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Author Topic: Getting a foothold in Game Development  (Read 1549 times)

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Lunar

Former King
Getting a foothold in Game Development
« on: March 01, 2011, 02:17:14 am »
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Hello chums, your old friend Lunar here.

I've been kicking around these parts for the better (worse) half of my life, and yet I've never ventured into the land of game development. Why is that? Maybe I've just been intimidated. Either way, I've been very interested in the concept lately. However, I am not sure where to start..

I've downloaded and messed with GameMaker, the drag and drop stuff is simple enough but I know that's not something I'd want to work with if I intend to move onto bigger and better things. I understand I should start with GML, but searching "GML Tutorials" into google brings up a wealth of broken links, outdated information, and general dead-ends. What is the most concise, approachable, up-to-date Tutorial on GML that you all know of?

Along with that, what kind of tips and info can you offer me on the subject? I want to make sure that I learn as much as possible through this.
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Xiphirx

wat
Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 02:47:35 am »
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If you're completely serious about game development, I would suggest starting to learn a programming language.

If you feel that Game Maker is fine for you right now, I feel like the docs that comes with it explains pretty much anything you need for GML....

Otherwise, if you are looking to make a Zelda game, you can take a look at the ongoing ZFGC Minish Cap Engine here: http://www.zfgc.com/forum/index.php?board=305.0
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Lunar

Former King
Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 02:58:15 am »
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I am looking into it as a serious hobby, yes. I've heard that, even if you plan to move onto more sophisticated languages, it's good to start with GML, just to learn the basics of game design and such.
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Mamoruanime

@Mamoruanime
Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 03:20:02 am »
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Actually I would say just the opposite about GameMaker. It kind of cheats you out of the basics of OoP, and is probably more destructive long-term if you don't already work with a language supports it. I would suggest starting with something like Blitzmax, mainly because it forces you to understand those principles, but isn't too terribly difficult to get started with. The documentation for Blitz is crap though :s
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Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 03:28:19 am »
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I would recommend going from Game Maker -> C++ with SDL -> VisualHAM GBA development. The first is the easiest step, the second one can set up a graphics system and do many of the things which Game Maker does somewhat easily, and the last step is pretty much just understanding C/C++ and being able to work on a system in which space issues have to be considered and limitations gotten past (the graphics are all done in pieces, and the GBA hardware as I've read sucks with doing floating point arithmetic).

With the VisualHAM stuff, I guess one could actually just do something like putting Link's individual images into 32 x 32 pieces even though that wastes space if they are just wanting to get a system worked out for the sake of something to show though - as it'd probably only be a problem if it was ever to be run on real hardware. But overall, the 3 steps I mentioned all should have some level of tutorials provided in that you should be able to get some result you could build from.
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Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 07:16:40 am »
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I think GML is a good start to get basic coding principles going. Game Maker offers some low level stuff that you don't need to worry about and GML is such an ugly language that faulty coding conventions become quickly apparent.

But I have to agree with Mammy in that GM won't let you get going with some more serious development. On the other hand I don't think you'll get good if you dive into OOP without knowing OOA and OOD. I suggest you learn a OO language first. C# and Java are somewhat the more easier languages to learn. But then go into OOA and OOD.
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Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 03:08:43 am »
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If you're REALLY serious about this, then I would avoid Game Maker like the plague.  Start with an Object Oriented programming language.  C# with XNA is a very good start and will get you moving towards where you need to be.
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Starforsaken101

Wake the Beast
Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 04:51:00 am »
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I agree that Game Maker probably gives you a good step into feeling comfortable with videogame programming, but I would equally avoid it. I think you should start with C# and then progress into C++. Game development depends on an actual programming language and is very dependent on algorithms and stuff. In terms of algorithm design, you can easily write them down on paper. This will get you used to how algorithms work and later on you can work on efficiency.

I started off with Java, and now work with C++ professionally (aka my career). I can definitely say it's advantageous to start with a C language due to the fact that you'll get used to pointers much easier. Pointers can be either your best friend or your greatest enemy, depending on your level of understanding.

Blablabla tl;dr, don't dwell with Game Maker too much kay?
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Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 05:14:47 am »
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If you program enough with Game Maker to the point where you start to encounter its limitations and get to know how the whole system of objects, sprites, etc. would work in a language then you could move on from that. But if you want to get started with game development without getting bored to death with programming and a certain language's syntax and tools to make games based on that language, Game Maker is really useful. But yeah, as others have somewhat said and can probably account to, if you start with some fancy programming language and put effort into understanding what is going on after a few years it will seem easy - it really just is getting over the hurdle of the initial difficulty.
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DJvenom

super-sage
Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 08:13:26 am »
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if you're just gonna dink around, GM's fine. If you plan on releasing anything be it commercially, or massively, learn a language. GM's always nice for prototyping tho, because you get resultes in a fraction of the time :)
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Dantztron 3030

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Re: Getting a foothold in Game Development
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 01:27:12 am »
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Honestly I think it depends on what aspect of game dev you're interested in. I was most interested in level design when I was still pursuing game design as a serious hobby, and so that's where I started, making levels for UT2004. It got me into doing texture art and 3D stuff for a while, too, before I realized that I never wanted to learn to program ever.

So take your greatest interest and start from there. Maybe you'll end up only writing like me!
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well i dont have that system and it is very hard to care about everything when you are single
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