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  Ideas to get you further  (Read 1479 times)
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Offline Kieran Newland

Senior Newbie





« Posted 2011-02-04 12:25:51 »

Hi, Im new to this forum but have been Looking around a bit. The community looks fantastic and I would like to join. Hopefully, with some advice from you guys, I might find a nicer way forwards!

Ive been making things in Java for around a year now. I would say I knew the majority of the core (whats essential anyway). Ive also made some simple games such as tetris. I was interested in making games without any form of image files attatched (so the graphics could all be made the the Java 2D api). Ive done this for my basic work.

Anyway, my mind seems to want to be where I am not. I want to get ideas to make a game but I always think of something too advanced for me to make. I usually start a project and within some time, give up and try to move on.

Do you have any tips or ideas on things I could make? I know its a bit vague.

Thanks,
Kieran Newland
Offline dishmoth
« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-02-04 14:21:03 »

Some random suggestions:
  • Enter a contest with rules that constrain the scope of your game (e.g., Java 4k, Ludum Dare, Tiny Game).  Or impose an interesting constraint of your own (e.g., graphics made entirely from circles).
  • Try remaking an old game (preferably one that hasn't been remade too many times already) or de-making a modern game.  (Bit dodgy because of copyright issues...)
  • Try working with a new engine (e.g., Slick2D, JBox2D), technology (e.g., networking, 3D graphics), or algorithm (e.g., path-finding).  That always seems to trigger new ideas.
  • Start by just focussing on one aspect of a game (e.g., making a character walk and jump) and see where that takes you.
Don't know if that helps. Smiley
Simon

Offline Kieran Newland

Senior Newbie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-02-04 15:10:04 »

Thanks for the ideas Smiley

I was thinking of trying Java 4k. The only problem was it narrows my scope by alot and without any experience, I would be guessing its near impossible to plan and make a game within the limit.

I was also thinking of trying an engine, I just wasnt sure of which of them to use as there are quite a few to choose from.

Kieran Newland
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Mike

JGO Ninja


Medals: 71
Projects: 1
Exp: 5 years


Java guru wanabee


« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-02-04 15:44:13 »

Anyway, my mind seems to want to be where I am not. I want to get ideas to make a game but I always think of something too advanced for me to make. I usually start a project and within some time, give up and try to move on.

I know this feeling Smiley I always come up with really advanced things and once I learned about it I stop with the game as the other parts aren't advanced enough.

What is the main reason why you are programming games? Is it because you think it is fun to learn new things or because you want to accomplish something that you can share with others?
If it is to learn new things dishmoth had some good ideas, I'll add lwjgl to the list as OpenGL is a huge ocean of things to learn.
If it is to complete games and share them with others and you simply want ideas of what game to create, do you like a specific genre of games?

Kind regards,
Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
State of Fortune | Discussion thread @ JGO
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 339
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-02-04 15:56:19 »

I find Java4k pretty intimidating as half of the effort just goes into whacky techniques to make your game fit. The more recent EGA graphics thing was possibly more interesting.

How about a writing a game within a C64-limitation framework? 8 sprites, 16 colours, 256 characters, 40x25 8x8 pixel character scrollable display. Possibly with the luxury of having any colour in a character pixel from the palette, and the luxury of having any actual palette. And 3 sound voices. Hmm. <further thought>Possibly slap a 128k jarfile limit on it too.

I feel the beginnings of a little framework for ideas coming on...

Cas Smiley

Offline Kieran Newland

Senior Newbie





« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-02-04 17:11:11 »

What is the main reason why you are programming games? Is it because you think it is fun to learn new things or because you want to accomplish something that you can share with others?

I want to be able to accomplish something to share in the long run. I just dont like ideas which are similar to other games, usually meaning what I want to make is alot different.

If it is to learn new things dishmoth had some good ideas, I'll add lwjgl to the list as OpenGL is a huge ocean of things to learn.
If it is to complete games and share them with others and you simply want ideas of what game to create, do you like a specific genre of games?

In the past, I used to play big games like MMORPG's more than other games. I know I am a long way off this but I guess its the final step of where I want to be.

I think I enjoy games with a twist. With "samey" games, I find myself getting bored quite fast. I know alot of RPG's are the same, but with some ideas, they can be made to be completely different.

I find Java4k pretty intimidating as half of the effort just goes into whacky techniques to make your game fit. The more recent EGA graphics thing was possibly more interesting.

How about a writing a game within a C64-limitation framework? 8 sprites, 16 colours, 256 characters, 40x25 8x8 pixel character scrollable display. Possibly with the luxury of having any colour in a character pixel from the palette, and the luxury of having any actual palette. And 3 sound voices. Hmm. <further thought>Possibly slap a 128k jarfile limit on it too.

I feel the beginnings of a little framework for ideas coming on...

Cas Smiley

Ive never actually thought about working within limitations. Do you think it would be a steeper learning curve? I would think that a big part of the process would be making it within the limitation rather than working on the actual game?

