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Game Dev
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About TooL

  • Birthday 03/29/1989

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  1. I agree and disagree with people saying Game Jams are the best/quickest way to get into game dev, especially if you want to turn out a half decent prototype that you don't have to go back and throw out because it was made quick, dirty and in the end...terribly. Game Jams work well if you know what you're doing. It's much easier to go and make a quick game prototype in a weekend if you have experience prior (coding, coding standards, set-up for ease of use and not making spaghetti code etc.) This isn't to say that game jams aren't a great thing by any means just saying if you don't know what you're doing to make a game, a game jam is more likely to make you frustrated or frustrate others (if you're in a team for instance).
  2. It is a good idea to know who is involved of course. I was more under the impression that we were still looking for people to be involved so I figured idea generation at this point was a good idea more than anything. From the sounds of it there isn't really that many people involved and really, if the programming side of the team needs to get situated in the engine anyway, they can make the prototypes/test projects to get used to it before you even need artists anyways. Either or is a good thing, if we have some names, write em down. Template suggestion maybe? Name: (I'd say real name cause if you're gonna work in a team, you're gonna be personal anyway at some point, but Screen name of course is ok too if you're like that) Age: (just good for general knowledge of who you're working with) Specialtie(s): (what are you bringing to the table or planning on working at to bring for later?) Time Zone:(what time zone, so meetings can be scheduled a bit easier) Interests for the Project: (What you want to do) Name: Travis "TooL" Evashkevich Age: 24 Specialtie(s): Programming(C#, C++, WPF, Direct X, Some OpenGL), 3D Modeling (3ds Max, Mudbox) and texturing with Photoshop (also includes Normal Map baking, Gloss and Specular map textures), Tool creation, some AI (A* in C# and C++ and some other stuff) Time Zone: GMT +1 Interests for the project: Mainly consulting and trouble shooting where I can. Maybe, if I have time, partaking in the development
  3. I guess if people haven't actually made much in the way of games or in the engine we choose, I would advise people take a few weeks/month(s) prior to starting actually working on a game with everyone and make sure you can understand the basics of it at least that way you don't end up with badly written code like I spoke earlier about (you don't want to have some first written code that is then tied up in all your other code and then go try to fix it...It's a nightmare sometimes) I realize people are going to want to jump in and start making stuff even if it's a small game, the more people you have on a project making code (especially if they aren't experienced enough yet) the more chance for major bugs you get. If people have a base starting point even then if it's just making a very small project, you can learn a great deal about how to do things (even if we did a "GameJam" style thing where everyone tries to make a game in a group of like 3 people or something in a few days). It'd be different if it was a group of people that had done coding for games or art or even worked in a few of the mentioned engines a bunch cause there would be some base skill point already but since it seems most people are coming into this with not a lot of prior experience (but the willingness to learn) I really really suggest some very small projects in very small groups first before actually starting something with more people.
  4. Yes and No again. K think of it this way. Unity is set up that you can do 2D or 3D games with relative ease now. You could of course do an FPS in it, it would take a lot more work like setting up a possible Inventory for guns, UI, physics (BIG ONE is physics, the feel of jumping/dodging etc. is quite hard to get right) etc. etc. OR you could use UDK which is set up almost primarily for FPS/3PS which has the physics done and quite tweakable, Kismet for visual scripting, and lots of other stuff all ready for using in those types of games. But take the flip side, say you were using UDK cause you had made something previously in it and yes, you could make a 2D styled game in it but it would be a waaaaay bigger pain in the ass (as I've personally found when we tried something like that) than doing it in Unity where it's more flexible for things like that. A) Learning a new engine/language can be a bit of a pain yes, BUT it also makes you more valuable to anyone you're helping/working for/ consulting etc. If you have more engines and languages under your belt (as long as you know them pretty decently), you are able to comprehend things a bit easier most of the time . B )The effort thing isn't always true. Some engines aren't even made for doing the opposite D (there are engines that are made for only 2D, there are engines made for only 3D), so there is always potential that you don't have the tools needed to do what you want to do. Yes of course if Unity is used for this project you don't really have much limitation for these kind of things but I'm just really trying to get this through to you that you may never entirely understand an engine until you have made many things with it, learning other engines because they have things ready for what you want to do isn't a bad idea to use it and having too much freedom in an engine can actually make things harder; For example: Unity allows you to program in C#/Java/Boo. If you have say You and myself programming and you have