Hello..I'm new here..looking for some direction

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Game Designer, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Game Designer

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    Hi All!

    A long introduction...

    Several days ago, I was struck with the idea of developing a game which I later found out would be classified as a casual game. During my searching I found the Torque website and the Garage Games forums and these forums. I am trying to get my "company" off the ground for a couple of reasons. First, fame! :cool: Second, I wouldn't mind pulling in a few bucks on the side even if it is $100 a month. Third, I would like to leverage some games into a calling card for a production gig at a company here in the Chicago area. However, my expectations are low.

    I am not fluent in any current programming languages. I learned to program on Microsoft BASIC. I also wrote games on the TI-99 platform using TI Extended BASIC with Sprites. In college, I learned FORTRAN, COBOL, and IBM 360 Assembler. I have also hacked a couple of things in Turbo Pascal. I even wrote a few BBS Door Games in QuickBasic. Unfortunately, when I went to college there were no courses on C even though it was known to be the future of most code. Years ago, I studied several C books but always seem to get hung up when the topic of pointers came up. Then came C+, C++, C#, and the shift to OOP. I kind of got lost by being away from it all. A couple of years ago, I actually developed some Visual Basic code but only text based console applications. (no GUI experience) I have even learned C like scripting languages for programs like Procomm and written pretty elaborate scripts with it. I have been studying the concepts of OOP lately and I think I am starting to get a handle on it. (the high level concepts)

    So I feel confident that I CAN program. However, I need recommendations on a platform so that I don't spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. I have read about Blitz Basic and Torque 2D here and on Garage Games, but still know too little to make an evaluation. Are there others I should consider as well?

    Also, a few months ago I switched to Mac OS X and want to develop cross-platform. Apple gives you all the tools for free with Cocoa and Objective-C, but I would guess that I would need to get some libraries. I also don't know about the portability of Objective-C.

    I would love to hear any suggestions, comments, or feedback from the community.

    Thanks

    Carl S. - Hop-a-Long Games

    P.S. My wife is a casual games freak. I have registered about 25 games for her. If you need someone to test your games and give feedback, let me know. I believe she is core audience for these types of games.
    ________
    KAWASAKI AR80
     
    #1 Game Designer, Mar 16, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  2. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    That's good because most people won't see much. However it's pretty common for casual games to pull in more money than a typical salary if they're good. Even games that are no longer top sellers can pull in a few k a month with the right distribution, so the gig at the company could end up looking less interesting if things work out. On the other hand, if sales aren't that hot you can easily meet your lower expectations of making a few bucks on the side so you're in a good position.

    I think Blitz is a really good bet from what you're describing. I've seen several great games produced with it (platypus, inca quest, best friends and more...) that have sold well. If you start in on c++ or other languages without the experience they'll probably slow you down some learning the technical side. There's a bit of that with any platform, but I like Blitz as a beginner's platform.

    - S
     
  3. Game Producer

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  4. DanMarshall

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    Over the next week, I'm going to be blogging about how I got started, and in-depth advice as to how to go about it. It might be of some use, so keep checking back.
     
  5. Anlino

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    First of all, weclome to the community!

    Second, i would absolutley recommend the blitz series. They have a huge community, and many Indie games have been developed with it. I did the mistake to start my programming with the DarkBasic language (Dark Basic Classic), and found myself limited by it. Dark Basic Pro seems to have fixed some quirks that existed in DBC, so you might want to check that one out. Have a looksee at the products over at http://www.thegamecreators.com
     
  6. Christian

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    Hi, welcome to the this adventure :D
    You didnt say that you studied game design, although thats your name, and i respect that very much, but i would like to direct you to my blog (in my signature), because there are some really good links to game design stuff, and im sure you will learn a lot, game design will help you to sell your games, good luck.
     
  7. Mr.Blaub

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    The thing about DarkBASIC is that it doesn't use OpenGL, and as such you can only run games made with it on a PC. It's really easy to use, and it's easy to create some beautiful effects in DBPro, but for the casual market it's a bit limited.

