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new guy, so many languages


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#1 scrap   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:18 PM

What language would be best to learn as a totally newbie programmer, what language would be most effective in learning the arts of programming, but also as a effective language in making games, or that is closley related to the main language used in game progamming.

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#2 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2635

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

I would say something like java or c# with some really easy to use library. They have similiar syntax with each other and c++ and stuff.

o3o


#3 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20990

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

Python. It'll still take time to learn, so don't give up or switch languages, but stick with Python for a good long while (at least a year, probably several).
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#4 scrap   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

Python. It'll still take time to learn, so don't give up or switch languages, but stick with Python for a good long while (at least a year, probably several).

well, would python or C# help me better in the long run?

#5 AlcoJaguar   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

It really depends on your aim. If you're looking for a language that will help you better understand how computers work, I'd go with C++. If you're looking for a language that has fast development times and large, easy to use libraries that handle all the messy business of memory management for you, then Java or C#.

I've heard a number of arguments for and against Python as a starter language. Having recently graduated from a 4 year Comp Sci program, I got to see the transition of the CS department at GMU from Java to Python when introducing programming concepts. Anecdotally, I think the students who started on Java had an easier time transitioning to more advanced subjects than those who started out on Python. I wouldn't cast Python aside though, it's a very useful scripting language, but perhaps not the best for learning fundamental programming concepts.

#6 AlcoJaguar   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

Personally, I tend to prefer C++ for game programming (performance-wise, it's just faster, but does take a bit more time to code in). Java has its places in game programming as well, particularly if you plan on developing Android-based games.

#7 scrap   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:41 PM

thanks all for all of your input, i'v decided ill take C# from the information iv gatherd.

#8 Malabyte   Members   -  Reputation: 589

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:38 PM

Yeah, you may just wanna go straight for C#, but personally I picked Java, because it's platform independent and they say it's a better thing to start with if you aim to learn both (or all). I'm eventually learning all the C languages as well (which will be much easier once you understand programming better).

In time, you should learn them all, unless you're just looking to make some minor apps or whatever.

Also, regardless of the programming language you choose, you should definitely look into Computer Science in general, such as programming methodology, abstractions and much more. That's not coding per se, but it's incredibly powerful stuff that'll make you understand why things are coded the way they are. Learning simple things like proper programming etiquette (clean code, proper commenting, etc) can actually dictate whether you get a job or not.

Check out Stanford University's youtube videos on programming methodology here.

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#9 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19339

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:28 PM

If you're looking for a language that will help you better understand how computers work, I'd go with C++.

That's not entirely true -- even low level C++ code (i.e. not taking advantage of library functions) has very little relation to how the hardware of a modern computer works -- modern operating systems provide numerous layers of abstraction and safety, meaning that you'll learn very little about how the computer actually works by writing C++. C++ can however potentially give you an excellent idea of how computers used to work 15-20 years ago, or how some embedded devices operate. Wanting to understand how the underlying system operates isn't really a good argument in favour of choosing C++. All of this isn't to say that some of the things you can learn when programming C++ isn't valuable.

I tend to prefer C++ for game programming (performance-wise, it's just faster, but does take a bit more time to code in).

Sure, that can sometimes be true if the programmer in question is experienced enough to be able to write performant code in C++ -- and there certainly is a performance overhead associated with languages such as C# and Java, and even more-so Python -- no beginner has that experience however, and it's unlikely that they'll gain it for quite a long time. The average beginner will make enough mistakes that their C++ code will end up executing slower than an equivalent program written in a language such as C#, where there are generally less mistakes to be made. Even worse, there's often a tendency in beginners learning to use C++ to try to micro-optimise (having originally chosen the language "for performance"), often resulting in slower final execution when they would have got better results by simply trusting the compiler.

thanks all for all of your input, i'v decided ill take C# from the information iv gatherd

Excellent decision! Be sure to stick through it with the difficulties you'll inevitably face, start out with the basics, and make sure you do lots of practice along the way; just reading about programming won't get you anywhere unless you're actually writing code to try out what you're being told.

#10 Black-Rook   Members   -  Reputation: 1563

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

The problem with a lot of new programmers is that they jump around too often with languages and tools. If you're going to pick C#, grab hold of XNA and just start making games from start to finish once you know the basics of C#, and never give up! I know this isn't an issue yet in your case, but you see a lot of programers that could develop a lot more skill in general game programming if they spent more time with one language and made some games.

If you stick it out, within a few years you will be very happy with what you can accomplish!

