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Thread: The Game Development Thread

  1. #1
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Default The Game Development Thread

    So there was a thread Pike made over a month ago now about who among us had tried making games before. It turns out it was quite a few who have or who presently are making the attempt. In that thread I also said this to Psi:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivi22 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ReloadPsi View Post
    Does anyone suppose there's enough interest for an indie game development subforum?
    I wish. There's certainly enough people who've made or are making the attempt, but how much you want to bet the apathy would creep in a week later and such a subforum was left deader than the video game music section?
    You know what? I'd like to see me eat my words on at least some level since that visual is hilarious. So let's start a thread on video game development. Is anyone working on something now? Is anyone interested in starting a project? Let's talk about this stuff because it tickles my fancy.

    Since that thread I had something of an epiphany. I was going to learn C then move on to Game Maker for my first project. Then I realized I'd rather make a game now so why not just jump into Game Maker now? So I did. I've been working through some tutorials to learn it. This is a stellar one to start with if you're new to Game Maker, and it even covers some programming basics in the Game Maker programming language the engine uses so it's good for getting your feet wet in programming conventions should you move onto full blown computer programming later. Some of the stuff in part 4 doesn't work in the lite version though. Luckily it's just adding a sprite font so you can still dabble in adding the standard fonts for HUD's and stuff.

    I'm starting my first project now which is a sort of point and click style horror game about an agoraphobic man alone in his house over the course of a week which starts with him getting a phone call with the cryptic message "She's waiting for you..." As you would expect things swiftly go downhill for him from there. And it's point and click in overall style only. I'm actually planning to use a top down RPG style view with a Resident Evil style inventory system where you'll need to pick up, examine, and combine items to progress elements of the story. Actually, I guess it will be more of a top down Resident Evil minus the combat and more psychological then. Don't worry though, no limited inventory slots and bottomless item boxes here. I've got the overall plot outlined in my head and a bit on paper. For now I'm going to work on the art style, get the sprite graphics done, while I work on getting things like the inventory and interactions working so I can start building the game itself and the puzzles.

    I'm really excited to get this project started as I think the scope is something I can manage on my own over the next few months, and I think I already know enough about Game Maker to really hit the ground running on this. I'd like to see what others are working on too though, or see what they start working on if anyone gets the itch from this.

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    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    I feel like I'm the only one among us actually willing to delve into such a thread. Next in line, if not busy with work which he usually is, BG-57, from whom I've not heard in a couple of months. After that, probably Magixion, as he and NeoTifa were the one's who started their own website devoted to indying their game. Of course, I haven't seen them around lately either. Also Zerobu, who recently took over the dead Project N00b, but has since disappeared. Jirito is usually fond of doing whatever artwork is requested for these projects but she's got work now. I'm really interested to the cover art she's been asked to design.


    I'm still struggling to decide whether my own project should be an indie game or just a novel. No matter what I decide, I still have to figure out a way to connect the basic plot to actual storyline... I think I made this too big.

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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercen-X View Post
    I feel like I'm the only one among us actually willing to delve into such a thread.
    I don't know. At the very least I think Pike might show some interest when she notices.

    Get in here Pike!

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    (charm)anders was right Pike's Avatar
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    I'm here and I'm interested. I've been wanting to look at GameMaker for a while and haven't got around to it. Maybe I should...

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    Defamation Depression Moon's Avatar
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    I had tried in the past trying build stuff with Unity and UDK. I didn't really go anywhere with Unity. I was following a video on youtube, but this guy's code wasn't working. Tried to find out why it wasn't and never found out. I stayed with UDK a bit, but just doing that coding put me off it's so boring. I just want to do the designing.

    LBP is more akin to how I want to design stuff. I've had way more fun and spent so much time on that man...

    I'm going to have to go back to Unity or UDK though.

