Game Design and other resources

Discussion in 'The Common Room' started by Tigers, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Tigers

    Tigers High Priest Staff Member

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    Since Bemoliph and I find a lot of cool game dev-related links, but often have to find them again whenever we want to reference them, we figured we'd collect them in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  2. Elf

    Elf Immortal Staff Member

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    So for something funny (but perhaps not all that useful any more), these are the two books that got me seriously started in game programming way back in the mid-90s/early 2000s:
    • Black Art of 3D Game Programming -- Andre LaMothe, 1995
      • Covers writing your own software rendering 3D engines in DOS from the ground up, including video and input drivers. You will be rasterizing your own polygons, etc.
    • Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus -- Andre LaMothe, 1999
      • Sort of the same thing as the above but Windows 95/98 era with first generation DirectX stuff and low level (hardware level) programming
    All of this was way before any sorts of game libraries or engines were commonly available or in use to the hobbyist so it was top to bottom DIY, and fun if not always the most productive. In the spirit of this I have also managed to dig up an early version of a Super Mario Bros. clone I was working on in 2002/2003 using Watcom C and Assembly under DOS. Now you can see my bad (and almost completely uncommented) code from over a decade ago.

    For something a bit more modern I suggest people take a look at the Unity game engine which can be had for free and is cross-platform to all the usual PC, mobile, and console stuff:
    Serious programming behind Unity is done in C# .NET (Mono platform), so also take a look at the Programming resources thread.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  3. Elf

    Elf Immortal Staff Member

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    Another thought was that my very first real programming exercises (beyond simple QBASIC stuff in DOS and Visual Basic in Windows 3.1) were actually in multi-user online games, in the early 90s! In fact, it was in programming MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) in C, under UNIX-type operating systems. These were the direct predecessor to the modern MMORPG, to the extent that there were even rumors that EverQuest contained DIKU MUD source code.

    For someone wanting to get a start with MMO concepts, picking up a copy of a MUD code base and trying it out might not be a bad idea. With fair warning, though: the code bases are almost universally poorly architected. In many ways they can be an excellent example of what not to do when trying to create a scalable multi-user game. However they are generally easy to understand and, being text based, somewhat non-threatening to someone that just wants to get a handle on the programming aspect without worrying too much about art assets.

    If that sounds interesting to you, I would recommend trying out:
    MUD codebases are highly derivative, with most today tracing their origin back to DIKU. Patches on top of patches on top of an architecture that was not very good to begin with! Pretty much all single threaded with no concept of horizontal scalability, and mostly reliant on an in-memory database. The funny thing, though, is that a lot of MMOs today seem to make similarly bad architectural decisions on the server side, and kludge scale into place with things like instancing. So really the state of scalability in game servers has not really advanced too much from the 80s and 90s.

    Anyways if you have a Linux VM handy, download some code and try it out! You may learn something or perhaps even have some fun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  4. Bemoliph

    Bemoliph High Priest Staff Member

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  5. nnkd

    nnkd NPC

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    There are two big lists I've been referencing:
    Even though I read up on the topics, I find them hard to make concrete without applying. I'd be interested in having a collection of game design exercises that are constructed to focus on game design and minimize implementation/art effort. I've found http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/Eric..._Lesson_1_The_Game_Design_Process.php?print=1 but not much else.
     
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  6. Bemoliph

    Bemoliph High Priest Staff Member

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    • Procedural Dungeon Generation (~10 MB of embedded GIFs!), a "generate and connect the rooms" algorithm with animated examples. Focuses more on the high level process, but still a nice read/watch.
     
  7. Bemoliph

    Bemoliph High Priest Staff Member

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