EDIT: A game that really gets me thinking is the MMORPG named Dofus. Making something similar would be mind blowing

Thanks for the replies,
Kieran Newland
Offline Mike

JGO Ninja


Medals: 71
Projects: 1
Exp: 5 years


Java guru wanabee


« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-02-04 17:46:05 »

Then I agree with the last tip of dishmoth, try to keep the game playable while developing it and set up lots of in-between steps.

1. Make a square you can move
2. Make it possible to connect to a server and send the position
3. Have the server send the positions of everyone to everyone and draw a square for each person connected to the server
4. Make the squares look like characters
5. Add a chat function

You now have a game where you can move a character around on a screen and talk to each other. There are a billion more steps to make it an mmo but these 5 steps shouldn't take too long and with each step you'll have something to show people Smiley

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
State of Fortune | Discussion thread @ JGO
Offline dishmoth
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-02-04 19:56:43 »

Looking back at them, I guess my suggestions were things to try if you've run out of ideas and need to trigger some creativity.  But if you're still learning stuff maybe lack of ideas isn't you're problem. Roll Eyes

You now have a game where you can move a character around on a screen and talk to each other. There are a billion more steps to make it an mmo but these 5 steps shouldn't take too long and with each step you'll have something to show people Smiley

I think that's a pretty decent suggestion (although it maybe depends on how comfortable you are with network programming).  You could set yourself the goal of trying to make the world's smallest and simplest "MMORPG" (without the first "M" and with not all that much of a "G").  Just two or three players, a handful of rooms, very, very basic graphics, and only very simple (non-real time) interactions between players.  (You could read up on the MUDs of two or three decades ago for inspiration.)

Simon

Offline dishmoth
« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-02-04 19:59:42 »

How about a writing a game within a C64-limitation framework?

That's a rubbish idea!
If it were based on the ZX Spectrum on the other hand...
Grin

Offline Kieran Newland

Senior Newbie





« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-02-05 00:53:16 »

Then I agree with the last tip of dishmoth, try to keep the game playable while developing it and set up lots of in-between steps.

1. Make a square you can move
2. Make it possible to connect to a server and send the position
3. Have the server send the positions of everyone to everyone and draw a square for each person connected to the server
4. Make the squares look like characters
5. Add a chat function

You now have a game where you can move a character around on a screen and talk to each other. There are a billion more steps to make it an mmo but these 5 steps shouldn't take too long and with each step you'll have something to show people Smiley

Mike

That actually sounds fun. I've not really networked anything but I've thought about it often. I think I could learn a lot from it.

Thanks,
Kieran Newland
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline DzzD
« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-02-05 01:05:09 »

Then I agree with the last tip of dishmoth, try to keep the game playable while developing it and set up lots of in-between steps.

1. Make a square you can move
2. Make it possible to connect to a server and send the position
3. Have the server send the positions of everyone to everyone and draw a square for each person connected to the server
4. Make the squares look like characters
5. Add a chat function

You now have a game where you can move a character around on a screen and talk to each other. There are a billion more steps to make it an mmo but these 5 steps shouldn't take too long and with each step you'll have something to show people Smiley

Mike
excellent idea


but... wait... dont you forgot the essential last step ?!
6. Add a gun and abilty to fire on others players    Wink

Offline Mike

JGO Ninja


Medals: 71
Projects: 1
Exp: 5 years


Java guru wanabee


« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-02-05 01:33:47 »

6. Add a gun and abilty to fire on others players    Wink

Oh, yes, the most important ingredient of every mmorpg Smiley

for 6/7 I'd personally go for:
make sure your character always is in the middle of the screen and "move" the world when walking
add some walls and make sure you can't go through them

(Bit like the rooms ideas previously posted).

My current game is an... uhmmm... mmotg (where t stands for tycoon) and I've been building it like this since the start. I'm now on like point 500 and it's starting to come along nicely.

Just have a ton of patience if you want to create a networked game, it takes a whole lot of coding and bug squashing.

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
State of Fortune | Discussion thread @ JGO
Offline JL235

JGO Coder


Medals: 10



« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-02-05 02:09:15 »

A rule of thumb that I have used in the past when designing a game is to build no more then 2 or 3 core concepts (at most). Have the game revolve around those, get them worked out in advance, and stick to it! If you can't dumb it down to just that, then your being two advanced.

The idea is to box in your feature creep and to stop you running away with lots of advanced features. You get the core game done, end of. I'd also argue that the game play in the majority of triple A games could also be summed up in no more then 3 concepts.

Planning out a game also takes far less time then actually building it, and could also give you some idea of how much work it will involve and where the complex problems lie. If you get all that worked out over a day or two, and then stick to it, then you should be able to get your ideas finished.

It's also really important to remember to stick to your plans! Otherwise it's easy to run away with projects and end up with everything in it being half built.

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