Frequently Asked Questions

Talk about anything and everything related to Nitronic Rush.

Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby Alice » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:25 pm

Oh god if this game had multiplayer, it would be the god of all games. I yearn to race with my friends.

Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby ArmedWithWings » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:41 am

Hello. I was just wondering how exactly you made the game with C++ "From the ground up" as it says in the game. This game is extremely fun and i am looking into being a game developer and am currently learning c++ myself. My question is did you use an engine to help make this game or did you make your own? Or did you make without an engine entirely? Thanks. :)

Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby Skirmisher » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:00 pm

"From the ground up" means just that--they built the whole game without an engine (it was a student project, and that was one of the requirements of the class). On their new project, Distance, they're using the Unity engine, though.
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby electronerd » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:39 pm

ArmedWithWings wrote:Hello. I was just wondering how exactly you made the game with C++ "From the ground up"...

Team Nitronic spent four years and about $120,000 each at DigiPen learning how to make Nitronic Rush from the ground up. And Nitronic Rush is the exception, rather than the rule of what gets produced by students there. I say this not to discourage you from making games, quite the opposite in fact. I say this to temper your expectations. If you try to make something on the level and scope of Nitronic Rush as your first project, you will most likely only get overwhelmed and give up, especially if you try to go at it just by yourself.

Start with a small game, something on the gameplay complexity level of Tetris or Space Invaders. 2D only: 3D adds a couple orders of magnitude more complexity to the entire project. Maybe do this one by yourself. Give yourself a deadline, 2-3 months at the most. Use an existing graphics framework, doesn't have to be an actual game-focused framework unless you want to use physics simulation. C# with WPF or WinForms, Java with whatever it has for 2-D graphics, C++ (if you must) with MFC or Qt will all work fine once you figure out how to make it run continuously like a game instead of on-demand like a normal app. Recognize and accept that this first game, in the grand scheme of things, will be crap. That's okay, the important parts are starting it and finishing it, in that order. Crap or not, be sure to get feedback from other people and learn from what went wrong. (A tip: Get people who've never played the game before to play it. Don't explain anything to them until they're done. Watch how they play and react to your game. This often provides better data than asking them about the game does).

While you're doing this, start learning or brushing up on your linear algebra (i.e. vectors, matrices, etc.) or you'll wish you had later.

For your second game, you can start doing more of the from-the-ground-up-in-C++ thing if you want. I strongly suggest working with a team of 2-3 other people who've all separately done at least that first exercise. Again, I recommend sticking with 2D. When we went through DigiPen, we had the additional restriction in our second game (second semester Freshman year) of only using the console (Command Prompt) window for graphics output. Look up WriteConsoleOutput on MSDN and the midpoint line algorithm on your favorite search engine if you want to do this. Again give yourselves a deadline (4-5 months this time), gather feedback, start and finish, etc.

At this point you've essentially done the Freshman project classes at DigiPen. From here on out, I'm not sure I can generalize a good learning strategy without the particular environment of DigiPen and without what the students are learing in their other classes.

That said, at DigiPen, the Sophomore game project class allows for 3D graphics, but still requires that gameplay be essentially 2D. Beyond that, things get really open-ended.

Each of the Sophomore, Junior and Senior game project classes span two semesters, divided into six milestones: Prototype, Engine Proof, First Playable (at the end of the first semester), Alpha, Beta and Gold (at the end of the second semester). I think this is a relatively good structure. Make and keep deadlines for each milestone. At the end of each milestone, find people to present your project to. Be honest about your progress. Do an honest analysis of current risks to project completion, including any mitigations for those risks, and include that in your presentation.

Some other tips:
  • Get as much feedback as possible from people not associated with your project. You're too close to it to really know whether it's fun or not.
  • This will be hard work, and making games bears strikingly little resemblance to playing them. If making games is the right thing for you, it will also be fun work.
  • Make games, not engines, especially while you're starting out. Keep in mind that most existing game engines were originally a specific game, that the developers stripped the game-specific elements out of.
  • Art is tricky. Most good programmers are not also good artists, and vice versa. Make sure that your game design will work with the art your can create or get someone to create for you. Good art won't make a bad game good, but the wrong art can make a good game bad. Also, certain art styles lend themselves more to allowing for programmer art than others.
  • Develop for Direct3D 11 on Windows. The time before you start seeing triangles on the screen can be rough (there's a fair amount of stuff you have to get set up), but it's worth it in the end. If you're worried about hardware, don't be. Thanks to its feature level system, you can use any Direct3D 9+ card with the D3D11 API; you just can't use all the new features.
  • If graphics turns out to be your thing, consider writing a complete small software rasterizer yourself. Do this as a separate project; it'll be far too slow for any actual game.
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby teaser » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:16 pm

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby Trythistwo » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:54 pm

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby hanr » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:57 pm

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby W.D.Gaster » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:50 pm

If someone is curious:
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby sweetpimft2524 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:46 am

This game is amazing, I can see why you chose to write an entire game (and physics) engine. any chance of multiplayer sometime in the future?

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Postby hanr » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:43 pm

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