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Anyone else run into the "idk what programs to make" issue?


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#21 Bill Fountaine   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

I plan to get started, using SDL/OpenGL.

 

Theres only a small issue though.

 

There are so many extentions/acronyms, that I don't know what I need/what I don't need.

 

People have said GLUT, FreeGLUT, are old/not to be used, which are like a smaller SDL, with better OpenGL support, instead use GLEW, there is GLSL (which I know is a shading language, which I assume is very important).

 

Someone also mentioned GLFW.

 

Problem with a lot of the tutorials I'm coming across, all use freeglut.

 

So I have no problem getting started, I just don't know what the heck I need TO get started.



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#22 Nanook   Members   -  Reputation: 505

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Don't worry about what you will use yet.. you need to spend time in front of your compiler and that C++ book of yours..

 

When you know a language you can move on to the question of what to use and it really doesn't matter.. write down all the alternatives on a paper and throw a dice if you have to.. just choose one and get some stuff up on the screen with it and play around with it.. If you want to make games faster you should probably look into using unity3d or something similar and C# instead..

 

If you really need someone to pick for you..

C++, SDL, OpenGL.. now, go on.. get started..



#23 HilljackCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

And it doesn't help the only games I can think of making are 3D.

 

AKA big projects that I shouldn't be focusing on as someone who hasn't really programmed squat in the 4-5 years I have been on/off programming.

 

This, to me, is the telling sentence here.  I put in a full day of coding at my day job, then spend 2-3 hours a night working on my game project.  I live, eat, and breathe code, some of it which is as complex as game code, albeit in a different way.  I would imagine that most other coders here tend to live the same way.  If you're trying to pick up game programming at the same time you're trying to get back up to speed on coding, you're honestly fighting two battles.  You also didn't mention what your background and former work involved, so that factors into the choice of tools to use. 

 

I would suggest looking at using C#/XNA 4.0, along with Riemer's tutorials.  I have moved on from doing C#/XNA, but it was good to learn game coding techniques, and you can explore both 2D and 3D programming.  C# is a good general purpose language, too, and while MS seems to not be supporting XNA in the future, it's still good to learn with.  C++ is a whole other kind of beast and learning it while learning game coding techniques is honestly just asking to fail.

 

Start out with a Hello World sort of 2D game -- my first game was a cannon, guided by the mouse, that shot a cannonball at a moving target.  Simple, but enough to get a handle on input, game logic, game loop, etc.  Text-based games aren't going to help, and something 3D is probably too much at this point, so a simple 2D game is a good start.  You could even do a Frogger clone with a reasonable amount of work.



#24 Bill Fountaine   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

And it doesn't help the only games I can think of making are 3D.

 

AKA big projects that I shouldn't be focusing on as someone who hasn't really programmed squat in the 4-5 years I have been on/off programming.

 

This, to me, is the telling sentence here.  I put in a full day of coding at my day job, then spend 2-3 hours a night working on my game project.  I live, eat, and breathe code, some of it which is as complex as game code, albeit in a different way.  I would imagine that most other coders here tend to live the same way.  If you're trying to pick up game programming at the same time you're trying to get back up to speed on coding, you're honestly fighting two battles.  You also didn't mention what your background and former work involved, so that factors into the choice of tools to use. 

 

I would suggest looking at using C#/XNA 4.0, along with Riemer's tutorials.  I have moved on from doing C#/XNA, but it was good to learn game coding techniques, and you can explore both 2D and 3D programming.  C# is a good general purpose language, too, and while MS seems to not be supporting XNA in the future, it's still good to learn with.  C++ is a whole other kind of beast and learning it while learning game coding techniques is honestly just asking to fail.

 

Start out with a Hello World sort of 2D game -- my first game was a cannon, guided by the mouse, that shot a cannonball at a moving target.  Simple, but enough to get a handle on input, game logic, game loop, etc.  Text-based games aren't going to help, and something 3D is probably too much at this point, so a simple 2D game is a good start.  You could even do a Frogger clone with a reasonable amount of work.

 

truth be told, I am sick of XNA/C#. I just can't keep interest in them.



#25 FLeBlanc   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3109

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

truth be told, I am sick of XNA/C#. I just can't keep interest in them.

This doesn't bode well...

#26 Bill Fountaine   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:04 PM

truth be told, I am sick of XNA/C#. I just can't keep interest in them.

This doesn't bode well...

 

This because I want to use/feel more motivated to use C++.

 

Why? I don't know, I just can't seem to care about C#, letalone XNA, which is dead.

 

And yes I know about Monogame/FlatRedBall, but still.

 

Bottom line is, I am going to learn SDL/OpenGL. But I can't find squat for modern tutorials that use just them. Everything I find is outdated/doesn't use SDL/uses crap like FreeGLUT,etc.


Edited by Bill Fountaine, 12 February 2013 - 02:50 PM.


#27 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

Bill, my friend, lets be patient for a moment.

 

Answer the following questions, and just be honest so we can help( believe it or not, we are a nice bunch! ^_^ )...

 

1) Have you ANY programming experience whatsoever?

 

2) How much math skill do you have?

 

3) Have you done any 3D stuff in packages like Maya, Max, Blender etc?

 

4) Do you have any education in the field of computing or IT?

 

...its a bit vague what your current situation is, and so I apologise in advance if those questions are in any way degrading to you. But just answer each question for me.  And I will reply...

 

Regards. Steve.



#28 Bill Fountaine   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

Bill, my friend, lets be patient for a moment.

 

Answer the following questions, and just be honest so we can help( believe it or not, we are a nice bunch! happy.png )...

