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Making a Video Game - Engine?
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13197 posts
I want to make a video game, solo dev style.

I know, I know, I know. This wont go anywhere. I'll get bored or whatever and put it down. It will take too much time. Don't care! I want to do this, or at least start doing it :)

Before you start going nuts, I'm a seasoned developer with a computer science degree etc etc. I can write and learn any software language from assembly through C and C++ to Ruby. I like to code! I reckon I'm also a pretty good storyteller (one of my things-to-do-one-day is write a book) so this ties in well.

I am thinking of creating a prototype with a few levels to show what I want to do and kickstarter if I ever get that far.

So I want to get bang for my buck, and having spent years in the industry I know the value of good libraries. I want to use an isometric 3d perspective (top down game board like an RTS or RPG). I have some time but little money to invest (so can't buy a 10k license to an engine). I don't want to spend months learning so an advanced engine would be good, but I need more than a walled off game maker toy in case I want to do s*** my own way.

So, Unity? Do MS still have their ... XDA?! thing? Maybe something for Metro, so I can flog it to desktop and mobile? ... I'm a big Visual Studio fan and have 2012?
12:05pm 07/12/12 Permalink
system
Internet
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12:05pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Monkeez
Sydney, New South Wales
159 posts
Use Unity, just because.
12:09pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20338 posts
I know, I know, I know. This wont go anywhere. I'll get bored or whatever and put it down. It will take too much time. Don't care! I want to do this, or at least start doing it :)

Before you start going nuts, I'm a seasoned developer with a computer science degree etc etc. I can write and learn any software language from assembly through C and C++ to Ruby. I like to code! I reckon I'm also a pretty good storyteller (one of my things-to-do-one-day is write a book) so this ties in well.


Meh, f*** those people who would say stuff like that, I say go for it! Its fun, and its not like you're working to any deadlines so who cares when you make you way over the finish line. I'd only have a go at you if you came in here suggesting you should write your own engine, but I know you're smarter than that :P

But yeah, go with Unity, with version 4.0 now its got features comparable to any triple A engine. The free version is a little bit crippled, but depending what you want to make you could get away with the free one, but even if you buy a license its pretty cheap.

Unity also has a resource marketplace that you can use to source art and game assets and animations and stuff. I haven't had much of a look through it myself, but it sounds like a really good idea for stuff like what you're talking about where you're a coder that wants to make a game by himself.

Oh and yeah, its really easy to retarget a Unity project for android, ios, even Flash now, so thats cool too.
12:17pm 07/12/12 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36601 posts
UNITY.
12:24pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13198 posts
Hmm that does sound like a good idea, one of the big limitations as a coder is art.

Looked over the license comparison between Unity and Unity Pro and it seems like I can get away with Unity to create a good demo.

Thanks for the tips!
12:25pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Dazhel
Gold Coast, Queensland
5480 posts
Are there any recommended beginner & intermediate Unity 4.0 tutorials out there?
I loaded up one of the previous versions and took a look at the sample they provided and it was a bit daunting.

I found a couple through a quick google search:
http://www.unity3dstudent.com/
http://unity3d.com/gallery/demos/demo-projects
12:30pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13199 posts
Cheers Daz, that will be the s*** :)
12:31pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
8211 posts
Unity is probably the best indie engine on the market now, it offers easy tools and is really easy to use. It's also one of the more art designed engines, in that dropping textures and 3D files is super dooper simple that it doesn't require much effort. Rig everything up in 3D Max and then dump it into Unity and it just goes.

There are also some great default assets and code, with the bonus of a great forum that loves to help as long as you credit etc. I used it for 6 months in tafe when I did my diploma and while our game was pretty sub-par it was still a heap of fun and I'm still using it now (for Wii U).
12:43pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13201 posts
Ohhh! Unity scripts can be / are in c#

!!!
01:22pm 07/12/12 Permalink
simul
Brisbane, Queensland
1439 posts
Unity is nice if your more of a designer than programmer, I've actually found XNA to be extremely straight forward and simple for doing game prototypes. I'd really pick the platform and go from there, if your happy with M$ then try out XNA, if you want to reach the most people, Unity, or Flash.

If your more just playing and don't care about making money at this stage, play with Source engine and Unreal, they are really quick to get off the ground with a lot things built in.
01:24pm 07/12/12 Permalink
TufNuT
I like eel pie
Brisbane, Queensland
4023 posts
There have been a few games released recently using the unity engine and they don't look bad at all.
01:27pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Mantorok
Brisbane, Queensland
6697 posts
If your more just playing and don't care about making money at this stage, play with Source engine and Unreal, they are really quick to get off the ground with a lot things built in.
UDK would be a better choice, since it's fairly cheap to license.
02:08pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6937 posts
I heard that Microsoft pulled all staff from XNA, it was also the first time I'd heard of XNA.

Personally, I think that if you need more than primitives and the Maths library, you're already stuck with too many dependencies. :P
02:57pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13203 posts
I heard that Microsoft pulled all staff from XNA, it was also the first time I'd heard of XNA.

