[GRdev] Hobbyist game development

Anything to do with games at all.
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satriales
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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by satriales » Sun May 27, 2018 7:43 am

Years back I made an Android poker game in Java. It was more of a 'can I do this'll experiment than something I expected people to play, but it still gets 100,000 games played every year.

I've built a few other Android experiments since but nothing else I've released. I'm halfway through something though in Unity. Just got a new laptop and hoping to carry on with that soon. Will be sure to post some updates here once I get going again.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Thu May 31, 2018 10:43 am

https://pretentiousquote.wordpress.com/ ... /stalling/

Finished another entry of my ongoing adventures in Twine storytelling. This time, I heard the voice of God aka got distracted an ending up relearning HTML and unfairly comparing myself to others.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by LewisD » Thu May 31, 2018 11:16 am

I always wanted to get into 3D modelling and texture art.
But every time I tried I really struggled to get it grips with 3DS, Maya, blender or even beginner friendly ones like MilkShape.

Dunno why, maybe I'm dyslexic or sum't.

Would love to have another crack at it.. but it's probably too late for me now.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by lex-man » Thu May 31, 2018 11:24 am

LewisD wrote:I always wanted to get into 3D modelling and texture art.
But every time I tried I really struggled to get it grips with 3DS, Maya, blender or even beginner friendly ones like MilkShape.

Dunno why, maybe I'm dyslexic or sum't.

Would love to have another crack at it.. but it's probably too late for me now.


How did you try to learn it? There are some pretty easy blender tutorials to get you started that you can get hold of for free.

EDIT: I would try doing the snowman basic course here, it's super basic and will get you into the real basics of Blender and should make learning new things a bit easier.

https://www.youtube.com/user/3damistudios/playlists

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Green Gecko » Thu May 31, 2018 1:07 pm

Autodesk 123D is pretty forgiving. The trick is to stick to one and get used to the basics like primitives, Boolean operations, csg concepts and later on vertex editing. You can make a lot by just combining simples shapes with bevels and chamfers and some prefabbed parts you can download. There are STLs everywhere now.

I learnt this way in 3dsmax at college in a few weeks and the concepts always apply.

Don't try to learn coding before you know what a datatype or variable is. It won't work. But these new programs are much better at putting the creative features at the forefront, you know the ones anyone uses.

YouTube is great. Just rewind, rewind, rewind. Don't be afraid of repeating yourself.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Karl » Thu May 31, 2018 1:27 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:https://pretentiousquote.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/stalling/

Finished another entry of my ongoing adventures in Twine storytelling. This time, I heard the voice of God aka got distracted an ending up relearning HTML and unfairly comparing myself to others.

LewisD wrote:I always wanted to get into 3D modelling and texture art. But every time I tried I really struggled to get it grips with 3DS, Maya, blender or even beginner friendly ones like MilkShape.

Would love to have another crack at it.. but it's probably too late for me now.


These posts are really interesting. I think the missing ingredient for you both might be iterative development.

Tafdolphin: When you have a "website" based game that you need to apply a style-sheet to, even a seasoned CSS developer probably couldn't make it look like the picture in his head in one try. The idea is to do lots of small updates, where each one makes it look a little better than it was. Each iteration, pick the worst thing about the page and make it better (not 'absolutely perfect', but 'better'). This has the beneficial side-effect of giving you an achievable goal when you have to Google something (it's much better to be searching for "CSS border around text" rather than "how to get good at CSS oh god why is this so hard", right?). I won't "programmersplain" how to write to you ( ;) ) but I suspect a similar process might be useful in crafting the game's narrative as well.

LewisD: Your first project should be a cube. Your second project should be a cube with smiley faces on it. Your third project should be a sphere with smiley faces on it. Your fourth project should be a cube attached to a sphere. Your fifth project should be that again, but this time covered in smiley faces. Gradually, over many weeks, you can iterate that towards whatever you wanted to make in your head (a Ghostbuster? ;) ). You are 100% young and smart enough to do this. Good luck.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Green Gecko » Thu May 31, 2018 1:33 pm

Yes, operating on basic shapes and then combining them is the starting point. Also try drawing orphographic views of the thing in squared paper first, then map this to the views in the viewport (top, front, right etc). My first proper model was a wooden train, based on an actual wooden train. In fact I'll post the model later.

And as a professional web designer (not really anymore through choice although I'm still relevant) you would build a few CSS classes targeting specific elements, and start defining broad rules that effect most things overall, and make many, many, many tweaks over time before a site starts to look "good". Most websites start out looking strawberry floating terrible, which is fun explaining to clients. You want to set out some basic global rules like font and linespacing and page margins and then move into smaller items in the hierarchy, or you could work backwards, although that's a little more dangerous. Eventually you'll learn to "traverse" a small number of elements or classes pretty quickly. I'd say it's really important to try to reduce the number of definitions you have or it quickly becomes a nightmare really making a very simple page. This concept is called inheritance but it basically comes down to compartmentalising and grouping elements in your head. The code can't teach you that. Again I think some planning on paper if you can't do it in your head is a good idea.

