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#1 PLPGBoy   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

Hey guys whats up. I'm new to the site, but read a few topics today and was overwhelmed with all of the info lol. I want to get a job as a game programmer/designer, but as of now I don't have any skills/internships/experience that I can put on my resume. I graduated from CUNY York College a few months ago with a BS in Information Systems, but I don't believe we did enough hands-on things for me to actually get a job in that field or for me to know what job to actually apply for.

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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#2 cipherous   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:06 PM

Before answering this I want to tell you that I am not a complete expert... I have programmed for a couple of years and a year of that in C++, and have done some OpenGL but I have come across this problem many times and since no one has responded to you yet I feel that I will put in some of my own input, maybe it will help, maybe it won't. Also note that I am only recomending to learn c++. This is because I learned this way, and it is the industry standard for 3D games. There are many other languages obviously, but since I have little experience with them I feel I should leave them out for a more experienced person.

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!

GL! :)

Wayne Prim

Edited by wayneprim, 04 September 2012 - 06:21 PM.


#3 thedevsykes   Members   -  Reputation: 336

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:30 PM

Hey there, hows it going ? So, let me establish some grounds first, you say you have some experience with programming, did you enjoy it ? Did you find it a pain in the ass or a thrill to work with ? Thing is, if you didn't enjoy the experience of programming, it's likely you won't make much of a career out of it, however, if the case is the opposite, then welcome. I can point you in a few directions, yes. Now these arn't exclusive, so feel free to follow any path you desire. I reccomend reading the following materials maybe..

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..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-C-Through-Game-Programming/dp/1435457420/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346804265&sr=8-3
I found this book to be extremely useful to me, and really helps get the foundation of it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Effective-Specific-Programs-Professional-Computing/dp/0321334876/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346804294&sr=1-12
This is gold on it's own! (they may be updated version)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-patterns-elements-reusable-object-oriented/dp/0201633612/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346804356&sr=1-1
This is useful to reference and can help with good design decisions.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Coding-Complete-Mike-McShaffry/dp/1133776574/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346804391&sr=1-1
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.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23714
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/centrum-xna.aspx

(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.
http://www.python.org/
http://www.pygame.org/news.html

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)
http://lwjgl.org/

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Game-Programming-GameDev-net-Collection/dp/159863805X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346804946&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Advanced-Game-Programming-GameDev-net-Collection/dp/1598638068/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346804946&sr=8-1-fkmr1

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.
'Knowledge isn't key, but understanding...'

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)

#4 PLPGBoy   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hey guys thanks for all of this info you've bestowed upon me. I think I will start with the web tutorials first and see how much I can learn. @theark I believe I did pretty well in the 2 programming classes I took. When I worked on assignments, I did find it interesting and not so much of a pain. I have a lot of patience, but there were times when I got a little unsatisfied when I couldn't get the program to do exactly what I wanted it to do. The first 2 books you linked me to look like they could be very helpful, but I'll see how far I get with those web tutorials.




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