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#1 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:09 AM

Here's another one of my contributions to GMC. I'm going over some things that you should consider before following your dream of making "the greatest 3d game ever". Many people fail to see what 3d gaming deals with. All in all, it's my advise to learn all you can about 2d first. Deciding which perspective players will play your game in can be a tough decision. It all depends on your comfort zone and what your can perform the best in. Alot of new gamedevs like the idea of making a 3d game and try to jump right to the 3d tutorials and open source examples and don't realize that it takes much more than simply playing around with some variables here and there and changing some sprites. 3d is the same as 2d programming, except now you have another axis that you're dealing with, and honestly, if you have not mastered your skills in the x and y axis, then you should not attempt to make a 3d game. Learn how to program 2d games very well, because everything you know from 2d programming comes to play in 3d, and from there the complexity continues to rise.

The art alone in a 3d game can be a hassle to those who haven't dealt with models before and placing correct textures on them. If you plan to make a decent 3d game and you want nice graphics then you shouldn't waste time, practice using a modeling program and find a tutorial on how to import them into game maker if you don't know how to already. Game Maker isn't the best 3d gamedev program for it's main intentions were to be a 2d program with 3d capability. It's not a full fledged 3d utility that will bring you the next COD5. Mainly because of speed issues. 2d games don't lag nearly as much as 3d games do. The use of low poly models and efficient coding in all areas is a must for you should always consider what Game Maker's limitations are.

Game Maker isn't too limited though. You can make a nice 3d game as long as you know what you're doing. Are you prepared to make all the models for your game? Every person, plant, building, object, etc... and then provide textures for each and every part of those models, as well as maintain a fluid frame rate while calculating the x,y,z positions, collisions, angles, and their actions/reactions to these variables? Are you prepared to design it all and actually make this dream of yours appear before your screen? Game Maker is as good as you are so the question is whether you are really ready for such a hard task. Being able to do it all can be quite annoying if you're lacking skills in a particular area that is crucial to your game.

I mentioned comfort zone earlier. Go with what you know best. If you are a type of person who can make amazing 2d artwork and you know how to program in 2d efficiently then experimenting with 3d graphics and programming may be a challenge you're seeking to improve yourself. But honestly, if you're new to programming with game maker I would suggest that you learn as much as you can about 2d programming first. 3d does not make a game better than a 2d game, just because of the perspective. There are plenty of 2d games that have more success then a crappy thrown together 3d game. If you want to make a great game, go with what you know and slowly work your way up.

To be honest, I prefer seeing a 2d game created with this program because I know this program excels in 2d support and there are numerous experts on GML who stick with a 2d perspective because they can create wonderful works of art and provide an enjoyable gaming experience with quality. But like the experts of 2d manipulation and programming, they never jumped ahead of themselves. Learn the material. I say this because, I've seen countless people post in areas such as the 3d techniques forum (not just in the GMC) and they mention that they're new to gamemaker and not very good with GML. It's good that people want to learn it, but there's required knowledge, prepare yourself otherwise your project will just fail. You'll give up and say it's too difficult.

So if you're new to game maker, or at least fairly new and you haven't explored all the capabilities of 2d programming, I'd suggest that you play around with it some more and look at what others have done. Test yourself and see if you can accomplish the same tasks. As for the users who feel that they're qualified to move onto 3d game design, let's talk about the things you should be concerned about.

The problems with many 3d games created with gamemaker all fall under speed issues, lack of creativity, and the math involved with the third dimension now in use. 3d will test your math skills alot when it comes to models and manipulating them. I recommend a math skill at a Trigonometry level or higher simply because you're going to use of trig functions. Knowing your math very well is key to programming, even in 2d programming. Programming in general challenges your skills in math all the time. It should be a priority to learn all you can in mathematics so you can apply your knowledge to your games. And for those of you who feel all high and mighty and know your math skills, you're probably saying "eh, I can write a 100 line physics script easily." It's true that physics, collisions, and other various coding may take alot of space, but in 3d programming speed is an issue. You can't afford to have hundreds of lines of code running all the time. Can you efficiently accomplish a task with the least amount of code needed? If not you're going to have some trouble. Read up on new scripts or techniques that people have come up with and use them to save your game from lagging.

Think about this. In a 2d game, you're either looking down or to the side. In a 3d world, you're capable of looking up, down, left, right, behind you, over there, and there, and there, etc.... Try looking up, down, and side to side at the same time, while trying to focus on objects in each of those directions. Confusing and probably painful for your head isn't it? That's exactly what happens when you can't manage your game. In a 2d game you can see everything unless you implement the use of views, which still nothing compared to 3d where you have to worry about objects in front of your camera, behind your camera and everywhere else because they calculate dimensions for their models at all times opposed to 2d games using a simple sprite. Math is everything when it comes to 3d. If you can't control it, nothing will function properly. So make sure you know your mathematics.