only programmed in Java so that's what you are programming your scripts in and I program mine in C# (because C# is better ) getting both of our scripts to talk to each other and work is a pain in the ass and sometimes doesn't even work at all. Where as if you were programming in XNA, you have to do it in C# and you have less things that can go wrong because of multi language usage. Again, some of these things are a slight bit exaggerated but I'm just trying to get the mind set across to you that you need to keep things in mind when you go to make a game. There are things that are easy and some that are hard, but they all have to be thought about before hand to avoid problems later. On another note, 3D wise, I would suggest everyone that wants to do it learn Blender or something then cause 3ds Max (even the educational license) has to be bought with their ridiculously expensive license unless it ends up being just for a show case and not for profit (which is the only reason you could use 3ds Max for it if you have an educational license)
  5. I agree, before the engine gets picked, choose the game and the style. Get a Game Design Document hammered out. If you don't know what a GDD is Here's some links for info. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3384/ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3224/creating_a_great_design_document.php I really Suggest that the people joining the team all have a skype meeting or something. Kick some ideas around because maybe for your first game, doing an AJ game isn't the best idea. Maybe doing something small for people to get used to programming, drawing for games, doing animations etc is a better idea. Make a clone of a game that exists already so you don't have to do much thinking in terms of design. Then when people have gotten some stuff under their belts, make a AJ game prototype (again after discussing all the things you want to put in it, get them written down and fleshed out. Make sure you stay realistic and don't go too overboard with them. ) I pretty much guarantee that when making games, if you want to be good, you'll at some point have to put in the effort to try out new engines and languages etc. Really it should be YOU that becomes able to handle a more broader range of engines/languages/arts/programs etc. instead of just limiting yourself because the one time you decided to make a game, you pretty much decided that you would make games in that style all the time. (Exaggerating to get point across) It really depends on what you are trying to do with 2d/3d switching. If you mean switching like Paper Mario then yeah...it's interesting but also challenging. A class mate of mine that just graduated made a game with some other students that has 2d/3d switching and it's pretty interesting (and hard at some points) http://briancox.be/?page=solipsism Check that out as well. If you actually mean doing a 2D sprite to 3D model...it's not incredibly difficult code wise but you're going to make the artists of the team work 2 times as hard because they would have to do 2D sprites/animations as well as create the 3D character, Texture it, Rig it, Animate it and get it exported for the engine you're going to use From making a few games and levels so far, A work flow I REALLY suggest is this: Game Idea - Get this figured out first. Design your game, figure out what features you want in it (double jumps? Lazers? etc.) Figure out your levels Bosses etc. Get your main core game play figured out. You can of course always add things later but you want your game play to be there. Game Prototype - This can still be Engine Free (I mean you don't say ok we got our game play lets pick one engine to make a prototype and stick to that no matter what, although picking your prototyping engine with your full game in mind is the best of course) in the sense that if you make a prototype of your core game play mechanics (or even the first few mechanics if some are unlocked later) After you have your prototype started you might even think well I thought this engine would work out but it's not exactly what I wanted (which does suck when it happens) and have to re do it in another engine. Also, your prototype at this point, really doesn't need much in the way of graphics, make it with boxes and such to make it so you can prototype faster, add graphics later after the prototype is fun. Once your Prototype is done and works and is FUN (that's a key. You don't want to continue making a game that the prototype wasn't fun) then you start making the graphics Just continue game making and finish it up. Try to not add too much extra stuff that isn't in your GDD because you also have to remember that everything you add to the game has to be balanced as well. You don't want to add a new feature that makes it able to beat the game not using anything else (exaggeration but has happened like Trine and the Wizard etc.) But yeah, that's a general skeleton guideline that I have used for almost all the games we have made so far and it works pretty well. Engine is usually (especially for small team/indie development) second choice after you have your game figured out.
  6. Yup, you can get multi seat licenses but I'm not sure what the price diff is. I dunno...I still think XNA is half garbage myself...Only reason I used it was because I was forced to for a class. C# is super easy and in Unity even easier because of the modular setup.
  7. Will do haha, I made sure I looked around right after I made the post and found the Game Dev stuff
  8. yeah but really, when you have made 100k what is paying 750 for a license right? There is a lot of stuff you can still do with Unity free and the things that you can't because it's not in the free version you can usually make a work around for (besides post processing shaders...)
