The Game Dev Thread

Discussion in 'Computers, Electronics, IT & Gaming' started by TedEH, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I know lots of people on here play games, but does anyone else here make games? I think I've talked on here before about wanting to make some music-based games, but never got any of those ideas off the ground. I'm starting a new project, not music related at all, but I'm actually making some progress this time, and I figure having some game-dev-centric conversation will keep me motivated to continue. Unfortunately, forums for game-dev tend to be not even close to as active as this forum is soooo... here I am. :lol:

    For anyone who's interested, I've decided to go the long way around this time- no Unity or Unreal or anything- just OpenGL and WinAPI. I haven't decided on what to use for audio, but I'd like to come up with a way to at least partially generate the audio on the fly- or at least modify/mix the audio in game depending on context.

    Gonna make a weird game that basically amounts to "just the side-quests". Basically it would all take place in a small town where there are a whole bunch of side-quest-style story lines you can follow, but a bunch of them conflict with eachother in terms of goals and timeline, so committing to certain stories means you won't be able to complete others in that playthrough. I have some ideas of how to tie each story/sidequest to a particular goal or need the player might have, so the collection of quests sort of ends up representing the players attempt at living in a balanced way. No idea if I can make that "fun", but we'll see what happens.

    Anyone else here make some games? Would like to hear what people are working on, or what cool ideas people might think would make for a good game.
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I made a PC game a few years ago that never got past beta (https://sites.google.com/site/petethepenguingame/download). Just flat out no one was interested in trying it, even though it was completely free. Prior to that, I had never publicly released anything. These days, everything has to run on Android and iOSmobile, which I know nothing about.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ Can't download it immediately cause I'm at the office, but I can give that a shot once I get home. Made with Allegro I guess? (Based on the .dll listed on the site)
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Yeah, this is going back to ~2012 or 2013, made only using free programs and utilities. My programming background in secondary school was in Zenith Pascal, and then at the university, we all used Fortran 77, so it's all very old object-oriented code. The very first version of the game that I made had all of the game data and so forth wrapped into the executable file. I never added much in terms of save games nor settings.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I think that's pretty standard for games now. I know I've been seeing lots of youtube videos pop up about how "object oriented is bad!" and "encapsulation is bad!" and "all of these things I don't like about this language is bad!" etc., and while I get where some of it is coming from, I'm not sure I'm convinced that object-oriented code is bad. Realistically, if it gets the job done, if it works for you, then it's good.
     
  6. Dayviewer

    Dayviewer Mr. Djelecaster

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    :wavey:

    I work at a company focused on making mobile F2P games, we're with 40 people working on multiple games at once. We're not doing match 3 ripoffs though :lol: we really try to focus on quality with a twist here and there.
    We have something new that's launching in about 3 weeks so I'll be sure to post that when it hits :)
    As for the work I do I'm a 3D artist but I do some FX and 2D ocassionally as well, and do a lot of in-engine work too, we work exclusively with Unity.

    Quite awesome that you guys are straight up building something without an existing engine, you don't see that a lot these days so thumbs up :D
    The side quest idea sounds cool, but it might help to still have something centric going on to connect everything together. Maybe like something that happened in the town or something that's still going on.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Yeah I'm definitely messing with some sort of central event that starts the game, but I'm not married to the idea yet. There's definitely a theme that ties the stories together, but it doesn't have to be a specific event per-se. It would be more like something that happens to the player, and each side story reflect on a different aspect of how that affects the player. I'm arguably not a good writer by any stretch- I'm more of a technical person, so I'm hoping to build the world/story very slowly as the technical parts of the game come together. Like instead of saying "here's the world, lets put some stories in it", I want to just start building the stories/missions/quests/whatever and have the world build itself around that.
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I tried the penguin game - a little rough around the edges, but still pretty entertaining. I like how you seem to have infinite bombs, the count just keeps going into the negative :lol:.
     