This they are pushing unified Windows8 and XBOX live stuff now.
Personally, I think that if you need more than primitives and the Maths library, you're already stuck with too many dependencies. :P

Yeh the old engine vs game argument; rolling your own engine just seems like a good way to blow a few years to me :)

#1 - Good idea (check!)
#2 - Brief demo / tech demo (hi thread!)
#3 - Kickstarter
#4 - ???
#5 - Hookers and blow
03:01pm 07/12/12 Permalink
copuis
Brisbane, Queensland
3494 posts
qbasic hoggy, show these kids a real retro indie game!
03:06pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6940 posts
Heh yeah I was just joking, mostly mocking myself. Though doing html5 dev starting in 2009 didn't exactly leave open much room for using libraries.
03:30pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20342 posts
One thing you have to keep in mind hoggy, is that the sort of games that tell stories, are the sorts of games the require the most content and generally are the sort of games where you get the smallest return on investment for the content you make. I mean, you could make like a small multiplayer game with a few maps, and if its fun people will get hours and hours and hours of fun out of it, but to create enough content for a single player, story driven game to entertain someone for the same length of time is, traditionally, a much, much bigger endeavour.

Its a problem I've been thinking about a fair bit lately, and started playing with a few prototypes and ideas I have for creating more emergent gameplay, and creating convincing, engaging randomly generated environments and scenarios and such, so that you get the maximum bang-for-buck out of your content as its pieced together and reused in many different ways and you end up with a much bigger game world as a result without having to micro-manage and hand create every detail. Still pretty rough and its mostly just notes and scribbles and a few code spikes, but I'm really interested in coming up with new ways to create content for games without the need for throwing excessive, ridiculous amounts of manpower at it.
03:54pm 07/12/12 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
21890 posts
Can you please make a game as good as the original Deus Ex? Ta.
03:57pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
8213 posts
Single-player is always the hardest to create because as you said Khel, it requires a heap of effort to make the story engaging. A few ideas I have are more level based so they don't rely on a story, but if I was to make one it would quite literally need to be like a book with chapters and plot in-order to get the best out of it.

For now though, I'm currently focusing on this Dungeons & Dragons style game for Wii U, so less story more user-generated content. Also another thing with Unity, I believe they don't charge you for fees until you hit more than $20,000 in revenue.
04:08pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
8101 posts
Hmm that does sound like a good idea, one of the big limitations as a coder is art.

Unity also has an asset store where you can get pre-made characters, props, animations, etc.
04:13pm 07/12/12 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
21893 posts
Also you can just raid your clipart directory.
04:14pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
34680 posts
you dont need any story at all. just put in some sort of mechanic where you have to do simple things to get experience and then when you get a certain amount of experience, you go up a level. then just sit back and watch idiots play your game for evar while you get rich doing nothign!
04:15pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20343 posts
Its already been done

http://progressquest.com/
04:24pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
34681 posts
yer, i was actually meaning the wow, i should have mentioned have completely horrible graphics and charge idiots a fortune for the oportunity to level up, to make it clear.
04:26pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
13214 posts
Khel - interesting, that's sort of related to the idea I'm working on\, at least its an approach on the same problem..

Race you? :p
12:47pm 08/12/12 Permalink
VRBones
Sunshine Coast, Queensland
916 posts
Its a problem I've been thinking about a fair bit lately, and started playing with a few prototypes and ideas I have for creating more emergent gameplay, and creating convincing, engaging randomly generated environments and scenarios and such, so that you get the maximum bang-for-buck out of your content as its pieced together and reused in many different ways and you end up with a much bigger game world as a result without having to micro-manage and hand create every detail. Still pretty rough and its mostly just notes and scribbles and a few code spikes, but I'm really interested in coming up with new ways to create content for games without the need for throwing excessive, ridiculous amounts of manpower at it.


Procedural content generation does extend out into titles like Oblivion, but roguelikes are still the premier domain for generating content. You might be interesting in the PCG Wiki, or even a recent Roguelike Radio podcast focusing on current PCG in Academia. There's also my little project on tackling PCG from a different perspective.

Hoggie, buzz me on Skype sometime. I've just gone through the same reduction process and settled on Unity too. Mainly to link with an Oculus Rift VR Headset
12:59pm 08/12/12 Permalink
stinky
USA
3742 posts
Maybe start with something small and browser based? Plenty of cool tech is maturing nicely with html5, nodejs, websockets, etc, etc.

example ( yes very rudimentry ) - http://jamesor.com/2012/03/browserquest-html5-nodejs/

or - http://blog.wordsquared.com/

find something catchy enough and you can at least pay for your server hosting ( by which I mean a collection of dynamically scaling amazon instances of course! ) with ads or microtransactions.
03:35pm 08/12/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6955 posts
( by which I mean a collection of dynamically scaling amazon instances of course! )

Google App Engine makes it easier on Google Cloud with their GWT tie ins. ;)
03:45pm 08/12/12 Permalink
trillion
Brisbane, Queensland
2781 posts
Fairly sure I read somewhere that Bastion was made with XNA

You can do it Hoggy, make the crapple out of that game idea
05:19pm 08/12/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
13171 posts


or now though, I'm currently focusing on this Dungeons & Dragons style game for Wii U


http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-H43Rv38/0/L/i-H43Rv38-X3.jpg
05:22pm 08/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20996 posts
Just make sure the game is easy to play, I hear there's some stupid people out there.
05:50pm 08/12/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20353 posts
Oh nice, thanks for the links bones, that wiki looks interesting

Race you? :p


I'll have to quit WoW again probably before any significant headway is made on my stuff, and I'm not quite ready to do that yet, its still entertaining me for the moment :P
06:44pm 08/12/12 Permalink
WetWired
Brisbane, Queensland
6113 posts
Unity, and f*** anyone who says it's not triple A and you can't make a good looking game with it. This is some of my env work in it from a year ago.



01:37pm 09/12/12 Permalink
stinky
USA
3743 posts
^ talented mother f*****. I hate people who have something they're good at.

Closest thing I have to a talent is I once went 6 days without taking a s***.
02:43am 10/12/12 Permalink
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02:43am 10/12/12 Permalink
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