Game Development Questions

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Hello ESF Developers! I have a couple of questions for you guys, I hope some of you can take the time and answer some of these for me.

Well first off, Im in the process of developing my own first person shooter ,with friends of mine, called Target One. Anyways, I just have a small list of questions.

1.) What 3D modeling program do you guys use? Im currently using MilkShape because its very easy and i can really understand it without my head exploding.

2.) Before you guys make models do you draw them out on all 3 planes first, on paper? Ive been experimenting with my model making, but its really hard without having anything to go by.

3.) What programming language do you use? Im in the middle of learning c++ and loving it. Problem is, im not learning how to use it in computer games. So what do you guys use?

4.) What program do you use for making the skins on the models? I use Photo Shop 7, but if you guys use somthing better, please tell me.

Ill check up in here within the next day or so, Im hoping... read from you guys. If you have any questions you might want to ask me, feel free to, but i cant guarantee an answer.

Thanks a bunch.
 
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I'm not an ESF team developer, but I've worked on other games, and I can help you with most of your questions.

1.) Most modellers will tell you to use a more "serious" modelling tool, but it's largely opinion and personal preference as to which tool. Most would recommend 3ds Max, some would say Lightwave, some might even say Wings3D, and there's probably even a few I'm missing. Those all cost (quite a sum) of money, though. If you want to try 3ds Max for free, look up GMax. It's basically a free, toned-down version of 3ds Max, Milkshape is useful as a tool of sorts, if nothing else. It can act as a go-between for converting models between multiple formats. I don't have anything against Milkshape though, I've used it for the map models I've made, and had few problems with it. It just lacks most of the tools more advanced editors do.

2.) People use reference pictures, usually. If the character is something unique in your head, I guess you'd have to draw them, or have someone else draw them. I'm not a character modeller, so I don't know much about that.

3.) ESF is a HL mod, and as such, is written in the same language the HL SDK is: C++, with small bits of C. C++ is a great language to learn, as you'll see many commercial games written in it. If you learn the basics of Object-Oriented programming, you can pick up any other OO-based language much easier. What you're probably seeing of C++ in your early learning years is console-based stuff. To get to the game and graphics stuff, you need a graphics library, which provide the basic functions of drawing bitmaps and primitives, blitting bitmaps, etc. SDL and Allegro are common, popular ones. With making a HL mod, though, you don't have to worry about any of that. The base engine is already provided for you.

4.) Most people would recommend Photoshop. If you're skilled in PS, then there really isn't anythign else you need to make graphics.

Hope I helped.
 
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Yeah that helps me a lot. There are al kinds of questions that i have, I just need to remember them. The first four were my most concerning questions.

Ok, I got some more.

1.) Ok, you know in all first person shooters you can see the gun and the hands of the person your playing as, and where you re-load and such. My question is, how the heck do you make that?

2.) If I were to use the HL Engine coding and such, what do I do about the menus? How do I design the menus?

3.) Heres a good one. Oh im sure you all have played Day of Defeat, I hope anyways. Well how do i go on about making blood effects (the projection of it and such)? I want to know if i need to use flash, milkshape or just a little picture of blood splatter.
 
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1.) The gun you see is a model, and the reload is an animation. In HL, there's three types of weapon models: first-person which you see in your hands (v_pistol.mdl), third-person which you see in ANOTHER person's hands (p_pistol.mdl), and world models which you'd see lying on the ground before you pick it up (w_pistol.mdl).

2.) You'd do that with their VGUI code, the basework for which is mostly provided for you in the HL SDK.

3.) The blood spatters are sprites which appear on the player model when they're hit. If you have an old HL install (like in \Sierra\Half-Life) then get PakExplorer and take a look at \Sierra\Half-Life\valve\pak0.pak. It has many of the game's resources you can view and edit to your liking.
 
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Are you looking for a blood splatter effect? If so, that's called an animation, and I have no idea which program to use, but I do know that Milkshape won't do it (To my knowledge). Flash definately won't do it, if you're designing a game. Well, you could possibly tell the game to load a picture of blood and load it onto the wall where you want the blood to splatter, that could work. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm not as experienced as most of the other people on this forum are. All I know how to do is map, and I very rarely do that any more.
 

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