Best approach for a demo game in short time?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by seraphpl, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. seraphpl

    seraphpl New Member

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    Hi, I think not only me but many newbie game devs are interested in the below question, so I give it a shot.

    With a solid base knowledge in Computer Science (C++), but little experience in game programming. Given Unreal Engine 4 (no experience), how would we approach if we get to build a best demo game to showcase our programming skills in 2 months?

    1. Which genre would be the best given the experience, and time constraints above? Racing, action, platform game, RPG, MMORPG, MMOFPS, etc. I am thinking about some MMORPG, MMOFPS. That would be best because it let we work with almost all aspects of game, and the demo just need to be working (no need to be polished) so it would not be much difficult as it sounds. But I do not know whether there is any hidden cost behind.

    2. What are the best resources (books, tutorials, etc.) that you recommend that can absorb in the above time constraint and can help produce acceptable result?

    3. What are other aspects need to be considered? Some advice?
     
    #1 seraphpl, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  2. Sponge

    Sponge New Member

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    I would say either a FPS (Probably better to leave out the MMO networking part), platformer, or over top rpg. Youtube is a very good place to learn due to the diversity of content.
     
  3. Scoper

    Indie Author

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    I would advise against any kind of MMO. Partly because the complexities of network and scaling can potentially drain unlimited amounts of time. And partly because it is inconvenient for showcasing - MMO is rather pointless without lots of players online.
    I would not worry too much about genre. If your goal is to use your demo to get a job in the game industry, then read through ads for jobs that you would want to apply for and make a list of the skills needed for those jobs. Then make sure your demo includes features that showcase those skills. And leave anything else out. Don't make a demo that includes network code (such as MMO) unless you want a job as a backend programmer.

    Fine if you want to show off your skills in a specialized area. If you don't want to be a specialist, but would rather be a generalist Gameplay Programmer, then you probably should spend time polishing your demo.
     
  4. borneogamer

    borneogamer New Member

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    TLDR
    I'm going against normal advice by saying that no, don't start with single player game first. If your vision is an MMO, then design and build that MMO. If it is a single player game, then design and build it as such. Never, ever, design and build a FPS, and then suddenly decide to tack on the MMO part; it will be so broken and requires a rewrite so horrible you will have to start from scratch. But first you need to learn how to make games in UE4, and it doesn't matter what type of game. Unfortunately, this will definitely take you more than 2 months. You need around 1,000 hours of practice to get good with UE4, 10,000 to master it. 2 months to learn UE4 to build something to showcase your programming skill is doable, but do not expect to build much features.


    Not TLDR Version

    When you say solid base knowledge, I'm guessing means you have the knowledge to write a client-server program using socket programming. With solid knowledge and a good team, 1 guy handle the client-server networking code, 1 guy handle the server code, 1 guy handle the client code, a few guys handle the modelling and some sound guys, yeah, I guess a small MMORPG/MMOFPS with 10 client connection is possible to do in 2 months.

    BUT!

    You won't be able to do that. You won't be able to make a MMORPG/MMOFPS in 2 months. You won't be able to make FPS, RPG, or any games at all for that matter, in 2 months. Why?

    Well, first your team needs to learn how to use Unreal Engine 4, and this will take you more than 2 months. And then after more than 2 months spent making several throwaway games to learn how to use UE4, you will then finally be able to make you first game tech demo.

    Take note though, if this is a very simple tech demo, like very, very, simple prototype with the most basic of basic function, the most basic Minimum Viable Product, then yes, it is possible. And it WILL crash a lot. And you won't be able to do much; most probably just run around and shoot just one gun in a scene. And then it WILL crash. After every shot. Of course, you decide that, you will just add more features, fix more bugs, and then suddenly after two or so years, you finally have a real game. :D

    Here are some TUTORIALS for Unreal Engine
    https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Programming/Tutorials/
    https://www.youtube.com/user/ParabolicLabs/videos


    Best of luck!
     
  5. Scoper

    Indie Author

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    I have to disagree. I think your estimates are too pessimistic. If seraphpl intended to make a game, then yes, two month would be inadequate. But since the purpose is to create a tech demo to showcase programming skills (not showcase UE mastery) I believe that this is totally doable. And from someone with a solid C++ knowledge, I would expect something that doesn't crash.
    One might argue that this purpose can also be achieved without a game engine.
     
  6. borneogamer

    borneogamer New Member

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    What I wrote and you left out
    " ....yeah, I guess a small MMORPG/MMOFPS with 10 client connection is possible to do in 2 months.
    .... bla bla bla ....
    ...... And then after more than 2 months spent making several throwaway games to learn how to use UE4, you will then finally be able to make you first game tech demo."

    So..... you are basically saying what I was saying.... except that you ventured the idea that he should forgo UE4 and not use it altogether. :D

    Unfortunately I believe UE4 is a prerequisite that seraphpl required; although if it isn't... then sure, he can also write his own rendering machine. :D
     
  7. seraphpl

    seraphpl New Member

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    Hi, thank you for the feedback. I have just made a simple multiplayer fps prototype based all some tutorials on Youtube. Now I am putting my hands on tutorials from UE4 document because it will help learn basic stuff about UE4.
    After all, UE4 blueprint and the engine is pretty mature, I feel that most of the things is already done for programmers.
     

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