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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Soon-To-Be-Professional

July 28, 1999, 10:29 PM

I just started working on a game today and realized how simple it is compared to other projects I have worked on. In fact if you know how to display images and activate other multimedias, you can get some simple arcade game done. Well, you need to know collision process too but that is not difficult either. What about other more complex games? You just work on the timer and some 3-d arts. So I realized once again it's all about good designing.
Perhaps I forgot about my past when I could not do it. If so, does game-making takes a genius to do it? I would like to ask any of you who reads this message. Has any of you ever finished up making a game? There are two reasons I can think of: One is you simply can not do it. In other words, you just quit after you realize you have some more problem solving to be done. Or you just got dumber spending so much time staring at your monitor and your project grew and grew until you dont even know what you're doing.(this happened to me once when I was little and that is why if 14 or 15 years old kid makes a game, that is quite a story. I mean you have to grow up in order to see the whole picture.) The other reason why people can not make a game is because they realize in the middle of developing that the game truly sux. I think this case is so common. This is why you see so many dumb games sold in stores. Does this mean I was right when I said it take 99% of creativity and 1% of programming skill? Or am I overly underestimating myself? May I ask all of you in this forum that which is(and has been) your obstacles?


 
Steph

July 29, 1999, 03:13 AM


I think the problem is a lot different if you are a professional or not.
Today a professional game is done by let's say 5 to 50 people working together,
you don't have to do the story, the design, the gameplay, the graphics, the
sounds, and of course the code alone. Each one try to make is part. When
you are not professional, if you make a game during your free time, alone,
you can't be the best for everything you do, you can choose to do a tetris-like
alone, but it's quite hard to do an half-life, or outcast alone (or even with
2 or 3 friends).

bye

Steph

 
Jaap Suter

July 29, 1999, 08:28 AM

>Does this mean I was right when I said it take 99% of creativity and 1% of programming
>skill? Or am I overly underestimating myself? May I ask all of you in this forum that which
>is(and has been) your obstacles?

I disagree. I think it takes:
100% creativity
100% programming skills
100% hard work

but if you want to keep things at 100% total I would say it depends on the game you want to make.

Tetris was very simple but very original (that time) so it took 90 % creativity and 10 % programming skills. Unreal was not very originial but looked awesome. So it might have taken 10% creativity and 90% programming skill.

Hard working it always is. If you work hard you always can finish your project but way to many amateur programmers are too lazy (myself included, although I'm starting to change I believe :) )

Have fun and finish your project!

Jaap Suter

 
Tim Smith

July 29, 1999, 12:32 PM

I have enough experience in many fields of programming to be able to say that game programming is not that hard. However, on average, to make a good quality game requires the same amount of programming work that any other project requires.

Tim

 
Kurt Miller

July 29, 1999, 03:37 PM



Soon-To-Be-Professional wrote:
>>Does this mean I was right when I said it take 99% of creativity and
>>1% of programming skill?

Assuming we're talking about large game projects and not tetris clones...

I agree with Jaap that your percentages are a little off. I believe one
of the most important parts of game programming is being able to finish
what you start. Many of the coders I've encountered have mad kung-fu
coding and math skills, but when it comes to actually finishing a project
that's larger than say a one-person 3D demo, many of them can't handle it and
several freely admit it. There are and always will be people like that in every
field. Its hard to avoid. How many of you have projects sitting on your drive
that you started but no one has ever seen (assuming it was intended for release)
besides you? Naturally on the other end, there are plenty of people who can
finish things.

Perhaps a bit cliche, but consider the original Quake project. If you've
read Abrash's black book, you'll notice the part where he talks about nearing the
end of the project when there were just a bunch of annoying things that had to be
done. No fun at all, but they had to be done. And of course we still see the
results of their tenacity even today.

As for programming skill in terms of developing the game's technology, that's definitely
important for modern games, but I wouldn't really say that technology is a good enough
excuse in many cases. Unless you're really working with ground-breaking technology,
most of the technical information that you need for a game is well documented. There
are even plenty of free engines (such as Genesis and Crystal Space) that you can work
with to realize your goals. Of course you have to be able to use them, but the tech
itself is not going to make your game. A hell of a lot of work will.

Yeah yeah, I'm restating the obvious, so I'll try to wrap it up. So if I haven't
finished a full modern game, how would I know what I'm talking about? Actually,
I don't know what I'm talking about :). I'm just another coder stating his
opinion, but I believe you'll find that a large portion of your "99% of creativity"
should actually be for persistence. Though impossible, I'd really love to see the
number of game projects ever started versus the number of game projects that were
ever finished. The difference would likely be mind-blowing.

I could be completely wrong.


