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Minors' Game Dev. Association


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#1 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:15 AM

I'm a minor and have been devving for 3 years now. I've always loved sharing my ideas and code with other people my age and even recently got two of my friends to start programming. I've created several websites using pure PHP and HTML (none of that weebly crap), so I could technically do this. What I was thinking of doing is setting up a website specifically for people under 18 (but not strictly) so we can connect & collaborate on projects without the fear of being ridiculed by more professional adults. It's always good to know you are not the only one your age that does what you like to do. I know that a site like this could have a slight problem with safety (the "minors" part), so we would need to have strict rules regarding sharing of addresses, phone numbers, etc. (I know I'm not stupid enough to do this, but who knows). Also, this wouldn't just be another "Game Maker" community as we would encourage more industry standard tools (I personally code in C++ with SFML as well as DirectX3D) that could land us a job later in life. What are your thoughts on my idea for this website?

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


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#2 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:18 AM

Why would you want to distance yourself from professionals/adults? It seems like that would be a disservice. It's a bit confusing as you're trying to establish a community with a professional mentality while separating yourself from professionals. This reads a bit like, "I want to make a website where people who know why I'm wrong with [sometimes decades of] experience in why I'm wrong can't tell me that I'm wrong or how to fix what I've done wrong so I can get better."

Doesn't make much sense imo.

#3 Zael   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:17 AM

@way2lazy2care: Adults are scary authority figures. Non-adults are peers. I would think this obvious.

Makuto, you may want to search the forums. I want to say somebody proposed the same exact thing just a few weeks back.

#4 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10369

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

@way2lazy2care: Adults are scary authority figures. Non-adults are peers. I would think this obvious.

One only becomes an authority figure through experience - valuable experience that can be passed on. Peers tend to have a lot less to offer...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#5 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

One only becomes an authority figure through experience - valuable experience that can be passed on. Peers tend to have a lot less to offer...

Also sometimes what peers offer is detrimental to your development. Some bad habits aren't noticeably problems until you are in a professional environment; a 15 year old would never (edit: wow I trailed off here and totally forgot to finish this thought) think of some things that become huge problems when you integrate different systems/libraries or start working with 10+ people.

... and I don't think I'm that scary Posted Image

#6 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10369

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:12 PM

... and I don't think I'm that scary Posted Image

You are totally scary, man. Really, really scary.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#7 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8160

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

Agreed -- its certainly useful to have a strong group of peers, but what they tend to have to offer is largely motivational. Imagine a classroom setting -- group work and discussion can be motivating, and you can even learn from your peers when one of them gets a concept better than you, but you need people with more experience and sight of "the big picture" to lead the class.

Form a group of peers here, but don't segregate it from those with more experience. If the "adults" ridicule you, you either need to find better adults, or develop a thicker skin and the ability to extract good information from less-constructive criticism.

Also, part of learning from those with more experience is learning to be a good student -- make genuine effort to learn and to understand, learn to prepare and to plan rather than attacking a problem half-cocked, learn to ask good questions, learn to receive information and to extrapolate what you need from it, and be humble. Remember that people offering you their help have taken time out of their busy day, putting aside their own work and hobbies, to spend a few minutes helping you out. They may not have time to spoon-feed you the exact answer you're looking for, but they will nearly always be able to point you in the right direction or redefine the problem in a more-useful way. Learn to be a good student and show that you are putting in your own effort and you will find people to be more helpful, and more patient with you.

#8 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

Way2Lazy2Care: you do seem scary :).

Hmm. I appreciate the time you guys take out of your day to point me in the right direction.

Maybe it would be better if I changed the goal of this site to help other minors to socialize with each other, tell their stories, and share their projects rather than sharing flawed academic advice. When people ask for help on their projects, we would simply point to forums like GameDev.net so their education isn't flawed and they can get used to possible ridicule.

Also, I think some minors have trouble with sharing their projects on the massive internet, where people have to fight just to get a spot on the Google search, so we could offer a good project hosting system.

And for those people who haven't touched a single line of code, we would have a Getting Started section more suited for our age group. This would probably be seperated into the categories of Art, Sound & Music, Technical, Design, and Business, each containing links and explanations of those links listed from beginner to advanced. I do not underestimate what people my age are capable of, so this wouldn't be a bunch of hold-your-hand-and-wipe-your-rear-for-you tutorials, but they would be approachable.

What do you fellows think?

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


#9 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10369

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

In some ways, that's a lot of what GameDev tries to be. And I appreciate that it may be an intimidating community for newcomers, but that isn't intentional by any means.

The articles and forum FAQs are still in disarray at this point, but they are meant to cover a lot of the 'getting started' resources you suggest.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#10 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

This site would probably be even more profile-based, but not to far from GDNet. The main difference is that it would be a lot easier to find people our age (the only way on GDN is to look at the "how to start getting game dev plesse help..." posts) and talk to each other for fun (not to solve problems).

