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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

May 19, 2005, 07:22 AM


I'm new to the Flipcode forums, but I was just hoping there is someone out there who can guide me in the right direction. Here is a little about myself so you have a better idea of how to reply.
I am mostly interested in 3D modelling and will begin my course in Cumputer-aided Visualization (BSC) in September, although I am mostly aiming at the games industry. Anyway... for a 'completely' part time prject over many years: Me and a few people would like to try designing and creating a small 3D game (but not like flash/java or anything of such...)
Anyway I have MANY questions because I am so curious but here are a few:

1> What components are needed to make a video game? - I read the article on here "Elements of a Games Engine" and it made some sense but I would just like a basic list of things (e.g. Games engine/3dmodels/maps/textures/tools)

2> Does anybody know any good tutorials for beginners in programming games?

3> I have some knowledge in programming languages such as C/C++/Perl and beginning to learn Python... but how useful are these?

4> The free games engine source codes... are they basically games engines that you adapt yourself?

5> how does everything else fit around the games engine?

6> I understand that obviously writing/designing games engine are extremely complicated/time consuming so if I was to download a free open-source engine then what would I do from there onwards? (in steps...)

7> Please just tell me as much information as you can cram on here to show me where to start

^^ Sorry this is a large post. Any replies are welcome and thankyou in advance for any help :)


May 19, 2005, 07:34 AM

Start with something really simple, like a pong-clone. that would rule


May 19, 2005, 08:38 AM

You're nowhere near being capable of writing an "engine". Whereas nobody who *is* would dare to call their code an "engine".

You sound as if you *severly* underestimated the amount of dedication and work it needs to get only half-decent results in the world of 3D programming. May I kindly suggest starting in 2D ?

Start simple. Very simple. It'll be rewarding in the end, since you might actually finish something. And it's not like I'm throwing that at you personally. Everyone got to hear that several times, me including. And everyone failed several times, me including.


May 19, 2005, 09:14 AM

Also, try not to refer to computers as cumputers ;p


May 19, 2005, 09:15 AM

Go to and hang out there for a couple of months ;)


May 19, 2005, 10:47 AM

forget these guys - they're just trying to scare you. if you know c++, that's probably the language to go with, so follow betelgeuse's advice and check out it's a great place to learn about graphics and other stuff. opengl is the graphics api to start with, so try and follow all the tutorials there. also, open source engines like irrlicht are great for handling the low-level stuff that no one want to write, so check out those after you learn basic graphics. the only way to start is to dig into it and figure shit out. good luck.


May 20, 2005, 12:42 PM

Thanks DonJuan. Unlike the rest your advice is constructive. and to set the record straight for the other guys. im mostly interested in just the process that computer games are made in. I'll check out Nehe.gamedev.netbut I think maybe it would be better if I got some books to help University courses as I'm after a general outline... I have a fairly decent knowledge of 3D Studio Max over the past 3-4 years and I was wondering for the future. what exactly happens to the 3d models after they are made. I presume they get exported to a file that the main part of the game would access?
If anybody here is taking a course (at University maybe?) and knows any good books to start off with. please tell me!

Thanks again



May 20, 2005, 03:42 PM

The reason that the advices (with the exception of DonJuan) are similar, is because these advices work, and they produce good outcome. And as you figured (or will figure)out, is that it's never bad to follow the steps of the gurus to figure out where to go.



May 20, 2005, 05:38 PM

no problem, man. after models are created and saved, a game can load them into memory. this usually means reading the vertex, face, texture/material, and animation data into some data structure that a programmer comes up with. Vertices and face indices are generally loaded into special vertex and index buffers, which can be stored in regular memory or the faster video card memory. Then the textures and materials specified by the model file are loaded into memory as well. At that point the game has access to all the polygons (through the vertex/index buffers) and the textures/materials needed to be mapped to them. From there it's a set of established graphics routines that throw the polygons to the screen in the shape of the model. If there are any animations, they are usually saved as separate "keyframes" (this is done in maya or whatever), which are just poses. These poses' vertices can be interpolated to produce smooth transitions in animation, and viola! as you can see, this is a pretty complicated chain of events, and that's why the rest of these guys are so negative. they just need girlfriends :) the Premier series of books is a great place to start, as they discuss every aspect of this beautiful hobby. along with internet tutorials like nehe, you'll soon be a master.


May 23, 2005, 12:25 PM

Thanks, i'll check out the Premier line of books. also thanks for the link to NeHe thats a great resource, i just started the OpenGL tutorials. It was just the idea that I could combine programming and my 3D work that I love. I think seeing the little video of Avalon3D with Daniel Lehenbauer writing C# and then turning that into a 3D app was what started me on this :) I do understand that there is more to learn that I could in my entire lifetime but thats just a challenge really. Besides... I enjoy it.

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