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Offline Roads

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My new game
« on: November 07, 2012, 12:57:51 PM »

Over the last couple weeks, I've come to a new realization - aw heck, let's go ahead and call it an epiphany.  For probably the last 10 years or so, I've had a general idea of the game I would like to play if by some magic I could just have it.  What I've come to realize is that I've alienated people on various message boards trying to turn their game into mine.  This stops now.  From now on, I've got a new game.  This game is creating the game I've been wanting to play for such a long time.  When I take a breather from "my game" I'll play Simutrans and maybe other games but with a new attitude - this is their game - follow the rules!


I'm not going to talk about my dream game yet because it is far too complicated (and likely boring to many) to do in one post.  Instead I would like to hear from y'all - what you would play if you could just request it today and it would be delivered tomorrow.


Also it would be great if people talked about what is needed to make a game.  I'm planning on using OGRE.

Offline Fabio

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Re: My new game
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 01:08:10 PM »
When I take a breather from "my game" I'll play Simutrans and maybe other games but with a new attitude - this is their game - follow the rules!

I speak personally, but I believe many share my point of view. You didn't bore or alienate any of us-- on the contrary. I really appreciated many of your inputs and this is why we chose to appoint you "devotee" here. I hope you'll still play Simutrans and share your ideas and accomplishments here the way you used to do.

Best luck with your personal project!

Fabio

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 01:45:48 PM »
Thanks Fabio!

No doubt there will be times (and already has been) when I just cannot study any more code or absorb any more Blender concepts.  At times like this Simutrans is a great get away. :)

Also I certainly will offer whatever I can in support of this really great game.

Offline Markohs

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Re: My new game
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 02:02:53 PM »
Welcome to hell. ;)

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 03:24:44 PM »
Okay, I've banned Roads. There. Problem solved.

But no, seriously Roads, I agree - your feedback here is welcome. But if you can pull off making your dream game work... in another few years, perhaps we'll have another good game to play, too! :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 04:05:58 PM »
Quote
Welcome to hell.


After advancing a bit in the C++ tutorials I was merely lost but when I had trouble getting my compiler to compile the setup for the Ogre tutorials and looking for a solution on the Ogre message boards I recognized the location...


Glad to know you can survive here. :)


Thanks Isaac!  All I can do is try...

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 04:51:44 PM »
Welcome to hell. ;)

The road to hell is paved with abandoned game projects. I've contributed with my share of those. By the time I actually get something moving on the screen, my motivation is gone. When the motivation returns, the code is so rotten or badly written that I start all over again.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:23:47 PM »
The road to hell is paved with abandoned game projects. I've contributed with my share of those. By the time I actually get something moving on the screen, my motivation is gone. When the motivation returns, the code is so rotten or badly written that I start all over again.

The first part of writing code for a game is very fun, seeing it on screen for the first time, etc... then you realize that you have 20,000 hours worth of writing the not so fun stuff that doesn't have much impact on the visual part of the game... I half wrote a lot of games back when I was programming many moons ago (early 90's) some of which I put many months of work in to.  None of them go anywhere close to being done...

When you take in to context that Simutrans probably has 100,000+ hours (a complete guess, but I bet it's up there) of accumulated programming time put in to it (and probably just as much time with artwork), you realize the enormity of getting a fully developed game completed...

My "ideal" game would be exactly what Simutrans is except in a full 3D a massive world and a fully detailed economy down to the lowest level of detail and complete freedom to lay tracks and roads in any direction/curve/etc.  Given that this would probably take all of the supercomputers in the world to run, I'll have to wait for another 15-20 years for Simutrans and computing power to slowly get there :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 09:54:41 PM »
Ters, Sarlock,  Do you regret the time you put into making a game?

Guys, I really appreciate what you are saying.  I may well be saying something similar to someone else one of these days.  The thing I'm thinking right now is to try and make the game as minimal as I possibly can, then expand it later, possibly with the help of others if there are some who like it.  Of course it will be open source.

Sarlock, your 3d massive world of Simutrans sounds great.  Who knows?  It might not take 15 years although I'm not sure where in my house to put a super computer. :) 

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 10:29:38 PM »
Roads, i enjoy your posts and should like to hear more of your game.

