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What would I need to get someone else to program for me OR how can I learn easily from home with no money?


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#1 nesseggman   Members   -  Reputation: 366

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

I am an artist and a writer, and my friend is a composer and arranger. We have come up with ideas for games, taken many notes on them, documented a lot about the rules, planned them out, etc. The problem is neither of us can program, and both of us have already been to college, have tons of debt and no money, and other things to occupy our concerns before trying to take on the task of learning to program.

So we are thinking of trying to start up our own small development group locally. We don't know any programmers currently but I'm sure we could find one.

I know everyone has a great game idea, but I was wondering what I would kind of preparations I should make before trying to find someone willing to help us program, without pay of course. I would want to have as complete a portfolio for the intended game as possible, but I'm not sure what all to put into one before handing it to a programmer and saying "Help!"

What should I put together to give to a prosepctive programmer?

Also, if we were wanting to create a game that utilizes 3D graphics/movement, we also need a 3D artist, right? Would we need to find that person before the programmer, or could we find both as they come (and it doesn't matter who comes first)?

Lastly, in the case that we can't find anyone or decide to try ourselves, is there a way to learn programming on your own easily without money? I took Java in college and found it to be easy and natural, and I would also consider myself a logical person, but what you learn in a few college courses is nothing like making a game, it seems. I can make a bunch of console applications, but have no idea where to go from there.

I tried teaching myself C++ (I understand the controversy, but I just wanted to try it) and found that it was very easy to use and debug, but all I ever seem to learn how to do is make console applications and then I don't know where to go from there. I can't go to school or buy books, and the public library here won't allow checkout of reference books.

Even if we do find a programmer or two and start our own little development club, I'd still like to teach myself programming for the fun of it. But something more than console applications... I just don't really know how to teach myself things. I am good at learning through classes, and I'm even good at teaching others, but when I have to teach myself something, I seem completely lost at how to find good resources and go about the whole ordeal.

Thanks for your time and sorry for a long and annoying post!

Sponsor:

#2 Álvaro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13907

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

The primary way you get people to do things for you is by paying them.

Since you have no money, your next best option is doing it yourself. You can learn all you need online for free. If you understand the basics of Java and C++, you are already pretty far along. Search this forum for advice on getting started and post again if you have questions.

Third down the list, you could try to convince someone who already knows programming to help you, perhaps by getting them excited about your project. But I don't expect that will be easy.

EDIT: Shouldn't you be trying to get a job at this stage in your life?

Edited by Álvaro, 04 December 2012 - 07:21 PM.


#3 nesseggman   Members   -  Reputation: 366

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:29 PM

Having a job doesn't mean you have money. You can have multiple jobs and still not be able to afford even the things you need to live. Your money goes to all the things you think are the most essential and then you have none. If I had another job and more money, it would go toward more costs of living that I currently sacrifice.

I've met people before who were willing to work on projects for free simply because they wanted practice and wanted to work on a project, including programmers. I don't see how this is such a ridiculous idea.

But yeah I've been looking around. I don't really understand where to go after learning how to make console applications. I am terrible at learning things without some kind of direction. I can find plenty of resources online, but I don't know how to utilize them to learn what I am wanting to learn. I'm not even sure what it is I'm wanting to learn.

It's like... I can find plenty of Spanish dictionaries online, descriptions of Spanish syntax, etc., but I can stare at them all day and never learn to speak Spanish. And any site that claims to give you direction and teach you Spanish will most likely teach you how to express the most basic of all utterances and get you nowhere.

This is the problem I have with teaching myself things.

#4 Blackarch   Members   -  Reputation: 625

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

The problem I have with your question is that it is ultimately so broad that I can't really give you a good answer to anything. You need to answer more questions for yourself and your project before you do anything. The product drives the technology, not the other way around. What I mean is, I could give you a bunch of links to go learn C++ and DirectX, etc but I have no idea if that is actually what is best for your project.

So before discussing specific technology, why don't you elaborate more on what the requirements are for your game. Things like, what platforms is it running on? 3D or 2D? What sort of content is in your game? What genre does this fall into? The answers to these questions will inform us better to giving you information and advice that is actually actionable.

Software Engineer | Credited Titles: League of Legends, Hearthstone


#5 nesseggman   Members   -  Reputation: 366

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

The problem I have with your question is that it is ultimately so broad that I can't really give you a good answer to anything. You need to answer more questions for yourself and your project before you do anything. The product drives the technology, not the other way around. What I mean is, I could give you a bunch of links to go learn C++ and DirectX, etc but I have no idea if that is actually what is best for your project.

So before discussing specific technology, why don't you elaborate more on what the requirements are for your game. Things like, what platforms is it running on? 3D or 2D? What sort of content is in your game? What genre does this fall into? The answers to these questions will inform us better to giving you information and advice that is actually actionable.


