Why? Because it keeps showing me stuff like this…
If that game looks oddly familiar, it should. It was made for the TIGSource Demake Competition, which is all about taking a game and “demaking” it for an earlier platform. Thus, Silent Hill 2 for the PS2 becomes Soundless Mountain II for the NES…
Portal for the PC becomes SUPER 3D PORTALS 6 for the Atari 2600…
And Homeworld for the PC becomes HouseGlobe, for 256 color VGA…
HouseGlobe in particular is very impressive. It’s got silk-smooth two-player multiplayer over the internet or a LAN, and despite a small tech tree and number of units supports several different strategies of play. It’s a great little 2D RTS, and the guys who made it pumped it out…in ten days.
That’s why I hate the internet. It keeps showing me how much I suck. At some point, you know, I thought I’d become a developer who could make pretty cool stuff pretty quickly. But that somehow has never happened. Frankly I wonder why I’m still employed.
(EDIT: The Demake competition was hosted at TIGSource, not Retro Remakes. Oops.)
What separates the wicked-fast programmers from the slow programmers is familiarity of the language, APIs and platforms used. Once you get past all of the basics (it took me seven+ years) it gets faster.
Keep learning, what took you weeks to do with Direct3D will someday take you a few hours. It’s not that it’s any easier, it’s that you’ve done it before. Then you find out there’s more you don’t know and the process repeats.
I’m not sure I could create a networked 2D game in ten days right now, I have little experience in network programming. I’d spend most of the ten days figuring out what I needed to do.
Wow, I was watching the video, recognized Homeworld, and also started thinking, “What the heck am I doing that prevents me from doing something like that, too?”
Ian, I think your answer is right. I don’t do enough of it in the first place. Thank goodness for Ludum Dare, because I learn so much in one 48 hour period participating in that competition than I do in the months leading up to it.
I’m glad you enjoyed the game!
We made House Globe in 10 days, yes, but this is what we had before we started:
– A DirectX/OpenGL engine with Lua scripting and sound/music support
– TCP/IP hand-shaking between instances of the said engine
– Tools for creating/loading textures to the game
In other words, what we did in those 10 days was:
– Draw all the artwork
– Create sound effects and music
– Write the whole game in Lua
– Write the multiplayer synchronization method in Lua (based on the “1500 Archers” article at Gamedev.net)
– Loads of play-testing
What I mean is, like the previous posters said, if you have the tools you can really pick up pace. So please consider that it took us 4 years to make all these tools 🙂
[…] Salter has become disheartened when he sees what some game developers are able to create in 10 days for the TIGSource Demake Competition. When you see HouseGlobe, the demake of the award-winning […]
Ian: Thanks. I just need to keep plugging.
Jeb: I certainly did enjoy it, I played it all last night. I understand what you’re saying about how it took you four years to be able to develop the code and tools necessary to make a game like that in ten days. And you’ve already written several fine-looking multiplayer games. Still, man…ten days? Dude.
I suppose I should make it my goal to be in a similar position two years from now. Hopefully I will not still be working on Planitia then…