Best of luck!
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#11 scrap   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:06 AM

The problem with a lot of new programmers is that they jump around too often with languages and tools. If you're going to pick C#, grab hold of XNA and just start making games from start to finish once you know the basics of C#, and never give up! I know this isn't an issue yet in your case, but you see a lot of programers that could develop a lot more skill in general game programming if they spent more time with one language and made some games.

If you stick it out, within a few years you will be very happy with what you can accomplish!

Best of luck!

thank you, i spent all day this C# and learned a few things already. i will look into XNA soon also to see. been watching alot of youtube videos and using the microsoft visual express for doing the writing. the science behind it i will also look into as they guy said a few post above. im just trying to asorb as much information as possible on my journy to making real games! thank you all for the help and advice!

#12 Black-Rook   Members   -  Reputation: 1563

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

XNA Sites I recommend:

http://xnaresources.com/ <- Start here!
http://www.xnadevelo...tutorials.shtml
http://www.riemers.net/
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#13 AlcoJaguar   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

That's not entirely true -- even low level C++ code (i.e. not taking advantage of library functions) has very little relation to how the hardware of a modern computer works -- modern operating systems provide numerous layers of abstraction and safety, meaning that you'll learn very little about how the computer actually works by writing C++. C++ can however potentially give you an excellent idea of how computers used to work 15-20 years ago, or how some embedded devices operate. Wanting to understand how the underlying system operates isn't really a good argument in favour of choosing C++. All of this isn't to say that some of the things you can learn when programming C++ isn't valuable.


I wasn't arguing C++ was a low level language, but it is certainly a step closer to bare metal than running code in the Java JVM or .NET CLR. I started my education nearly a decade ago with C++ and still heavily use it today, employing JNI anytime I need to do more computational intensive operations to improve performance if I happen to be developing a GUI in Java. The fact of the matter is that PCs 15-20 years ago are nearly conceptually identical to PCs today. It wouldn't hurt to have an understanding of memory management, pointer arithmetic, and maybe encounter some interesting problems that arise from common coding mistakes (you can't know how to avoid introducing common buffer overflow vulnerabilities if you don't know what they are). If you really wanted to get down to machine level specifics, C is an easy language to use when learning the correspondence between the source you compile the assembly generated from disassembling that same program. Though I admit this has little to do with game programming, I was more concentrating on his request for "

learning the arts oF programming".



Sure, that can sometimes be true if the programmer in question is experienced enough to be able to write performant code in C++ -- and there certainly is a performance overhead associated with languages such as C# and Java, and even more-so Python -- no beginner has that experience however, and it's unlikely that they'll gain it for quite a long time. The average beginner will make enough mistakes that their C++ code will end up executing slower than an equivalent program written in a language such as C#, where there are generally less mistakes to be made. Even worse, there's often a tendency in beginners learning to use C++ to try to micro-optimise (having originally chosen the language "for performance"), often resulting in slower final execution when they would have got better results by simply trusting the compiler.


Provided you don't write particularly bad code and have more than a tutorial understanding of the language, it's generally considered the best performing widely used programming language.

Google published a paper last year comparing certain C++, Java, Scala, and Go implementations and ReadWriteHack summed it up fairly well:
  • C++ provides the best performance by far, but it requires the most extensive language-specific tuning.
  • Scala provides the most concise notation and optimization of code complexity.
  • The algorithm was simplest to implement in Java, but garbage collection settings make both Java and Scala difficult to benchmark accurately.
  • Go offers concise notion and very fast compile time, but is still immature.

Link: https://days2011.sca...ws3-1-Hundt.pdf


Then you have the Computer Language Benchmarks Game: http://shootout.alio...are-fastest.php


Now I do concede it is one of the more difficult languages to start with and will require an understanding of pointers, free store, and subsequent memory management (which is why I recommended it for understanding abstracted concepts common to all languages, if they are hidden in ones that depend on garbage collectors).


All in all though, the OP's choice of C# is a good for rapidly getting up to speed on Microsoft's offerings, which opens up a lot of platforms.


Good Luck Posted Image



#14 Junior951   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:52 AM

I guess I'm confused as to why people have such a hard time with C++... My first semester I did Assembly and C++, and aced them both. I like C# but Visual Studios has so many extra gadgets that I felt like I wasn't learning enough. I personally recommend C++ as a starter, but then again I'm not a pro, so I guess the best suggestion I can give you is to look at some code... If it looks like something you could understand than go with that language, but once you've decided on one, STICK WITH IT until you are where you want to be with it.

Good Luck




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