Game making - Getting started

Hi there,

Foreword

First off I would like to thank all those people who made Blender possible and continue to work on it for it to be a opensource and free piece of software. Also those who spend time in making tutorials, the manuals. Everyone who contributes to Blender. It is a great piece of software and I truly appreciate it. Thank you. :slight_smile:

Introduction

Alright I have Blender for some while now and I have tried to do some modelling of things I like, read through the manual, watched some video tutorials and followed a long to create the same thing. I feel that I have the basics now, but still learning to master it. I know my way around a bit.

However, Blender is a piece of software with lots of capabilities and to master it completely will take quite some while. So instead of learning a bit of this, a bit of that…to me that feels a bit chaotic. The manual is great and I have been following it through, but it does not really aim at where I would like to go to right now.

What I want

I want to get into game developing and I know this is quite a daunting task. Especially the scripting part would take a lot of time to get it right and I have been reading about this, but I would like to take it just one step at the time. After all, every journey - no matter how long - starts with one step.

Also I feel that getting started with game developing will allow me to learn Blender much better, since I will have an idea of how to put it to use straight away. Much more then watching a tutorial and know how to make…for example… a realistic scene. I rather learn something when I will get across it. For example, the scripting. I have no idea how to do it myself as of yet, but that will come when I have other things in place first.

So, what I am looking for is some sort of tutor or tutoring from the experienced users here to help me along the way and getting things done.

My idea

For my first game I would like to keep it rather “simple” in terms of graphics, etc, but it should be a complete game already. As an idea I want to work on a game similar to that of “Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine” if you could just google it/watch a video on youtube, you’ll have an instant idea what the game looks like and what the game is about in short. You may skip the following paragraph if you have the idea, but I recommend you to read it though.

There is no mouse-look, the world is rather simple with straight forward almost cubic kind shapes. For my game I would like to do something simple, be it slightly more enhanced (a bit rounder, a bit more nicer in graphics). The Indiana Jones game has some “puzzles” to solve, like moving blocks, jumping to a cliff to reach the next area and if you watch the videos or know the game, you know what I am talking about. For my game I would like to do something similar.

All-in-all I think that sort of game would be challenging to make, but still “simple” enough to start with. As for the start I first want to start off small, with just some simple tasks (1 level, a few challenges in the level). Just to get the hang of it.

Question

To get straight to the point. Where do I start? I do have some idea, but I want to get it right and you could help me getting started. I would like to start with the level design. The world in which the character will move around. How should I start from there?

Just insert planes and shape the world the way I would like it to be? - From there I would like to add in objects to the world, like the blocks the character can move around, the plants, the dynamic things (like for example wind, water -> and for example just a leaf that floats through the air occassionaly to give that wind illusion …not looking for dynamic movements on the plants for example. I consider that more for later projects). Once the world is done I want to work on the main character and then I would like to work on the animations, cutscenes and eventually the mission to complete the level (I guess that will be the scripting).

In a list for a better overview what I want to do:

  • Level design of the world
  • Objects in the world
  • Main character (and other characters for the story).
  • Cutscenes
  • Mission writing (scripting)
  • Game menu

Is there anything I miss? Also I want to have the basics, not looking for a whole lot of high-end animations and dynamic effects.

Final word

Perhaps this thread can eventually become part of a tutorial or be the tutorial for other starting game makers.

I am looking forward to your replies. :slight_smile:

in most games you have to move things such as the characters. this may sound simple, but when you’re actually dealing with the game physics, it can be more difficult than it sounds. so a good place to start would be adding a cube or other object and making it move around on a surface according to key presses, using logic bricks. i think there are some links to tutorials in the game engine section, but admittedly i have not made a game in some time. one thing that i found helpful when making games was to use proxy objects. so while my character was running around on top of the mesh that you see, he was really being controlled by a cube in a sort of mouse maze, directly underneath him. this makes movement a bit simpler.

I would agree with Modron, Although I haven’t personally made any “games” in blender… (apart from one or two interactive demos), I have used Unity and gamemaker studio for a few years. And from my experience I spent most of 2 years doing small hacky “tests” of various gameplay elements. Doing these short simple tests, made me realise exactly what would be involved in a game, and pretty much lit the way, for the ideas I was having…

Like for example, mess around with the logic editor… get knee deep in python and get to the point where everything seems possible.
once you are here, The ideas of what to make will be trivial , compared to the ideas of “how” to make it.

so start trying stuff out… be it something simple like a movement system, switches or “elevators” to something complicated like animated real time shaders, or even IK driven animation system, similar to the kind used in BF3…

my point is, All these hundreds of “small tests” taught me to use GML, and unity with a fair amount of ease, I was no longer…
“learning the software”, instead it became “building a game” :slight_smile:

good luck with your venture anyways…

Thank you for your replies. First off, I would like to say that I will check the forums occassionally, so please do not consider my absence a lack of interest. Modron, your idea is quite nice. Right now I am trying to get some basic hang of it by just trying some things out. I got quite some ideas I would eventually like to make, but already want to work on right now. I even consider taking a step back and start out on even a more simple game. One that would take even less modelling, but can still be challenging. So right now I am still trying to find what would work best for me to start with and to work on as a real project. Just ‘messing’ around is a way to put it. I will keep you updated and ask for questions when needed.

I have recently taken a few steps in this direction as well. I found the following tutorial (which uses Unity 3D and Blender) illuminating.

One nice aspect of it, is that Unity 3D apparently can natively use .blend files which is very convenient.

You need to learn how to texture,normal mapping,specular mapping.You need to learn how to uv unwrap.You need practice modeling things from picture in blender.Look for some tutorials for these things on the internet.Go to the Tutorials for blender 3d websight and learn.Shape the planes the way you want and also other things you want in your game.Be creative and try to be original.

I dont know about your technical expertise and how much time you have on your hand, but let me clarify one thing to you. Even if you work on your game for 8 hours per day, you won’t be able to complete a single medium size level in a year or two (considering your aiming for Indiana jones style 3rd Person shooter game).

There are numerous hurdles.

3d Modeling
Animations
Interaction of Objects in Game World
Physics & Dynamics
Level Designing
Texturing
Game Logic
Input
Lighting
Artificial Intelligence
&
Programming (Javascript, C#, Python whaterver that is requried)
And a lot more.

I suggest starting up small with a very basic type of game. Lets say Asteriods style game.

Models :
You need a space craft model for starter, some asteroids, throw in enemy space craft and turrets.
Textures :
Use Basic Colors for all your models with illumiated maps.
Game Engine:
Unity3d (BGE looks very easy, but it is very tough for beginners)

With this, you can create a simple top down 3d shooter. There are lots of tutorials out there on web , which will guide to create a simple game in unity3d.
This first beginner game will give you very solid know how of how things work as well let you plan your next step for achieving your goal.

I am providing this information on basis of experience. i’ve been fiddling with game engines and level editors from some time, but recently had a chance to create a Augmented Reality Application for Android with Unity3d and it drove me nuts for couple of months.