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  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The bomb counter is easy to fix. The "rough around the edges" part is a lot less easy to fix, and I really don't know if it's worth it. :shrug: Ages ago, I posted it on a site where people post in-development indie games to review each other's work and, while people were reviewing everybody else's stuff (which I thought was on par with what I had done), not a word was posted on mine until something like 6 months later, and even then, it was something nebulously negative, like "too dumb and too hard" or something like that. By then, I already had none of my friends nor coworkers having the time or interest to try it, so my motivation to do anything with it had diminished.
    I'm sure another couple dozen hours cleaning it up and adding on-screen instructions and cut scenes would make a noticeable different in the quality of it, but I've got so many other things to work on that seem to be more important right now.
    Thanks a thousand times for giving it a go, though!
     
  10. ferret

    ferret Not worthy

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    I used to make MUDs, and later, CS and CSS mods. For a while, I was lead developer of one of the WC3 mods for CS. I was a developer for SourceMod as well. Most recently I made a couple of Fallout 4 mods. I tend to have pretty big issues with motivation and inspiration though.
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I made some Doom mods and Doom maps, going way back. Maybe some of the older forum users might have even tried one of my mods. I made one that replaced the rocket launcher with a gun that threw live Nazis into the room, and another that replaced the plasma gun with a flamethrower. Those were good times. I also made the mod in Heretic, where the golem's spirit sprite was replaced with another golem, so every time you killed the golem, instead of a moaning ghost floating away and vanishing, another golem burst out of the skin of the defeated golem. That was my favourite of my own mods...

    I never dreamt of working for a video game developer, because I always preferred jobs working with hardware. I have a lot of respect for you guys who do. Software changes so fast, it can be blinding. My own programs in college were almost always clones of something else - Space Invaders, Combat, Pac Man, Dragon Warrior, Crystalis, Number Munchers...partly because I've always been terrible at artwork, so it was just so much easier to rip off other people's sprites. I would never publish any of that work, of course, for fear of the legal consequences. Some of the Star Wars games I made in high school got distributed around by the kids at school, but when I put the extra work into developing my own ships and weapons and stuff, and used the same game engine, I only got negative feedback about things looking weird (which, truthfully, it did), but that's a very good thing, since I wouldn't have wanted to pursue that as a career, knowing that my code is only about 80% as good as a professional's, and my artwork not anywhere near up to snuff. At least I'm fairly proud of the music I put in my own games. :lol:

    When you are developing a game by yourself, how many man-hours does it typically take you? That's the part of this that seems most daunting to me. For me, throwing 100 man-hours into a very simple game's development is typically just enough to decide whether it might be worth throwing another 100 into it or not.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ Honestly, 100 hours might not even be close to enough for a polished game, but it really depends. I've probably put about 100 hours into my current project and there's not a ton of "game" to show for it. There's an animated character who can walk around, run into some poorly drawn houses and trees, and interact with identical looking characters. Lots of underlying systems that will eventually support something cool, hopefully, but it all comes down to scope, level of polish, what tools you're starting with, etc. You can arguably throw together a functioning game in Unity in a day, but you'll likely have an un-maintainable mess of a project with very little depth to anything in it. I spend a good full day not super long ago just coming up with a solution for preventing certain things from getting loaded redundantly. A couple of short days went to implementing text rendering. A few days went into an async task system. I spent over a week building the system I'd use for character animations, and it's only in a very early state where it's juuuuust usable. Granted, I knowingly took the long way around, not starting with an engine, but a solid game of any real depth or scope is a huge time investment- even if you're starting with an engine. Being a personal project grants me the freedom to take the long way around and dive into every tiny details because I want to, so I can learn and challenge myself, and without worrying if I ever finish it, but in a professional setting, you'd not approach things this way.

    Depending on some context, I've put together some decent games (for work, not as personal projects) in as short as 3-4 months of full time work, not including creation of the artwork and sound assets. But these shorter-time-frame games were done either in Unity or an existing framework/engine/etc., and usually browser games. They were limited in scope to just a handful of mechanics, usually no concept of different levels or maps, and the artwork and audio was provided for me.

    The biggest setback for me is usually that I'm a terrible artist. My temp art looks terrible.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    My eldest son made a game in Unity with two friends. He kept the character graphics extremely simple, but wholly workable, and kept the game to four short levels, and I was blown away that it only took three teenagers a week of class time to develop it.

