[GRdev] Hobbyist game development

Anything to do with games at all.
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Karl
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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Karl » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:09 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Karl wrote:My simple pixel art drawing tool is done


Any chance of a screenshot or something? I'm a pixel artist at heart from my school days. I made this javascript 8-bit sprite editor a while back: https://www.orangerakoon.uk/canvas.html


Sure, I'll try to remember to grab one later. It's very simple 8-bit sprites/tiles -- boolean "background/foreground" pixels and a 2-colour palette (from a 16-colour system palette), for each fixed-size 8x8 tile. (So the tile editor is not terribly interesting, but at least you'll see my sick CRT shader in action...)

Basically my project is to build a C header library that presents an "interface" to a very basic 8-bit console (which is "secretly" implemented in quite modern OpenGL, but the user of the library doesn't need to know that). So it defines memory blocks that correspond to a tile atlas, the tile grid on screen, a certain number of sprites, any musical notes that are currently playing, etc. The library automatically renders anything in those memory locations to screen (and the sound card) once per frame. This means you write your game by just overwriting values in memory, just like in the good old days of the NES / Commodore 64.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:38 pm

Karl wrote:
OrangeRakoon wrote:
Karl wrote:My simple pixel art drawing tool is done


Any chance of a screenshot or something? I'm a pixel artist at heart from my school days. I made this javascript 8-bit sprite editor a while back: https://www.orangerakoon.uk/canvas.html


Sure, I'll try to remember to grab one later. It's very simple 8-bit sprites/tiles -- boolean "background/foreground" pixels and a 2-colour palette (from a 16-colour system palette), for each fixed-size 8x8 tile. (So the tile editor is not terribly interesting, but at least you'll see my sick CRT shader in action...)

Basically my project is to build a C header library that presents an "interface" to a very basic 8-bit console (which is "secretly" implemented in quite modern OpenGL, but the user of the library doesn't need to know that). So it defines memory blocks that correspond to a tile atlas, the tile grid on screen, a certain number of sprites, any musical notes that are currently playing, etc. The library automatically renders anything in those memory locations to screen (and the sound card) once per frame. This means you write your game by just overwriting values in memory, just like in the good old days of the NES / Commodore 64.


That sounds like a really nice project!

What are your plans for it once you get it up and running? Release it into the wild and see what other people can do with it?

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Karl » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:12 pm

Jenuall wrote:That sounds like a really nice project!

What are your plans for it once you get it up and running? Release it into the wild and see what other people can do with it?

Cheers! I have a small idea for a game built on that system (it's kind of a Zelda-alike but with more emphasis on motion: the main character is a dancer). But yeah, I'd also like to FOSS the library and see if anyone 'out there' is interested. Long way off, but still!

Trying to take it in small steps so I don't get ahead of myself & end up overwhelmed. One little subsystem at a time. I think the next challenge will probably be "play a musical note" and I'll go from there in building a piano for the devkit.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:10 pm

I made some more progress on the Unity course last night. I do like the way the course is put together and everything is very well explained, but I am starting to find it hard to resist the urge to jump into just trying to make a game right now!

Also noticed that the 3D Unity course (along with a bunch of others) is reduced to £9.99 at the moment as well - I may grab that as well because I would be interested in doing 3D stuff as well.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:28 pm

Jenuall wrote:Also noticed that the 3D Unity course (along with a bunch of others) is reduced to £9.99 at the moment as well - I may grab that as well because I would be interested in doing 3D stuff as well.


I went ahead and bagged that one too. From the looks of it, there's a fair bit of crossover at the start but it still sounds useful.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:33 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Also noticed that the 3D Unity course (along with a bunch of others) is reduced to £9.99 at the moment as well - I may grab that as well because I would be interested in doing 3D stuff as well.


I went ahead and bagged that one too. From the looks of it, there's a fair bit of crossover at the start but it still sounds useful.


Yeah I think I am going to grab it as well, for the price it can't hurt to have them both as well.