What i don't like very much in your posts are your apologies for saying something or being there. It is very inappropriate, since you deserve being listened to for good posts and thanked for because of your contributions (might i mention the new desert houses?). Even if that was not the case, you would still be respected just for being yourself here. Speak up.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 11:10:06 PM »
Roads, I started my own project in summer 2007.  I have been recorded the number of lines of the project since then.  You can see the data plotted below.  As you can see the project has now around 20000 lines (in r69 or so), but the effort is made mainly in the summers (x axis is year).

If you embark in such an effort, my advise is to enjoy it because you can throw there all the time you want and more.  The results will not be evident, you have to redo more than you do, technology changes while you are doing it, etc., etc.

The good thing is that you learn a lot and enjoy making decisions, rolling back, ...

Good luck!



Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 12:28:35 AM »
I definitely enjoyed my game making time and so will you :)  I learned a lot of programming tricks and techniques that I used in later projects.  I certainly don't want to discourage you, I'm sure you will have lots of fun!  But to achieve a game like Simutrans is beyond the scope of any one human being to create entirely by themselves, I think that's just the general message... but then again you haven't said what your ideal game is... maybe it's a Pacman clone... in which case it's easily done by one person!  ;D

It's my hope that through collaborating with a community to further develop an amazing game like Simutrans, we can all get a little piece of our "perfect" game in the end :)  Hope to still see you around lots still, I'm sure we could all give you lots of input for your new game!

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 02:17:56 AM »
@sdog
Okay!  I had not realized.  Thanks.  Also thanks for the comment about the house, that's what us artists love to hear.

@isidoro
Thank you!
It is good to hear you have a project in the works.  I hope you all the best and will echo Isaac's earlier comment and say maybe one day we'll have another good game to play.  You hinted at something I've thought about and that is you don't have to work on it constantly, you just have to keep at it.  That's how I got my house built.  Early in the project my brother told me I would never get it built - it took five years - but I never gave up.

@Sarlock
Yes Sarlock, I've no doubt you are exactly right about the magnitude of creating a big game.  It is the reason I had put off trying to do this for so long.  Anything small just didn't seem worth the effort and anything big seemed too big to accomplish.  My hope is when I get my little game to the point I can publish, people will like it and want to join the project.  So now is the time to talk about what I'm wanting to do.

Of all the games I've played and really liked, Civilization is the one that captured my imagination - the struggle of humanity not only to survive but flourish.  What happened to the Jamestown settlement?  How did a little country like Great Britain survive and maintain the power it still has today.  Of course there are many others and all their stories are great.

It seems games like Civ always link survival for the most part on war.  But I don't think that was ever the key to survival.  It was the ability of a country to at first, keep its people from starvation and then to lift them out of poverty.

Eventually I want my game to take some of the elements of Civ, RRT1, SimCity, Tropico and of course Simutrans and create a game where the player can play different roles on the macro level and also on the micro level with the goal of creating a great nation.  I know this sounds like a monstrosity but beginning it won't be so much.  At first all it will be a is a few "pilgrims" landing on the shore of a new land.  Some of these pilgrims you will be able to play in 3rd person - an explorer and a hunter at least.  Some will simply exist but be unplayable like laborers, farmers, etc.  The explorer can explore without the player moving him around, same with the hunter.  The key here is how fast the explorer explores, whether he survives the wilds - there's bears in them woods - and how well the hunter hunts.  After all, the pilgrims have a limited food supply.

But I think the game needs to be able to play possibly completely independent of the player, much like a movie or at least with minimal input of the player if he so desires.  At least at the early stage of the game because there simply will not be cities to shape or trains to run.

There will be trade.  The ship that brought the pilgrims will return every so often and you will be able to trade raw materials you've collected for finished goods and such things as coffee unless of course you can grow that.

I've got a lot of thoughts about how this will all work but maybe this enough to give people the idea.   

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 02:48:27 AM »
For a game of such complexity, perhaps the approach dwarf fortress took would be interesting:

Very minimalistic interface but a very complex and large world below the surface. In large part the world lives by itself, with the player having their niche. The game can be played in fortress mode where one builds fortesses and in adventure mode where it is rogue like. An abandoned fortress could be visited as a dungeon in an adventure game or get re-seteled in a new fortress game.

