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Starting right now. Would appreciate any help, even encouragement


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#1 Wiitoy200   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

I am very, VERY lost. I've been trying to learn how to do game developing. even something as basic as a tetris game, a mario bros. clone, or even a pac-man clone. To get to these I've been working on Windows Visual Basic 2008 Express and learn some basic coding. Is this the right step, should i jump to something more steep? What should i do? so far the most I've done is an 'if then' statements, textbox usage and that's it.is there any books, if so which? ANY THING WILL HELP, even a story of how you guys got started, i will love it. thanks in advanced!

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#2 Wiitoy200   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

WOW, i almost forgot yet i put this in the tags. What are and which of these languages should i use:

ASP


ASP.Net


VBscript, JScript, or Javascript


Visual Basic.NET
C#
Visual Basic 6.0 or Earilier
C/C++
XML
Flash/ActionScript
F#
HTML
Ruby on rails
Java
AJAX
PHP
LINQ
SQL
Python/IronPython
VBA



#3 AdrianC   Members   -  Reputation: 602

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:38 PM

It sounds like you want to get things up and running as soon as possible, and for that reason I recommend AS3(Flash).

You can use FlashDevelop (its free) to program in AS3. Check out some tutorials.

#4 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3724

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:44 PM

Is this the right step, should i jump to something more steep?


In general, if you're completely lost you're going at things too steep. Start with learning basic syntax (if/then, loops, functions, classes). Then learn basic programming (guess the number, take a file and write a new file that is backwards, take a file and write a new file that has the words in backwards order). Then learn mildly more advanced programming (roll up a character, simulate combat between random monsters). Then learn mildly more complex syntax (templates/generics, generators). Then learn basic graphics (create a window, handle input, show sprite, rotating cube). And then worry about tetris.

[Edit: plus this forum has a FAQ. Please read the FAQ. We get asked these things all of the time. C# or Python are the currently recommended first languages]

#5 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:45 PM

Hi, scrap VS 2008 Express and get VS 2010 Express, its free and better.

As for game programming, you will likely need to program first and be comfortable with the language you are learning (really comfortable). You dont have to be a pro but you will need to know enough to understand major areas not just the syntax. Practice as much as you can as it is very unlikely any game programming book will teach you about your language.

Depending on what your end game is, maths will help and is a must for 3D, basic algebra is fine for beginners but pre calculus is something you should aim for, once you get really into game programming have a look at calculus, ironically calculus makes more sense when you can visualize it in a game, it is even far more easier explaining it too but thats besides the point.

As for language, sadly that is something you have to decide on and it really depends on your platform or what you would like to do, popular languages however are (in no particular order) C#, Java, Python, C++ but theres others that are fine too. Depending on how dedicated you are in making games you will have to spend some money on books, not just for programming, theres a lot of resources online but it helps to have a book as a learning material.

#6 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:46 PM


ASP

ASP.Net

VBscript, JScript, or Javascript

Probably not... these are meant for websites, primarily.


Visual Basic.NET

I'm a Visual Basic hater, and I admit it, so I say no.


C#

Sure.


Visual Basic 6.0 or Earilier

F*** no.


C/C++

Not for your first language.


XML

You simply can't make a game with XML...


Flash/ActionScript

Sure.


F#

Probably not.


HTML

Someone tried that once... it was really funny.


Ruby on rails

That's meant for websites too.


Java

Sure.


AJAX

PHP

More stuff for websites...


LINQ
SQL

These are for databases...


Python/IronPython

Python with Pygame: sure.


VBA


Just... no.


I'll be honest and upfront with you: it'll probably take you a year of solid progress before you can start to make a tetris/pacman/mario clone.

[edit]

Oh my, will the gods of IP.Board PLEASE fix the stupid issue of white space getting inserted all over my post?
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#7 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2964

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:54 AM

ANY THING WILL HELP, even a story of how you guys got started, i will love it. thanks in advanced!

I started as a map author in Quake 1. This allowed me to appreciate an incredible amount of details. The workflow was a bit clunky at the time and the limited hardware resources implied this was going to become technical very soon. I suggest to play a bit with a full game first. I think some version of Unreal might give you an idea of what you roughly need.
I eventually got pissed off by the limitations of the Quake engines (more or less when Quake III was released) and started playing more seriously with code. Unfortunately, my life quickly become a mess for other reasons... starting from the assets side of things is a good idea.

