This is a little introduction to game development for new, up and coming developers! In this I’d like to hand out some awesome advice and some tips on how to keep your games, codes, ideas, and whatever nice, neat and organized!
I just wanna kick this off by saying, the number one thing that will help you become a better developer in general is finding techniques that not only make your life as a developer easier, but may also help out anyone reading your code. That being said I think code and project organization is the number one tool is game development.
Your projects and your team.
So, you just joined eclipse and you have this project that people are going to think is the most EPIC GAME IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! Well, slow down. I don’t mean to burst your bubble here, but getting others to like your idea isn’t all that easy. Before you go posting stuff and asking people to join a team and help you, you need to show the community that you are willing to put time and effort into this. 90% of the projects here on eclipse or in game design in general really don’t get finished. That being said, it’s kind of discouraging to people. So I’m your everyday eclipsian and I just saw your post that you’re recruiting members for a team to make a game. Well, In my mind, I don’t think you’re going to finish your project. You might think you will, but chances are you won’t. So recruiting a team right off the bat is a BAD idea. you need to show others that your game not only has work already done, but it also has potential to expand.
Wait? What do you mean potential?
I mean your game needs be started and it’s ready to get better, that you and your game have the thought in your head that it can and will get better and be finished. This is the most important thing to getting a team. I don’t wanna discourage you from trying, but I’ll tell you now, chance are going to be that you will most likely be soloing a game.
Advice for Coding
As stated above, organization is VERY important in game design. ESPECIALLY if you’re going to be creating an open source application. Why? Because people have to be able to read your what you’re doing. ALWAYS document changes that you make to your code in an update log or a readme file. This way you know what you previously changed if something stopped working. This will help you save time by being able to quickly identify your mistakes in the event of an error/bug.
Another huge thing is don’t try to shove everything into one src folder, branch your code off into namespaces and sub-folders. this will keep your code clean for use. For example,. I have a game object called Weapon. Well Weapon is a class and that class should be stored in a folder under the namespace Engine.Objects.Weapon and the class should be in a folder called Engine/Objects/Weapon.cs. It’s called Object Orientation, don’t shove your entire game into one little class. Learn about OOP (Object Orientated Programming) It’s not THAT hard and it will help you GREATLY in the future.
Plan for the audience
Remember, if you’re coding opensource, or even coding a game or project, KEEP THE AUDIENCE IN MIND. By that I mean, the people who will be using your software or code. They need documentation if it’s opensource code, so they can easily understand what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how much I HATE finding an awesome library with very little documentation. I usually end up writing my own library in that event. If you’re writing a game or project, be sure that your interface, commands, and well practically everything is easy and upfront that players don’t have to fiddle around with stuff for an hour trying to figure out how to use your program or game.
Have fun and be Unique
Remember, there are hundreds of eclipse projects out there, try to do something unique. What makes your game stand out? Also, try not to get so bound up and frustrated with what you’re doing. That causes discouragement and often leads to dropping the project. Take breaks here and there and have fun with what you do!