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How to improve myself as a programmer wanting to create games?


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#1 Cdrandin   Members   -  Reputation: 443

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:19 AM

Hello all I am new to the forums, but have used this site to look up many things and figured I should join to help focus on things of my specific concern.
So, far I have made simple 2D graphic games using Python and Pygame as the API. Simply, just Breakout mimic and a megaman mimic.

Just wondering how I can further improve myself and get the best out of my college experience. I have started late in my progression for my passion in gaming, but I am willing to work hard and have searched high and low with information relating to most things programming and games.

I have been curious, in wanting to make a simple app for iOS, wanting to make a future portfolio creating my own HTML page, but no clue on how I would "get" a html page per se. I am mostly interested in wanting to work with 3D graphics, but honestly have no experience with 3D at all. I have looked at many tutorials, examples, etc, but never really push myself to do it, probably out of discouragement.

I have also been curious, in learning OpenGL, which my next semester class will be focusing on that so i wish to get a head start on that and just curious if the reason for using OpenGL is for the core understanding of how graphics work. Also, if I should be using OpenGL for programming or just for understanding graphics and if I want to make a game to just use an engine (UDK or Unity3D as the popular, I'd suppose).

Just wanting to get as much info as possible. Been looking at a lot of "how to be a good programmer", "what it takes to make it in the game industry" type of blogs. I am a person that loves to research and learn many things everyday, but at times I guess I do overload. The thing is all that I read is never applicable, yet.

Also, when creating a simple game and get the functionallity working, do I continue to improve it or leave as is? Also, what is considered valuable in a portfolio.

TL;DR: Just looking for a lot of info on getting started in working my way up with games as I only have had a little exposure to creating a game with 2D graphics.

Thanks in advance!

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#2 Sparkon   Members   -  Reputation: 395

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:47 AM

Before starting i want to say that i'm still learning like you, maybe a bit ahead ( starting 3D).

From my little experience my suggestion, before getting into 3D , is to make a complete personal game, with complete i mean menu,sound,highscores etc... without copying existing games. Maybe make it a bit bigger, but still something reasonable ( add AI ) if you can. This will really boost your moral. If you want to use python you could try the snake binding for Opengl pyopengl. Otherwise you should go for c++.
Since you already know one language it shouldn't be THAT hard, at the same time you could start using SFML, that is nearly identical ( usage ) to pygame.
Good luck

#3 Aart   Members   -  Reputation: 219

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:53 AM

Hey Cdrandin,

What are you studying excactly? Since you will be learning OpenGL I figure that you are not the only one who likes creating games. I think it would be a good step forward if you try to find some likeminded people and make something cool. I see you would like to start creating 3D games, but this might require more then one team member, since it is alot more work then 2D games. Creating a few simple games in a team really shows what you've got and you will learn alot too.

If you want to try 3D anyway:
I have no experience in Python, but I can write C++, and I know C++ combines well with OpenGL. If you want to give C++ and OpenGL a try, google freeglut. This a good library that helps you with OpenGL in C++.

Aart

Edit: freeglut is actually C, which is the precursor of C++

Also! This year I will be joining the Global Game Jam for my first time. There you will create a game in 48 hours, with people you most likely have never met before. Everyone is welcome, artists, programmers, musicians. I think you would rather like it. It would also be a good oppertunity to ask questions to more experienced people. The event starts on january 25 and ends on sunday january 27.

Edited by Aart, 01 December 2012 - 05:02 AM.





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