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Web Developer turning into Games Developer - Help Pleaseh


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#1 highGamer   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:02 AM

Hi All,

I am a student who has spent the past few years developing web sites and learning the related technologies and am now looking to make the transition in to gaming. I am looking forward to large learning curve ahead of me and cant wait to see my first game on screen - even if it might be a bit poop at first!!
My technical skills are mainly there to help with web development, so I have the standard HTML and CSS, as well as Javascript and php. I also have experience in C# and the .net framework. The problem is that I have never considered to how to apply these skills?

Could someone please point me in the right direction and help me take my first step? As I understand it, the approach to any web development is completely different to starting in games.



Thanks in Advance,

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#2 mohq07   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:33 AM

I know my response may not help you that much because I am a beginner myself however I do not have the web background you have, I'm relatively new to the programming world but sometimes I think opinions from anyone can help In one way or another.
From what I know, the gaming industry is absolutely HUGE! Which is the best part about it, there are so many things you can do and its rather difficult to start off, and sometimes I feel you need to try something for yourself to get the feel and see if it interests you. Gaming can go as far as mobile games, console games, computer games, even web games. Since you have a strong background in web design maybe you can design web games or something but always keep an open mind!

I personally want to go into computer/console gaming so I did some reading here and there and I know I have to start learning C++. C++ is the biggest language for gaming and there is a reason for it, its fast, efficient and you can do a lot of things with it. I'm starting off with books I searched online for beginners (currently reading the Dummies 7 in 1 book for C++). I also plan on learning directx 9 and making some personal projects (ex. rendering a cube etc) so I can get a feel and practice.

The best thing is practicing making programs based on what YOU like, you will be MUCH more interested and you never know if you'll make something big!
So i guess figure out which path you want to go down and then start from the ground and work your way up, whether it be making android games, iOS games, web games, or computer games! its up to you

Hope you got something out of my post! Good Luck

#3 highGamer   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:47 AM

Thanks mohq07,

Everything helps, and I definitely agree with you. Staying with what interests you is the best way to learn. At the moment I do feel like I am go down the route of web games as I feel they compliment each other well. I am looking forwards to learning lots. At the moment I am thinking about playing around in games programming with JavaScript and then working my way up! Just struggling at the moment to find the first stepping stone.

Thanks Again,

#4 mohq07   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:10 AM

That sounds awesome! JS is a perfect starting point for web games In my opinion.
I'd say first start off by making some small games from JS (I'd say make some classic games, pong, air hockey, tic-tac-toe etc), maybe get some books to improve your JS skills so you can make larger games and from there you can branch out to languages that allow more flexibility like Flash (which every browser has) and Silverlight once you get those down you can create wonderful games!
I'm struggling to start off myself so just keep asking around for peoples input and I'm sure you'll find yourself a nice place to begin.

#5 wicked357   Members   -  Reputation: 1157

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:08 AM

Perfect, you have all the skills right now to stay in your comfort zone and make games just for web. You can check out http://www.gamefromscratch.com/page/Cocos2D-HTML-5-Tutorial-Series-table-of-contents.aspx seems pretty straight forward. If you are wanting to make the transition from what you know to another language and are ready for a challenge. Do some C/C++ programming. Start out making console stuff till you have a pretty firm grasp of the basics which probably won't take too long. Just know that C/C++ isn't as forgiving as PHP is. Once you get comfortable with that and console games like a simple guess number->hang man->text based RPG go graphics with SFML till you get a good understanding of how graphics work in games then you can make games like pong->asteroids->tile based game. Once you are comfortable there you can check out something like an Engine maybe... or go right to the dirty and check out DirectX maybe start with 2D graphics here and jump to 3D. It all really depends on what you want to do really. I would check out engines like Leadwerks or something so you are not recreating the wheel with DirectX but in the sake of learning go for it if that is what you want. I hope my post helps you. I actually made the transition from Games developer in C/C++ and C# to web development last year.

#6 ZeroBeat   Members   -  Reputation: 519

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:50 AM

Hi,

One way:
You can try WebGL tutorials to get you started with graphics in web games. It could be a great starting location as you can utilise some of the skills and knowledge that you already know. As you go along the tutorials you can start making a small game that you would like to make. Something really simple that you can accomlish. Make it something very simple and complish-able as finishing things feels good. If its somethng too complex and hard there is a higher chance that you would get frustrated and stop doing it.