Thanks for your helpful reply, and this is actually a good answer to my question. I more am asking, "What kinds of things would a programmer want to know if I were to give them a portfolio about a project?" I want to know what is too much and what is too little. What all kinds of questions should I ask myself first.

I'm not asking what kind of language or tool or whatever I need. I am asking if I were to find someone who said they love programming for free for no reason (that's a joke), what all should I tell them to not bog them down with unnecessary information about a prospective project.

Since I am coming at this from an artist's perspective, I easily could have forgotten to even mention what kind of platform I had thought about. Those are the kinds of questions I am looking for.

#6 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9280

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

This is the problem I have with teaching myself things.

Have you tried tutorials? I mean, if I wanted to learn a new language, I wouldn't pick up a dictionary, but I would type in "spanish tutorial for beginners" in google and pick a promising one. Then, after a few weeks/months of following increasingly difficult tutorials, I now known enough spanish to read actual books or listen to the radio and work on my pronunciation etc.. the same goes for programming languages.

Obviously you have to be willing to put in the effort to learn. If you're going at it with a half-hearted "this is a waste of time" mentality, you can stop right there.

And any site that claims to give you direction and teach you Spanish will most likely teach you how to express the most basic of all utterances and get you nowhere.

That's because you're either not looking at the right sites, or are just not putting in the effort to carry the exercises to completion. Many free "learning" websites on the internet are crap, yes, but that's the case for any topic known to man, there is just a lot of crap on the internet. If you need help sifting through google results to find good resources, there are forums like this one to help (though you might want to use the search feature - such questions have already been asked and answered about a billion times).

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

Take a look at the topic "so you're a programmer", it should have plenty of helpful advice for you.

#8 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9280

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

If you are an artist, and want to collaborate with programmers to make a game, then money is the best way to go, because even if the programmer is eager to work for free for experience for no reason, he will get bored eventually if the project is anything but trivial and you'll be back to step 1. Obviously there are exceptions, and you can certainly try to advertise your ideas, but be aware that your success rate will be considerably lower if you're asking for volunteers.

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#9 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

You could also try working with an "authorware" package that allows you to create your games with little or no programming. A couple of the popular options include Construct 2, Game Maker and RPG Maker, but there are plenty of other options (see this list, and this list amongst others), and despite sometimes being looked down upon these types of packages can -- and have been -- used to produce good quality games that you can sell. Posted Image

#10 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3038

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

You could also try working with an "authorware" package that allows you to create your games with little or no programming. A couple of the popular options include Construct 2, Game Maker and RPG Maker, but there are plenty of other options (see this list, and this list amongst others), and despite sometimes being looked down upon these types of packages can -- and have been -- used to produce good quality games that you can sell. Posted Image


This is true. RPG Maker XP got me back into programming after several years of being frustrated and thinking I'd never be able to do it. I learned Ruby there and then moved on to C, C++, Lua, MASM, Java (for about 30 seconds) and now I'm glancing casually at C# with mild distaste. Something like RMXP can give you a pretty good idea of what all is involved in making a fully fledged game, and lets you decide on your own how deep you want to get into it. If you can't stand programming then you don't have to do any - you can just set things up in the menu-driven database. Later, if you want to add functionality to the engine, you can jump into the Ruby script that runs the game and make more or less anything you want. (Seriously, I made a Super Mario game with it once. Not an RPG - straight up Super Mario.)

Edited by Khatharr, 04 December 2012 - 08:31 PM.

void hurrrrrrrr() {__asm sub [ebp+4],5;}

There are ten kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

#11 Toothpix   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 810

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

Need some programming work? Go find 100k for a good one, 200k for a few of them, or 60k for a compSci graduate fresh out of college basking in this sea of unemployment. Want to learn it yourself, do you lad/lass? Find a cave with internet access and consistent electricity outlets. Bring your computer. Study. All sarcasm aside, there are many members of this site in the same situation as you and your friend. People just don't know programming, I guess, which kind of defeats the purpose as a game won't even be created at all without at least one programmer. Try reading some older yet concrete books on the fundamentals of programming, the likes of K&R, the Dragon Book, and others you can find on the internet (to buy that is, piracy is stupid, especially for books).

Edited by MrJoshL, 04 December 2012 - 09:08 PM.

C dominates the world of linear procedural computing, which won't advance. The future lies in MASSIVE parallelism.


#12 nesseggman   Members   -  Reputation: 366

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

Thanks everyone. A kind of general reply:

Tutorials - Yeah, I think I am just really bad at finding sources/tutorials. I didn't think to search the forums (see, I am bad at it!) but that is good advice. I will try that soon.

Authorware - I have used a lot of programs like that before. I like them but in the end I usually am frustrated by the lack of freedom (though I know a lot offer quite a bit of freedom). It's that additional programming ability that I lack. Though I'm very impressed to hear of making a platforming game in RMXP. But yeah, I've made my share of games in all kinds of these programs, from as far back as ZZT.