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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Definitely should. It's quite easy to use. In fact, it's quite possible to make a game without using their game maker language at all and simply create the events and actions you want, drag and drop the appropriate behaviour for objects, etc. It even has a built in sprite editor, and if I'm not mistaken can load midi files (but screw that, any music I make will be a bit higher quality than that unless I run into performance issues I couldn't solve any other way). Building simple games is surprisingly easy once you find the right tutorials and guides and whatnot to learn it. FYI: there are a lot of bad tutorials out there for beginners. I think I managed to find most of them. The one I linked to is the best I've found and genuinely helpful and well laid out and explained.

    It would be nice having more people around here doing stuff with it to so we could all help each other out and stuff and things. I think I'm actually going to grab the full licensed version soon too. It unlocks all of the features, some of which I already want to use, and it's not too expensive actually.

    Edit for Depression Moon: I thought about trying Unity for a while, but decided against it for now at least. Fact is, I know nothing about making 3D graphics, and that wouldn't be the only steep learning curve I'd have to climb. I've heard Unity is actually quite easy to use, but for someone with a limited background in programming just starting out, I'd rather wet my feet in something I can learn a bit more quickly. The fact that Unity apparently doesn't do actual 2D graphics very well was also a downside for me.

    I'd like to progress towards using it someday though because I like a lot of the ideas they have and their business model is pretty damn awesome, but I'll save that for once I have a few games under my belt, understand programming a bit better, and can learn to make at least some basic 3D graphics.
    Last edited by Slothy; 08-15-2012 at 07:04 PM.

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    Very VIP person Tech Admin Rantz's Avatar
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    I delved pretty deeply into GameMaker many years ago. It was actually my first foray into scripting/programming, I think. It was a neat piece of software back then, if rather limited. I'm a bit curious how far it has come in all these years. Is it well updated?

    My most ambitious game projects so far have been in Flash, but if I were to make anything serious today it'd probably be built from the ground up. As for current projects, I'm working on a silly choose-your-adventure thing in PHP (yeah, I know... only because it's a non-serious project and it's probably what I know best).

    I'm kind of wanting to code a nice solid engine for a specific game type, that could easily be used as a base for many different games. Maybe something akin to Ace Attorney games, that'd be a decent challenge that could still be pretty flexible without having to grow too huge. Start out with a very flexible dialogue mode, a point-and-click mode, a navigation mode... an inventory system with optional categories... make everything as extensible as possible so that it's easy to add new game modes and stuff. Should be fun!
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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rantz View Post
    I delved pretty deeply into GameMaker many years ago. It was actually my first foray into scripting/programming, I think. It was a neat piece of software back then, if rather limited. I'm a bit curious how far it has come in all these years. Is it well updated?
    Apparently the full version has some support for DirectX so 3D graphics are now possible. Not sure how viable that really is knowing that Game Maker can have some performance issues when you really load it down (or at least it did in older versions apparently). I'm not sure what other changes there may be, though that's the most obvious one from earlier versions. Still though, my planned project isn't super ambitious on a technical level so it should serve me well.

    I should probably mention as well that a couple of friends of mine (one being my best friend who I was collaborating with on previous game development endeavours that were far more ambition than we had the time or ability to pull off) is working on a browser based 10-player Bomberman style game. Apparently it's coming along quite well so far and he's hoping to start play testing it with the 3 of us to start out sometime in the relatively near future. He asked me to make some music tracks for it too so I need to dig out my small MIDI keyboard sometime soon so I can get going on that.

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    pirate heartbreaker The Man's Avatar
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    I'm developing a scenario for the Marathon trilogy, a first-person shooter from the nineties which introduced a lot of gameplay and storytelling tropes that are now regarded as standard in the genre, but never really got much attention because it was Mac-only during the period when it would've garnered the most attention. The series probably has actually gained more attention in the wake of Bungie's creation of Halo than it did during its initial incarnation.

    The source code was released shortly before Microsoft acquired Bungie, and the engine has been under constant development ever since. (Notably, an update was released a few years ago that finally renders everything in true 3D). There is an editor for present-day OSes entitled Weland which I have yet to be able to get to run; I have been developing all my content using the old OS9-era editors, mostly Forge and Anvil (the source code to Forge was lost and so the new editors have had to be built from scratch). Unfortunately these have limitations like restricting maps to 1024 polygons (I'm approaching the limit on several of my maps) so I'm going to have to see about getting Weland to work.