It is also one of those crazy one-man-+-a-brother--projects

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 03:19:00 AM »
Haven't heard of that one but sounds like it plays something like I have in mind.  Simutrans gave me the final idea on my game with the paks.  The core game could be all at the macro level.  Then it could have addons for things, even like the explorer and hunter.  There would need to be a hierachy where pak A was at the top level, pak B would have to work with pak A and so on.  That way it could be expanded to include a huge variety of things.

BTW I've pretty much settled on the name Nation although Great Nation works as well.

Offline el_slapper

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Re: My new game
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 01:21:51 PM »
95% of amateur game projects never reach a playable status. The biggest game I did finish(but not polish) is a Pong on C#(with tricky rebounds & realistic bounce effects, I'm not a beginner programmer after all).

Have fun, but I think 3D is not suitable for a single person. Ogre is 3D right?

Offline mEGa

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Re: My new game
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2012, 01:39:24 PM »
@Roads :
Best luck with your personal project!

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2012, 03:35:08 PM »
95% of amateur game projects never reach a playable status. The biggest game I did finish(but not polish) is a Pong on C#(with tricky rebounds & realistic bounce effects, I'm not a beginner programmer after all).

Have fun, but I think 3D is not suitable for a single person. Ogre is 3D right?

I think I finished a pong game on an embedded platform. That was a group assignment in college, though. Several other of my games have reached a playable state, but are otherwise far from completion.

Ogre is a 3D graphics library, but a game can still be very much 2D. In some cases, 3D graphics can be easier than 2D as there seem to be more off the shelf solutions available, such as for things like character animation.

Offline prissi

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Re: My new game
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 04:34:50 PM »
The 95% rule never finish is most true for almost every program.

I think the best way to improve the likeliness of finishing is to release early to find external motivation too, when the internal enthusiam was burn up. Which happens quick. But satisfying a need to have an instant fan base became so much more difficult with nowadays huge amount of good choice programs available. For instance I doubt that I would write an text editor again (as I did in '92) ...

A joke of the early 90ies: A man must achieve three things in life: built a house, have children, write a text editor. (Oh my I feel old now.)

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 06:46:17 PM »
I thought after 1978 everyone was too busy to personalize their emacs to write a text editor. Unless they where vi disciples and were to busy dissing emacs followers. ;-)

From the 95% abandoned game projects quite a lot is learned. So don't worry too much about it before starting. (I don't start things at all, as i'm too realistic on the outcome: self-fulfilling prophecy)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 06:53:12 PM »
@el_slapper
I think the enemy is what Prissi said in the last post: "when the enthusiasm is burned up."  My only defense against this is to keep thinking making the game is my current game and try as you said to have fun with it.

@mEGa
That post you made for me about PhotoFiltre awhile back and the links got me really interested in doing something again besides just playing.  Also you have been helpful all along the way.  Thank you!

@Ters
I'm thinking those shelf solutions will help a lot.  No doubt sometime in the future making a game won't be the vast undertaking it still is today.  If Unity was not so buggy and limited, it looks like it would be fantastic.  But the fact is, you have to make the soup out of whatever you have on hand.

@Prissi
I'm going to make you feel young again.  I'm 64.

I tried to get some people interested in this game several years ago.  They did seem to like it a lot even though the idea was not as developed as it is now.  Eventually they just lost interest, I guess when they begin to realize what it would take.  So yeah, I know as much as a developer needs a fan base, if only for encouragement, it is not something easy to attain and less so as time goes by because so many more people can produce and have such varied tastes.  I come to the conclusion that this is something I have to try to do and not hope for anyone's help except for advice.  That I sure hope I can get! :)

@sdog
Going to take your advice about the 95% too. :)

The one thing I would love some input on right now is the map(s).  At this point I'm not sure I can even talk about it intelligently but I'm thinking it would be possible and possibly best, to create parts in Blender - ground surfaces - grass, sand, etc. and then have some algothrym to place them together.

I'm looking at Terragen.  Maybe the way to go is like Simutrans does and offer a variety to choose from.  That pretty much kills the idea of having an explorer though.  That idea I'm not sure is so great anyway.  It was fun in Civ finding resources and I think it would in Nation because not only would you have more resources but you would discover things like fertile land, edible berries...apple trees! :)
That is if the map was darkened except for a small area around where the ship drops anchor.