#8 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3219

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:31 AM

even something as basic as a tetris game, a mario bros. clone, or even a pac-man clone.


all 3 of these are not basic games, tetris is "easy", but it is by no means basic, at least in terms of creating a proper clone.
let's look at what's needed to build tetris:
-a grid system for the tiles to be placed on.
-a method for "dropping" new pieces, and selecting new tiles.
-how to deal with rotating the blocks.
-how to deal with rotating a block that might not be able to fit in a particular location.
-sweeping for rows that are complete.
That's just the very basics. with the most complicated part being the rotation(or at least, in my opinion is the most complicated part.)
and that was how i approached tetris when i did it myself.

next on your list is pac-man, then super mario bros. clone. both of these are far more complicated then you might be initially thinking.

i'd recommend thinking even more basic. something like a hi-low game.

being new at this is very difficult, and requires alot of patience, don't get discouraged, shoot high if you want, it's how you learn your limits, but you will eventually reach your goal if you stick with it, if you keep learning. you'll get it eventually.

I personally began with actionscript, so that language also get's my vote.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#9 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5182

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

Basically everything Cornstalks said. Drop VB like the plague, especially 6. It's a dying language, while VB.Net is just C# with a bit of syntactic goo poured on top.


I wrote this guide to pretty much answer every question you've got. Read it, it should help you. When you are done, if you have a specific question, ask away.



One small correction to what Cornstalks said, LINQ isn't a language ( granted, CS didn't say this ) and isn't just for databases. Its part of .NET and is very very very powerful. If you are going to learn C#, make sure you eventually understand LINQ. LINQ can be used on databases, XML and plain ole C# datatypes ( of certain types, but thats an implementation detail )

#10 Wiitoy200   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

It sounds like you want to get things up and running as soon as possible, and for that reason I recommend AS3(Flash).

You can use FlashDevelop (its free) to program in AS3. Check out some tutorials.


Yes, this sounds like a great idea. i think i'll try this out. (but after i get a little bit of programming skills, basic stuff like 'if then's' then that. that's all i know right now and it find this really interesting, i want to see how far programming goes and what i can come up with)

In general, if you're completely lost you're going at things too steep. Start with learning basic syntax (if/then, loops, functions, classes). Then learn basic programming (guess the number, take a file and write a new file that is backwards, take a file and write a new file that has the words in backwards order). Then learn mildly more advanced programming (roll up a character, simulate combat between random monsters). Then learn mildly more complex syntax (templates/generics, generators). Then learn basic graphics (create a window, handle input, show sprite, rotating cube). And then worry about tetris.

[Edit: plus this forum has a FAQ. Please read the FAQ. We get asked these things all of the time. C# or Python are the currently recommended first languages]


That sounds like something i'm gonna do. then jump to actionscript and then jump to something more steep as C# or Python. my end goal is C++ (but by the time i get there i'm sure i'm gonna be using C++11.)

Hi, scrap VS 2008 Express and get VS 2010 Express, its free and better.

As for game programming, you will likely need to program first and be comfortable with the language you are learning (really comfortable). You dont have to be a pro but you will need to know enough to understand major areas not just the syntax. Practice as much as you can as it is very unlikely any game programming book will teach you about your language.

Depending on what your end game is, maths will help and is a must for 3D, basic algebra is fine for beginners but pre calculus is something you should aim for, once you get really into game programming have a look at calculus, ironically calculus makes more sense when you can visualize it in a game, it is even far more easier explaining it too but thats besides the point.

As for language, sadly that is something you have to decide on and it really depends on your platform or what you would like to do, popular languages however are (in no particular order) C#, Java, Python, C++ but theres others that are fine too. Depending on how dedicated you are in making games you will have to spend some money on books, not just for programming, theres a lot of resources online but it helps to have a book as a learning material.


I loved the idea of having to learning more advanced math stuff. when i started seeing this code on VB i was like, wait, this is algebra! If you have any good math book recommendation then i'll take them. Right now i'm only 16 and haven't taken this level classes yet.


ASP

ASP.Net

VBscript, JScript, or Javascript

Probably not... these are meant for websites, primarily.


Visual Basic.NET

I'm a Visual Basic hater, and I admit it, so I say no.


C#

Sure.