I know I'm not going into great detail about 3d game design and it's areas of concerns, but I'm briefly going over a comparison between 2d and 3d targeted to people looking to start programming in 3d. This article was put into simple terms in order to simply get to the point and attempt to give some ideas of what gamedevs are getting themselves into when it comes to 3d games. No one was born to make a 3d game, you have to make yourself capable of dealing with the tasks involved with 3d game design. Your effort in learning all that you can is what will make you succeed. Make use of the time you have and build your skills where it really matters. If there's anything that you would like to add to give some ideas for new 3d game designers to think about, feel free to voice your opinions on the topic. We're not trying to scare people, but at least educate them on the difficulty that comes with it.

Edited by Glen, 23 April 2009 - 07:46 PM.

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#2 Demonhawk

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:22 AM

<Edited out a massive quote. Demonhawk, if you're complaining that the topic is too long you probably shouldn't be quoting it in its entirety. -FB >

You really, really, really, really, really, really should sum that up. Other wise people will just think TL;DR and won't pay atention at all.
I only skimmed it anyways, because it isn't exactly interesting. So Edit in a list of dot points with the general statements you're trying to make. Like "if you suck at maths you'll probably definitely suck at 3D.

Edited by Frostblade, 23 April 2009 - 10:53 AM.

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#3 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:28 AM

If you don't like to read articles, then don't reply to one. It's not a to do list. A person who doesn't want to take the time to learn is not worth educating.

Edited by Glen, 23 April 2009 - 06:30 AM.

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#4 Evil

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:35 AM

I'm no mathematician, and really I just hate math altogether, but I seem to be doing fine so far. Then again, it takes a lot of time and effort doing what I do, with a lot of trial and error, so I guess my way isn't the best, and I've been stuck with the unregistered version of GM5 and 7 for the past few years.
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#5 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:41 AM

I'm no mathematician, and really I just hate math altogether, but I seem to be doing fine so far. Then again, it takes a lot of time and effort doing what I do, with a lot of trial and error, so I guess my way isn't the best, and I've been stuck with the unregistered version of GM5 and 7 for the past few years.

Trial and error is something you'll experience alot of, but you'll end up picking up shortcuts, useful codes, and things that worked in the past will stick with you so the next time around you're ready for it. If you just recently upgraded to pro now you're exposed to all the unlocked functions, do you use GM frequently? Some people download it and don't use it for years at a time. Just wondering what your experience with GM is.
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#6 Evil

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:53 AM

I'm no mathematician, and really I just hate math altogether, but I seem to be doing fine so far. Then again, it takes a lot of time and effort doing what I do, with a lot of trial and error, so I guess my way isn't the best, and I've been stuck with the unregistered version of GM5 and 7 for the past few years.

Trial and error is something you'll experience alot of, but you'll end up picking up shortcuts, useful codes, and things that worked in the past will stick with you so the next time around you're ready for it. If you just recently upgraded to pro now you're exposed to all the unlocked functions, do you use GM frequently? Some people download it and don't use it for years at a time. Just wondering what your experience with GM is.


Yeah, I guess you could say I use shortcuts. I've noticed the little code that I use is much simpler than others', and whenever I don't know how to do something in coding, I either look up some tutorials or openscource, or just use D&D. And then there are hundreds of variables, some that probably aren't even necessary, but they make things easier.

It depends. I've used it a lot in the past, but a lot of the time there was just too much going on in my life to spend hours of my own time on some little game. That's not to say I haven't spent some nights doing nothing but. I've made lots of different kinds of games, from Mario to Zelda and Metroid to Sonic fan games, using and editing already made engines, and ones I have created myself from scratch. It's just that most times I haven't finished them and haven't posted them on here.

Speaking of not sharing games you're making with the rest of the GMC, I think that that may be a bit of a problem. Not with game development itself, but with others assuming that just because you haven't posted about any of your games before or because you've just joined the forums, you're inexperienced. That's a bit off-topic, though.
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#7 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:04 AM

Yeah, I guess you could say I use shortcuts. I've noticed the little code that I use is much simpler than others', and whenever I don't know how to do something in coding, I either look up some tutorials or openscource, or just use D&D. And then there are hundreds of variables, some that probably aren't even necessary, but they make things easier.


If you're confident with your skills and want to focus on 3d programming, my best recommendation is to look at tutorials by ThatGamesGuy http://gamesguy.brav.../resources.html. Everything you need to get yourself started with 3d games is there and his tutorials are full of things that experienced users would go back to for reference.

It depends. I've used it a lot in the past, but a lot of the time there was just too much going on in my life to spend hours of my own time on some little game. That's not to say I haven't spent some nights doing nothing but. I've made lots of different kinds of games, from Mario to Zelda and Metroid to Sonic fan games, using and editing already made engines, and ones I have created myself from scratch. It's just that most times I haven't finished them and haven't posted them on here.

