Qt 2D Game Engine Essentials

What I believe a game engine built on Qt/c++ needs in order for it to be accessible and successful.

By Chongchen Saelee

I have a personal belief that ANYONE can make an interactive video game. Don’t let the elitists in the professional game development industry weigh you down. The reality is that you may never reach a professional level of knowledge, but you should still be able to learn the basics to get yourself started. It’s like everyone can be a movie star nowadays because movie equipment is cheap and accessible and you have YouTube as a venue for distribution. Video games can be just like that. There has yet to be the “Blair Witch Project” of independent games (now I’m beginning to question whether indie game needs to have a budget limit in order for it to be called that).

So, here we go:

-Game kit needs to be kid-friendly; It needs to be so easy that anyone can sit down and whip together an interactive video game like: that!

-Intuitive; Too many programmers like to stroke their own egos because they believe they are solving all sorts of digital roadblocks, but they really suck at human interaction and usability. If it is to be accessible to most or all, then it needs to be incredibly intuitive. I don’t want to see a glitzy, gimmicky speedometer widget for nothing.

-Cross-platform operating system compatibility – If you want to brag that you’ve invented the next big thing, everyone should be able to play with it.

-Affordable – If you’re not giving it away, you at least want people to still feel like it’s worth the cost you tag it with. A nice round number that is reasonable, that it deserves to cost that people are willing to fork over.

-Fast performance – If it doesn’t perform well, it might as well be a board game. Video games need interaction to be responsive, so it needs to draw and react FAST to user commands.

-No dreamer left behind – If you can dream it, you should be able to build it. The culture cannot be exclusive. Otherwise, it wouldn’t encourage new ideas and styles of gameplay. Most importantly, the games will eventually all start looking alike. Games should feel very stylistic to its sole developer, which is the game’s individual stamp and identity, but also allows the developers maximum expression. If you’re a 7-year-old that wants to make a game about pooping, go ahead. If you’re a 50-year-old gun nut who wants to make a game about shooting his ex-wives, by all means. It should be as easy as drawing a stick figure. A new medium.

-Tradable projects – Some people will be curious as to how some developers can make such good projects. So it should be possible to trade amongst the community the source code and assets. A learning/teaching community makes the ideas more diverse and easier to thrive.

-Multiplayer, online capability – Assuming that some developer doesn’t exploit it to do harm, people will naturally want to create a virtual world and invite guests to play it. But this aspect is very complex, so it might be hard to implement a very simple way for end-users to utilize this.

-Cross-hardware compatibility – It should be able to run at least NES games, which most computers should be able to.

-Commercial projects – Users should be able to sell their sweat and tears for profit; It’s like creating a painting using a high-quality brush (the kit); the brush served it’s purpose but it didn’t completely make the final artwork; however, users should help promote the kit by mentioning how easy it was for them to make their masterpieces with it.

-Simple to complex games – Users should be able to make the simplest point and click games, or even least-interactive games (that weird “art game” trend, or the most complex games like MMORPGs and 3D stuff. As long as it is interactive. Otherwise, it’s a movie or animation.

-The kit establishes the foundation of what kits can be. It’d be as commonplace as Notepad or Paint or some HTML WYSIWYG. Comes standard on all PCs, and people just do, rather than question.

-It should become part of the zeitgeist that people say, “Come visit my webpage, my Facebook, my blog, my YouTube, watch my movies, download my games.” Then we’ll see who’s got soul, and who doesn’t. You’re creating a piece of art that is meant to be remembered rather than pretending to be a superstar who is getting sponsored in multi-arenas of marketing.

-Finally, it should promote fun. The games users can make can be absolutely depressing and disgusting, but at the end of the day, it should be fun enough to play. However, that’s not to discredit wanting the user to experience other emotions. That would actually make the experience more spiritual rather than commercial. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t think we could live in a Disneyland where no one is allowed to frown.

So games should be as easy to make as drawing a stick figure in the sand. We open up a whole new way for the average person to express themselves. And the future storytellers will line up or dive out.

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