Visual Basic 6.0 or Earilier

F*** no.


C/C++

Not for your first language.


XML

You simply can't make a game with XML...


Flash/ActionScript

Sure.


F#

Probably not.


HTML

Someone tried that once... it was really funny.


Ruby on rails

That's meant for websites too.


Java

Sure.


AJAX

PHP

More stuff for websites...


LINQ
SQL

These are for databases...


Python/IronPython

Python with Pygame: sure.


VBA


Just... no.


I'll be honest and upfront with you: it'll probably take you a year of solid progress before you can start to make a tetris/pacman/mario clone.

[edit]

Oh my, will the gods of IP.Board PLEASE fix the stupid issue of white space getting inserted all over my post?


I've noticed. thanks for telling me about the languages, very helpful info.

ANY THING WILL HELP, even a story of how you guys got started, i will love it. thanks in advanced!

I started as a map author in Quake 1. This allowed me to appreciate an incredible amount of details. The workflow was a bit clunky at the time and the limited hardware resources implied this was going to become technical very soon. I suggest to play a bit with a full game first. I think some version of Unreal might give you an idea of what you roughly need.
I eventually got pissed off by the limitations of the Quake engines (more or less when Quake III was released) and started playing more seriously with code. Unfortunately, my life quickly become a mess for other reasons... starting from the assets side of things is a good idea.


I was think about the idea of messing with garrysmod mods or even counter-strike maps. does that work?

all 3 of these are not basic games, tetris is "easy", but it is by no means basic, at least in terms of creating a proper clone.
let's look at what's needed to build tetris:
-a grid system for the tiles to be placed on.
-a method for "dropping" new pieces, and selecting new tiles.
-how to deal with rotating the blocks.
-how to deal with rotating a block that might not be able to fit in a particular location.
-sweeping for rows that are complete.
That's just the very basics. with the most complicated part being the rotation(or at least, in my opinion is the most complicated part.)
and that was how i approached tetris when i did it myself.

next on your list is pac-man, then super mario bros. clone. both of these are far more complicated then you might be initially thinking.

i'd recommend thinking even more basic. something like a hi-low game.

being new at this is very difficult, and requires alot of patience, don't get discouraged, shoot high if you want, it's how you learn your limits, but you will eventually reach your goal if you stick with it, if you keep learning. you'll get it eventually.

I personally began with actionscript, so that language also get's my vote.


Wow, i had no idea how complex a basic Tetris game is. well i guess i have lots to learn, i should aim so much lower. what games did you start out with?

Basically everything Cornstalks said. Drop VB like the plague, especially 6. It's a dying language, while VB.Net is just C# with a bit of syntactic goo poured on top.


I wrote this guide to pretty much answer every question you've got. Read it, it should help you. When you are done, if you have a specific question, ask away.



One small correction to what Cornstalks said, LINQ isn't a language ( granted, CS didn't say this ) and isn't just for databases. Its part of .NET and is very very very powerful. If you are going to learn C#, make sure you eventually understand LINQ. LINQ can be used on databases, XML and plain ole C# datatypes ( of certain types, but thats an implementation detail )


Bookmarked, i'll be checking this out. i'm still gonna use VB 2010 JUST to learn the BASICS, i by no means want to work with real programming with this language. all i'm using it for is to get the main idea of how this works (although it's a really sh*tty bad idea, but oh well)

#11 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5182

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

Bookmarked, i'll be checking this out. i'm still gonna use VB 2010 JUST to learn the BASICS, i by no means want to work with real programming with this language. all i'm using it for is to get the main idea of how this works (although it's a really sh*tty bad idea, but oh well)



Theres the thing, VB used to be easier and more productive than many langauges. But with the invent of C# and move to VB.net, this simply isn't true anymore. VB.net isnt easier than C#, if anything, it's harder due to the lack of support ( more books, samples, etc in C# ). More or less VB.net was created as a language to transition VB developers to C#, although MS will never admit that.


Simply put, there is no advantage to starting with Visual Basic anymore. Fortunately, since it is so similar to C#, there aren't really that many disadvantages either, other than making things slightly more difficult on yourself.

