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So how do I start learning programming?


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#1 Zrifepsych   Members   -  Reputation: 248

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:44 AM

First of all you need to know I have ZERO knowledge about programming.Then someone told me I need to learn Javascript to make games.After a few minutes roaming the internet I'm stuck.I have few questions:

1.Is javascript the most basic scripting language?

2.Do I need to learn HTML first or should I just start with Javascript

3.Where is the best sites to learn them?

4.Does learning Javascript is enough to make games?Programming wise,that is.



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#2 rileyw   Members   -  Reputation: 133

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Zrifepsych,

 

 

JavaScript may not be the most basic scripting language; however, you will find more resources for JavaScript than some other basic scripting languages. HTML and JavaScript are like shoes and shoelaces. You can wear shoes without shoelaces but using shoelaces makes the experience so much better. I would learn the basics of HTML to help with learning JavaScript. For JavaScript you can check out the following websites:

  1. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/JavaScript
  2. http://cs.brown.edu/courses/bridge/1998/res/javascript/javascript-tutorial.html
  3. http://www.echoecho.com/javascript.htm

For HTML you can check out the following websites:

Learning HTML and JavaScript will give you a foundation for a game; however, it may not meet/exceed your expectations.

 

What type of game are you wanting to make?

 

One last note, w3schools may show up in your search results for HTML or JavaScript but I recommend staying away from that website. Why? See this http://w3fools.com/


Edited by rileyw, 28 January 2013 - 10:02 AM.

[|: rileyw :|]

#3 Motoky   Members   -  Reputation: 178

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

I've been studying various subjects over the past few years. Programming is one of them, I used books to learn, some have been helpful, others have made it more confusing for me.

 

I started with C++, moved onto DirectX and got really stuck, tried out ActionScript 3.0, went to another book on DirectX and now I'm back to C++. I wished I had done more research before I started with C++ because I did find it hard and people have mentioned it's a hard language to learn if you are new to programming and I bet I would know a lot more now if I had started off with a friendlier language.

 

Bear with me as I don't usually give out advice as I am still a Rookie lol, but doing this will also help me gain knowledge from other peoples posts.

 

1. I've never used JS, but I hear a lot of people talking about using it to begin with, but also heard others mention Python. I think JS and Python are the two that people have mentioned to most to start out with and might be considered easier languages to learn.

 

2. I've read that it's a good idea to learn HTML before Javascript, but I'm not 100% on this.

 

3. You could try searching on Google for Javascript tutorials or whatever language you plan to learn. Or you could learn from books or even from short term courses.

 

4. I've done a bit of searching and it should be enough to make games. I don't know how powerful it is though.

 

 

Pretty sure someone will come along and either correct me or come up with a better explanation. I'm still learning each day, but questions like these will give me the chance to do a bit of searching myself and find out something new.



#4 SuperVGA   Members   -  Reputation: 1118

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

First of all you need to know I have ZERO knowledge about programming.Then someone told me I need to learn Javascript to make games.After a few minutes roaming the internet I'm stuck.I have few questions:

1.Is javascript the most basic scripting language?

2.Do I need to learn HTML first or should I just start with Javascript

3.Where is the best sites to learn them?

4.Does learning Javascript is enough to make games?Programming wise,that is.

Javascript is nice to start with. As you're starting, you shouldn't pick something that you plan on sticking with when you produce that big 3D game you're dreaming of making. But Javascript is easy to write and easy to debug.

I would however, advice you to learn about HTML and the DOM first. Also, Javascript runs somewhat different from browser to browser.

 

For a more consistent, although less graphical experience start with Python here:

Please visit http://www.learnpython.org/ to learn general programming

Its syntax is a little different from Javascript, which on the other hand looks a lot like Most C-based languages (C, Java, C++, C#)

 

None of them are compiled languages. But both of them are good to start with in my opinion.



#5 DevLiquidKnight   Members   -  Reputation: 834

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

Teach yourself HTML, if you still like it maybe teach yourself java-script. Or move on to flash type games with action-script or even learn a programming language like Java, java and java-script are not the same. Or you could simply learn C# or C++, I would suggest a formal classroom setting if you've had no exposure to this stuff.


However, if you cannot find that I would recommend you find a good book and learn to read and do the exercises in it.


Java-script is not a language I would recommend you write a game in however.


Edited by DevLiquidKnight, 28 January 2013 - 10:19 AM.