Some people say start by making a pong clone. Ie get a rectangle on the screen. Next Step get another rectangle. Then get one to move up and down randomly while the other moves based on your input. Add the sphere get it to move randomly...and so on.

Another Possibility:
In your OP you said you have some experiance with c# and .Net. Why not try XNA? There are alot of tutorials online to get you started.
In same way you can try programming with Unity3D. Here is a link to a website with some video tutorials.

Whatever you choose in the end, dont give up, work in small incremental steps and do stuff that you like hehe. When you are doing enjoyable things, you learn faster and things will stick better.

Edited by ZeroBeat, 24 July 2012 - 08:53 AM.


#7 lukepunnett   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:01 PM

Thanks Everyone! There is a lot to take in, to get going I am going to begin with Web based games. I have started a game of pong using javascript and jquery, I am trying my best to make it my own but sometimes I have cheeky peeks at different tutorials. I have also started playing with cocos2D after a great recommendation from wicked357. I will keep you updated with my pong progress and also let you know how cocos2D.

Whatever you choose in the end, dont give up, work in small incremental steps and do stuff that you like hehe. When you are doing enjoyable things, you learn faster and things will stick better.


Will definitely remember this advice as I am on the verge of smashing my keyboard. Thanks again guys,

#8 Ford2012   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:03 PM

I'm similar to yourself, I am going from web development (mostly php, html, css and JavaScript) to amateur games programming. I bought Sams teach yourself c++ in 24 hours and Sams teach yourself games programming in 24 hours (WIN32 API programming) to get me started. It's making sense so far managed to get a little game engine up and draw sprites all over the window!

#9 dimitri.adamou   Members   -  Reputation: 329

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:20 PM

Hey I'm making a very similar journey.

I found reading this book 'Professional C++', by Mark Gregoire, Nicholas A. Solter and Scott J. Kleper, has brought me up to speed (I'm still reading it!)

This book is my bible at the moment, and the scope it covers is fairly impressive. It also helps you become a better programmer. At the moment I'm up to a section on how to manage memory - I'm loving it!

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0470932449 - thats the book.

As for Game Programming books, I think its necessary to develop the design skills first

2 sources I've gained an impressive amount of knowledge from are 'Game Coding Complete - Fourth Edition' (fairly new book) and 'Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX' (Its a bit oudated, uses 8.1 - but it has some gem of advice)

Game Coding Complete, is a great book for teaching you the design and structure of an Engine - but don't expect that by reading this book it will take you through the steps of making a project. It comes with source-code for a game of Teapot Wars, going through the source code was a learning experience. http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/1133776574

Of course GGC focuses more on a Game-Engine approach, while it is good to understand - I think it's really recommended that you just start building a project and focus on a specific game. Start off with Tetris/Pong, Arkanator, Pacman, Super Mario (side scroller)


Also here is a resource http://www.d3dcoder.net/ - you will probably need some pre-requisite knowledge however

Theres alot of content to absorb! But keep at it and you'll pick it up Posted Image Just don't expect results in a short amount of time lol. And sometimes you will come across a conflicting amount of knowledge, sometimes you just have to experiment and learn the (very) hard way.

Good luck to you! Cheers

#10 josh1billion   Members   -  Reputation: 195

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:51 AM

I'm a game developer --> turned web developer --> turned both developer --> turning game developer, so I have a strong understanding of both the world from which you're coming and the world to which you wish to go. Posted Image

Since you already have a background in web development, I'd recommend jumping into HTML5 game development. Extensive experience in JavaScript will be extremely helpful to you here, so you already have an advantage. Writing HTML5 games is also easier than programming games for any other platform (in my opinion), so it'll be a great starting place.

HTML5 games utilize the HTML canvas element, so just google for some HTML5 canvas tutorials and you'll quickly learn how to utilize 2D graphics for your games. You likely already know how to handle input, given your background, so that's easy enough. Playing sound effects is easy as well, as you'll see when you go to add them.

Other than the ease of use, HTML5 game development also offers another benefit: many of the concepts you'll learn there will also carry over into other 2D game development. Drawing sprites (a process known as "blitting") is done the same way when programming 2D games in many other languages, for example, so the little blitting tricks (example: scrolling) you learn will be nice to know later.

I bought Sams teach yourself c++ in 24 hours

Wow, nostalgia! This was my first programming book ever (back in 2003). :D

Edited by josh1billion, 26 July 2012 - 12:55 AM.

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