Creating Games

Creating Games

Post by Dune Sheph » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 14:49:19


Okay so I'm sure lots of these posts get posted, but I'm unable to
find any (I'm a horrible searcher and cannot find a book that teaches
you how to search since when I search for such, I can't find it, a
horrible 22 I say)

I see alot of stuff about silly c++ tutorials and simple stuff, fine
and dandy for people who don't know all that I suppose, but I'd really
like to know in essence how to create a full game. Is there a basic
terminology book somewhere? I know a little bit of visual and java
etc. but I can pick up just about any language rather quickly, I'm not
looking to learn in a day, 5 years is perfectly fine, however I'd like
a good idea of direction

How, for example, was Oblivion of Morrowing (Elder Scrolls by
Bethesda) created? I know programming, but most languages do not
provide a built in graphics thingy. Obviously such games are not a
very large compilation of jpegs. Wikipedia is no help.

Any help appreciated, critisize if you must but I'll probably just
ignore you. And if I'm completely lost in asking this question here,
perhaps help on pointing me in the right direction? Much obliged.
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Dune Sheph » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 14:51:59

Okay so I'm sure lots of these posts get posted, but I'm unable to
find any (I'm a horrible searcher and cannot find a book that teaches
you how to search since when I search for such, I can't find it, a
horrible 22 I say)

I see alot of stuff about silly c++ tutorials and simple stuff, fine
and dandy for people who don't know all that I suppose, but I'd really
like to know in essence how to create a full game. Is there a basic
terminology book somewhere? I know a little bit of visual and java
etc. but I can pick up just about any language rather quickly, I'm not
looking to learn in a day, 5 years is perfectly fine, however I'd like
a good idea of direction

How, for example, was Oblivion of Morrowing (Elder Scrolls by
Bethesda) created? I know programming, but most languages do not
provide a built in graphics thingy. Obviously such games are not a
very large compilation of jpegs. Wikipedia is no help.

Any help appreciated, critisize if you must but I'll probably just
ignore you. And if I'm completely lost in asking this question here,
perhaps help on pointing me in the right direction? Much obliged.

 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Richard He » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 17:48:31

une Shepherd said:


Actually, this group seems pretty dead nowadays.


The first thing you need to know is that, if you want to write a game
that will sweep the nation and make you a zillionaire, either it'll
take you several lifetimes to write or you're going to need some help.
But if you're just after having a bit of fun by writing something /you/
think is cool (because you know what's going on underneath), then it's
surprising just how much you /can/ do on your own. If you're old enough
to remember the days of Manic Miner, Mercenary, and the like, most of
those were written by individuals rather than a whole team.


No idea. You'll have to ask dem wot dun it.


Right, but most companies' games don't have to work on every platform in
the world (or, if they do, their graphics programming whizzes have
already written an abstraction layer for image processing - and
probably for sound, too). So that's your first choice - pick a
platform. Or perhaps pick a graphics library that you like, and let
that decide your platform for you. Because you'll be working with that
library a *lot*.


Firstly, jpegs are a pig to work with. Secondly, they're lossy. Bitmaps
are far more reliable, and have a very simple format. Animating bitmaps
is a cinch. Well, okay, it's actually quite fiddly, but it's easy
fiddly rather than hard fiddly.

Secondly, actually in a way such games /are/ a very large collection of
images - but not /only/ that. For example, let's take Space Invaders.
You have a ship. One image. Maybe you want to give it one sort of
pulsing effect when it moves, another sort when it fires. Now we might
be up to ten or twenty images already. Two or three for a simple
missile. Six for a simple player-ship explosion effect. Then maybe five
or so for each type of enemy, plus another five for their explosion
effects, and perhaps four kinds of enemy. You're already looking at
fifty images, and that's just for a tiny little Space Invaders game.

But yes, there's a lot more to it than that. Almost certainly, you'll
find yourself favouring a language (or an implementation, rather) that
lets you write event-driven programs. "If the user presses THIS key, do
THAT, depending on whether such-and-such is true, or perhaps THE
OTHER". "If the timer just went TICK, do such and such". And so on.

Whilst I'm hardly the world's biggest Microsoft fan, I have to say that
the Win32 API lends itself very nicely to writing games. (That's what
Windows is /for/ - mainframes for bean-counters, Linux for worker bees,
and Windows for Minesweeper.)

Personally, on the rare occasions when I do this kind of thing, I tend
to use the C language, writing on Visual Studio 6 under Windows XP, and
I avoid COM like a road accident.


If you ignore criticism, you won't learn much.


