Good engine for in-game building

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yamahaalex37
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Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:29 pm

Let me explain to you the concept of my game and hopefully you can help get me started in the right direction. I would like the player to exist in a massively multilayer online world but at any time be able to enter or load a small level by himself in which he can create and edit his own world kind of like the Sims, adding buildings and walls (if you've played Cube 2 engine). I want the player to be able to save this custom map onto their computer and be able to switch between the MMO world and their personal custom created world at any time. I would also like for up to four friends to connect from the MMO world and into a users custom designed level. In that case a user would host a server in which the map file would be loaded on the 3 friends computers upon connecting, and when the players disconnect the map could be deleted from other player's so as not to clutter their computer.

So far I have been looking at the Cube 2 engine, and all this seems very possible. It would be nice however to use a more sophisticated engine such as UDK or Cryengine (3) :). I do not have programming experience but I do have modding/mapping/modeling experience and am determined to see this game through.

So what do you think?
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Mene-Mene
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby Mene-Mene » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:25 am

As far as multiplayer/single player goes, sounds a lot like Minions of Mirth, made in Torque Game Engine (now called Torque3d)

Yes, it's very possible, but as for it being possible (or likely) for you to be able to do it. Let alone timely, that's another story. You said you don't have programming experience, do you have dev experience? If not, starting out with an MMO is a very difficult move. Don't forget that simply maintaining an MMO costs a lot of money. You have to have servers to broadcast information to players, you have to have a system that keeps the servers working with eachother, you have to have customer support when they have a problem. Even if someone handed you a completed game, it'd be difficult to run.
M^2 out-
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CPUFreak91
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby CPUFreak91 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:58 am

I'd recommend Unity. The indie version is free and well designed. I'm currently using it to create a level/map editor for our current game and it's working pretty well.
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PFC
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:02 pm

take a look at second life

As for actually doing it, well creating a 3d world that could allow you to create your own content is doable though it definitely requires custom code(beyond just modding) and a fair bit of planning. This doesn't however give you any type of game-play other than creating models and perhaps talking to others. If this is what your going for then it really is similar to second life. if you don't mind coding networking stuff, you could take an editor like Blender and just sink it to a server and allow people to switch between first person and editing mode ... but this isn't a beginner programmer project.

Are you looking for first person shooter type game that can then model while playing? if so I don't see mmo being the right way to go... though it would remind me of the garry's mod for counter-strike and other source engines.(which apart from the need of everyone buying all games, and the fairly high processing power required, can still host a fair bit of players over a LAN)

Now if your looking at modding something, I think something like gary's mod may be the best way to go(I don't know how copyright laws and all that affect this so you'll need to figure that stuff out yourself)
yamahaalex37
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:29 pm

After reading an article called "Create games not game engines" or something like that, I thought indeed the best idea for this game would possibly be to start from scratch. At least for my benefit it would do a great deal in teaching me the programming concepts of developing a game, so I've started with XNA and C#. Even if I only create a 2d prototype of the final version of this game, I think it will be a great learning experience and a great way to find team members along the way. I really appreciate everyone's input so far and will likely need very much help throughout the process, so I want to keep this thread going.

So CPU freak, you think it would be pretty feasible to implement that map editor into the gameplay, so that a player could maybe select from pre defined walls, put them together on a grid, and make a house. Or maybe the player could just select from static models and place them down.

And yes I'm looking for a FPS MMO, but the building and the MMO would NOT be taking place at the same time. The MMO world would be static and persistent, but at any time a player could say >go back to my house, and be in a little personal loaded level saved on his computer that he could edit. then go back to the MMO world, find a friend, and connect P2P and the map be loaded upon connection. Probably will want to delete it after from the visitors computer after the seesion because it will be different next time.

I am only attempting a 2d in order to start producing some content and find team members. If things look more promising in the direction of that engine (or if i find a programmer interested in taking any other direction) I will be more than happy to go that way. But I do see nothing wrong with a potential MMO with personal building instances working out in the C# and XNA environment, and with C++ implemented if needed. And I'm not sure about porting to cryengine, so maybe or this could be a prototype to gain a liscence. or maybe we could develop the next engine to rival theirs :) or maybe it will just be a very fun 2d or 3d open source game.