So I would like anyone's thoughts on maps, either technical or the game play.
 

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 07:04:55 PM »
The gold way when you need large areas is 3d is to have them generated by a height map and a ground texture map OR generate them dynamically. Vegetation etc is generated with shaders (clutter) based on the ground texture.


here's one example:
http://www.chandlerprall.com/2011/07/dynamic-terrain-without-heightmaps/

Offline Iluvalar

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Re: My new game
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 07:24:25 PM »
only 95% :o . Sweet, I'll soon have one working then XD .

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: My new game
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 11:15:52 PM »
only 95% :o . Sweet, I'll soon have one working then XD .
This means that, if you have failed at least 19 times, at the 20th one you will succeed. ;)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 11:41:06 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline Carl

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Re: My new game
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 11:17:45 PM »
I think that is what is know as "the gambler's fallacy" ;)

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2012, 05:37:27 AM »
If I got another try, I'd do the successful 5% first.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 06:31:01 AM »
I also wanted to say, without taking over this topic in any way - I feel the pain. I have my own little project:

http://jumpspace.us/

I got as far as getting map generation to work, which isn't very far, but still, an actual start: http://jumpspace.us/0.1 - and had to pause the project. But I'll be picking it back up in a bit. :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 07:08:58 AM »
@sdog
I don't think that will work for me as I'm limited on my internet usage and don't think I would want it web based anyway.  It sure looks like a good way to go for anyone liking that route.

@Isaac
I hope you get back on that project!  I liked what I saw.
Please don't think you are hijacking this thread because I originally intended it to be about not just my project but our projects.  Maybe we can all help each other simply by talking through the problems we are having?

@everyone else
Well guys, these thoughts on the possibility and chances of me finishing this game do not worry me.  I'm passed that.  In fact I was really passed it when I created this thread because I had already came to the conclusion that when I get a new game I don't think, "it will be so great when I finish this game" but rather "it will be so much fun playing this game."

The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.  Of course this is a small sampling but I would be deluding myself if I thought my game was going to have anything more than at best, a very niche audience.  Of course this would be an absolutely fatal flaw if I hoped to sell the game.  It does in fact throw cold water on the hope of getting any help with expanding the game if I do eventually get it to a release stage.

Even these things are not what worries me most.  We humans often do not know what we want.  We think we want something until we get it and then we realize it wasn't what we wanted at all.  This is the 64 thousand dollar question, the sticky wicket...this is where the rubber meets the road.  But I can't know this until more is done.  Also, I'm hoping you guys will be plain spoken and not worry about hurting my feelings.  If something sounds boring or tedious to you, please say so.  I doubt at this point it will dissuade me from continuing with this project but it certainly might dissuade me from putting a lot of time in doing some particular thing I will never implement or regret implementing.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2012, 07:12:16 AM »
I also wanted to say, without taking over this topic in any way - I feel the pain. I have my own little project:

http://jumpspace.us/

I got as far as getting map generation to work, which isn't very far, but still, an actual start: http://jumpspace.us/0.1 - and had to pause the project. But I'll be picking it back up in a bit. :)

Interesting, reminds me of a game I was developing with a couple of friends around 1991/1992 that was based on TradeWars 2000 which was a multiplayer text based game from the BBS era.  The basic idea was that there was an infinite universe in the game to explore (mathematically computed as new regions were revealed) that would expand the game as the player base grew and players spread out-either stay near the core for trade and war or expand out into the distance and be more isolationist.  I got as far as getting the world to auto generate and database the new discoveries but the other 2/3rds of our team lost interest.  The 95% theory at work :).  I wish I had seen it through though, it would have been an awesome game!  There would have been anarchy in some areas and order in others as players organized... Similar to the dynamics that occurred in the early Ultima Online days (if anyone here ever played that).

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2012, 07:19:53 AM »
@Sarlock
Ultima Online *raises hand*
It sure was fun for awhile.

Please let us know if you resurrect your game and where we can look at it.

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 07:23:10 AM »
@roads: ignore the webGL, it was meant only about the procedural terrain. (BTW the limited internet usage would not be a problem, you can run everything locally. Such an approach might have some advantages with regard to mobile devices and multi platform availability.)