The following rule universally applies to all creative endeavours and art forms I have tried, and that's a lot.

Your project will fit into three thirds.

30% you are in hell but excited to be there, you know what you want, you make small steps and misfires to get here but nothing seems to quite work. You persevere because you still want to make this thing

30% there is some contorted, half baked form of the thing that might maybe be starting to look like the thing you want. You patch over mistakes and hope nobody notices. Oh strawberry float, this thing is a piece of gooseberry fool, what have I done? I totally strawberry floated that part up. Man

30% step back from your work. Take a break. strawberry float this thing. Ok maybe we can smooth over this thing, or try that part again. There's still time to get this right. This isn't the end of the world, even though I'm still in hell. Most people give up here if they haven't already, or get bored

9% certain things actually look pretty good. If I look at this objectively compared to where I started, and considering I'm not really a master at this sort of thing, overall, it resembles what I had in mind but looks quite different. THIS IS OK, THIS IS HOW ART WORKS. Add some details here. Add some highlights here. Know what, that part I strawberry floated up doesn't really matter much. It's not a focal point of the piece. This piece is at least 60% good, which is better than the shitshow I started with. What if I add this cherry on top, or really hone this part I feel is the key element of interest.

Let's take a screenshot of that. Actually lets screenshot the hole process. I'm going to bed now.

It's the next day. I made the thing! The next time I make a similar thing, I will learn from that thing I strawberry floated up and it will probably be better.

10 years later, you are God.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by OrangeRKN » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:43 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:https://pretentiousquote.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/stalling/

Finished another entry of my ongoing adventures in Twine storytelling. This time, I heard the voice of God aka got distracted an ending up relearning HTML and unfairly comparing myself to others.


As a stream of conscious lets learn how to use Twine, I'd say what you've done seems pretty successful even calling it there.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:44 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:https://pretentiousquote.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/stalling/

Finished another entry of my ongoing adventures in Twine storytelling. This time, I heard the voice of God aka got distracted an ending up relearning HTML and unfairly comparing myself to others.


As a stream of conscious lets learn how to use Twine, I'd say what you've done seems pretty successful even calling it there.


Ha, thanks!

I haven't abandoned that one totally, but I've started a more streamlined one, this time using macros and variables and the like. Setting up a functioning inventory system has been a challenge which I haven't quite cracked, but I'm not too fussed about that.

I'll probably do another blog post about this one in a bit.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:37 am

I wrote a sequence in the new game where you enter a house. I wanted the player to be able to explore, but once each room is finished with, the option to go back to it is removed.

I am terrible at coding, so it ended up looking like this:

Image

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strawberry floating works though. Booyah.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:50 pm

So you have a flag that gets set once each location has been entered, and the other locations check for that flag before giving the option? Sounds reasonable to me.

The chart is a bit eye bendy though. Can you drag the varying options around or is it just automatic?

I think the main thing to be wary of with removing the option to go back is that people might accidentally click to advance too early (or alternatively, click to go back to the place they were just at to re-read something then realise they can't go back again)

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Green Gecko » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:13 pm

It may seem like a hassle at first, but it is waaaay easier to go back to visual programming or any kind of programming by arranging logical routines and hierarchies.

My favourite example is working in visual effects, the creative director was an absolute banana split, but anyway, she would complain about people needing to keep their node diagrams clean (film level visual effects is actually done a lot like programming), while her's were completely and utterly insane spider webs of madness. We had a good laugh about it. Obviously everyone else would have to share work but she would hoard the particular shots she wanted to do and do them however the hell she wanted, but honestly, I think it reflected her personality.

My main experience of this is MaxMSP for audio processing, which is pretty good at giving you options to arrange, annotate and colour stuff. It's more like a user interface in itself though so it's not really the same thing.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:19 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:So you have a flag that gets set once each location has been entered, and the other locations check for that flag before giving the option? Sounds reasonable to me.

The chart is a bit eye bendy though. Can you drag the varying options around or is it just automatic?

I think the main thing to be wary of with removing the option to go back is that people might accidentally click to advance too early (or alternatively, click to go back to the place they were just at to re-read something then realise they can't go back again)


Yup. Twine auto generates those links, and you can indeed move the passages around however you like.

I considered that someone might want to go back but, for the moment I'm leaving as is. I might come back when I'm done and add the locations back in with variable text set according whether an $alreadyvisited flag has been activated.

Green Gecko wrote:My main experience of this is MaxMSP for audio processing, which is pretty good at giving you options to arrange, annotate and colour stuff. It's more like a user interface in itself though so it's not really the same thing.


I do wish Twine had this. STEALTH NOT REALLY EDIT: just found out it does through the tagging of passages. It's a bit of a pain, but you can colour code stuff.