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


#11 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8160

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

Unless you can *really* add value, it doesn't often behoove you to fragment the community -- for one, communities like this one and other forums are about the people--not the platform. You'll spend a great deal of time reinventing the wheel, but how will you attract a strong community to turn it? This is exactly why there aren't a million tiny FaceBooks strewn across the internet--in the end, FaceBook is successful because its where your friends are. It has *gravity* by virtue of its sheer mass. Myspace is a ghetto, Microsoft's offering was still-born, Google is showing some success, but they're throwing massive resources at Google+, and have the consumer clout and exposure to be able to push it. In short, just because you build it, doesn't mean they'll come.

Ruling your own castle is an attractive proposition, but the more productive approach is to focus on improving the kingdom as a whole. Find a strong community to act as the base, and then form a peer group from it's members that are interested in what you're doing, rather than trying to spring a community anew. It would be nice if this site and others had the ability to host small groups within the community at large, but I don't believe the software is capable. If you do form any outside web presence for your group, don't duplicate functionality offered in your home community -- forums, member profiles, etc -- just organize and promote the interests of your group: focus on being a resource, not a community.

#12 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:08 PM

Thanks. I guess I will just abandon that idea.

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


#13 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:25 AM

What if a new section on the forums was made so we could socialize?

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


#14 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8160

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

I don't run this show, but I would suppose that if you showed sufficient participation and a strong membership, along with having specific needs that aren't met by other forums, then the leadership would probably be willing to consider it.

However, keep in mind this idea of fragmentation -- what fragmentation really is is that certain communities make themselves so specific that very few people are interested in participating in them (even if the handful of insiders are very involved) -- because of this, the visibility of the community suffers, and perhaps worse, those inside the community aren't contributing to the community at large. This leads to a lot of duplication of resources and ideas, and at the same time is a wall between the two groups. This reasoning, along with some forums having low traffic in general, led several of the old forums to be cast off or combined with others when this site switched over to new software a few months back.

I'l repeat again -- you don't have to give up on the core of what you were trying to accomplish, you just have to realize that the implementation that first came to mind has a lot of drawbacks. If you focus on being a resource for the particular community that you want to serve, rather than being a community, you can accomplish the same thing, with less effort, while benefitting and benefitting from the larger community. I think you could accomplish that by setting up a website whose purpose is to connect young game developers with other young game developers, and to forums and educational resources across the internet as a starting point. As you grow, you could then start to look at whether you should start filling in what doesn't exist, or producing tailored resources for your community, or perhaps start engaging with existing communities to see if they'd be willing to host your community with things like special forums.

#15 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:45 PM

I'm not sure if I understand exactly what you are saying. Do you mean that the site would point to forums and educational material to get the individual started (there's enough of those "I'm 15 where to start" posts on this forum) as well as a system for encouraging social interaction with other youth?

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


#16 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8160

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:41 AM

You can do whatever you like. If I were to do it, I would have:

A website:
-It doesn't need to be fancy.
-A statement of who your group serves, and what it intends to do for those people.
-A means of providing community news. Any number of blog systems would be good for this.
-A list of educational resources, perhaps with community ratings.
-A list of forums where your members frequent.
-A list of members, by their forum handles, organized by what forums they frequent (obviously, this would be opt-in).
-A mailing list.

#17 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:40 AM

Oh, brilliant! I especially like the idea of the mailing list. That way we could stage our own little competitions easily (as well as spread the news on other game dev. competitions). Do you think that the list of educational resources could be something like this:
>They click on "Getting Started"
>A passage is here explaining the drug that is game development as well as a summary of each of the three categories.
>Three categories of Art, Music/Sound, and Programming/Tech.
>They click on (for example)Programming
>A passage is here explaining how there are two basic primary ways to do the games, which are using specific, non-text-based tools or using a programming language
>They click on Programming Language
>A passage explains how there are many languages that (in the end) do the same thing. It tells of a few popular languages including Python, C# (those first two are recommended), Java, and (recommended against for beginners) C++.
>They click on Python
>A passage explains a little about the start of Python and shares a tiny bit of syntax to show what it's going to look like,
>Here are 3 links: beginner Python, intermediate Python, and advanced Python. Beginner mostly covers the actual language and using libraries like Pygame and PySFML etc. Not too much game-specific programming tutorials are here as few tutorials online teach the language while also teaching game programming techniques. Intermediate Python contains a lot of game programming topics such as collision detection, basic tilemaps, basic structure of games in code, physics, etc. Advanced Python would probably be a tougher one to find tutorials for. It might have tutorials for optimization of game code, binary file systems, or even traversing the gap from Python to a language like Java or C++.
That's how I might structure the basic getting started section of the website. Does that sound good, or is there another gap in my logic?

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development





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