#12 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3219

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:20 PM


all 3 of these are not basic games, tetris is "easy", but it is by no means basic, at least in terms of creating a proper clone.
let's look at what's needed to build tetris:
-a grid system for the tiles to be placed on.
-a method for "dropping" new pieces, and selecting new tiles.
-how to deal with rotating the blocks.
-how to deal with rotating a block that might not be able to fit in a particular location.
-sweeping for rows that are complete.
That's just the very basics. with the most complicated part being the rotation(or at least, in my opinion is the most complicated part.)
and that was how i approached tetris when i did it myself.

next on your list is pac-man, then super mario bros. clone. both of these are far more complicated then you might be initially thinking.

i'd recommend thinking even more basic. something like a hi-low game.

being new at this is very difficult, and requires alot of patience, don't get discouraged, shoot high if you want, it's how you learn your limits, but you will eventually reach your goal if you stick with it, if you keep learning. you'll get it eventually.

I personally began with actionscript, so that language also get's my vote.


Wow, i had no idea how complex a basic Tetris game is. well i guess i have lots to learn, i should aim so much lower. what games did you start out with?


my very first game(if you can call it that), was something i made in 8th grade, essentially, my tech teacher introduced us to flash mx(and the absolute bare minimum of actionscript.) i basically built a bunch of crappy "rooms" that you could click to go to a different room, it was pure shit, poorly executed, the code was essentially a bunch of onClick, goto, and i feel ashamed to even remember it, i had no sense of variables, logic, or anything of that. but my teacher pointed me to flashkit.com, where i started to learn the basics. my second thing i built was basically flying a little triangle to fight a bunch of triangles. but i had no idea of vector math, or trigonometry at the time, so it was extremely poor. my understanding of array's/variables was still very cruddy at the time, and i could only fire a single "bullet" at a time, and trying to fire more just reset the bullet. but at the time, i kept going and made 5 levels with different color ships, and an enlarged boss ship. i replicated the code across all 5 frames that i made each level into.

i have no idea how it even managed to run, but somehow it did. fun times.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#13 Wiitoy200   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:52 PM

Bookmarked, i'll be checking this out. i'm still gonna use VB 2010 JUST to learn the BASICS, i by no means want to work with real programming with this language. all i'm using it for is to get the main idea of how this works (although it's a really sh*tty bad idea, but oh well)



Theres the thing, VB used to be easier and more productive than many langauges. But with the invent of C# and move to VB.net, this simply isn't true anymore. VB.net isnt easier than C#, if anything, it's harder due to the lack of support ( more books, samples, etc in C# ). More or less VB.net was created as a language to transition VB developers to C#, although MS will never admit that.


Simply put, there is no advantage to starting with Visual Basic anymore. Fortunately, since it is so similar to C#, there aren't really that many disadvantages either, other than making things slightly more difficult on yourself.


So you say just jump to C#? If so, how? What should (or need) to download to work with that language?

#14 Wiitoy200   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:54 PM



all 3 of these are not basic games, tetris is "easy", but it is by no means basic, at least in terms of creating a proper clone.
let's look at what's needed to build tetris:
-a grid system for the tiles to be placed on.
-a method for "dropping" new pieces, and selecting new tiles.
-how to deal with rotating the blocks.
-how to deal with rotating a block that might not be able to fit in a particular location.
-sweeping for rows that are complete.
That's just the very basics. with the most complicated part being the rotation(or at least, in my opinion is the most complicated part.)
and that was how i approached tetris when i did it myself.

next on your list is pac-man, then super mario bros. clone. both of these are far more complicated then you might be initially thinking.

i'd recommend thinking even more basic. something like a hi-low game.

being new at this is very difficult, and requires alot of patience, don't get discouraged, shoot high if you want, it's how you learn your limits, but you will eventually reach your goal if you stick with it, if you keep learning. you'll get it eventually.

I personally began with actionscript, so that language also get's my vote.


Wow, i had no idea how complex a basic Tetris game is. well i guess i have lots to learn, i should aim so much lower. what games did you start out with?


my very first game(if you can call it that), was something i made in 8th grade, essentially, my tech teacher introduced us to flash mx(and the absolute bare minimum of actionscript.) i basically built a bunch of crappy "rooms" that you could click to go to a different room, it was pure shit, poorly executed, the code was essentially a bunch of onClick, goto, and i feel ashamed to even remember it, i had no sense of variables, logic, or anything of that. but my teacher pointed me to flashkit.com, where i started to learn the basics. my second thing i built was basically flying a little triangle to fight a bunch of triangles. but i had no idea of vector math, or trigonometry at the time, so it was extremely poor. my understanding of array's/variables was still very cruddy at the time, and i could only fire a single "bullet" at a time, and trying to fire more just reset the bullet. but at the time, i kept going and made 5 levels with different color ships, and an enlarged boss ship. i replicated the code across all 5 frames that i made each level into.

i have no idea how it even managed to run, but somehow it did. fun times.


