What do you do if you can't program?


O B Asks:

Me and my palls have a vision for a video game. Currently we are writing all the bio's for the fighters and working on the story line. The problem we have is we don't know anything about programming. If possible can you tell me the options we have concerning the programming. So far we have decided to get as much of how the game is going to go on paper until we find out what we are going to do about the programming. Please give me your insight on this oh great one


Well it's going to be pretty hard if you don't know anything about programming. Here are some options.

1) Get that Playstation game where you can build your own fighting game. I don't remember the name but it does exist. You can probably search for it on www.next-generation.com or something like that. Of course if your idea doesn't fit what that product can do you'll be out of luck.

2) See if your product would be made by using Quake 1, 2 or 3 and changing the characters. Those games aren't really fighting games but many many things can be changed about them. You could fairly easily turn them in a Metal Gear Solid type of game or a Zombie Revenge type of game or a racing game or quite a few things. Of course the more changes you want to make the more programming your going to have to know. Check out www.planetquake.com to learn how to make Quake mods.

Also there is a new Quake like product that has lots of fighting element called "Oni" by Bungie I think. Anyway if that game is modifiable you might be able to make your game with it.

3) Make friends with a programmer and have him do the programming.

4) Learn the program.

Sorry but I think that's about all the options you have. There is a very very small chance you could get a company to do your game based on the design. Of course they would have to love the characters and feel that the game offers something significantly different that would make it stick out from all the other fighting games. A complete design would be great too.

For a fighting game you will need to list and sketch every MOTION for every character and the corresponding motion for each opponent. So for example in Tekken, Jun has idle motions. She might have 2 or 3 so that the program picks them at random so that the idle animation does not look too stiff. Each of those idle MOTIONS needs to be listed and sketched. Then there is a motion for each move. Some of those moves will chain to other motions depending on when and which way the player presses buttons. Each of those motions and options need to be spelled out and sketched.

To give you an example, Zombie Revenge for Dreamcast has over 1500 different motions and each and everyone was sketched out by the designer to give to the animators so they could create the animations and then to the programmers so they would know how to chain those animations together.

Why Game Development Sucks
Game Idea to Game Character