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Macro11_1

Whats Involved in creating a game?

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So, what is exactily involved in the actuall programming of a game, like how do you create and invent new features and things of such? When I think about this i have really no answer, so here I am asking for your opinion/fact answer.

Who knows, maby im just stupid, and just asking a stupid question.

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generally, if the game is 100% new new new, everything has to be made from SCRATCH. this is one reason Doom 3 took so freaking long. Carmack coded that sweet graphics engine by hand.

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Submerge said:

generally, if the game is 100% new new new, everything has to be made from SCRATCH. this is one reason Doom 3 took so freaking long. Carmack coded that sweet graphics engine by hand.


And that is why so many video games today are terrible. Their programmers set their minds so much on the sake of graphics and engine if not profit that their games end up as watered-down, unchallenging, short, uncreative, already done a thousand times glunk-offs. And yet--somehow--people enjoy them.

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You need at least:

  • A Programmer (prefereably 2, one for graphics, another for backend/physics, 3 if you want online shit)
  • An Artist (preferably 2, one for 2D and another for 3D)
  • Time Management System (or else nothing would get done)
  • About 5,000 man/hours
  • Original concept (there is no program that can generate this *hint hint*)
  • Design Document
  • A computer for each person and competent networking/sharing capability
  • A Website (you're luck if someone on the team already can do this)
  • More discipline (I say 'more' because it's always more than you have)
  • Expertise (degree, personal experience)
  • If you think this is the end of the list, you need to research more
Hope that helped.
EDIT: If you actually have to ask "what does it take to come up with an original idea", then you're barking up the wrong tree. Sorry.

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Yes but what is involved in something like that, whats the different parts of a game, i can say I know alot, and then rattle off a list, but im probably wrong.

What I am looking for is like not an indepth look, but rather the names of each part of a game program, and what they do, and whats involved in makeing them.

This sounds like alot that I am asking for, and I really dont mean to sound weird or anything.

To tell the truth, I am looking in to starting something from scratch, and I would like to know the basic Idea of whats involved in something like this. Like what should I know before I start? Sounds really weird I know, but meh. (its actually takeing alot of courage to post this because I am afraid that the answer might jsut be a flaming, or just somethign I allready know, but the latters good, because then i can confirm it better).

[Edit] Whoops, some one got that part, No I am not asking for an origional idea, those are easy enough to come by. But I am asking more allong the lines of programming, what different things are there that you can look at. Physics, whats involved in this, whats involved in the Internet part, and whats involved in everythign els under the programming part. Heck, if some one had a few links to give too, that would be great. The rest (art, modeling, webmastering, databasemastering, sound, movie, ect.) I allready know about. Sorry, i should have made that clearer.

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Submerge said:

generally, if the game is 100% new new new, everything has to be made from SCRATCH. this is one reason Doom 3 took so freaking long. Carmack coded that sweet graphics engine by hand.



Doom3's engine was based off of Quake 3, which was based off of Quake 2, which was based off of Quake 1...

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Green Gates said:

And that is why so many video games today are terrible. Their programmers set their minds so much on the sake of graphics and engine if not profit that their games end up as watered-down, unchallenging, short, uncreative, already done a thousand times glunk-offs. And yet--somehow--people enjoy them.


In some ways thats untrue, beacuse there has to be a set system of the way the game works. Balancing, thats not only in how the game looks, but all over the feild, so its not jsut the fault of the programmers, its also the fault of the level designers because they did not incorperate what they were given correctly.

But usualy the aim of a corperation is to make an experience, not a "game" thats the way the industry seems to be heading right now, and why all games seem to be so poorly done. (well thats my 2 cents, but thats not what this is about so back on topic =)

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Green Gates said:

And that is why so many video games today are terrible. Their programmers set their minds so much on the sake of graphics and engine if not profit that their games end up as watered-down, unchallenging, short, uncreative, already done a thousand times glunk-offs.

The engine a game uses has very little to do with the gameplay, or even the atmosphere of a game. Doom 3 and more recent engines are somewhat of an exception since they would be resource hogs, atleast initially, but a group of talented programmers could easily make a Duke Nukem rip-off or anything else they wanted to, assuming they were talented enough. Look at Quake 3: id made a graphically intense(at the time), face paced deathmatch game, while others have made all sorts of different kinds of games with the engine. The reason I'm saying all this is that it's not the engine coder's job to create the gameplay. Most, if not all of that is up to the design team. I mean, Carmack isn't the only programmer at id. However, I could be wrong about all of this.