I don't know of any decent books on games programming that don't assume
a platform, although there are some quite good books out there on how
to write 2D and 3D graphics engines (which aren't as hairy as they
sound, although they're still pretty hairy).

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Richard Br » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 18:17:44

Dune Shepherd said the following on 23/06/07 06:49:

Most companies break their teams down into specific areas so a graphics
artist, even if they know some programming will probably never use it
in-house as that would be the job of the programmers who need the work!

A mate of mine did some short animations and promoted it. Simple as
that and it worked for him. Via Bullfrog the games company and The
Muppet Television Workshop he ended up doing film work for some years.
Be prepared to think of your work as contract work, with lay-offs after
an unsuccessful product launch.


You could join one of the forums here.
< http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ;

--
"Initiative is punishable."
Russian business saying.
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Dune Sheph » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 18:31:30

Aw I'm suprised at the positive responses.. perhaps the religion
groups naturally attract much more.. shall we say the very simple
word: "angry" people? Anyways I've been doing alot of looking while
waiting for responses.. it seems that my lack of understanding comes
from my lack of know anything about hardware. I'm assuming (from the
brief glances in my rushed research) that a video card is much more
than another device to produce heat in your computer? Unreal
Tournament uses OpenGL so I'm guessing thats the "platform" R. H. was
talking about? I do believe I'm quite more interesting in creating my
own graphics engine rather than game now that I'm narrowing down my
goal.

Personal info if it helps: My long term goal is to make a career out
of this, and Im just beginning to narrow down my major in college and
I need to pick between my new-found love for animation, or my
naturally quick learning for scripting. My short term goal is to have
an idea of what I want, and to create something (thus graphics engine,
or previous to the replies a game) just to prove to myself i can do
it, not for money.

Anyway thankyou for the help. I'll be more open to critisizm when
outside of religions forums, but I'm still keeping my guard up when
touching anything involving them, learning or not.
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Richard Br » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 19:03:27

Dune Shepherd said the following on 23/06/07 10:31:

Yes and no! :-)

If you have a bog-standard video card that's great for word processing,
it may *** when given full-screen animation. On the other hand, an
over the top priced video card which spends most of its time just
rendering is going to get a bit bored. Many people think that a
top-range video card will speed up rendering but that is not really true
as the time taken for rendering is down to the program itself, how big
the bitmaps are and how complicated the scene is.

One thing I did remember from when my mate was preparing his renderings
to video tape (remember that stuff?) was that the companies said "no
space scenes!" as they had their fill of that subject at that time.


Well, you could start up your own company as a positive aside but there
are so many graphics engines out there. Prove your graphics engine's
"USP" as to why there should be another one out there.


A game is no different from other media. Even for a short scene you are
going to realise that you will be doing the same processes as the film
studios - writing scripts, getting your timings worked out, setting up
camera angles and not breaking the rules so as to not tire the eyes, or
confound your audience.

If going the game route, it wouldn't hurt to read up on a few basic tv
or film media books or reference some basic guidelines or animation. It
will help when you hammer out your idea with a prospective client and
that is where you make your selling point, bare-knuckle style.


I think religion and games are not the best combination these days what
with the churches in the UK banning a certain title. ;-)

Good luck in all that you do!


Richard Brooks.
--
"Initiative is punishable."
Russian business saying.
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Richard He » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 19:03:55

une Shepherd said:


Most techie groups will do their best to be positive for as long as you
are (a) positive yourself, (b) not trying to get other people to do
your homework for you, (c) capable of learning basic stuff quickly, (d)
able to do at least some of the research yourself.


You see? That's JUST the sort of thing that wins you friends in techie
groups. :-)


I don't think you need to know spit about hardware, to be honest. Not if
you just want to animate simple stuff. (Translation: I can do simple
animation, and I don't know spit about hardware.)


It's entirely possible, but I think of it merely as "something down
there underneath X" (or, if I'm on Windows, "something down there
underneath the Win32 GDI").


No, but it /is/ a portable graphics library. I looked at it - even
bought the books for it - but bottom line, I didn't like it very much.
So I wrote my own graphics engine instead.


That's the ticket. :-)


Well, money's always nice, isn't it? But yeah, I know what you mean - I
didn't write a 3D engine because I thought I could make money off it.
If I'd thought that, I'd have needed my head examining, because I
wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in Arizona of making a single
penny from it.