Books - I don't really know what those books are, but I will try to look into them. I don't have money for books and the library is really stingy about what books it lets you check out.

Take a look at the topic "so you're a programmer", it should have plenty of helpful advice for you.


This is just what I'm asking for! I had no idea such a topic existed nor how to find it. Thanks so much!

Edited by nesseggman, 05 December 2012 - 12:26 AM.


#13 Dinner   Members   -  Reputation: 267

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

I found video tutorials were good, usually when following written tutorials, there is an error that if you don't understand why it has an error, They can be hard to fix.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8CAB66181A502179&feature=g-user-a

I found this tutorial in java useful..its a bit more advanced them some of the other game coding tutorials, but its easy enough to stop/rewind, there are simpler ones, and in other languages, if you do want to try something else.

#14 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:29 AM

I am always amazed that the replies to this, seems to be, often asked question is the same. So here is, I hope, A different response....
1 - In learning Game Programming while designing a game > Start by keeping it simple and build from there. Choose a simple Language, Choose a simple routine. I Started with BlitzBasic.com for gaming. No complicated Graphic routines to learn, a blend of C++ and basic Language.

2 - Get your game mechanics worked out. For Example : If you need to roll some dice before you move, Then start by learning how to roll Some Dice. If you need a game board then make a Graphic of your game board and write the code to simply display it.

What I am trying to say is that learning how to program a game, became a lot easier if I programmed my game as I was learning how to program my game.

Check out BlitzBasic.com Free Sample download with documentation.

As far As getting a Progammer, Let me Know. I Game. My help me to follow someone else's thought process. I currently Have a 3D first Person Space Shooter / Quest game, an RPG game and a word puzzle game underway. ( WordPuzzle is in test Mode )

Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#15 Aardvajk   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6189

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

I kind of agree with Poigahn - you don't "learn programming" then "write a game". You learn as you go. I've been developing games and applications in C and C++ for over 15 years now and I'm still learning on a daily basis.

The trick, as the above poster points out, is to break down your task into smaller and smaller tasks until you have a task simple enough to go research and implement. If you look for a tutorial on "How to write a MMORPG", you'll not have any luck. But if you gradually break the task down smaller and smaller, you'll find yourself looking for a tutorial on "How to create a Direct3D window" or "How to detect a mousepress in Windows" etc.

You'll then find Google far more useful and you'll find source material far more easily.

I'd also agree with other comments here - attitude is king, patience is essential and always, always have a small, manageable goal in sight or you'll lose interest. Breaking things down into smaller chunks helps with this as well.

#16 Zaoshi Kaba   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4571

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

I didn't read all the posts so sorry if I'm wrong.

It seems everyone goes around the answer: read here, read there, search, etc. But I failed to notice direct answer.
So lets say you decide to use C++ to create your game, but you said you have no idea how to do anything else but console application. Since it's a game you need graphics, well OpenGL and DirectX APIs can be used for graphics. Finding tutorial on Google is easy (doesn't mean it's good), it'll explain and show how to draw just colored triangle, then models and so on. That should get you started.

#17 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3038

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

Though I'm very impressed to hear of making a platforming game in RMXP.


Was a long time ago... (omg I'm so old)

http://www.creationa...=26374&hl=mario

(You have to have RMXP to run it. Sorry, I don't have the stuff on this PC.)

Edited by Khatharr, 05 December 2012 - 04:55 PM.

void hurrrrrrrr() {__asm sub [ebp+4],5;}

There are ten kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

#18 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:43 AM

Okay- I will take the Job of your Programming Consultant. I like the pay. Very little Taxation at that level.
The first thing I need as your programmer is your story. What is the game about ? Are we going to follow a story-line or have open play ?
Next, is your game based on what the charactor(s) in the story can do ? Or, on what the player can do ? This will direct our Graphic Options.

Let me know. I want the job !!!

Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#19 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:40 AM

Okay, Why was I voted down for the above statement. The person asked for a programmer and somewhat guidance, I volunteered and was voted down ?
Come on. There was absolutely nothing negative there!!

Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!


#20 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19350

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

The original poster asked for advice about how to find a local programmer or advice on how they could handle their own programming and you began responding as if there was a proper job offer. I appreciate that you may have been genuinely wanting to help -- the comment on the pay and taxation is reasonably obviously a joke, but could quite easily have been taken as presumptuous instead -- but are you really surprised that someone found the post objectionable? Your response just isn't particularly relevant to the question asked, especially given the original poster was specifically asking about finding local help.

I wouldn't have down-voted you personally, but I also don't think it's particularly out of place for someone to consider your response to "not improve the conversation". Volunteering probably would have been fine, but in this specific case the original poster wasn't actually looking for a programmer and you responded as if there was an explicit job offer. Always remember that text does not communicate tone -- you have to make it very clear if you're having a bit of a joke or not being entirely serious.




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