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Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:27 pm
by TMR
Lorfarius wrote:So how long (realisticly) would it take to make a game from scratch?
It really depends on the game, the platform, the time that the programmer can find to actually do the coding, if they have to wait for other people to find the time for graphics or sound... Jonathan Cauldwell knocked out Lunaris in a day but that was from library code, i did Millennium Assault from the core interrupt upwards in a couple of weeks if memory serves...

Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:23 pm
by quangdx
i remade jetpac for the gameboy quite a few years ago.
http://www.asobitech.com/jpdx/

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:31 am
by Dudley
Lorfarius wrote:This does raise an interesting topic. Just how long does it take to make an old 8 bit game these days? Whenever programmers are interviewed they always say something along the lines of "well I had a deadline of 6-8 weeks to program the game from scratch". Times have moved on and I would have thought that people pretty much know the limits of these machines nowadays.

So how long (realisticly) would it take to make a game from scratch?
It's a very open question. You're asking the equivilent of "How long does it take to write something?" but not specifying novel/newspaper article/fiction/non-fiction etc etc.

You could throw together something simple and playable in a couple of days when you know what you're doing. But you could also easily spend a year full time even on an 8-bit game.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:21 am
by Lorfarius
Dudley wrote:
Lorfarius wrote:This does raise an interesting topic. Just how long does it take to make an old 8 bit game these days? Whenever programmers are interviewed they always say something along the lines of "well I had a deadline of 6-8 weeks to program the game from scratch". Times have moved on and I would have thought that people pretty much know the limits of these machines nowadays.

So how long (realisticly) would it take to make a game from scratch?
It's a very open question. You're asking the equivilent of "How long does it take to write something?" but not specifying novel/newspaper article/fiction/non-fiction etc etc.

You could throw together something simple and playable in a couple of days when you know what you're doing. But you could also easily spend a year full time even on an 8-bit game.
Wasnt Elite written by a couple of 19/20 year olds in just a month or two during their spare time? As Im sure there are many games that were made in such small timescales. Repton is another example, on the same system and written by a 16 year old in just a couple of weeks. So to be able to write such games in short periods must be possible. Take the Oliver Twins who were able to knock out hit after hit after school in just a few weeks. The Dizzy games were made in extremely short periods of time.

I dont know if all of the above were genius when it came to writing programmes *shrugs*

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:05 am
by Dudley
Well Elite took very little writing, it's mostly generated. Same with Dizzy, once you've got the major game engine you're just level designing.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:44 am
by Mr. Pointless
Used DarkBASIC myself, but since I upgraded my comp I just... stopped. :shock:

Than a number of months later I got C++ for Dummies, but that didn't get very far. The comp crapped out on me and I was without it for a month. :x

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 11:14 am
by Lorfarius
Dudley wrote:Well Elite took very little writing, it's mostly generated. Same with Dizzy, once you've got the major game engine you're just level designing.
In comparison to those two examples, how long would it take to do something similar if it was just one person?

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 12:15 pm
by quangdx
all this nostalgia gave me a ton of motivation,
so this morning i quickly knocked up at simon clone.
took about 4 hours i reckon.

http://www.asobitech.com/asobisimon.html

games can take anywhere from a day to years to write.
it's a creative process much like writing a novel or painting a picture.
in reality, games are never actually finished, there should always be something you could do to improve it. but you gotta get a point, where you think, okay, that will do.

when i was writing games for the gameboy, i was given 4-6 months to write a title all by myself, although i would have liked a lot longer.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:28 pm
by wilf
Hi,

I worked at Software Creations in Manchester then later Acclaim but it was pretty bad by then.
Had the pleasure of working with some industry legends.

Notably the pioneering Speccy developers.

Nice forum this. Might just hang around ;)

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:34 pm
by wilf
quangdx wrote:when i was writing games for the gameboy, i was given 4-6 months to write a title all by myself, although i would have liked a lot longer.
I can't believe you remade Jetpac!
That game owes me a ton of time from my youth..

Nice work :D

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:57 pm
by TMR
Lorfarius wrote:Wasnt Elite written by a couple of 19/20 year olds in just a month or two during their spare time?
Half right, it took them a year to write (source for that is here). For something that isn't generating the universe on it's own, eight or nine months was about an average turn-around depending on the game, platform and programmer's situation, as i said.
Lorfarius wrote:I dont know if all of the above were genius when it came to writing programmes *shrugs*
In the case of the Olivers, you have to remember that they were not only cross assembling (which makes things a bit easier) but building on existing code frameworks, possibly to the point where they merely had to design new graphics and events to get another Dizzy game; that's nothing like building the code from scratch timescale-wise.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:37 pm
by quangdx
wilf wrote:
quangdx wrote:when i was writing games for the gameboy, i was given 4-6 months to write a title all by myself, although i would have liked a lot longer.
I can't believe you remade Jetpac!
That game owes me a ton of time from my youth..

Nice work :D
it was my first project for the gameboy,
i had come from learning pascal on the PC, so i learnt C while learning the gameboy hardware and porting jetpac.
it took about 3 months if i remember correctly, and most of that was learning about the hardware and it's limitations.
came second place in the Bung coding competition with it, and got me a job in the industry.
which i left after a year, due to some really bad management.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:05 am
by wilf
quangdx wrote:due to some really bad management.
I'll second that ;)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:46 am
by RocketRanger
wilf wrote:
quangdx wrote:due to some really bad management.
I'll second that ;)
Me too!!!!!!11

Actually it was the low pay that I blame for my retreat from the 'industry' some six years ago. But 'the man' is always to blame for everything ever!

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 7:18 am
by seanmcmanus
I used to write Amstrad games. Got some in Amstrad Computer User and Amstrad Action as type-in listings. They're all online here now:
http://www.sean.co.uk/books/amstrad/index.shtm

I also wrote some retro-style Javascript games a few years back, here:
http://www.sean.co.uk/a/javascriptgames/index.shtm

I haven't written any games for years, but I'd like to get into Flash games when I get some time. I've got a book that teaches you how to make an isometric game, which would be a fantastic experience. About 20 years too late for it to matter to anyone else, but I'd enjoy it.