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Snarboo said:

The engine a game uses has very little to do with the gameplay, or even the atmosphere of a game.

Cases in point:
* Target Quake 3 - it's a sidescroller in the Quake 3 engine.
* Barista 2 - Adventure game, in the Quake 2 engine.
* Adventure Pinball - Pinball game in the Unreal Tournament engine.

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Snarboo said:

The engine a game uses has very little to do with the gameplay, or even the atmosphere of a game.

It has everything to do with gameplay when the workput into the engine eats up all of the development time.

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AndrewB said:

It has everything to do with gameplay when the workput into the engine eats up all of the development time.

True, but as far as I can tell, most engine coders nowadays don't hardcode a game engine to play a particular way. I mean, when you register a copy of the Doom 3 engine, you don't get Doom 3. Instead, you get the engine, and from there a person can program into it whatever their little heart desires. Again, I could be wrong. I don't know how engine coders work these days, but it would seem to me that it would be at a disadvantage to make the game engine work/play a particular way, or only allow the programmer to make one kind of game. You also have to take into consideration the technical limits of the engine and the computers that run it, but if someone wanted to use the Doom 3 engine to make a photosynthesis and plant simulator, they undoubtedly could.

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AndrewB said:

It has everything to do with gameplay when the workput into the engine eats up all of the development time.

I believe we've had this conversation before. You must be under the impression that all the art and design teams of a company sit on their thumbs and spin while the programmers work on a core engine.

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Numbermind said:

About 5,000 man/hours

ROFL it takes WAY WAY WAY more than that. Let's take Doom 3 for instance, let's say 15 people working full time for a little less than 4 years, that works out to north of 100,000 man-hours, and we all know that game developers do NOT work 40-hour weeks.

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Numbermind said:

About 5,000 man/hours

A more accurate estimate would be 5000 man × hours.

Original concept

Really? Most game developers seem to start a game project by cloning some existing concept, or at best combining two. And I'm not saying this to condemn -- it's what I keep reading in interviews and hearing from people I know who are in the business.

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Macro11_1 said:

Yes but what is involved in something like that, whats the different parts of a game, i can say I know alot, and then rattle off a list, but im probably wrong.

What I am looking for is like not an indepth look, but rather the names of each part of a game program, and what they do, and whats involved in makeing them.

This sounds like alot that I am asking for, and I really dont mean to sound weird or anything.

To tell the truth, I am looking in to starting something from scratch, and I would like to know the basic Idea of whats involved in something like this. Like what should I know before I start? Sounds really weird I know, but meh. (its actually takeing alot of courage to post this because I am afraid that the answer might jsut be a flaming, or just somethign I allready know, but the latters good, because then i can confirm it better).

[Edit] Whoops, some one got that part, No I am not asking for an origional idea, those are easy enough to come by. But I am asking more allong the lines of programming, what different things are there that you can look at. Physics, whats involved in this, whats involved in the Internet part, and whats involved in everythign els under the programming part. Heck, if some one had a few links to give too, that would be great. The rest (art, modeling, webmastering, databasemastering, sound, movie, ect.) I allready know about. Sorry, i should have made that clearer.

This may help you:

Doom source code
Doom source code:files

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AndrewB said:

It has everything to do with gameplay when the workput into the engine eats up all of the development time.

Interesting, so you think John Carmack, -technology- programmer at id Software should've just coded simple jaggy highlights instead of fancy pathways and focus those extra free six hours into making gamecode? He doesn't even exactly know how, that was someone else's job. Even if he wanted to help, it takes sweet time to understand the intricacies of what's already done by a different mindset.

Besides, just to further oppose this comment, the engine's core was created while id's design staff worked in the Team Arena expansion, artists have been able to work fully knowing that there will be no need to revamp assets as the engine evolves right from the beginning,

And a notepad file with the design document doesn't exactly even care about the engine. Willits understands of computers, he won't add wacky design elements that surpass present coding/hardware resources. They did as they intended, and no hinderance was imposed by technology sans your obligatory bug hunt and the most basic of feature prunings exersised during early testing.

