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I want to learn.


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#1 haddez   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:15 PM

Hey,
Me and my friend are entering our last year of school and when we finish we want to go into the Video Game Industry by programming games.
the problem is we know nothing about it though and thought we should probably learn but we have a few questions first.

1)What is the best thing to learn (we want to program games for consoles.)
2)Is there anyway I can learn for free as we are tight on money.

We want to learn how to program together and know that we will need to build a good portfolio to have a chance of getting a job.

Also is Collage/University a good idea?

Thanks for any help.

=)

Edited by haddez, 13 June 2012 - 01:17 PM.


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#2 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5159

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:28 PM

Hey,
Me and my friend are entering our last year of school and when we finish we want to go into the Video Game Industry by programming games.
the problem is we know nothing about it though and thought we should probably learn but we have a few questions first.

1)What is the best thing to learn (we want to program games for consoles.)
2)Is there anyway I can learn for free as we are tight on money.

We want to learn how to program together and know that we will need to build a good portfolio to have a chance of getting a job.

Also is Collage/University a good idea?

Thanks for any help.

=)


The closest you are going to get to console programming ( for free )is probably the Vita. I have a series of tutorials I mentioned over in the Your Announcements section that should get you started. ( Does anyone actually read the Your Announcement forum anymore??? ). You can also target the XBox 360 using XNA, but that future is certainly a cloudy one...

Beyond that, you need to learn to program first, there are no short cuts. College and University are both good ideas for giving you the proper foundation, or perhaps more importantly, to proving you can actually finish something. That said, you are still going to need to get your hands dirty. If you are at ground zero in your programming adventure, start by reading this, take two asprin, then dive in and start writing some code.

Some simple code. Like hello world, on a PC not a console. You build up from there.

Edited by Serapth, 13 June 2012 - 01:29 PM.


#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18371

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

1)What is the best thing to learn (we want to program games for consoles.)
2)Is there anyway I can learn for free as we are tight on money.
3)We want to learn how to program together and know that we will need to build a good portfolio to have a chance of getting a job.
4)Also is Collage/University a good idea?

1) Programming for consoles is not so different from programming on PCs. Exactly the same principles apply. Pick up an easy-to-learn language such as C# or Python, and learn how things works. You will need many months to become competent in the language, but if you work hard you can possibly make your first tic-tac-toe game after a week or two of learning.

2) Visual C# Express, Visual C++ Express, Eclipse, and many other IDEs are available for free. There are online tutorials of varying quality that are free.

3) For programmers a portfolio is a very small part of the deal. A portfolio will help, but lack of portfolio will not block you from getting the job. Many programmers break in to the industry without any sort of games portfolio.

4) Yes. You are not competing for jobs in a vacuum. You are competing against many other people. When an employer is looking at a stack of 50 applicants and 48 of them have college degrees, you can guess which two will be the first in the bin.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#4 sss_abaker   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

Without university you'll only ever be a run of the mill software developer that can write rudimentary engines. When doing university you go from being overwhelmed by the concepts in these articles and articles like these to being able to understand the concepts almost right away. Like someone here said, its a great foundation.

#5 haddez   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:33 PM


Hey,
Me and my friend are entering our last year of school and when we finish we want to go into the Video Game Industry by programming games.
the problem is we know nothing about it though and thought we should probably learn but we have a few questions first.

1)What is the best thing to learn (we want to program games for consoles.)
2)Is there anyway I can learn for free as we are tight on money.

We want to learn how to program together and know that we will need to build a good portfolio to have a chance of getting a job.

Also is Collage/University a good idea?

Thanks for any help.

=)


The closest you are going to get to console programming ( for free )is probably the Vita. I have a series of tutorials I mentioned over in the Your Announcements section that should get you started. ( Does anyone actually read the Your Announcement forum anymore??? ). You can also target the XBox 360 using XNA, but that future is certainly a cloudy one...

Beyond that, you need to learn to program first, there are no short cuts. College and University are both good ideas for giving you the proper foundation, or perhaps more importantly, to proving you can actually finish something. That said, you are still going to need to get your hands dirty. If you are at ground zero in your programming adventure, start by reading this, take two asprin, then dive in and start writing some code.

Some simple code. Like hello world, on a PC not a console. You build up from there.


When i said we wanted to do consoles i meant when we have learnt how to code and have a job :P I know it would be impossible to start there.

Thanks for that link, reading through it now it seems helpful as I am on 'Ground Zero' and know nothing about programming.

#6 sectrix   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:04 PM

The platform you want to program for eventually isn't too big of a concern right now, You need to cut your teeth on the fundamentals first. This is a cool thing about programming - it's all more or less the same. Every language is typed differently, has different features and operates differently under the hood, but the basics of getting things done are the same. Every language will have some way to loop, or to test for a condition, for example. Once the methods of solving problems in programming are second nature to you (once you can think in code, to steal a line from Portal 2), you can move on to more advanced languages and projects. I started with BASIC on a Tandy Color Computer and a Commodore 64. You've probably never heard of those computers - which is because they're over 20 years old. Yet what I learned on those old machines was applicable to other languages I learned later, like PHP and Java.

