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August 13, 2022, 05:32:25 pm
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Author Topic: Virtual worlds: where the heck do I start?  (Read 752 times)
cicadoidea
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« on: November 13, 2021, 08:01:40 pm »

Okay, so I want to start making a virtual world (like all the cool kids), but... I'm gonna be honest, I have no idea how to go about it. I'm assuming I should write my ideas down first, which seems doable. After that, how should I go about it? Do I make placeholder graphics and start on the code? And what should I use if I was to create a 2D virtual world?

Any tips are greatly appreciated!
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2021, 11:03:23 pm »

So I have had it on my mind to write a tutorial for getting started, so this is a good question!

So I think some questions are how into code are you?
How complicated is your idea?

Write down some ideas, but remember its easy to overthink ideas, and its better to get some practical experience before you think of something too complex and then scare yourself away when you try to start.

I would suggest starting with a very simple world, just a space to explore rather than having any story or interactions. You can add these in later.

I actually haven't figured out 2D yet! Javascript and Unity are options, along with many other game engines. You could even use Three.js with a flat perspective camera (that would allow 3d-2d stuff like LittleBigPlanet).

Options for engine:
If you don't like code, try the X3D tutorial this forum, if you are are happy with Javascript try Three.js and look at the sample MelonEngine project. If you want to make worlds that are more like games, use Unity or GameMaker.

So I would start with a general sequence:
  • Pick an engine or code base that you think is ok
  • Make a simple test world with no detail and a simple way of exploring it
  • If you are happy with the engine continue, if not try a new engine
  • Start to improve the world and add things too it
  • Start to improve the character/way you explore the world
  • Once you are happy with the world you can start to add extra stuff like NPCs or tasks.

Remember, you'll prob need to make a few worlds and try a few engines and design approaches before you find one that suits you, so don't try to cram everything into your first go.

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cicadoidea
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2021, 12:26:25 am »

So I have had it on my mind to write a tutorial for getting started, so this is a good question!

So I think some questions are how into code are you?
How complicated is your idea?

Write down some ideas, but remember its easy to overthink ideas, and its better to get some practical experience before you think of something too complex and then scare yourself away when you try to start.

I would suggest starting with a very simple world, just a space to explore rather than having any story or interactions. You can add these in later.

I actually haven't figured out 2D yet! Javascript and Unity are options, along with many other game engines. You could even use Three.js with a flat perspective camera (that would allow 3d-2d stuff like LittleBigPlanet).

Options for engine:
If you don't like code, try the X3D tutorial this forum, if you are are happy with Javascript try Three.js and look at the sample MelonEngine project. If you want to make worlds that are more like games, use Unity or GameMaker.

So I would start with a general sequence:
  • Pick an engine or code base that you think is ok
  • Make a simple test world with no detail and a simple way of exploring it
  • If you are happy with the engine continue, if not try a new engine
  • Start to improve the world and add things too it
  • Start to improve the character/way you explore the world
  • Once you are happy with the world you can start to add extra stuff like NPCs or tasks.

Remember, you'll prob need to make a few worlds and try a few engines and design approaches before you find one that suits you, so don't try to cram everything into your first go.

This is very helpful! For starters, I am not familiar with JS at all, although I do want to learn it (at least the basics). I just know CSS and HTML. I actually have started reading your tutorial, but haven't gotten through it just yet.

I actually have a program that allows you to make virtual worlds with pictures (https://sokpop.itch.io/sok-worlds). Unfortunately it's limited to the in-game browser AFAIK, you can't export them. Still, it's good for laying out some ideas.

I was asking about 2D because I also don't have any experience with 3D stuff. It's something I've been meaning to get into, and hey, this might be a good reason to do so!

I'll follow your advice and start looking for an engine I like. Thank you!
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2021, 12:35:53 am »

I actually think about that game a lot when I'm working on things!

One thing about 2D worlds is that IMO they are harder to make. With a 3D world, the 3Dness distracts people from the limits of the world, but in a 2D world people look at everything, you have to put much more in.
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