New career path
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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:51 PM
I would rather work in the video game field, but I know there's a lot of stuff that I have to learn. I'm still not sure on exactly what I should be learning, though. I was thinking about going to the University of Southern California and specializing in Video Game Programming or Design, but that wouldn't be right away because that would take time and money. I guess what I'm really trying to ask yall is if there's anything I can learn/work on before I possibly go back to school.
Also, is there stuff I can learn on my own so I wouldn't have to go to school for game programming/design? I have some experience with C++ and data structures because of some classes I took, but that was a few years ago so I probably forgot all of that stuff. So, since I'm pretty much starting from scratch, how/where should I begin?
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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:06 PM
I see that you have some experience in C++, or had experience. I think it is very important for your sake to start that over from the basics as you said it has been a few years since you were learning the language. There are great books out there (I will list them below), that will cover mostly everything you need to know and get you started on text based games, these are awesome (sometimes boring) ways to get to learn the language and how to use it making the structure of the game loop. There are different ways to go about these books, one being reading it diligently through just once, covering every exercise and not leaving any chapter until you are proficient leading you to the end of the book where you should know almost everything you can about the language, or at least to the extent of what the book teaches. This way of going about it is great and you will learn a lot but I feel that it is limiting in ways. When you read a text book and strictly follow its exercises you don't really allow yourself to explore other things, be creative and make mistakes. I think the best way to go about it is use the book as a sort of reference. Sure you can read the text from front to back doing this but the way I did it was I read a bit of knowledge, and created what I could from that knowledge... This made it a lot more fun and increased my learning curve. Just know, the book will stay around for much longer if you do it this way since you are taking some time to practice the material but I think it is very worth it!
Great books for C++:
C++ Primer(4th edition) by Stanley B. Lippman is a great book. I learned from it and highly recommend it for others.
C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup. Great book, I delved into this a bit after the Primer. It is great to learn from the very inventer of the language
Great Web Tutorials:
learncpp.com (awesome site, best and only web tutorial I recommend)
After you learn the language I think you will have a good idea into what you want to learn next, whether it be the Graphics API, or maybe something more specialized like AI. But that is all I have for you, sorry if it is not enough!
Edited by wayneprim, 04 September 2012 - 06:21 PM.
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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:30 PM
I'll give you the programming talk, since it's my area, I never could design all that well.. well once I designed a happy face on a pizza.. but I hate pizza so that was a waste of my time..
I found this book to be extremely useful to me, and really helps get the foundation of it.
This is gold on it's own! (they may be updated version)
This is useful to reference and can help with good design decisions.
Some good pointers here in this book, and a nice read.
IF money is an issue and books are impractical to purchase (because they are expensive and one has to eat... sometimes) then a few sites that may help.
http://www.swiftless.com - Teaches OpenGL/GLSL for game programmimg.
http://nehe.gamedev.net/ - I little outdated and windows bias, but still very useful.
http://www.cprogramming.com/ - What I wouldn't do without it.
http://en.cppreference.com/w/ - Everyone needs a little aid from time to time ;)
Of course, i've referenced a few OpenGL sites there, but it all depends (You might prefer DirectX, in which the DirectX Documentation is all i've ever needed, and also, DirectX9 a shader approach by Frank P Luna, may be worth a read). So far i've been rather C++ bias, for which I apologise, C++ is my language of choice, so to give you a fair idea, i'll point you at some other sources.
XNA is a C# game framework built atop DirectX 9 (or 10?) and is a pretty solid start to get your head around.
(You may want to download the Visual C# Express Edition IDE, its free)
I hear good things about Python and PyGame. But i've never touched Python so i'll just link you the resource.
And there is also Java. I find that the LWJGL library works well for it, and is a wrapper around OpenGL (and Minecraft used it)
There is probably hundreds more resources out there, i'm just shooting the ones I can get off the top of my head. You could invest in two books that are a compilation of what is written here on game dev, these could give you a good idea on what to look at, where to start and even get your head in the programming mindset. I know they helped me.
And of course, don't forget to brush up on your mathematics.
- Linear Algebra
- Discrete Mathematics
- Some Foundation Maths doesn't go amiss.
Hope this sources help, and good luck.
My qualifcations are not here to showcase, but for those I answer and ask, to get a better idea on my knowledge.
BCS Level 2 Certificate for IT Users (ECDL Part 2)
OCR Level 2 National Award in Business
Level 2 First Diploma in Media
Level 3 Diploma in Games Design and Development Extended
BSc Hons in Computer Games Programming (Current - 1st Year)
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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:16 PM