    The Penguin game took me about a year and a half to get it to the point you saw. Of course, I would work on it in spurts, but I probably had 400-500 hours into it. All of the graphics were done pixel-by-pixel in MS Paint and done completely from scratch, which honestly was the lion's share of the time I spent. Next was coming up with AI. The initial enemies were very easy (walk left or right, or walk toward the character), but later on, once there were different enemy attacks, it got reasonably complicated. I did level design by a lot of trial and error, and the overall story of a cutesy penguin who runs off to save his penguin-girl-friend and gradually works his way through colourful worlds, then grayer icy levels, and ends up in a lovecraftian horror setting took me five minutes to think up. I'm sure there are much better thought-out story lines. The controls and physics seemed like a huge task, at first, but really were nothing in the grand scheme of time spent on the entire thing.

    Just before that one, I worked a lot on a game where you played as a chimpanzee in a sort of "Legend of Zelda" action-RPG thing. I made the world map huge, and made it wraparound, to mimic a sort of globe-shaped Earth. The major pitfall I found was that adding enough detail into every screen to make it consistently interesting for the player was a monumental task, so I gave up on it, but I did recycle the world map for another abandoned project later. Anyway, easily over 100 hours went into that, just to kill it with no remorse.

    I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with the artwork aspect. Actually, that's giving myself way too much credit. I am totally clueless when it comes to artwork. The penguin game looks okay-ish, I think, but it is, by far, my best artwork.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The Penguin art definitely made me think of the kind of games you'd run into on like a Windows 95 shareware collection or something like that. Art really strikes me as the sticking point for a lot of indie/one-person dev projects. Audio unfortunately often ends up as an afterthought.
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'm usually pretty impressed by stuff that comes out of game jams. I've never been to one of those, but I did a couple of jam-style overnight sessions for school where we'd basically just pull an all nighter to get something working that we needed the next day. There's always sacrifices being made for the speed though- be it code quality, scope or depth, personal health, etc.
     
  16. mikernaut

    mikernaut pixel pusher

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    I'm a game dev artist with 10+ years experience, but I keep getting laid off every 1-4 years . :( Upper management seems to not care about quality and only about making a quick buck sadly.
     
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I hear stories like that pretty often. People who will work one place for a year or two, get laid off, work another place for a bit until that contract runs out, try to do the indie thing for a while, become broke, go back to working at a place that only needs them for a year, etc., repeating for basically forever. I arguably got lucky to find a place that values their people- they do whatever is in their power to keep their employees as long as possible, and keep them relatively happy, avoiding things like crunch and overtime, allowing us to do side projects, etc.

    I've been making a lot of progress on this side-project game I'm working on. Last year I was too focused on recording to do any at-home game dev, but this year I've put the personal music stuff aside a bit and instead have been working on putting together a game I've had in my head for a while. Over the last couple of months I've built up a little game engine while just sort of passively thinking about (and occasionally documenting) the kind of story the game is going to try to tell. A lot of the little pieces are coming together to where I can start making content soon - I've got a little keyframe animator, a layout/level/etc. editor, this past week I put together a setup that lets me use Javascript/Ecmascript to do some of the scripting, since I was already defining a lot of the game data as json anyway.

    Eventually, once I've got some audio in, I like the idea that I can combine this whole world of things with the music production side of things- I don't often get to create the music for games, and I feel like it gets overlooked pretty often.
     
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  18. Quaker763

    Quaker763 SS.org Regular

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    I've been working on a complete engine remake of SILENT HILL 3 with a guy in Germany for the past year. Currently it can load (most of) the assets from the game, but there is still a long way to go before we actually get any gameplay going. I'm currently reverse engineering the actual binary, but stepping through code in IDA is really inefficient haha. So far I've found code that executes during an attack, but my god, it is an absolute cluster of shit. KONAMI should feel bad.

    If anyone's interested (or dabbles in cpp14 and OGL3/4) check it out here!

    https://github.com/Palm-Studios/sh3redux
     
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  19. Quaker763

    Quaker763 SS.org Regular

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    It really sucks that it's come to this tbh, even companies like VALVe don't care anymore...
     
  20. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Are you judging the original code quality from disassembled code...?
     

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