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Author Topic: Is the Wintermute engine for me?  (Read 6068 times)

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Verzus

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Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« on: August 12, 2010, 01:10:56 PM »

Hello,

I am currently planning my 6 month project for school and i decided that i would be 3d modelling something and to incorporate in a game would be wonderful. And there have always been one game series that always have impressed people when it comes to wonderful 3d envierments and that is of course Myst, and looking for a guide to make a adventure game i found the Wintermute engine. Looking through the Wintermute engine's features it seems like i have found a gold mine but there are still a few questions that needs answers so now i turn to you. Some of these questions may be fairly obvious but are still important to get confirmed

1. As said i was planning to build a game as Myst with pre-rendered pictures and clips and a 1st person interface. Is this possible?
2. I would like to incorporate interactive puzzles that interacts with the envierment. Is this possible?
3. Is it possible to play clips within the engine as once again seen in Myst when completing a puzzle or transporting yourself. Is this possible?
4. Just like Myst have the books you can read can this be done within the engine?
5. I would love dialog options that are seen in modern rpg's of today such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect so are these options anything that are possible in the engine?
6. I have very little knowledge when it comes to programming and this is probably a huge problem but i am willing to learn and there are probably some great tutorials out there that would help me. So is this going to be a problem and if so would the tutorials be enough to get me around?
7. Do you think that i would be able to finish in time which will be 6 months with a average 2h's a day so a total of ~365h

And any other words of wisdom and advice would be a very welcome. And if yo believe that i wont be a able to pull this of in the time table and the lack of knowledge please give me hints of what i could do with my project, bare in mind that i have only filled it under animation and 3d modelling so all the blanks are up to me.

And i apologize if my spelling and grammars are abit of, my English is not perfect. Yet ;)

Thanks in Advance
Verzus.
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maze

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 03:17:59 PM »

Welcome Verzus,

1. Of course its possible. There are games like metas "ghost in the sheet" or kazs "rhiannon" which are made in this style.
2. Yes, but you have to code it all by yourself
3. The WME video format is theora. Theora clips are easy to integrate.
4. Yes, a window (like the main menu or the quit dialogue) is the best solution for this.
5. I'm not familiar with this games, but I'm sure its possible.
6. WME is very powerful and gives you many opportunities, many more than other engines. For this plus on features you have to code. WME isn't a click & play editor! The WME tools take much work from you, for example window edit writes the window definition files for you and scene edit the scene definition... But there is no tool which code the whole game for you! If you want to learn WME the tutorial in the documentation is a good starting point, also reading metas WME-book will be of much use to you. The WME-Wiki and forums provide many useful information too. All this sources together are more than enough information to make a game.
7. That depends on your pretension. Making graphics and including sounds and puzzles and so on... eats a lot of time. I couldn't guaranty that it's enough for you.

Take a look at metas book http://res.dead-code.org/doku.php/wmebook:start it will help you a lot for your decision. Also there are some source codes of games and game-snippets at the forums. Download some and look around it. It was always a great help for me to see how others have done their games.
Generally a basic knowledge of C or Java or another programming language helps a lot, but it isn't necessary.
If you choose WME you can also rely that you find help on the forums.

Cheers, maze
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metamorphium

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 06:29:12 PM »

Hi and welcome,

while all of the options you state are easily doable in WME, you will NOT be able to finish a complete game with such little time investment. It's basically 45 work days you are going to invest into the project and from my own experience, having created / contributed a few games already, I can clearly tell that it's not enough at all.

If you however restrict your game to let's say 6-10 screens, it's doable, but not the real full-scale game. You have to add to this mix your need at least two or three weeks of experimenting / learing the engine.

Be realistic, set yourself reasonable milestones and keep the project tiny tiny small. That's the only way how you can finish your project in time in one person.

