Game-dev beginner searching for advices


Hello, my name is Alexander (from Russia). I’m a web programmer but I am looking for a way to get into the world of game development. I even have an idea and some developments for first game. Currently I am learning Unity, but my ideas made me think about panoramic-view like in Scratches. Looking for solutions of pseudo-3d realization in Unity I stumbled Dagon engine. I was happy to learn that it’s developers are related to development of Scratches (love this game!). And after that I found information about Acylum (unfortunately, it is too late to back you on Kickstarter) and about Dagonity.
That’s why I decided to write here some questions:

  • is Dagonity really what I need in my situation?
  • is it available for familiarization?
  • …and perhaps you could advice me some usefull links about panoramic-view games development (information about preparing textures, tools I need, etc.)

Thank you in advance, regards, and sorry for my bad English :slight_smile:


Hi Alexander, and welcome to the forum!

Yes, in short: Dagonity would be the ideal solution for you. It’s precisely a very advanced and flexible tool to produce panoramic adventures in Unity (in the future, it will support any style of adventure game). For example, our newest addition is a tool that allows developers to create hotspots in the fastest possible way.

Keep in mind that it’s still heavily under production, though its open sourcing may be just around the corner. In the meantime, you could browse our adventure game development forum which is a treasure trove of information about tools and techniques to produce games like Scratches or Asylum :slight_smile:


Hi Alexander, welcome aboard.
Like all open projects, it is difficult to get everything very organized, especially for rapidly evolving projects like Dagon(-ity). From now on I will use ‘Dagon’ to mean any version of the engine.
Most of the information here will be based on the original Dagon engine. That engine did not contain a development environment and was totally driven by scripts. Dagonity is a big step up with its design environment, although the final game will still be driven by Lua scripts.
Here is a summary of how the information has been distributed so far:

–To search for specific questions about the engine itself, go to the Dagon Project/Main Discussion sub-forum. There are many threads exploring various details of the engine’s operation, although with the arrival of Dagonity a number of the topics may be obsolete.

–If instead you would like to understand how to make all the stuff that you will put INTO Dagon, then use the Dagon Project/Adventure Development sub-forum. Again, some of them may be obsolete with the arrival of Dagonity. This covers a wide variety of topics from how to make panoramic textures, videos, writing stories for games, managing all your project files, designing game interfaces, etc. Lots of cool stuff if you want to see what is involved with making a Dagon game. I would like to point out that this about subjects useful for Dagon, not just any engine, so I would suggest that game-making discussions that are not specifically for Dagon be avoided. There are many many MANY forums for stuff like modeling and general skills and it would be nice to keep this forum lean enough to stay useful.

–Then there is the wiki. ( It has inhaled a fair amount of information, but it lacks good organization (we DID do some so it’s not hopeless). There are newbie introductions all the way to very specific command references, code snippets, how to do things in certain modeling programs, how Dagon assets are organized, etc. Again, the references are not really complete and have been upset by Dagonity, which has not been really released yet in a public form. But give it read, it will still be a good overview of what is going on in general. Because the engine started going through some major overhauls, there was little point in trying to update info in the wiki, especially stuff specific to the Dagon engine. There are general game-development topics though so look for those.

Hope that helps and have fun. The crew here is still small enough to remember most of the posts so you should get some pretty good answers. (some of us go almost all the way back to the days of Scratches when Agustin first released the engine to the public.)


Agustín, thank you a lot for welcome and for reassurance! While the Dagonity is being developed I’ll read this forum and Asylum teaser source :slight_smile: Understanding of Dagon would not be superfluous. Wish you every success in creation and development and thank you again!


shadowphile, million thanks for this summary - that’s what i need! Faced with a large number of disparate information it’s very important to have some structured list of actions I should take for success. Your answers helps me to get it.
I have a feeling that I will get here a lot of new and useful experience!

PS a special thanks for a link to wiki!


It’s always great to see another developer here. Shadowphile has covered the answers to your questions. We try our best to help one another. Best of luck with your project!


Awesome summary, shadowphile! :nod:

Indeed, we’re a small team and we can’t keep up with the documentation or friendly tutorials needed to work with Dagon(ity). However, it’s all coming along great (see my newest post about instant hotspot creation) and it’s a matter of time until we open source everything and start working on the docs.

The greatest thing about Dagon is that we have a strong community (as shadowphile said) that has been around for years. The best course of action would still be to study the Asylum teaser that was shipped with its source code. The scripting language has changed a bit but the approach to design introduced there and most of its syntax remains the same :slight_smile:

A kind soul has taken the time to update the teaser code to the latest Dagon++ releases:


Agustin, I noticed that the pictures in the wiki have disappeared. Assume I need to URLs?


Yeah, those links stopped working after we moved to Wordpress. Sorry, I’ll try to fix them ASAP!


just give me the new url and I will repair the wiki links


I see - it’s a great community! Thank you all, guys!
shadowphile, yeah, fixining pictures in wiki would be great :slight_smile:

Last week I spent learning technology of texture creation and trying to pass this knowledge to designer who promised to help me.
Funny thing! Realizing that to create the texture he should prepare 3D model of the scene, he suggested just to… paint cubemap from an imaginary point of view (read - from each points of each scene) to six directions :slight_smile: While he is trying (I think in the end he put up with 3d), I’m learning acylum teasers code. Сan’t wait until I can run KSConvert Utility and touch all this beauty!


There are many point&clicks that are hand-painted.
Funny, I mentioned somewhere the idea of a fully panoramic hand-painted game and how hard it would be to paint both from the correct perspective and just square acreage :frowning:


I think it would be very labor intensive, but maybe no more so that making something in 3D and then rendering it.

Perhaps you could lay out the major objects in the scene as basic primitive shapes and render them to a single-mapped cubic panorama (or use a stitching program to combine the six sides), and then paint on that single map. The primitives would be useful as guides for the weird perspective that you get on a cube face. When you painted, you’d have to remember to stretch the image at the seams of the cube sides, but at least you’d have edges that matched up. Finally, you’d have to convert back to a cubic panorama with six separate sides.

I like the idea. It could produce a unique and very artistic game.


Geeze Imari, that sounds horribly complex, especially if you have to repeat it 100x (or so). I like the idea of the primitives, would be a big help, but I still think it would be difficult to visually pre-distort your images so they don’t look distorted inside the viewer.
Ideally you would have a paint program that allows you to paint inside a pano viewer but good luck on that. Plus you wouldn’t be able to use your favorite paint program


:;grins at shadowphile:: Yeah, I agree, it does sound complex, but if one really wanted to handpaint the nodes, it seemed like a leg up. I wouldn’t try it. I’m just sayin’… :stuck_out_tongue:


You could render a spherical image and post work on that, maybe do a Object ID pass or diffuse channel pass and AO… possibly shadows
I think I’d use a diffused pass with textures that indicate the direction grain, tiles etc would be heading


so basically you would have to pre-model you scene with textures and stuff, and your models would have to express whatever organic shapes your painting style has. Would YOU like to CAD model those Monkey Island scenes? (the later ones), or Machinarium? Horrors! There’s no emoticon for this, but it would probably be a hockey mask splattered with dripping blood. ;D


The demo game I was building for my Dagon editor used 3D with cel shaders this worked very well and I had no issues with line edges not lining up, I’d imagine Blender’s recent sketchy system would do quite well and get close to a MI3 type style?


This concept is drifting away…the challenge is ‘hand-painted’ by an artist, no modeling.
Anyway, this is getting rather off-topic methinks.