I would put my vote in for starting with Visual Basic. The express edition is free, there are mountains of documentation, tutorials and examples, and it has many features that the 'full' languages have. Buy or rent from your library (which is what I always did) a book on beginning Visual Basic, start at page one, do the examples (important!) and work your way through it.

And college is a great idea. You'll have access to people who already know the material, so when you get really lost you literally have industry experts to turn to. They'll also inform you about standards and practices in the industry, help you focus on what to learn, and provide clubs for you to interact with other people interested in the same thing. It'll also round out your programming knowledge. It's easy to miss something early on.

Be warned though, programming is a fickle master. You can spend hours pouring over code that isn't working only to find you forgot one little ; that broke everything. Don't give up. Every mistake is one you'll learn from. The next time it happens, and it will, you'll know where to start looking.

And like anything else in life, the more you code, the better you'll be.

Edited by sectrix, 13 June 2012 - 03:07 PM.


#7 haddez   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:15 PM

Would you say "Small Basic" is a good program to start with?

#8 Mr Rage   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 07:06 PM

I remember Peter Molyneux explained how he broke into the gaming industry. He also explained there are 3 routes.

First Route = Academics

Good GCSEs, A Levels and Degree

Second Route = Game Tester

Being passionate for games and applying for game testing. Then work your way up to either a programmer, designer or artist/animator.

Third Route = By Yourself

Personally this is the best route. Some people such as Peter Molyneux, Lord Sugar, Bill Gates have become very very very successful(not only gaming industry) by doing it themselves instead of having academics and being in a okay position. Doing stuff like getting with a group of friends and having a Pc to start learning a engine, know what this person and that person can do and make projects and set goals.

Even do I'm in the middle of route 1 and 3, I prefer 3 much more. Right now I'm getting way better at animation and art, just need to learn a language for Unity(engine). Also there are 2 teams on youtube called DrunkenLizardGames and EliteSquadGames. They are creating amazing fps. Shocking how EliteSquadGames has only 2 people developing it. Soon them 2 will be somewhere in the future because of their passion. Lastly I'm even planning on making a short 3D game soon.

#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8473

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:12 PM

We want to learn how to program together and know that we will need to build a good portfolio to have a chance of getting a job.
is Collage/University a good idea?
When i said we wanted to do consoles i meant when we have learnt how to code and have a job :P


Hi, Haddez.
Yes, college is an excellent idea, if you want to get a job programming games.
I am moving this to the Breaking In forum, since your goal is to get a job ("break in").
But I'll leave a link in the For Beginners forum, so folks there can still find your topic and offer suggestions.
I recommend you check out the Breaking In FAQ (go to the Breaking In forum main page, and look for it at the upper right corner).
Ask programming questions in FB, and ask job prep questions in BI.
Hope you get a lot of helpful info here.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#10 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18371

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:46 PM

Would you say "Small Basic" is a good program to start with?


It is a beginning programming language, and would work well to introduce you to the topic.

You won't be writing the next big shooter in the language, but it should be enough to get you through tic-tac-toe and similar games.

If you are interested in a language that is used in bigger games, you might consider learning C#.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#11 haddez   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:12 PM


Would you say "Small Basic" is a good program to start with?


It is a beginning programming language, and would work well to introduce you to the topic.

You won't be writing the next big shooter in the language, but it should be enough to get you through tic-tac-toe and similar games.

If you are interested in a language that is used in bigger games, you might consider learning C#.


I was planning on making a few simple games like Pong, Tic Tac Toe then trying a basic Side-Scoller before moving on. What would be better in the long run C# or C++. From what I understand C++ is used more often but C# is easier and more reliable.

Also sorry if this sounds a little bad but would anyone be able to help me start and understand the basics of it all? I have looked through the tutorial that comes with Small Basic and it is Okay for a bit but misses out alot on how to put it all together and on how to use the information to make a basic game. there aren't any tutorials online that explain it either. Once I understand it I will be okay but when learning a new language I need a teacher (or Rosseta Stone :P) instead of a written guide.

Edited by haddez, 13 June 2012 - 11:13 PM.


#12 Shenaynay   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:08 AM

I wouldn't say c# is easier. I actually find it harder to understand than c++.

#13 Inukai   Members   -  Reputation: 1282

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:37 AM

I wouldn't say c# is easier. I actually find it harder to understand than c++.


How is that possible? C# is like c++ with less cryptic error messages, memory management and without ; after classes...

#14 abigel   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:47 AM

I was studied c++ ...from my point of view it is tough to learn c++...so i think c# is more tougher than c++...

#15 haddez   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:46 AM

What are the differences to C++ and c# and how long would c++ take to learn if you know nothing about programming (I am starting on Small Basic first.)

#16 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8473

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:48 PM

What are the differences to C++ and c# and how long would c++ take to learn if you know nothing about programming (I am starting on Small Basic first.)

Ask that question in For Beginners. This forum is for questions about preparing for a game job. Closing the thread.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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