Also just reading back over my post you quoted there as well and realised that I used the phrase "as well" 3 times in what was barely one line of text! :fp: :lol:

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:12 pm

Jenuall wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Also noticed that the 3D Unity course (along with a bunch of others) is reduced to £9.99 at the moment as well - I may grab that as well because I would be interested in doing 3D stuff as well.


I went ahead and bagged that one too. From the looks of it, there's a fair bit of crossover at the start but it still sounds useful.


Yeah I think I am going to grab it as well, for the price it can't hurt to have them both as well.

Also just reading back over my post you quoted there as well and realised that I used the phrase "as well" 3 times in what was barely one line of text! :fp: :lol:


I noticed that...as well. (I didn't)

Just finished the Number Wizard section of the 2D course and they straight up tell you that the initial sections of the 2 courses are practically the same! Oh well.

I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:32 am

Tafdolphin wrote:I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.


I agree with this - I was very worried that they would get annoying but I do quite like the lecturers and the fact that they try to inject just enough personality into things so it isn't totally dry.

I first picked up the course a while back and didn't get very far with it - it was a different guy doing most of the videos back then and I don't think he was quite as good.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by lex-man » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:56 am

Jenuall wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.


I agree with this - I was very worried that they would get annoying but I do quite like the lecturers and the fact that they try to inject just enough personality into things so it isn't totally dry.

I first picked up the course a while back and didn't get very far with it - it was a different guy doing most of the videos back then and I don't think he was quite as good.


I find him slightly patronizing, although I think it's because he's aiming the course at people with very little programming background. There is a part where he starts talking about test driven development; where he seems to assume no knowledge of the subject but I use it every day in my job.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:01 am

lex-man wrote:
Jenuall wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.


I agree with this - I was very worried that they would get annoying but I do quite like the lecturers and the fact that they try to inject just enough personality into things so it isn't totally dry.

I first picked up the course a while back and didn't get very far with it - it was a different guy doing most of the videos back then and I don't think he was quite as good.


I find him slightly patronizing, although I think it's because he's aiming the course at people with very little programming background. There is a part where he starts talking about test driven development; where he seems to assume no knowledge of the subject but I use it every day in my job.


I have no idea what that means.

I mean, I can guess, but practically I have no idea how you'd implement it.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by lex-man » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:08 am

Tafdolphin wrote:
lex-man wrote:
Jenuall wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.


I agree with this - I was very worried that they would get annoying but I do quite like the lecturers and the fact that they try to inject just enough personality into things so it isn't totally dry.

I first picked up the course a while back and didn't get very far with it - it was a different guy doing most of the videos back then and I don't think he was quite as good.


I find him slightly patronizing, although I think it's because he's aiming the course at people with very little programming background. There is a part where he starts talking about test driven development; where he seems to assume no knowledge of the subject but I use it every day in my job.


I have no idea what that means.

I mean, I can guess, but practically I have no idea how you'd implement it.


Yeah, I guess most people don't find him patronizing , it's just that I personally have a lot of dev experience so I do.

It's still a great course though and I'm glad he's doing so a lot of work to keep it up to date rather than starting a new 2018/9 course.

Last edited by lex-man on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:08 am

Tafdolphin wrote:
lex-man wrote:
Jenuall wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I'm having fun with it. I thought the "Oh hai guys!" way the lecturers talk would be grating but it's actually quite endearing. I've a few little things I'm not certain about, but it's going great so far.


I agree with this - I was very worried that they would get annoying but I do quite like the lecturers and the fact that they try to inject just enough personality into things so it isn't totally dry.

I first picked up the course a while back and didn't get very far with it - it was a different guy doing most of the videos back then and I don't think he was quite as good.


I find him slightly patronizing, although I think it's because he's aiming the course at people with very little programming background. There is a part where he starts talking about test driven development; where he seems to assume no knowledge of the subject but I use it every day in my job.


I have no idea what that means.

I mean, I can guess, but practically I have no idea how you'd implement it.