Best,
meta
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Verzus

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 06:45:49 PM »

Thanks alot for the replies i really appreciate your advice and i do understand that a game takes a huge amount of time to create. So if i am going to be using the WME i will probably do as you said begin very small and build on it if time is available. So my final judgement will fall after i have read though the manual / book you linked and when i have tested a few WME games and checked how hard the source looks like.

Verzus
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 08:15:09 PM »

A good way to do a hobby or "learning project" is to compartmentalize your game. A simple (if boring) way to do this is to have 1 or 2 room sections, that need to be 100% completed before you can move on. Now some cool game design decisions can spice this up but I think u my see my point.

When u are working on a game yourself, and doing all the aspects it is VERY easy to end up with such a huge work load that you nvr get anything finished, or even worse no matter how much you finish, you never seam to have made any progress as there is still so much more to do. This is very true if you attempt a wider open environment, as in you can walk about an entire space ship... and choose what you do.. compared to say an "escape the room" scene where you are all in a single room.

A good example of this is space quest 1. You have the escape the space ship, then a totally separate section of "get to the town" then a totally separate section "get off the planet" etc etc. The point is that you can produce these separate sections of your game to a near finished result and fell that you are making progress rather than spending months working on a project and having nothing you can in fact show anyone but a lot of cool backgrounds.

To your other questions as people said, yes wme is perfect for all this. The one thing is programming the game. I think people may have been a little harsh here. WME scripting is very friendly to new programmers. You will need to learn some basic stuff, but as long as you do not overly complicate your game you can produce a decent hobby project with little more than the information in the tutorials. Though if you want to do some fancy stuff (witch is always more interesting to play) you may need to get deeper into coding.

So my advise is
  • Use WME
  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it short
  • Design the game as separate "modules"
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 08:17:41 PM by Jyujinkai »
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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 08:52:31 PM »

people are not harsh here :) It's just I am distinguishing between hobby game project which (if delayed 2 or 3 years ehm ehm...) wouldn't pose any problem and school project when non delivery means a big screw-up. I always force my students to do little yet complete things rather than imagining huge projects and never completing them. It's simply question of resource allocation and while it's possible to make great games as a single person (think Jonathan Boakes!) it requires ammount of work 10 people would put into the game. So my comment was entirely directed to unrealistic allocation of hours.

But advice about separation into small manageable chunks is very good and worth keeping close to heart. Also using some kind of sprints helps. Chris from Introversion software has something about that in his last blog (no. 20) http://www.introversion.co.uk/blog/index.php

@Verzus: When you realize it's another night you didn't sleep because you're working on the game, you'll understand better. :)
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 05:11:28 AM »

hobby game project which (if delayed 2 or 3 years ehm ehm...)
Bastard.
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metamorphium

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 07:49:27 AM »

Don't be so self-centered. I was speaking of Julia of course.  ;D ;D ;D ::wave
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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 03:25:30 PM »

rofl
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Verzus

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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 01:55:58 PM »

The WME is very promising for me and i believe that i will try to make a game with it. As previously said i have no experience with scripting and such but the interface and switching scenes, inventory and so on seems very simple to me. It is the mini games that may create a problem for me. More puzzle like games that wants you to press some buttons in the right order and so on seems simple to script within WME but the more interactive and "deeper" mini games such as tick tack toe, simple card games and so on, not that i would include any of these but are is it possible to write these programs in let's say C++ ,as it is easier for me as a beginner to find guides and tutorials for more established languages. And would it be possible to incorporate these into WME like for example this, the engine checks that you have item A,B and C in your inventory and then you can press a spot then the program initialise and takes over and when you reach a special score or completes a task the program closes and returns control to the WME and removes the items A, B and C and instead gives you item D.

Thanks once again for great help and ideas :)
Verzus
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Re: Is the Wintermute engine for me?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 04:45:11 PM »

Verzus, that's where WME shines. Such tasks are easy to do in WME. Feel free to dive deep into WME and let us know when you reach any obstacles we might help you overcome.
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