    I've been developing this scenario off and on for something like fifteen years. The fact that I lost the OS9-running laptop I was building the content on didn't help (I no longer have a functional desktop Mac that will run OS9). I posted an in-development version awhile back but the hosting space it was on disappeared, and I'm going to revise a lot of cringeworthy writing before I repost it. Seriously I was responsible for some truly awful writing that I'm just ashamed of now.

    When I've brought it up to a standard where I feel it's not a complete embarrassment I'll post what I've got done. I have no idea if anyone here would even be interested in developing content for an FPS, but just in case you are, I've got a pretty goddamn ambitious one in progress that could probably use content from other talented developers.
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    disc jockey to your heart krissy's Avatar
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    i have worked a lot in unity 3d before and would recommend it to anyone. i guess some coding background is nice to have though.

    i can also make music for you guys if you want. although my schedule is up in the air right now.

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    KentaRawr!'s Avatar
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    I made a rom hack of Final Fantasy once! ... It was awful and I deleted it!

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    pirate heartbreaker The Man's Avatar
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    I also made a romhack of Final Fantasy (VI) once. I wouldn't say it was awful. I still have it somewhere, probably. My intention was to retranslate the game but I gave up pretty quickly because I don't actually know Japanese (I was relying on RPGOne's version, Woolsey's version, and my own skills of literary interpretation). I also messed about with other things for the lulz.
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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    I have no idea if anyone here would even be interested in developing content for an FPS, but just in case you are, I've got a pretty goddamn ambitious one in progress that could probably use content from other talented developers.
    I can't claim to be a talented developer, but I'd be interested to hear about this project and what you need. Like I said, I can't do 3D, but might be able to contribute some music. Possibly some sound design once I learn how to do it half decently.

    And speaking of FFVI, I made the decision to use FFVI sprites as the base for my main character and any others I need. I took my first crack at him today for about the last hour. Happy with the colour palette mostly, I think. I want to tweak his proportions and anatomy a bit more I think, though it's tricky when you only have a few pixels to work with. And this is also just designing how he'll look when he's facing the camera. I'll still have to complete all of the animations that I'll need after which should be awesomely hard to get right.

    I figured I'd go this route for two reasons though. First, I haven't done much drawing or anything in close to ten years and I'm still relatively inexperienced with sprites. Second, what better way to practice and study than to do it with some of my favourite sprites ever as a base to build from and reference for shading and the like? I'll share some of what I have once I run him through a few more iterations I think so I can get some feedback.

    Tomorrow I'll probably set up a few basic objects and implement the controls. If I have time after that I may start work on a tile set to build the guys house with. That will be a bit more daunting. I'll still probably look at tile sets and backgrounds from other games to study how they did it, and also use some real world reference for the objects I'll need to make, but I plan on building his home from scratch myself. I know it's going to be a hell of a long process, but the practice will do me good.

  14. #14
    pirate heartbreaker The Man's Avatar
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    The development thread is here. The engine is polygon-based so it doesn't actually take 3D skills to make levels. You do have to have some decent sense of architectural aesthetics though, obviously.

    I'm still not 100% sure what I need, but custom graphics would be nice for obvious reasons. I have a race of aliens that I've just made into "shapeshifters" right now, but given the way the engine is programmed it's not actually possible to make them shift shape (though if I learn Lua well enough it probably would), so it would probably be better just to give them their own appearance.

    Apart from that I really would like to give each environment its own unique appearance (it takes place on a number of different planets, most of which have never been seen before in the series' history) so someone who can create textures would be greatly appreciated.

    Beyond that there's probably other things that could be done but I haven't thought about all of them yet.

    It would be cool if you'd contribute; I'd welcome it.
    Don't delay, add The Pimp today! Don't delay, add The Pimp today!
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    Gold is the new black Goldenboko's Avatar
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    Game maker was my smurfing joint dude. Loved that trout. Wish I still had my copy.

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