We have a STEM(Science technology engineering and math club)
Im thinking about starting a school video game design team and i have some questions.
-I understand Directx9, win32, SFML, and opengl well enough to teach i believe. Nobody in my school has any knowledge in anything regarding c++. What would be a reasonable estimate of the amount of time it would take a group of about 4-6 people to learn the basics of c++? I.e everything mentioned in the documentation on this site. I figure if one can master(somewhat) the fundamentals, everything else should come easily. It took me about 8 months to become what i consider proficient in c++. But than again, i didnt have anyone who could teach me. Also how fast do college level programming courses move? i.e how long would it take them to get through the basics?
-How should i go about getting mentors, specifically for artists. I doubt that there is anyone in my school who can work with creating animations, and a programming mentor would also be great?
-One of my concerns is that if a person had to miss a practice one day they would fall completely behind and not understand concepts how should i overcome this?
-We dont have a programming teacher. I am basically the expert when it comes to any kind of programming among our staff and students(i am by no means a real expert in programming)
-What are some good ways to maintain interest? I was extremely interested and amazed by c++ when i first stumbled upon this site and started learning the basics. I dont think that everyone will share in my amazement. I dont want to spend like a month going through the basics and have half the team quit because theyre bored and havent gotten to the actual game making.
I think you should form that group based on your needs. but first make a plan of what those needs are. You wont need a group of just programmers, but however you will need someone to do graphics, another to do sounds, another to do the plot writing, etc.
If it is a simple 2D game, you might be able to get away with you being the only programmer. However if you could find another with programming interests, that would obviously lighten your work load. It doesn't need to be a C++ programmer that joins you though. you can do the main engine with C++, but the game UI could be done with, let say, Python.
If people fall behind, they weren't really interested in the first place. If they overly need to be motivated to maintain interest, well do you really want that kind of person in your team? Although you could maintain a steady stream of motivation in the form of a monthly paycheck.
There's really nothing you can do when someone decides to get up and leave, short of forcing them into a binding contract. Get people you know are as passionate as you are in doing this.
Also like Oria said, you don't really need a big team to make good games. "Closure" was developed by 3 people. There's a decent side-scrolling shooter (like Contra) developed by one guy. Can't remember the name though, but it features the ability to ride giant white wolves and there's robotic squids for enemies. Point is, get dedicated people, not flakes.
Anyone have any ideas on how to find an art mentor??
And we have a stem club of about 50 strong. Im not wanting a huge team, im anticipating one. And im anticipating that it will pull in more people. If need be i would split off into several teams where we could all work on different things. Maybe i wasnt clear on that. Im not trying to leave anyone behind who really wants to learn. This is completely for fun, nothing serious, proffesional, or commitment oriented. Im just kinda curious what we could do.