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Thread: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

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    Default Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Hello! I have just graduated high school and I want to stay fresh over the summer and through my prerequisites at community college, so could you guys suggest some project ideas suited for my skill level? I'm open to a variety of different options. Previously I have only completed interactive Hangman game with a colorful GUI, and a server/chatroom system (works on a local network and over the internet) with a variety of client and server options.


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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    This really depends on your personal tastes, so it's a bit like asking us what you should eat for dinner. Do something that you think would be fun, or that's related to your other hobbies.

    If you're into math, you should check out Project Euler.

    There are also a ton of game programming contests over the summer.
    This one goes all summer and challenges participants to create a game based on fictional game box art: A GAME BY ITS COVER: 17 JUNE ? 18 AUGUST 2012
    Ludum Dare challenges you to make a game around a theme in 48 hours. It has a big event 3 times a year, but smaller events every couple of weeks: Ludum Dare

    There are a ton of others as well, so a google search might be in order.
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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Maybe you can make an alarm clock

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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Well if you want it to be worth your while, you could always take your chances at making a small Android App or something. Put some ads on it, pay the one-time $25 developer fee to Google, upload it to the Android Marketplace, and make a few cents every month.
    If your IDE is Eclipse, it is very simple to make the Android Apps. Although, Google's Android Emulator is a pain in the ass and debugging is more difficult than it should be.
    You don't need to be overly-skilled to make an Android App, you just need to know the basics and be persistent.
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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Making an app sounds enticing so I might delve into that, and DANG at those games in AGBIC. I like making games but that stuff seems crazy to me. I still don't understand how to create characters(photoshop?) and landscapes and animations with legs moving and 3D spatial stuff and ahhhhhhhhh. Mainly the graphical stuff. I'd love to make one like those, but it just seems out of my reach at the moment.

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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Quote Originally Posted by BestSanchez View Post
    Making an app sounds enticing so I might delve into that, and DANG at those games in AGBIC. I like making games but that stuff seems crazy to me. I still don't understand how to create characters(photoshop?) and landscapes and animations with legs moving and 3D spatial stuff and ahhhhhhhhh. Mainly the graphical stuff. I'd love to make one like those, but it just seems out of my reach at the moment.
    Who says a game needs any of that stuff? Start with something basic- pong, space invaders, breakout, etc. Add your own twist to it to make it fun. You can't really learn how to swim without jumping into the shallow end first. It doesn't really make sense to insist on reading every swimming book you can and then diving into the deep end- you'll drown. Similarly, you learn how to program by programming. The only way to familiarize yourself with those things is by starting out with something basic and working your way up.

    That's just my $0.02 though. Like I said, this is completely up to you, so nothing we say really matters.
    Last edited by KevinWorkman; July 12th, 2012 at 07:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Ok I'm back after quite a busy two weeks. Thanks for the help guys but Kevin, now i'm interested in that stuff haha. I know i'll have to start small, but where can I at least read up on advanced game-programming? I'll gobble up any resources (yes, I have googled some) graciously. My (flawed) vision of a how to make a game is only like 3 steps: get a background image off the web, make some sprites in photoshop or get them off the web, animate them and test for collisions. And I checked out Static Void Games, but i'm not too fond of the processing language stuff, I want to stick to java from-scratch coding.

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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Like I've said, it's up to you. But it seems like your goals are a bit contradictory- if you want to start with pure Java, then it's going to be much harder to do all of the advanced stuff- sprite loading, animation, setting up a game loop, rendering, doing the gui- each one of those things should be a project in itself until you get the hang of them, then you should worry about combining them only after you understand each. There goes your summer.

    So if you really insist on only using pure Java, then you have to work your way through the basics- through command line programming, then gui development, then setting up a game loop, rendering, collision detection, the works- THEN art. Or if you care about getting to the advanced stuff and the art asap, then you should look into using something like Processing. You can't have it both ways.

    That's why I'm using Processing to introduce the basics of programming, because it's easier to do that in a much more visual way than it is with Java. To teach the basics in Java, you'd have to work your way through command-line programs, because programming a gui isn't exactly novice-friendly, not to mention things like setting up a game loop. I eventually plan to move the tutorials from the basics in Processing to more advanced stuff in Java, and then into Android development. But like I said, it's hard to have it both ways- if you want to stick with pure Java, then you have to work your way through the basics. You're trying to take on about a dozen completely separate concepts at once, when you should instead be taking them on one at a time.

    Your vision of game development is rather off- it's much more complicated, and much less art-centric than the way you described it. It's a common novice mistake to get too hung up on art and animation before really fleshing out the actual game mechanics. If you watch an experienced developer create a game, they always start out with basic shapes and dummy art, get a game prototype running first, then do the art last.

    But, again, it's completely up to you. You don't have to take our advice, but in that case I don't really know what you're asking then.

    I'm sure googling got you the standard Java gaming books (I haven't read any of them), and another resource worth checking out is JGO.
    Last edited by KevinWorkman; July 12th, 2012 at 08:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Well I have quite a strong foundation in the basics, I've created many a gui, and I think I know the mechanics of collision detection. So I'd say my weak points are the loop, rendering, and animation/art. And I guess I just have always thought of using anything but pure java as the easy/cheap way out, maybe my perspective needs to change. Also from the tutorials Processing didn't seem very powerful or flexible for game mechanics. It looked like a tool to teach extreme-novices to draw shapes.
    Last edited by BestSanchez; July 12th, 2012 at 11:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Quote Originally Posted by BestSanchez View Post
    Well I have quite a strong foundation in the basics, I've created many a gui, and I think I know the mechanics of collision detection. So I'd say my weak points are the loop, rendering, and animation/art. And I guess I just have always thought of using anything but pure java as the easy/cheap way out, maybe my perspective needs to change. Also from the tutorials Processing didn't seem very powerful or flexible for game mechanics. It looked like a tool to teach extreme-novices to draw shapes.
    I'd argue that Processing is more than that- it's what I use to prototype most of my games. I understand your viewpoint, but Processing is actually a really powerful tool that gets you right to the meat and potatoes without worrying about all the setup required to get a gui and a game loop going.

    But if you're comfortable in Java and gui programming (and Objects, scope, that kind of thing) and want to get started with game programming in Java, I'd recommend the following:

    Create a JPanel, override the paintComponent() method, draw whatever you want (I highly recommend starting out with rectangles and circles, worry about art later).
    Use a Swing Timer. When it fires, update the game state (move the rectangles and circles) and call repaint() on the JPanel.
    Go from there.
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    Default Re: Project Ideas to keep me busy?

    Cool thanks for all the advice, it's gonna be a busy summer

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