Sounds like you were stung pretty bad. In the technical world, we have
our own religious principles (portability, performance, correctness,
clarity, generality, simplicity, reusability...), and they can cause
some pretty interesting arguments on occasion. :-)

But anyway, in the techie world - and especially in Usenet - if you
can't take (constructive) criticism, you're toast, because that's how
Usenet maintains rigour. People are people, and someone is bound to
tell you a bunch of junk at some point (possibly me, actually), and
it's only proper that they should be corrected, for your sake, so that
you are not misled. And when /you/ post a bunch of junk, /you/ will be
corrected. How you handle that is up to you, but a thick skin is pretty
much a prerequisite for long term Usenet usage.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Rowle » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 21:46:03

andom comments inline.

Martin

Dune Shepherd wrote:

Hmm, doing a simple search on some book site like Amazon would be
considered pretty easy to do - given the slight learning curve for
learning to search and the steep one for learning what you're asking
about.........


Depends on the game - most are going to have a pretty steep learning
curve if you plan on going at it via actual programming in something
like C++ or C#. Microsoft has a web site dedicated to doing that, their
Visual studio Express: XNA Game Studio Express

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/

Or you could learn to make stuff in Flash, which is going to be mostly
2D stuff.

There are other (bit easier) routes to go - such as Game Maker or Game
Factory;

http://www.gamemaker.nl/ - Game Maker
http://www.clickteam.com/eng/tgf2.php - Game Factory (ps; this app costs $)

Both are pretty good entry level applications (there still is a learning
curve) - and will teach you a lot about game play design.

> Is there a basic

There are books galore and just about every university/college/community
college is offering classes on the subject. There are even summer camps
for kids to learn to do this kind of stuff.

Amazon carries books that cover the two packages I mentioned above;

"Make Amazing Games in Minutes" by Jason Darby (comes with a demo of TGF2)
and
The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners by Jacob
Habgood and Mark Overmars (comes with the full Game Maker software)

both books cover basic game design pretty well.


What you might want to do - instead of creating a game from scratch, you
might want to start off by learning to mod an already existing game.

I suggest looking at this book;

"Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design" by Jason Busby,
Zak Parrish, and Joel VanEenwyk

Which covers modding the game Unreal Tournament 2004. Keep in mind that
what you learn from doing something like this is also applicable to
creating content for a game of your own. Think of it as a stepping stone
to getting where you are trying to get.


Since you are mainly looking at 3D, you might want to also look at the
3D software groups. If you can afford the software there is 3D Studio
Max and Lightwave and Maya, if you are wanting to do this for free take
a look at Blender 3D - it's open source.

http://www.blender.org/

3D World magazine this month listed Blender as the most popular (which
isn't the same as most used) animation package.

Personally, I use a low-end package called Carrara and also Poser & DAZ
Studio.

DAZ Studio is a freebie (cuz then they can later sell you content for it)
http://www.daz3d.com/i.x/software/studio/-/

and speaking of magazines, you might want to pop into one of the big
chain bookstores around where you live (if there are any). Take a look
for any of the UK graphics magazines (which are imported into the US
also). Look for;

3D World
ImagineFX (my favorite)
Computer Arts
and others (these are the three main ones I try to buy) these magazines
are pricey around $15USD, but they come with cover CD/DVDs that usually
have content well worth the money - lots of time there are free licenses
of older software versions.

You might also want to look at the ones for Photoshop too.

Martin






 
 
 

Creating Games

Post by Rowle » Sun, 24 Jun 2007 22:31:07


Usually, only the "stupid" questions get negative responses.


I could see a religious group being more polarized one way or another.


Platform usually denotes the hardware / operating system that it's going
to be run on. for instance - Playstation (1, 2, or 3), PSP, GB, DS, xBox
(original or 360), PC or Mac, mobil (cell phone) - each of these is a
different platform and usually each has it own specifications and
limitations that you need to take into account when creating a game for it.

Video cards can/do suck power and produce lots of heat.


Making a career out of this is somewhat diffrent than just doing this as
a hobby (IMO). There are lots of books out there concerning going into
this as a career.

My recommendation is any of the books that Thomson Course Technology has;

http://www.yqcomputer.com/ %20Development

http://www.yqcomputer.com/ %20Development&subcategory=Design%20%26%20Business%20Development

http://www.yqcomputer.com/ %20Development&subcategory=2D%2F3D%20Art%20%26%20Animation

These are pricy books - $30 ~ $100+ each.

Amazon will carry most of these - but if there is a college or
university near you, you can probably pick up some good books at one of
the bookstores that cater to their students. You can sometimes find
books on ebay too.


Just learn to be a duck and let stuff like that roll off your back.
There are going to be jerks everywhere you go, just ignore them.

Martin