I appreciate all the help lets keep talking the possibilities and if anyone is interested in seeing a game like this succeed let me know, I can provide more information.
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:42 pm

Ok, I understand what your trying to do.

howmany players do you realistically want to be able to have at a time?
a FPS world can easily be persistent just like a counter-strike server, but remember that due to the fact that bullets are involved you have a major limit on player numbers. I've seen online fps at around 30 players (nexuiz) but I don't think reaching for higher than that is a good idea if you want a true fps as lag could become unbearable.

I don't know if you really want to do this from scratch, but if you want to try, first try to make it so that you have a server and can connect multiple clients that can move in 2d(just move and see others move, thats all), this will give you an idea of how complicated the project will be. At the very least, you'll learn allot about multiplayer stuff too.
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bugala
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby bugala » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:10 am

About that personal map builder.

If its predefined pieces that they get to put in plafces. ie. walls, enemies etc. its not a rpoblem. Its actually very easy.

For basically on code level map can even look as simple as this:

00000000
04222250
01000010
0100A010
01000010
06223270
00000000

0 = Empty area.
1 = Wall I
2 = Wall -
3 = door
4 - 7 = Corners
A = Enemy

so its not hard to make an editor that creates a file like this, and this is the way anyway thta your program should be handling the levels.

because then you just make data like this and name them as level1.bin, level2.bin...
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:50 pm

Thanks so much for your help. I successfully created my first game in XNA. It was a great learning experience, but I think that the most important thing that I learned is that I will not be the lead programmer for this project if i want to see it completed in the next 5 years (although I will continue to learn how to program because I feel I am benefiting from it).

To let you know I do have modding/mapping/and managing experience. I have a private project development website dedicated to this game, with samples of my work. I have a design document for this game. I am looking for a programmers to share my ideas with and continue moving this project forward, even if its just here on this thread. If you are interested in joining the site however the site if your interested is http://www.just.boardoo.net/, and the gallery shows samples of my work, for an old dead mod. none of the current members are part of the Just game project, so far it is only me.

Realistically I think I am aiming for 24-64 players depending on the city size in the MMO(persistent, static world), and up to 4 players co-op in the RTS world(world where player is building things).

I do believe this game will sneak the fact that God is real into mainstream MMO gaming.
Last edited by yamahaalex37 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:55 am, edited 6 times in total.
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PFC
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:25 am

Big plans there.
I'd suggest starting with a 2d basic tech demo (move, place objects, multiplayer) and move from there.
One of the biggest questions to ask yourself would by why build a new engine? Are there none out there that already do this?
either way, before going for a huge fps, try to make a very very basic demo that allows you to move around in 2d and maybe place objects. This will at least get a base for your project and take care of inputs properly. Once you have that, you can re-use code and make it bigger and better(maybe even include some game mechanics)

As for sneaking God in there, how does God fit with your fps? Just curious as to how you'd pull it off.
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IrishCream
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby IrishCream » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:14 am

Yama,

What I am about to say may seem harsh. I want to make it clear that my critique isn't meant to be disrespectful.

Your project is far too ambitious for a starting developer. From personal experience, I suggest developing and marketing something incredibly basic, a match 3 game or something along those lines (develop it with polish, something you'd want to actually market). I think you'll find that even that's a lot of work. Don't think you're somehow above this type of development project. I've spent a great amount of time working on projects that aren't even as close as ambitious as your project and I discovered that even those are pretty undoable for a small development team with a limited budget in any reasonable amount of time.

Game development is a business and businesses are something that develop over time. Slow and steady progress will yield prosperity. Not to say that your idea is a bad one, but thinking that somehow your killer idea is going to revolutionize the business isn't realistic? How many people out there are thinking the same thing? Ideas are cheap, it's the execution of those ideas what counts.

Scripture says that if we cannot be trusted with little things, how then can we be trusted with great things?

That's my thoughts, for what they are worth. Probably not what you wanted to hear. You are free to take them or leave them.

Cheers,

irishcream
yamahaalex37
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:36 pm

Just wanted to update you guys,

I'm actually having great luck in the Cube2 engine. The guys at Syntensity are a big help. Unless someone can explain why another engine might be better I will probably stick with this engine.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:50 am

Seems like a capable engine.
Let us know how it goes.