Quote
The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.

Just the wrong crowd here. And, much worse a lot of devs, to get them as fans you have to show them some running demonstrator. Don't get put off by lack of interest, if something is running, you find your users. (internet is large, long tail etc) Getting something to work is the real barrier you have to master.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2012, 07:24:54 AM »
The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.  Of course this is a small sampling but I would be deluding myself if I thought my game was going to have anything more than at best, a very niche audience.  Of course this would be an absolutely fatal flaw if I hoped to sell the game.  It does in fact throw cold water on the hope of getting any help with expanding the game if I do eventually get it to a release stage.

I think like anything like this, once you can construct an initial demonstration of your idea, people will begin to understand the larger vision that you have.  Until then it's pretty hard to explain the concept that you have built in your mind... I look forward to seeing some initial progress reports :)


Re: UO, I played for 8 years, loved that game!  Too bad EA ruined it.

My game was 20 years ago... I think I'll leave it dead now  :D.  Don't really have the time these days and my programming skills are obsolete.  I keep meaning to learn C... I tried many years ago but I was too used to the nicer structure of Pascal.  I did do some Perl a few years ago (did all the scripts for my old UO guild website http://www.elvenorder.com , members page and a lot of backend database stuff) which has a bit of similarity to C so it might be too hard to pick up.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: My new game
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2012, 08:25:47 AM »
I've not commented for a few reasons. I've never played tropico, so am not sure exactly what you are aiming for. I do quite like the SimCity series, but not so much Railroad Tycoon. Really though, I also didn't want to be too negative on the basis of my personal experience from programing games, which is similar to others here, unfinished projects, most unplayable and the rest not reaching the expectations I had to start with. I hope that won't be the case for you.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2012, 08:37:05 AM »
@sdog
I'm beginning to get a real admiration for your understanding of what is going on here.  Getting this thing off the ground looks like will be the real barrier...

Just last night I got my compiler, MinGW with Code::Blocks setup to run the first Ogre tut.  This after searching for quite awhile to try and figure out why I was getting an error for boost.  I got that solved and ran the setup.  It worked fine.  Tonight the same problem again.  I just noticed there is a new note on wiki that I need a different version of MinGW.

@Sarlock
Many thanks about the advice about the game concept.  Actually both you and sdog - I had not thought about how difficult it would be for other people to see what is inside my head...maybe I need to phrase that differently.

Anyway, y'all know what I mean.

The problem for me with UO, at least early on and I began playing when the game was released, was that you could max out your character too quickly and there wasn't much left to do.  I had a great lord and a house...think maybe a boat, can't remember it has been so long ago...then Everquest came along and took the spotlight.

About the programming, it is just hard for me.  It seems like it takes forever for me to really understand some of the concepts but an odd thing is happening.  Sometimes when I go back and look at something that I sorta, kinda understood, it is suddenly clear as a bell.  Go figure.  Guess it's the French bath, sub conscious, whatever.

@kieron
Many thanks for the well wishes.  You've certainly done a great job with pak128.Britain

Offline Markohs

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Re: My new game
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2012, 08:55:08 AM »
 I'd advise you to use VS 2010, has a great debugger and inspection tools, plus code assistant editor. I'd say it's the best programming IDE around, and it's free.

 I'll be critic to make a difference in this topic, I'll be the bad guy now: ;)

 I hope you prove me wrong, I think you don't really realize how hard and titanic your project will be, the ogre tutorials are just 5% of the Ogre Iceberg.  Remeber a 99% finished project is not a working project and nobody will take interest on something not finished (not playable), I'll advise you to embrace the extreme programming style and just go for incremental working prototype, and allways focus on the simplest piece of code that works, do not over-design.

 Organize your thoughts in items, then pick one and split it in sub-projects. Take now the most important one and implement it, FULLY, WORKING 100%. once you finish, think about what you've done, think what you did good and what you did wrong, and pick the next item on the to-do list.

http://www.extremeprogramming.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban

 Don't expect nobody helping you until you have something interesting in your hands. ;)

 Good luck, I hope you suceed, but if you don't , remember there are lots of things to do and finish here in simutrans. ;)