TDD is all the rage these days! That or its close cousin Test First Development are what we use quite a lot in work.

There is a slightly patronising tone, but the course is for people who are new to programming in general so I have cut them a fair amount of slack for this.

Last edited by Jenuall on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Karl
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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Karl » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:08 am

Tafdolphin wrote:I mean, I can guess, but practically I have no idea how you'd implement it.

If you're a hobbyist with no interest in software engineering principles, what it really means is "every time you write a little bit of your game, test it works before moving on to the next bit". (That's not quite right, but I think that's how the core idea would apply to you.)

I am actually a software developer but I can't stand all that methodology stuff. I just write code, I'll fix bugs as I spot them, I don't want a "process", leave me alone. :slol:

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by OrangeRKN » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:09 am

People write tests alongside code, which essentially runs the code and checks that it gives expected results.

I would have thought that test driven development (where you're defining the expected behaviour upfront) wouldn't be a great match for game dev where you're constantly iterating/tweaking the code to change the behaviour and game feel. You'd be wasting a load of effort always changing the tests to match, wouldn't you?

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by lex-man » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am

When you get to the bowling game it's covered in a lot of detail. I'm actually a big fan of TDD.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am

I mean, that's sort of what I expected. I really am this course's primary demographic, with my overwhelming power of ignorance.

I have found my place on the internet at last.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:14 am

I would say that yes in a lot of cases its not ideal for game dev work.

Test driven development is a bit of a crap term as in reality its not necessarily about testing to support development - it's just as much about testing to support design.

Essentially the idea is that you would elicit, elaborate and define some requirements for the piece of software you are going to write and then turn those requirements into a set of test cases. You then write a bit of software which passes those tests and therefore which meets the requirements.

As most developers like to do the "writing code" bit of development it can be hard to get people to adopt an approach that has them spending more time upfront thinking about and implementing tests and delays when they actually get to write the code i.e. the fun bit! :lol:

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Karl » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:20 am

Jenuall wrote:As most developers like to do the "writing code" bit of development it can be hard to get people to adopt an approach that has them spending more time upfront thinking about and implementing tests and delays when they actually get to write the code i.e. the fun bit! :lol:

I am a good software developer in an academic environment (where producing working prototypes is the primary aim, and 'cleverness' is appreciated) but I wouldn't last five minutes in a corporation. Planning? Maintainability? Testing? Bollocks to all that...

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:27 am

Karl wrote:
Jenuall wrote:As most developers like to do the "writing code" bit of development it can be hard to get people to adopt an approach that has them spending more time upfront thinking about and implementing tests and delays when they actually get to write the code i.e. the fun bit! :lol:

I am a good software developer in an academic environment (where producing working prototypes is the primary aim, and 'cleverness' is appreciated) but I wouldn't last five minutes in a corporation. Planning? Maintainability? Testing? Bollocks to all that...


The words of a true developer! :lol:

I do far less actual hands-on programming these days (basically none :cry: ) but when I do get down and dirty with some code I have come to appreciate giving a certain degree of attention to the likes of planning, testing etc. The key is doing the right amount of it for the given situation (one reason why I like Agile development)

In some situations like academia then it does make sense to either drop or at least reduce a lot of this - I do miss the freedom of just being able to focus on simply producing something new and interesting (oh those heady PhD days!) But then there are circumstances when it absolutely makes sense to spend a huge amount of time and effort on planning, design, security, maintainability etc. I had a colleague who used to work on control software for things like aircraft and power stations - he spent a lot of time doing things other than straight up programming!

Last edited by Jenuall on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by lex-man » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:27 pm

It's sort of give and take. While I totally agree that diving head first into programming is the most fun way to do things, it can actually become quite frustrating when you code yourself into a corner. Also you often spend far longer finding bugs when you've finished. With proper planning and TDD you don't actually spend that much time actually programming as by the time you have everything in place it's a pretty simple task to get stuff working, which isn't a fun but you tend not to get stuck or frustrated.


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