This is what the whole thing looks like now:

Image


The section on the top right is the inventory, but I'm not really using it so it might get scrapped.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Based off the arrows coming in off-picture, I reckon if you rearranged that layout to have "The centre of the home", "The centre of the home2", "The Joneses", "Echoes of the past", and "The good neighbour" in a line, with everything else below (or to the side of) them, it'll already start to look a lot less insane.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Green Gecko » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:06 pm

The main difference with reference to MaxMSP is it automatically sorts out right angled arrows making things much easier to trace. But that's not too bad.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by OrangeRKN » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:23 pm

Not much of an update (I'm concentrating on a writing project at the moment), but I updated Procii so that the island sizes are much smaller, which in restrospect I think makes the game a lot more fun as there is a lot less methodical (or otherwise) searching. This version should be a lot easier for people to complete!

I'm also intending on revisiting it briefly to add directionality to the appearance of houses, as the fact they seem to rotate has been a repeated point raised by people I've had play the game. It's funny that houses are the only environment to have this effect (although it probably applies to the gravestone and stone carving too) to the point where people don't even notice the same thing happens with, say, trees.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:18 pm

Obviously this week has been an interesting one for me, what with the game I'm working on being announced at E3. Announced alongside a game that is apparently very, very similar.

What's most irksome to me is that NeoCab (which I've just realised even shares it's initials with our game Night Call) is a project by industry insiders and is therefore guaranteed a certain amount of press. There's already been a full EDGE feature on it, and I've seen the creators guesting on the official Twitch and Giant Bomb E3 channels. Night Call is relatively small fry in comparison. It's not what you know, it's who you know etc etc.

Still. Our trailer was received really well and has been featured on RockPaperShotgun and other big sites so that's cool. I also ended up feeling rather bad for the Neo Cab guys as they were savaged in the Twitch comments which can't have felt good.

We'll see what happens as the marketing push ramps up.

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:41 pm

lex-man wrote:I'm pretty interested in making some games, I'm currently slowly working my way through this course.

https://www.udemy.com/unitycourse/learn/v4/overview

I'm currently around 50% of the way through it. Qutie tempted to get the 3D course, physics and Unreal courses but trying to stop myself until I get to the end of this one and put something simple together for myself.


I've been doing this course as well! :toot:

Udemy were doing a sale a while back and as I wanted to find out more about Unity and also as I've mainly been a C/C++ and Java programmer in my professional life I was interested in it as a way to get some hands on experience with C#.

I'm not that far through the course but it has been interesting so far and I've been jotting down ideas in a text file for potential games I want to try making once I get to the end of the course. The Unity editor/UI seems a bit, for want of a better word, cheap compared to the limited time I've played with Unreal, but it certainly seems to do the job well enough!

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Tafdolphin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:46 pm

Jenuall wrote:
lex-man wrote:I'm pretty interested in making some games, I'm currently slowly working my way through this course.

https://www.udemy.com/unitycourse/learn/v4/overview

I'm currently around 50% of the way through it. Qutie tempted to get the 3D course, physics and Unreal courses but trying to stop myself until I get to the end of this one and put something simple together for myself.


I've been doing this course as well! :toot:

Udemy were doing a sale a while back and as I wanted to find out more about Unity and also as I've mainly been a C/C++ and Java programmer in my professional life I was interested in it as a way to get some hands on experience with C#.

I'm not that far through the course but it has been interesting so far and I've been jotting down ideas in a text file for potential games I want to try making once I get to the end of the course. The Unity editor/UI seems a bit, for want of a better word, cheap compared to the limited time I've played with Unreal, but it certainly seems to do the job well enough!


Um, I've just clicked on that link and the course price is €10, down from €195 supposedly) for the next 5 hours. So, two questions.

- Is the 5 hour thing a con or have I just been incredibly fortuitous?
- Is that course worth it for someone with zero programming ability/a complete newbie?

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PostRe: [GRdev] Hobbyist game development
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:52 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Jenuall wrote:
lex-man wrote:I'm pretty interested in making some games, I'm currently slowly working my way through this course.

https://www.udemy.com/unitycourse/learn/v4/overview

I'm currently around 50% of the way through it. Qutie tempted to get the 3D course, physics and Unreal courses but trying to stop myself until I get to the end of this one and put something simple together for myself.


I've been doing this course as well! :toot:

Udemy were doing a sale a while back and as I wanted to find out more about Unity and also as I've mainly been a C/C++ and Java programmer in my professional life I was interested in it as a way to get some hands on experience with C#.

I'm not that far through the course but it has been interesting so far and I've been jotting down ideas in a text file for potential games I want to try making once I get to the end of the course. The Unity editor/UI seems a bit, for want of a better word, cheap compared to the limited time I've played with Unreal, but it certainly seems to do the job well enough!


Um, I've just clicked on that link and the course price is €10, down from €195 supposedly) for the next 5 hours. So, two questions.

- Is the 5 hour thing a con or have I just been incredibly fortuitous?
- Is that course worth it for someone with zero programming ability/a complete newbie?


It was discounted when I got it too, I think it's a bit like DFS - there is always a sale on!

I would say it is absolutely suitable for beginners - they start with some real basics. You need to be computer literate and have a fairly methodical mindset but other than that I'd say fill your boots!

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