exactly how the original game worked that I managed to get it working correctly. If you want any pointers let me know.

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I think it's a great idea to start on a little Space Invaders clone or just a game you know well.  I recently put together a quick Asteroids style game just for a break - which took about a day, but was interesting as the way it needed to be put together was completely different from my Sim game.  Much more instantiation and managing of objects.  I turned it into a bit of a fun thing for a podcast I'm involved in, sticking the faces of the hosts in as Asteroids and then using little sound bytes as explosion noises.

 

Weirdly this took about 3 weeks - 1 hour to change the code, and the remainder of the time to chase people up for a few sound samples !

 

 

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