What kind of 3d game are you looking to create?

Speaking of not sharing games you're making with the rest of the GMC, I think that that may be a bit of a problem. Not with game development itself, but with others assuming that just because you haven't posted about any of your games before or because you've just joined the forums, you're inexperienced. That's a bit off-topic, though.

No one is going to assume that a new user of the forums is an experienced user and the ones that never post may as well be people who joined and quit a long time ago; that is why they are asked.
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#8 Evil

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:19 AM

If you're confident with your skills and want to focus on 3d programming, my best recommendation is to look at tutorials by ThatGamesGuy http://gamesguy.brav.../resources.html. Everything you need to get yourself started with 3d games is there and his tutorials are full of things that experienced users would go back to for reference.


Thanks. I'll check that out.

What kind of 3d game are you looking to create?


Well, currently I'm making a Grand Theft Auto fan game, but mostly it's really just an illusion. It has a top-down perspective like the older GTA games, except the buildings have depth, and the water is a bit below the "ground level" that the player is stuck on(of course, there's the helicopter, but it doesn't actually use a third axis. It just doesn't collide with the buildings). This seems fine enough for now until I can learn more.

No one is going to assume that a new user of the forums is an experienced user and the ones that never post may as well be people who joined and quit a long time ago; that is why they are asked.


I can see what you're saying, and it's not that big of a deal, but still. I've had at least one person make a smart-arse remark to me about sticking to 2D developing when I'd had trouble with a problem regarding the 3D functions. They could be a bit more mature about it.
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#9 HalfMillennium

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:57 PM

I agree that new developers shouldn't go for 3D too soon. The simple fact is, most new game developers can't even achieve a complicated 2D game. Not to mention that, despite spritophobes, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 2D game.
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#10 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:06 PM

I agree that new developers shouldn't go for 3D too soon. The simple fact is, most new game developers can't even achieve a complicated 2D game. Not to mention that, despite spritophobes, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 2D game.


There's also people who just find the 3d concept to come easy for them. I know a few people who spent little time on 2d and paid their full attention on propgramming in 3d. The thing is, that approach is a difficult path to follow learning the basics in a perspective that requires a more complex understanding.
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#11 ninjutsu63

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:00 PM

You might want to label this as a design article in the title.
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#12 Glen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:53 PM

You might want to label this as a design article in the title.

I probably should, seeing how many people don't like to read a lot of content at once and so it surprises users here to see full length articles in a post. But in my opinion, when you have things to say, you might as well put all your thoughts down and give something worth reading. I'm going to continue to write my articles along the game design forum and discuss topics that correlate to the problems we face while trying to design the games that we are aiming to complete. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion, I might as well warn people about a long post.
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#13 Nextmastermind

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 03:27 AM

if you suck at maths you'll probably definitely suck at 3D.

Says who? I suck at math and I do just fine in 3d.
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#14 Obj_Control

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 03:42 AM

I don't agree with all said, although it applies to most 3d games. I read through it twice, second time I was looking for criticism I could throw at you, but I didn't find anything good. I did, on the other hand, get a great 3d game idea. Great job.

I see that many people feel like saying "I'm not good at math, but I can still use 3d.", but really, to make good 3D games, and come up with new things, trig is required. It is required to properly do a camera, unless it is stationary (lame).
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#15 Glen

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 11:39 PM

I don't agree with all said, although it applies to most 3d games. I read through it twice, second time I was looking for criticism I could throw at you, but I didn't find anything good. I did, on the other hand, get a great 3d game idea. Great job.

I see that many people feel like saying "I'm not good at math, but I can still use 3d.", but really, to make good 3D games, and come up with new things, trig is required. It is required to properly do a camera, unless it is stationary (lame).


It also comes in play with physics.
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#16 Aragon

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:31 PM

I know this topic is old but still people are reading this.
I think you have to update your article.
There are many good 3D games that are build with Game Maker, because of all those DLL's, I know that not everybody can make a nice 3D Game, obvious everybody can make a try, but the most will fail.
I got a dream either, to make a high quality 3D online shooter, and I realised that is hard to do but it is POSSIBLE! I've never made a game in 2D, only 3D didn't learn GML before I start with 3D, I still don't know what lengthdir_x and lengthdir_y, my mathematics sucks as hell..., but I read tutorials, look to examples tried everything, and you know what, it works! With Game Maker 8 it was easier for me, you don't only have to think about the speed, which I only did in Game Maker 6/7. I working with Game Maker for like 4 years. A lot of things are chanced in a few years.
I don't say that 3D games in Game Maker are good for selling or ****, Game Maker can't be faster then games that a released with Computer language like C++ C# or any faster editor. Maybe my game looks like counterstrike 1.6 but that games was built 7-8 years ago, We can't beat any game in the future with Game Maker, because they will be faster better popularity as game maker games ever be.
But that isn't count only for 3D, but either for 2D games.
Why should you not do what you want to do? I did it, just pas 2D and going straight to 3D.
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#17 Glen