Kurt Miller



 
Learned-From-My-Experience

July 31, 1999, 01:27 AM



Kurt Miller wrote:
>>Assuming we're talking about large game projects and not tetris clones...
>>Yeah yeah, I'm restating the obvious, so I'll try to wrap it up. So if I haven't
>>finished a full modern game, how would I know what I'm talking about? Actually,
>>I don't know what I'm talking about :). I'm just another coder stating his
>>opinion, but I believe you'll find that a large portion of your "99% of creativity"
>>should actually be for persistence. Though impossible, I'd really love to see the
>>number of game projects ever started versus the number of game projects that were
>>ever finished. The difference would likely be mind-blowing.
>>
>>I could be completely wrong.
>>
>>
>>Kurt Miller
>>

You just refreshed my memory when I was little trying to make an arcade game. Back then
almost every game was simple. Remeber pacman, invaders, galaga(or something)? If you
are not familiar with any of those then I must be a foreigner after all. I spent my childhood
in Korea and there were so many games. All from Japan. I 'started' on games about 4 or 5 times, and as you said, never finished any of em. And they were all simple arcade games so
that one or two developers were sufficient. Above all, I had this 8-bit computer(Nintendo-like) that provides built-in sprites. Thus I did not need a thorough understanding of display
device. So I had everything. Tech-skills, good game designs and all. Now come to think of it, I realize now that game-making requires a lot of guessing and checking. I could never tell
before I see the game itself whether I designed the game well or not. For instance, I made this spacecraft(let's say I was making shooting game) that moves across the screen and shoots laser beams at the enemy spaceships. And that was the end of it all. I had this commercial game that looks just like it and it was better in every way. So I compared and I threw away my little unfinished accomplishment. I said 99% creativity because everytime I tried I always copied instead of making it up from top of my head. That certainly is not creativity. Game-making is a hard labor and if we get some replicas at the end or in the middle of the process, we lose motivation completely. In the beginning everything seems so exciting because it is a huge project and we do not see how boring it will turn out to be.

And that is why I plan for a year and spend a month on a computer to complete it.
Or you can rely on object oriented programming technique, which does not break down all at once. Even if you fail, all the classes you built will be useful as long as you live.


 
sometime-it-aint-so

July 31, 1999, 01:38 AM



Tim Smith wrote:
>>I have enough experience in many fields of programming to be able to say that game programming is not that hard.

It's not hard???!!! You mean you've got all the resources you need? Like SVGA reference, Soundblaster reference, and some MS-DOS, Windows, Network reference and stuff? I said it's
easy for me because I got em all.(um except for sound) I thought I was the only one who got em. gees. Well anyway, I think the easiest project you can do it word processors and databases and stuff. For all you need is a measly C/C++ library reference.
I dont care how smart you are. Without any refernces, you are asking for pain. I've been there once. Once I went over the commercially sold games in order to see how they did it, and I almost died. I printed the assembly codes and they made up almost 400 pages. Believe me... I went over every single line. That hurts.



 
A-Good-Point-But .....

July 31, 1999, 01:50 AM



Jaap Suter wrote:
>>Tetris was very simple but very original (that time) so it took 90 % creativity and 10 % programming skills. Unreal was not very originial but looked awesome. So it might have taken 10% creativity and 90% programming skill.
>>

you must worship that russian guy who made tetris. In fact, tetris was meant to be a sort of IQ test(and it did not become one unfortunately). I say it was a pure luck.

I never played unreal but if looks are all it's got, I would rather play with Playstation. The difference between computer games and playstations is the age of the players. SNES and SONY got 64-bits(good for games) Also computer game players use keyboards and mouse, and the other control pads. Every tried Simcity for SNES? It's not as good as computer version. What about mortal combat for PC? Not so popular. I guess if you wanna make a game for PC, you should stick with a mouse.
Oh, one more thing. If you want to go with 10% creativity and 90% tech, you might want to work for Disney. Kids like colors and pretty pictures.

>>Hard working it always is. If you work hard you always can finish your project but way to many amateur programmers are too lazy (myself included, although I'm starting to change I believe :) )
>>
>>Have fun and finish your project!
>>

Thanks. Good luck to you too.

>>Jaap Suter

 
Tim Smith

July 31, 1999, 11:29 AM

sometime-it-aint-so wrote:
>>
>>
>>Tim Smith wrote:
>>>>I have enough experience in many fields of programming to be able to say that game programming is not that hard.
>>
>>It's not hard???!!! You mean you've got all the resources you need? Like SVGA reference, Soundblaster reference, and some MS-DOS, Windows, Network reference and stuff? I said it's
>>easy for me because I got em all.(um except for sound) I thought I was the only one who got em. gees. Well anyway, I think the easiest project you can do it word processors and databases and stuff. For all you need is a measly C/C++ library reference.
>>I dont care how smart you are. Without any refernces, you are asking for pain. I've been there once. Once I went over the commercially sold games in order to see how they did it, and I almost died. I printed the assembly codes and they made up almost 400 pages. Believe me... I went over every single line. That hurts.
>>

I never said you don't need references.

Maybe my statement about writing games was incomplete. It really should have read that game programming is no harder than any other field.

You have to understand my perspective to see that I meant nothing by what I said. I have over 15 years experience that included 7 years at what the head hunters considered one of the most demanding small companies in Atlanta doing process control. It isn't that I think I am smarter than anybody else, it is that I have been put through the meat grinder a few times already. Game programming is a high demand, high stress job. However, I see very little difference between the demands placed on game programmers and any other small shop software company. (There are obviously some differences.)

The last thing I want to do is sound like I think game programmers are second class programmers. The only difference between us and any other programmer is that we program games. We are no better, no worse.

Tim

P.S. But I do get irritated at people who think that just because they wrote a game with some assembler, they think they are some god at programming. I have written plenty of assembler in my time. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some real life programming gods. Many years ago, assembler lost it's appeal as being a geek honor badge. It is just a tool. (Not talking about you, please don't take offence)

 
Warren Marshall

August 17, 1999, 11:27 AM

>I never played unreal but if looks are all it's got, I would rather play with Playstation.

OK, but now you're talking about game design vs pretty graphics. In reference to the original topic, the programming skill required to create the Unreal engine is simply massive.

 
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