  9. The way you don't pigeon hole yourself into an engine because of your initial idea is prototyping. Prototyping the game you're going to make is one of the best ways I've found of making sure that the engine/framework you're going to use is going to support what you want to do. (Unless you get forced into making a game in an engine you've never used...which I have for XNA 4.0..UDK ...and Unity haha...) If you're going to go with that way of thinking, I'd suggest just going with Unity then. Unity will have the needed support for 2D/3D games as well as making FPS/3PS kind of games and pretty much anything you can think of doing and doing it quite easily. The only drawbacks are that some of the great features are locked into the Pro version which if we were to use, Everyone would have to get a license if they were working on it (because yea...licensing) Some of the great things about XNA/UDK/Unity is that they are all free to do stuff in. UDK you can make profit from up to $50k before they start taking a percentage and I think Unity is up to $75k or $100k even. But yeah, I think Unity would be the easier for people that haven't developed anything before especially as the coding isn't really "Coding" it's scripting which is set up to be very user friendly and easy.
  10. Of course we should be flexible as a world wide team, but the thing is, I really disagree with not trying to make a great game at the start. That's just shooting for mediocrity instead of shooting high. If you want to get people used to working in a engine and then just building up on stuff...Maybe it should be divided into a few levels of skill levels or previous experience in engines if you want to do it that way. If you want to make something that gets you use to an engine, then I'd suggest people do some prototyping in the engine instead of trying to make a game and discover things because you're likely to code things reaaaaally wrong that way and that can kill projects when you have to go back and refactor code that was written back at the start that other classes etc. depend on now to make the game work... Deciding on an engine is really important and after that is done, you really need to decide the coding standards for the game because there's nothing yet (that I know of at least) where you can make a game without coding something, unless you want to just make something in like RPG maker or something. I really am in the mindset that if you're gonna put in the time to make something, you mid as well make sure you do it right...that's just me though.
  11. Dig the song haha. Thanks for the Welcome's
  12. All I can say is XNA is dying...Microsoft doesn't even support it anymore (the stopped last year..which is annoying when school makes you develop for it anyways...) XNA is also a hassle to do most stuff in. If you were going to do a 2D game I would still recommend doing it in Unity as of the 4.2.2 update, it actually has a 2D view/builder now so it's not just messing around in 3D trying to get it right. I have seen vids on it and it looks quite handy over all. ...Not quite...Take making a 3D character, COMPLETELY different than that of making a 2D character (not to mention the different ways you can do 2D such as Pixel art style, hand drawn etc etc). Both have advantages and both have disadvantages for making a game and they both require different things to make them usable in a game (for the above example of XNA, you would have to bring in extra libraries to do skinned animation for starters, also make sure that your mesh has collision detection for a lot of different ways etc. etc.) Personally, I've developed in XNA 4.0, Unity, UDK and some school made C++ game engines. They all have advantages and drawbacks for what you want to do. All I will say is, before picking an engine, make sure you have the game type pegged down because that will/should be a huge thing for which engine you pick. eg. Making a puzzle game in UDK would be a pain in the ass where as making it in Unity would be a breeze. Making a FPS could be done in Unity but UDK is already set up for making FPS shooters (UDK is much more annoying to program in since they force you to use Uscript or use a library to convert your C++ to uscript at runtime...) So yeah, choices...choices so many choices. I'll throw this out there as well, I'd be interested in possibly helping do some stuff if I have time for it. I'm a Technical Artist/Tools Developer. I can do 3D in 3ds Max , Autodesk Mudbox(could pick up other softwares if I had to), program in C#, C++, WPF(Xaml), DirectX 10/11, can do Textures in Photoshop as well. But first we would def need to figure out the game and style and get a Game Design Document actually started because that is really what you should have defined before you start just making a game from scratch. I think the idea for a Game Dev sub forum is a great one as then we could get resources started for tutorials/software suggestions etc. and educate people that want to get in on things like this.
  13. If by Game Dev's you mean full time professionals...Why would it matter? Game Development != Game Team (as in eSports) so why would that have any correlation with a sub forum for making games? All in all, making a sub forum to keep Game Making related things is a good idea. Would make it so things can be more organized as well as able to have things such as: Tutorials FAQ for what engines/software Collaboration requests etc. IMHO, it wouldn't even have to be specific to the AJSA game dev team in the topics in people's sigs etc, it could just be for general knowledge or like someone above said, for showing off things that people have made already. Straight up, I think it's a good idea because even if there is a small part of the community that wants it, there's no reason not to have it so it at least stays out of every other sub forum
  14. Hey, Gamer, Game Developer, Coder, reporting for duty. Really hoping that all the crap with YouTube gets figured out...I just saw the Angry Joe Rant about it and it's not the first time I've seen that content creators are getting the shaft from YT... Let's rock it out.