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7:50 AM on 08.29.2008

So You Want to be a Game Developer (Part 2)

More face palming ensues.

When we last left our plucky developer, he was being assaulted by game engines!

A important issue you have to deal with in the development of the any game is the all important game engine and its a tricky one to figure out. You could always program your own game engine, but that takes a lot of time and effort. Especially if you want all the bells and whistles of DX9 and/or DX10. You can easily fall back on pre-made game engines but those aren't without their own pitfalls.

One of the biggest pitfalls would be price. The biggest indie dilemma would be money or the lack thereof. Unreal3D is a really nice engine to work with but i don't exactly 350k kicking around to get one. Of course there are game engines priced for indie developers, like torque, but more on that later.

The second biggest issue is programming the damn thing. Now whenever possible try to program in C++. Anyone in the tech field can tell you its weird, since more often than not programming happens in Java. But like some weird force of nature the gaming industry is chugging along on the C++ train. I could geek out and explain in detail but it has mostly to do with memory and CPU management, and when the code hits the processor the way java works it gets very inefficient. Java is fine for smaller more casual games but for something larger it just doesn't work.

Torque works around this by being a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Game creator. In the same vain of you could program a webpage in pure code or just use a program like Microsoft Frontpage (also WYSIWYG) and tell it where all the webpage elements should go and it will generate the code for you. In general you should always try to program it yourself. The code that is generated by these programs can sometimes be cluttered and you can't prevent them from integrating junk code especially evidenced by Frontpage... Though Torques biggest problem is the documentation. With the lack of it one wonders how people develop for it. The 2D version is caught up but the 3D is far behind.

All these issues led us to Ogre3D. Its a open source (free!) community project that has been developed for 7 years and is a very feature full game engine. Its coded in C++ and is completely modifiable, which can be a problem for some, but we have capable programmers to do the C++ work. Besides full DX9 support and development for DX10, it also has a fully documented API and a huge community with many tutorials to get you started.

When next we meet the developer,
Developing a game idea, and those damn "political" considerations.

So Want to be a Game Developer (Part 1)   read

12:37 AM on 08.29.2008

So You Want to be a Game Developer

First a Facpalm,
Then a preface

My friends are all knowledgeable about gaming and we all have a tech background. Some more than others, but we are a group of programmers, graphic artists, writers and mostly in the CIS/IT field.


My friend, who i have known for a while, suggested a wild idea. "Why don't we start a game company" he says. Now you don't know me but i have a terrible quality of jumping into something, without having a single idea of what I'm doing. Now I'm not saying i didn't have a clue pertaining to the subject but it was close to that. I agreed and we tried to gather up some cohorts from our friends.

Of course at the start of any project, everyone is ambitious and wants to get involved. We formed a group and started banging out ideas for what the first game could be exactly. I do work for a hosting company so I was easily able to procure a server for our needs and host our website on it. We got our story writer(me), artists, programmers. Well we were missing a solid sound guy, some of us dabbled but none of us were serious about it.

Things started chugging along and then they stopped. Many were not willing to give up the time necessary for the longer term project that we had thought up. Things were grinding along at a very slow pace. The arguments were many, although argument might be too strong a word, but the forums filled up quickly.

Next Time on

So You Want to be a Game Developer

Torque and Unreal and Ogre3D oh my,
What is a developer to do.   read

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