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Heh, ironically I'm working on a simple Duke Nukem 1 (not 3d but the sidescroller) clone in C++. I'm sort of learning as I go along, but I've made some personal breakthroughs. I'm working in Windows, which was a big switch from simple DOS command line programming, but it's a lot of fun. I'm also using DirectDraw for the graphics, which supposedly makes things easier (havent started the real drawing part, just things like loading in maps and stuff). I'm actually only 3/4 days into learning this stuff, but 2 tutorials made it all better for me:

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=192483
That proved to myself I could actually do something, which even though I knew I could, visual evidence is always much more stimulating, and even if it means spending an hour typing someone elses code, it's good practice, and allows you to see that you have all the tools.

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1229.asp
That is a very descriptive article on beginning windows programming, and also in future articles (found here) describes using DirectDraw.

However, if I were you, I'd start by reading up on C++ programming in the Command Line Interface to get the basics down (maybe you already have, I may have missed it, kindof tried :D)

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Well, I'm sure I'm reiterating what someone else has already said, but I feel it needs to be said at least twice: have a design document. This is probably the single most important peice you'll need and, if you're like me, you won't appreciate it until you try to work without it. Basically, you take your idea for a game and all the features you want for it, and you break it down into the smallest single peices possible, like building blocks (though I'm sure AndrewB could explain this in more detail than I can). Once you've covered all aspects you can think of, try to think of more; if you're new at doing this you may have missed a few things. Once that's all said and done, you should know what parts you have to program and how they will connect to one another.

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Macro11_1 said:

But usualy the aim of a corperation is to make an experience, not a "game" thats the way the industry seems to be heading right now, and why all games seem to be so poorly done. (well thats my 2 cents, but thats not what this is about so back on topic =)


I believe that since many gaming corporations are so concerned on making the game seem like the player is in another world that they've been so vane about their creation's graphics, and so therefore as a result graphics and engine usually become a vast majority of their efforts.

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Wow, thank you all very much, this is a lot of matereal to cover...

I cant really say much right now, because I havent gotten a chance to look at the articals and links and things.

Thanks again.

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Game creation from a coder's point of view:

First, learn some skills. Making a game is pointless if you don't already know how to program/model/texture/whatever. Become comfortable with your chosen skill before even attempting to make a game from scratch. Learn enough so that you can just sit down and start programming the basics wihtout research (for coders, C++ and OpenGL/Direct3D is a good start).

Next, don't do anything except for design the game. Making a game is pointless if you don't know what you want to make. The idea of knowing what you're doing before writing a design document is that you can possibly forsee any limitations you may come across and design accordingly (it's worked for me).

Next, create a technical requirements document from your game design. Work out what each part of your design document will need and write it down. Having tech should be justified by the design document instead of being there just to look cool (Doom 3 DID use it's lighting engine to good effect).

From the tech document, you should be able to determine how much man power and hours it will take. That's where you get a small team happening to make a prototype. The prototype is to prove things can be done and get other people interested. Usually, the code will be thrown away after a prototype as you'll be able to rewrite it quicker, cleaner, and more efficiently.

If the game manages to get past prototype stage, the long part follows - making the game itself. This will take a while, especially if everything is being done from scratch - new code will need to be developed and tested; art assets will need to be made; etc.

Eventually, you might have a completed game. Getting it to that stage and out to the public is another matter entirely.

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Often companies will have some toolkit or API built up to streamline the use of open GL features and basic stuff. From there a game is programmed on top of that.

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Numbermind said:

You need at least:

  • A Programmer (prefereably 2, one for graphics, another for backend/physics, 3 if you want online shit)
  • An Artist (preferably 2, one for 2D and another for 3D)
  • Time Management System (or else nothing would get done)
  • About 5,000 man/hours
  • Original concept (there is no program that can generate this *hint hint*)
  • Design Document
  • A computer for each person and competent networking/sharing capability
  • A Website (you're luck if someone on the team already can do this)
  • More discipline (I say 'more' because it's always more than you have)
  • Expertise (degree, personal experience)
  • If you think this is the end of the list, you need to research more
Hope that helped.
EDIT: If you actually have to ask "what does it take to come up with an original idea", then you're barking up the wrong tree. Sorry.

and a h--- of a lot of patience. some bugs will drive you to the end of your patience and wits.

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