    BlitzMax can be developed cross-platform, so I assume it can create games that are cross platform but don't take my word for it please, I haven't bought BlitzMax.

    I use Java. Specifically, J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition). I can write games for PC, Mac, Linux, Pocket PC (PDAs) and any mobile phone that supports J2ME. It's not that difficult to get into (from my perspective) and it's nice 'n' portable.

    I emplore you not to buy OmegaBASIC though. It costs £80 and it's not worth it at all. The commands don't work right, there's a terrible lack of support and it's not really far removed from Java anyway, so there's little point in buying it at all.
     
  8. Arkadesh

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    Hmm.. Are you using j2me for creating PC & Mac games? Sounds a bit weird to use emulated environment on PC. And I haven't heard about any j2me implementation running on Mac (although I can be wrong about that, but at least nothing official).

    cheers,
    Arkadesh
     
  9. Tom Gilleland

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    You may also want to look into development in Macromedia (Adobe) Flash or Director. They can both easily ship on Mac and PC, and you don't have to get into all the complications of a lower level language.

    Business Tip #288: Avoid Complexity and Overkill - Use the easiest and fastest tool that will get the job done.

    Tom
     
  10. Game Designer

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    I have looked at the Blitz website and it looks interesting. I would be interested in knowing which successful games on the big portals were developed with Blitz.

    Thanks for the tips
    ________
    C Platform
     
    #10 Game Designer, Mar 17, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  11. Game Designer

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    #11 Game Designer, Mar 17, 2006
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  12. Game Designer

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    They have quite a bit of source code bits on the site which is a good thing. I suppose it also doesn't hurt that I am very proficient in ancient basic which is what Blitz looks a lot like. (i.e. syntax and such)
    ________
    LIABILITY INSURANCE ADVICE
     
    #12 Game Designer, Mar 17, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  13. Game Designer

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    A very good friend of mine just learned flash and is also very good at creating graphics. He had mentioned the possibility of game writing in flash. I know there are games out there that have been done in flash, but what are the limitations?
    ________
    Ford excursion history
     
    #13 Game Designer, Mar 17, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  14. Christian

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    Is it that it is way too expensive for an indie?
     
  15. Sybixsus

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    Platypus, Best Friends, Wonderland ( and sequel ) several of Binary Sun's games, and a couple of other very big ones that I probably shouldn't name. All of mine are Blitz too, but they're not really portal games even if they are on BigFish and RealArcade. They're too niche to make their money there really.
     
  16. Mr.Blaub

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    Yeah, I figure that if I use the same class set, I can make sure that the games run on anything on a desktop, to anything (within reason) that fits in your pocket. Mac OS X does support jar files, it's just a case of installing it cleanly. I'll have to look into that side of things, but other than that, I'm good to go.
     
  17. Arkadesh

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    J2ME isn't regular Java, so it won't run on jre. You need j2me VM for that, and there isn't any for Mac. There isn't any running natively on Windows also afaik, nor on Linux - you can run WTK and phone manufacturers emulators on them, but it wouldn't be good way to present it to users,as they would have to install developer tools and running the game would be really bothersome stuff. So, j2me is good for mobile phones, but stay away from it for bigger devices. You can go for regular j2se java of course, but that uses a completely different set of classes - no j2me-j2se compatibility.

    cheers,
    Arkadesh
     
  18. Mr.Blaub

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    Seems like I'll take longer porting it then. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  19. Game Designer

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    Just a Follow Up

    Just a follow up to thank everyone in this thread for their recommendations.

    I have purchased BlitzMax and am working on learning it at the present time.

    I also have a party involved who has a Flash license and can program in action script or whatever it is called so that option is still on the table as well.

    Again,

    Thanks
    ________
    Weedmaps
     
    #19 Game Designer, Mar 22, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  20. Game Producer

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    Btw - I would suggest checking igLoader, it can easily convert your game to web (instead of need to learn Flash). Then you could concentrate on BlitzMax only.
     

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