So do you have any plans for your first steps?
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:03 pm

Yes I've already started mapping and importing static models. First thing is to get some 3d art and maybe some concept art in order to attract a programmer. I will probably need to release some more info on the game, Moddb and website. Website needs a little updating.

I'm still questioning the engine choice, I know Garry's mod in Source has a lot of features I think would work nice, but I'm not sure how well it would work with loading new maps quickly over p2p connection, or with 32-64 man servers. Rememebr there is the MMO world which is 24-64 player community servers, then there is the rts world in which up to 4 players can connect on custom maps. So any more input in the engine before I get too involved with Cube2?
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:14 pm

Just to get one thing cleared out, 30-60 players is not MMO, its just a persistent multiplayer game.
I'm saying this because as soon as you say MMO, you will have allot of negative views, when in reality all it is is a static multiplayer world.

As for ideas, well I don't have a clue how switching maps would fit in with garry's mod. For it to be seamless you would need an engine where you can actually change the code...
A hint for the 3d modeling, don't bother spending much time on this until you have something to display them in. At first, just use cubes and stuff, after that you can go to the blender community, download some examples(check license/copyright), extract models, and you should be fine until you actually have something that can be played and then actually worry about good 3d art.

One thing though, you should set a few realistic goals for yourself, with timelines. Don't expect another programmer to do it for you. When you have something done, then its easier to get help. You can always post specific questions on this board though, there are lots of good programmers that can help with that.
yamahaalex37
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:17 pm

Image


Basically I want if a player gathers resources such as wood he can build wood blocks or walls eventually.

But your right PFC if I want a true MMO should I think about a different engine? The good thing about the Cube2 engine is we can change all the code.
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:27 pm

SO someone at moddb forums showed me Minecraft.net and that networking is cool maybe we could have instead of 4v4 co-op I could actually keep the MMORPG and the RTS components of my game together, so that a player can stake out territory and build his structures there, but that might be expensive. That would be cool to have like 32 territories in one server.
yamahaalex37
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:36 pm

I am looking for some knowledgeable programmers to discuss some ideas with even if it is just here on these forums. I feel more comfortable sharing my ideas on these Christian forums, considering this game is being created as a witness tool.

If any programmers or experienced developers have similar interests to create a game fun enough to develop a large community of mainstream non-saved gamers, who while playing the game will be left thinking "perhaps it is true He must exist", all in a discreet way so as not to offend anyone, let me know.

I do have the game concept pretty well hammered down and while it is private I am willing to share more as long as I know you do exist and are interested. So let me know if you have some experience and want to hear about the game and I will continue to post more on this thread.
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby PFC » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:06 am

I'm interested in hearing what your plans are on the technical/networking side of things.
How much do you have done so far?
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby yamahaalex37 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:01 pm

It begins with player character creation, then choose from a 4000 BC Garden server where player may claim territory and build. Once 32 characters claim territory on a server a new server should be opened of that same level so that 32 more may play, and so on.

I will discuss more about game play later, but as a player advances eventually all timezones and locations will become available. I have a large list of features and I know it will take lots of work. What I have created in Cube2 is still just a concept of the full project, although the guys at Syntensity think this possible and have helped me alot. If this is all possible in Cube2 great, if not the project will continue with a more suitable engine.

So far only I only have some beginning areas, but I want to make sure the whole technical/networking ideas I have make sense with the engine before I start creating too much content. I know from my experience I can create well enough environments in any system to attract a following. Also from experience I know static modelers are not hard to find. Once I can just review this with someone knowledgeable enough, probably a programmer, to make sure I'm heading in the right direction, I can begin the tiny baby steps until the project is impressive enough to interest a programmer (perhaps the same one) to actually want to put code in.
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Re: Good engine for in-game building

Postby Flux » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:23 am

Sounds like you are off to a good start. Personally, I've been planning game without 3D environments for my next few projects - but after looking at cube 2 it does seem like a workable prospect. Please do keep the updates flowing.

Are there any issues with the particular open source license for this engine that you've run across?

I ask becuase right at the moment I am into the business case for my next series of projects ... and things like IP management are on my mind :)

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