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:52 PM

I know this topic is old but still people are reading this.
I think you have to update your article.
There are many good 3D games that are build with Game Maker, because of all those DLL's, I know that not everybody can make a nice 3D Game, obvious everybody can make a try, but the most will fail.
I got a dream either, to make a high quality 3D online shooter, and I realised that is hard to do but it is POSSIBLE! I've never made a game in 2D, only 3D didn't learn GML before I start with 3D, I still don't know what lengthdir_x and lengthdir_y, my mathematics sucks as hell..., but I read tutorials, look to examples tried everything, and you know what, it works! With Game Maker 8 it was easier for me, you don't only have to think about the speed, which I only did in Game Maker 6/7. I working with Game Maker for like 4 years. A lot of things are chanced in a few years.
I don't say that 3D games in Game Maker are good for selling or ****, Game Maker can't be faster then games that a released with Computer language like C++ C# or any faster editor. Maybe my game looks like counterstrike 1.6 but that games was built 7-8 years ago, We can't beat any game in the future with Game Maker, because they will be faster better popularity as game maker games ever be.
But that isn't count only for 3D, but either for 2D games.
Why should you not do what you want to do? I did it, just pas 2D and going straight to 3D.

It has been awhile since I've considered updating this article. I might do it when I get the free time, or just write another one. But I understand what you mean. If you want to aim big, stick with it. No sense in never getting around to it. I'm not saying people shouldn't try to make 3d games with GM. I'm saying, don't get ahead of yourself and after i'm done updating the article, i may write out guidelines that prepare developers so they have the required experience and knowledge they need to progress in 3d programming. I just feel that people don't understand the work involved in making a 3d game to the fullest. But everyone's different. Some people jump right on it and learn fast. I want to see people succeed.
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#18 Phantom107

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:34 PM

The article is all true. For me, art was the biggest problem in 3d but I finally picked up Sketchup, Blender and GIMP. I found out that creating art is not as hard as I thought it was.

3D can be as complex as you take it. It's completely possible to make a simple 2D platformer, and re-built the engine for 3D graphics afterward. GM's 3D, like the 2D, is extremely easy but unfotunately is super limited. I do not advise anyone to use a 3D DLL until they've mastered 2D as well as GM 3D. People think that using a 3D DLL automatically makes development easy and automatically makes pretty graphics for you. It isn't. Truth is, GM's native 2D and 3D graphics programming is pathetically easy compared to the difficulty that comes with a 3D DLL. The 3D DLL does however, allow people to utterly crush people's graphics who do not use a 3D DLL.

A funny note is that using a 3D DLL for just 2D graphics is tons faster than GM's native 2D mode.

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#19 Aragon

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:58 PM

I feel everyone here on the gmc is counting on how does a game look, if you got good graphics and you made them by yourself the game will be good, It isn't all about graphics it is a detail of the game why should somebody who is working with game maker has his own graphics? It would never be a professional game, i think the most important thing of a game is game-play. For example; My own game are currently using models of Counterstrike 1.6 they look good, but everyone would like to see own models, but if i built them by myself they will be look terrible, and it isn't what i like to create, for sure there will be new models. We are finding someone who can built them for us, and we're searching for models on internet to buy.
I don't understand it why are own graphics/models so important to everyone Game Maker!! not Graphic Maker.
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#20 Glen

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

I feel everyone here on the gmc is counting on how does a game look, if you got good graphics and you made them by yourself the game will be good, It isn't all about graphics it is a detail of the game why should somebody who is working with game maker has his own graphics? It would never be a professional game, i think the most important thing of a game is game-play. For example; My own game are currently using models of Counterstrike 1.6 they look good, but everyone would like to see own models, but if i built them by myself they will be look terrible, and it isn't what i like to create, for sure there will be new models. We are finding someone who can built them for us, and we're searching for models on internet to buy.
I don't understand it why are own graphics/models so important to everyone Game Maker!! not Graphic Maker.

1. Copyrights on other's graphics.
2. Graphics should match. Getting resources from various websites and mixing them together doesn't always look good.
3. Making your own graphics allows you to customize the way things look.
4. Originality. That's what people want.

I agree that gameplay is important and that graphics can always be replaced down the road. But both graphics and gameplay equally effect a users decision on whether the will continue to play or not. So it's best to get good at both aspects.

Game Maker!! not Graphic Maker.

Games are visual programs full of cause and events with a particular goal. Without the visuals, you don't have a game.
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