An Amateur Programmed Video Game
Many people have seen the new high end games with amazing graphics being released and have wished they too could take part in making something that fun. Creating video games is a very difficult, involved and time consuming process, but with enough determination it can be done without having to attend a specialized school or getting a college degree. You will need to familiarize yourself with a programming language such as C++ to be able to finish a working game.
1. Choose a programming language that offers the features you want and has a learning curve that you are able to effectively master. Consider if you will be making a 2D, 3D or text-based game; if the game will offer multi-player or online capabilities; and if the game will have any sort of advanced graphical capabilities that will require a higher end machine to run. Choose a simple language like BASIC if you want only text, or go to something more advanced like C++ if you will be making a 3D Game.
2. Download and install a compiler for the programming language that you have decided on. You can find many free compilers readily available online, or you may want to purchase a higher end one with more debugging options.
3. Get a graphics program to create the images and environments that will be used in the game. Pick something like 3D Studio Max or Caligari True Space for 3D images, or instead go with something like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro for 2D sprite-based images.
4. Find a ready made game engine that you can use if you are planning on making a 3D game, as programming your own 3D engine can be very time consuming and and frustrating. There are many free engines to choose from such as “Irrlicht” or “Ogre3D,” as well as several that only charge a small fee but have better support and more features.
5. Program a graphics loader to display the images on the screen if you are making a 2D game from scratch, and be sure to use an image buffer to prevent the “flicker” effect that causes images to appear and disappear at random.
6. Write out the code for the core functions that will be used over and over throughout the game, such as loading resources into memory, changing the position of images on the screen and a save or load game feature.
7. Make a major loop that will be used repeatedly to power the game. Have the loop make logic checks repeatedly to see if any objects have run into each other, if the player has clicked the mouse or pressed a keyboard key, or if a level needs to be changed.
8. Export the game into a file that can be opened normally on a computer and then use an installer program to compress it so that it can be held on a CD for distribution.