Somehow doesn't sound encouraging. but i guess i can try those little projects out. Maybe make it be a little pixalized ship (using paint) instead of a triangle and try to be able to shot more then one bullet at the time. (i'm so full of myself)

#15 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5182

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:03 AM


Bookmarked, i'll be checking this out. i'm still gonna use VB 2010 JUST to learn the BASICS, i by no means want to work with real programming with this language. all i'm using it for is to get the main idea of how this works (although it's a really sh*tty bad idea, but oh well)



Theres the thing, VB used to be easier and more productive than many langauges. But with the invent of C# and move to VB.net, this simply isn't true anymore. VB.net isnt easier than C#, if anything, it's harder due to the lack of support ( more books, samples, etc in C# ). More or less VB.net was created as a language to transition VB developers to C#, although MS will never admit that.


Simply put, there is no advantage to starting with Visual Basic anymore. Fortunately, since it is so similar to C#, there aren't really that many disadvantages either, other than making things slightly more difficult on yourself.


So you say just jump to C#? If so, how? What should (or need) to download to work with that language?


Go to the guide link I posted earlier, it has all the download information you need to get started.

#16 CryoGenesis   Members   -  Reputation: 485

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:05 PM

I believe what you are doing is asking people what you should do and where you should go first.
I think instead of asking people what language is best (because it is all personal opinion) you should go ahead and learn the basics of the 'primary' languages such as C++, Java,Python,C# and choose which one suits you best.
Although, I would not start with something like a scripting language because you probably wont learn a lot about programming itself.
Firstly I would strongly recommend on reading about Object Oriented Programming because this is essential (especially for games) for modern day programming.
You should choose a language which is good for you and no one else.
Another thing I cannot stress enough is that it doesn't matter what language you choose. Its about how much practice you get and how much time you would be devoted to learn programming. After a while you will get better and better and you will see your earlier projects/games could have been optimised better or have been coded exceptionally badly.
Practice is more important than what language you choose.
I would also say that to program efficiently would probably mean a good grasp of algebra.
Here is how I started:

I started out with ruby, at the start of summer, just because its meant to be one of the easiest languages to learn as a beginner. I spent a week on holiday with my laptop learning the "little book of ruby" to teach myself. Even so I had a lot of trouble understanding what a lot of it meant just because I didn't do any research on Object Oriented Programming before hand.
When I came back from my holiday I started doing some programming in C++ (barely) and I found it relatively hard because I still did not understand concepts too well. I went on to do some Visual Basic because I thought it was kind of cool that you could make Windows apps so easily. I stuck with Visual basic until the end of summer which is when I wanted to make a game. I had a bit of trouble doing this in Visual Basic. I then went on to watch loads and loads of video tutorials on Java. At that time I learnt loads and loads of new concepts (Threads, Arrays, etc). The first game I ever made was the worst hunk of **** ever. Not the game itself but the programming. It was if statement after if statement. The game was just a guy walking around a tile map cutting down trees. It took up loads of processor power. It did have a cool thing though. It could save and load. Its probably sitting in media fire somewhere. After that I created a particle game called 'Elements' where you would create water or some other element and you could heat it up to create steam or cool it down to make ice. It also had fire and explosive. It was based on the game 'Powder Game' which is a Java app on a game website called Dan-Ball or something. After that I went on holiday and made a cool little toy (I wouldnt call it a game) called EXTRON which is an electronic logic simulator. It is one of my most memorable games. You could probably make a computer in the game. I plan on remaking it in the future. After EXTRON I took a massive break. Learned more stuff then made my first RPG game engine which is totally sexy. I still have it in eclipse today. I then made a cool shootemup. And now I'm here. I'm making my first ever big project game with I plan To take me to the end of this year and I have High hopes for it.

The thing is you shouldnt follow what someone else says because you'll end up copying them. You should have your own story to tell.

Gen




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