#6 EmployeeNumber8   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

1.Is javascript the most basic scripting language?

 

Some would say no, but I can't think of [many/any] languages as basic as JavaScript with so much innovation over the last several years. Not too long ago people were only really using JavaScript for basic things like changing an image when the user hovers over it. Now we have huge efforts like V8, MongoDB, nodejs, etc.

It is a basic language constantly used in efforts that aren't necessarily "basic". Which means JavaScript will evolve, so personally I think it's a good time to get into JavaScript especially if you're just learning.

 

2.Do I need to learn HTML first or should I just start with Javascript

 

I think you'll find that you'll end up learning both anyways. I'd start with JavaScript.

 

 

3.Where is the best sites to learn them?

 

See the reply by rileyw

 

4.Does learning Javascript is enough to make games?Programming wise,that is.

 

It depends on what kind of game you want to make. You won't see Grand Theft Auto 5 in released in HTML5/JavaScript, but learning JavaScript is definitely enough to make games. It has been proven. Just take a look around the web and see what people have been making. A guy just released an Amiga emulator written in JavaScript.



#7 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

Javascript is not the worst language to learn programming with, but I don't think it's good either. Like SuperVGA, I would recommend going with Python. There are plenty of good beginners' guides for it. Once you get the hang of it, you can start working with the Pygame toolkit to handle game graphics and sound.

Javascript, together with some browser technology to handle graphical output and some to handle sound, is sufficient to make presentable games though. Here's a game (actually, a tech prototype for school assignment) written entirely in Javascript. There are 7 lines of HTML for bootstrapping; the game code is about 1700 lines of Javascript, plus a couple hundred more lines of hardcoded level description in Javascript. Canvas is used to draw the graphics. There is no sound but it would be easy enough to add.
http://www.niksula.hut.fi/~holttan1/dmpharkka/

I don't see a point in anyone wanting to learn programming to get started by learning HTML. Writing HTML is not programming.

Edited by Stroppy Katamari, 28 January 2013 - 11:11 AM.


#8 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

I'm sorry if this comes off as contradictory to other posters on this thread but I would have to strongly urge against python UNLESS you intend to only code as a hobby.  This is because coding normally leads to working in non game development related positions first and if you are lucky comes back to game development.  When you are working as a programmer for a company or offering freelancer services you are expected to work in C++, C#, PHP or Javascript and sometimes Java (depending on what your working on).  With that said Python is of a completely different family of languages, that is to say that it's syntax and practices are totally different than the languages that you are likely to be hired for.  As such learning Python or Visual Basic is learning the less commonly used family of languages and makes it even more difficult to transition back to the higher demand languages later on.

 

Now with that being said I'm sure there's plenty of people that want to chime in right now and say "I make games in python all the time".  That's great and it works just fine, yes you can code in python, yes you can make games with python.  Will you get hired to code python for a client or by a big enough company that can afford to hire full time coders?  Not likely.  So please base your decision on this, do you want to do it for your own personal projects and as a hobby or do you want to learn it in an attempt to get a job somewhere?  It your answer is the latter I would suggest you stick to learning something of the top level family such as C++, PHP, Javascript, maybe even Java or C# (although Java and C# require a bit of object oriented programming knowledge and may be a bit harder to learn up front).

 

Please note I am making no comments on performance or ability of languages I am just pointing out demand for work and that the majority of the time the demand is for languages that are based off of the C style (or family) of coding.  It is also worth mentioning that learning programming doesn't exactly mean learning a language, it's a method of writing commands to achieve a goal.  Learning any language teaches you the art of programming and later on changing to another language is normally just learning the subtle differences in the commands.  Meaning learn anything and learn it well, you can always change later.  My warning in this message is that there are two major types of programming languages (maybe even more), there's the C family of languages that all look pretty much the same and use many of the same commands, then there's the "basic" family of languages that all look the same (as each other but not like C family).  Same thing with these, they use most of the same commands and are easy to switch between.  To a beginning programmer switching between "basic" and "c" family of code can be a very complex learning curve as they are quite different in the way that you type the commands and what those commands are.


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#9 SuperVGA   Members   -  Reputation: 1118

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

Agreed. Overall that is. I still think you can learn a lot of basic programming in python, and it's easy to learn with.
There's no compiler or linker options. Few environment changes needed to set up a first timer example.
But as you say, and as I pointed out myself, js is a lot more similar to c languages from a syntactical perspective.

