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    Rough seas a head, looking for advice.


    Folks,

    I feel many of you will agree that any advice given is only worth something if you understand something about what you are providing. Here is a basic break down to give you an idea of what I am currently working with.

    First off I am working with a three person team. Myself who will be finishing up my BS in game design here in a few months. An artist we will call Gail who went to school with me before needing to leave for personal reasons, and has written/publish her first book here soon in a few months. Finally we have K, who is our resident programmer on the team.

    History:

    From the beginning of my college years I had a dream of making a game (who doesn't in my field?) so I started to recruit people. Several years of slow work and difficult failures have brought us into this smaller, and highly refined group. Through several refined groups, we have worked hard on a single, simple story that was easy to accept on a platform level but still created the feeling of the old platform gaming setups of old.

    Story - (Keeping it very simple)

    A boy's father is taken by a huge corporation that wants his creations for their own evil doing. The boy decides to find his father and bring him back. The boy has his wits, and his trusty sidekick, a mechanical ball that can be altered by the boy (or player). Sneaking into the basement of the Mega corporation (not named yet), his task is to scale the lofty towers floor by floor looking for his father.

    Setup - Simple side scroller with 3D elements. (all the work will be in 3D and modeled in 3D with a locked camera)
    Special elements - Sidekick can be changed around to perform different actions through the use of puzzle components. This same setup will be used for the doors or other specialized areas.

    Reasoning behind design - as simple as I can make it. We are using very simple designs to capture the younger ages (9-14), while possibly bringing in the older generation (anyone 15+) due to the retro feel of the sidescrolling environment.

    The Question...

    Now personally, I would rather work with an established game engine like Unity3D or other related engines. My programmer on the other hand wants to work only with his personally built design (that he is still working on mind you). He gets overly frustrated by the Unity setup or any setup really that has any form of visual element. I am very understanding of people's learning styles and I know this is a complication K is running into and that this is not the place for that discussion.
    So with this out in the open, do you feel that we should go forward with his own design and take that risk, or still push for an established engine? I am personally trying to stay out of the programming side of things as I have experience but feel more comfortable with the animation and 3D modeling. What advice might you have on these options and do you have other options I have not seen or been aware of?

    I want to thank everyone for their time.
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    Well as simple as this game is i am assuming it is not for profit. Writing your own engine sounds like quite a waste of time. The engines both open source and commercial have been highly refined with providing realistic physics, optimized collision/hit detection, optimized code for performance, many engines containing well established memory allocation and control modules.

    You dont find many games being developed from scratch any more. Many commercial console games are even produced using popular game engines, WHY? because they work!

    If your programmer can not figure out an engine then you should probably consider a new programmer. Im not sure of his background or which language you are coding this in. I am not highly familliar with Unity as i stick with the open source engines that are more customization and have source code readily available.

    Originally Posted by Tallaaron76
    Folks,

    I feel many of you will agree that any advice given is only worth something if you understand something about what you are providing. Here is a basic break down to give you an idea of what I am currently working with.

    First off I am working with a three person team. Myself who will be finishing up my BS in game design here in a few months. An artist we will call Gail who went to school with me before needing to leave for personal reasons, and has written/publish her first book here soon in a few months. Finally we have K, who is our resident programmer on the team.

    History:

    From the beginning of my college years I had a dream of making a game (who doesn't in my field?) so I started to recruit people. Several years of slow work and difficult failures have brought us into this smaller, and highly refined group. Through several refined groups, we have worked hard on a single, simple story that was easy to accept on a platform level but still created the feeling of the old platform gaming setups of old.

    Story - (Keeping it very simple)

    A boy's father is taken by a huge corporation that wants his creations for their own evil doing. The boy decides to find his father and bring him back. The boy has his wits, and his trusty sidekick, a mechanical ball that can be altered by the boy (or player). Sneaking into the basement of the Mega corporation (not named yet), his task is to scale the lofty towers floor by floor looking for his father.

    Setup - Simple side scroller with 3D elements. (all the work will be in 3D and modeled in 3D with a locked camera)
    Special elements - Sidekick can be changed around to perform different actions through the use of puzzle components. This same setup will be used for the doors or other specialized areas.

    Reasoning behind design - as simple as I can make it. We are using very simple designs to capture the younger ages (9-14), while possibly bringing in the older generation (anyone 15+) due to the retro feel of the sidescrolling environment.

    The Question...

    Now personally, I would rather work with an established game engine like Unity3D or other related engines. My programmer on the other hand wants to work only with his personally built design (that he is still working on mind you). He gets overly frustrated by the Unity setup or any setup really that has any form of visual element. I am very understanding of people's learning styles and I know this is a complication K is running into and that this is not the place for that discussion.
    So with this out in the open, do you feel that we should go forward with his own design and take that risk, or still push for an established engine? I am personally trying to stay out of the programming side of things as I have experience but feel more comfortable with the animation and 3D modeling. What advice might you have on these options and do you have other options I have not seen or been aware of?

    I want to thank everyone for their time.
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    There's many possibilities. We don't know what you're trying to do or what the other people on your team are like. It could be that just like you he's using a personal project to learn and writing his own engine is a lot more effective way to understand the guts then taking one pre-built. Or it could be you're right and he doesn't have the patience or skill set to read documentation and work from existing code. Or it could be that your particular project has some oddity that would be difficult to work into an existing framework. Or it could be that your particular project is so simple that an existing framework would just over-complicate things.

    Of course, if you don't trust your programmer to make programming decisions to the point where you're asking random people on the internet to second-guess his approach you might have bigger problems.
    Last edited by OmegaZero; January 18th, 2013 at 10:01 AM.
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    To be honest,

    This little production is gonna hopefully be for profit but since it is so early in we have no set plans on that. If it makes money, great, if it does not, great. It is a start to begin with in the end. Small steps are always required for any set team. So now it looks like what I have to do is what I have already feared, about finding a new programmer but that helps. Thanks.

    In the end, experience is always worth the trouble in the end from what I understand or have learned. Lets just hope it is not painful this time. ha ha

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