That said, OP didn't mention what/where he planned on programming aside from games.
Also, more languages is a trait. If I in general had to pick between a guy who could program in two c languages,
and a guy who can prototype stuff faster(yes!) as well as writing C, I'll pick the latter.

I disagree however, that learning python or vb complicates switching back. People learn and speak more languages,
and a well founded tongue is better at learning anew than one spent in a single language.

#10 Zrifepsych   Members   -  Reputation: 248

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

The type of game I want to make is 2.5D platformer with a la Devil May Cry combat.I'm ready to spend time to learn programming it's just I still haven't found something that is 'noob' friendly tutorial.The latest supposedly beginnner Javascript tutorial video I've seen didn't explain things like why you need to tags,uppercase,why you need to skip lines,etc.I still haven't check out the links rileyw provided right now but once I do,I'll give feedback whether it's useful for me or not.



#11 Zrifepsych   Members   -  Reputation: 248

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:05 AM

@rileyw I think I need something more simpler to learn HTML.The website for Javascript seems fine though.Is there any other sites that can teach me?


Edited by Zrifepsych, 29 January 2013 - 04:07 AM.


#12 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

The type of game I want to make is 2.5D platformer with a la Devil May Cry combat.I'm ready to spend time to learn programming it's just I still haven't found something that is 'noob' friendly tutorial.The latest supposedly beginnner Javascript tutorial video I've seen didn't explain things like why you need to tags,uppercase,why you need to skip lines,etc.I still haven't check out the links rileyw provided right now but once I do,I'll give feedback whether it's useful for me or not.

 

Not exactly sure what you mean by "to tags" but assuming that we are talking about HTML and that you meant "two tags" one of them is a closing tag that signifies you are done defining that particular element.  Example:

 

<html>
  <head>
    <title>My Wonderful page!</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    My Totally awesome content!
  </body>
</html>

 

First just a bit of a note, HTML is read and interpreted linearly, eg top to bottom.  So as such this very simple little example says to the browser (or whatever is reading this file)

 

"Start HTML declaration"

"Start defining the head of this document"

"Start defining the title" - My Wonderful Page - "That's it we're done with the title"

"Done defining this document's head"

"start defining the body of the document"

My Totally awesome content!

"done defining the body of this document"

"done with my HTML declaration"

 

If you meant something else entirely I'm sorry, just reaching a bit trying to get to answers for you.  Next "uppercase", casing is just the way of the world for most languages.  HTML isn't necessarily a language that enforces of fails if you use improper casing but it's just recommended that you always define the element names and attributes in lower case letters as this is the official "standard".

 

"Why you need to skip lines?" - You don't this is just to make it easier for you to read the code.  Back to our previous example, listed below is exactly the same to a browser and will generate exactly the same output (and is no less correct).

 

<html><head><title>My Wonderful Page</title></head><body>My Totally awesome content!</body></html>

 

The only reason people spread out their code onto different lines and indent it the way they do is so that the code makes sense to them.  There are numerous discussions on what a standard code format should be but it's just something the programming world will never particularly agree upon.  I like my way, you like your way, the computer or browser reading our code doesn't care or make any difference between the two so when it all comes down to it format your code in a way that makes the most sense to you.  In some other areas there might be some rules to abide by but in general what you place on a line and how far you indent it are all your discretion.


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#13 Landshark   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

For quality tutorials, check out: http://thenewboston.org/tutorials.php

 

Personally I went through his javascript tutorials, then grabbed the book 'Head First Javascript' from amazon and was able to finish the book, 1 chapter per day until it was done.

 

Javascript (40 videos): http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=10

 

HTML5: (53 videos): http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=43

 

XHTML & CSS (46 videos): http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=40

 

 

I don't know what the general feeling is here on GameDev about the "Head First" books, but I am finding them very helpful in the learning process.  I've completed the javascript one and am working through the C# one right now.  They are very hands-on books and presented in a way that you aren't staring at a wall of text, page after page.  

 

Book: "Head First Javascript": http://www.amazon.com/Head-First-JavaScript-Michael-Morrison/dp/0596527748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359607773&sr=8-1&keywords=head+first+javascript


Edited by Landshark, 30 January 2013 - 10:51 PM.

-Landshark (Scott)

 

A Growing Community of Aspiring Game Developers

www.gamedev4beginners.net





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