 

1) Have you ANY programming experience whatsoever?

 

2) How much math skill do you have?

 

3) Have you done any 3D stuff in packages like Maya, Max, Blender etc?

 

4) Do you have any education in the field of computing or IT?

 

...its a bit vague what your current situation is, and so I apologise in advance if those questions are in any way degrading to you. But just answer each question for me.  And I will reply...

 

Regards. Steve.

 

Yes

 

I plan to refesh my memory on everything from algebra up to the stuff needed for 3D math.

 

No, but I am working towards learning Blender3D.

 

No, I am self teaching, I plan to go to college here soon though. Until then I am self teaching.



#29 jellyfishchris   Members   -  Reputation: 300

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

Ok, here is a little story for you of a boy that wanted to start programming.

 

His first experiance was in Flash using action script (no idea what version) when he was 13, he continued at this he had no idea how to do any of the code just ripped it out of stuff he googled. Created a very bad game that was basiclly snap the card game. He continued with this until he decided to try something new, he started on c++. He read about 2chapters of the book he just purchased and lost motivation. So he decided he knew enough to make a very basic text RPG. That ended terribly and did not go well, he had no understand of what functions where and abused GOTO statements.

 

After this experiance he loved it even more after being able to have a very simple command line goto work get paid, goto shop, goto sleep rpg. So he continueed onto university, after completing his first year in his semester break decided to remake this rpg game in java. This time it went alot better, however there was still a problem with his lack of understanding of OO. Continuing into his second year he was able to learn some OpenGL using GLUT and make a very simple game that a ball would bounce to music, and a very simple 3d space invaders. In the break this time he moved on to read books about game design and game algorithms. Progressing to his final year, he was able to make a game engine with a fellow student ~30k lines in SDL and Opengl c++. And a coral simulation, using Ogre and a bunch of APIS additionally a 3d physics and AI simulation. He continued to finish his degree and receive 2awards.

 

Now hes employeed at a company as a graduate doing some basic testing and starts work on some Delphi (o god..) in the following weeks to begin his adventure into the working mans world.

 

Lesson of the story: Just pick up anything it honestly does not matter and make what you feel like. I personally would recommend C/C++ and just make some crazy stuff like a ASCII maze game where you have to get to the finish line, and take turns with the *AI* (random generate a number and go in that direction on your turn).

 

So... what you waiting for... christmas?

 

PS. ^^^^^ Life story :D!



#30 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:47 AM

Bill, my friend, lets be patient for a moment.

 

Answer the following questions, and just be honest so we can help( believe it or not, we are a nice bunch! happy.png )...

 

1) Have you ANY programming experience whatsoever?

 

2) How much math skill do you have?

 

3) Have you done any 3D stuff in packages like Maya, Max, Blender etc?

 

4) Do you have any education in the field of computing or IT?

 

...its a bit vague what your current situation is, and so I apologise in advance if those questions are in any way degrading to you. But just answer each question for me.  And I will reply...

 

Regards. Steve.

 

Yes

 

I plan to refesh my memory on everything from algebra up to the stuff needed for 3D math.

 

No, but I am working towards learning Blender3D.

 

No, I am self teaching, I plan to go to college here soon though. Until then I am self teaching.

 

Okay, so you know a bit about programming(I will assume a beginner in C++ and use it as an example from here on), you don't know the maths involved or have forgotten it, and you have not loaded up any 3D program whatsoever...

 

1) Lets talk C++ and upcoming education.  This should be your main priority and you need to learn programming like the back of your hand.  Enrol in a course at College that teaches a computing language and the basics of computing. Does not matter if its teaching C++ or not - just do it.  Now, in your own time, learn C++ from SAM's Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days.  So long as you've installed Visual C++ Express, you can work through it.   If you really want to be able to program games then just see this advice through. Being self-taught is important, but if you can complement it with some formal education then you will learn it much quicker.

 

2) Maths. Second most important thing you need to learn.  Definitely look at trigonometry first(find out what SohCahToa is!), and then basic substitution in Algebra. You might be able to mix in Maths with your college education, which would be a bonus. Start small and just keep at it, but don't avoid it.

 

3) Blender, Max, Maya and all things 3D modelling & animation.  This is not an easy thing to do, although it has become much easier in recent years. If you can, learn either Max or Maya. They are the top dogs of that industry and a worthy addition to your CV. On the other hand, you can do the same stuff in other packages, and like programming, its 90% what you know about 3D in general rather than what tool you use.  Which ever tool you use(I use Silo, Blender & Paintshop Pro), learn your skills in this order: polygon modelling, texture creation & mapping, rigging & animation, rendering. If you can only learn one of these, learn polygon modelling(I recommend Silo if you are a beginner). Like I say, learning this is time consuming(a task as great as learning programming) so only worry about it after you sort out your programming and math skills.

 

...so, you are a professional programmer first, a swanky mathematician second, and then a tree-hugging-hippy-3D-artist third. Bill, this is going to take some time, so accept you are in the learning stage for the next two years and keep in mind what I have said here as to what you need to do.  If you look after your skill as a programmer, then it will look after you in turn.

 

That's really all I have to say. Well, there is more but I doubt you'd find it interesting...

 

( a load of GameDev subscribers now put pistols to there heads and fire away! o_O )



#31 Bill Fountaine   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

 

Bill, my friend, lets be patient for a moment.

 

Answer the following questions, and just be honest so we can help( believe it or not, we are a nice bunch! happy.png )...

 

1) Have you ANY programming experience whatsoever?

 

2) How much math skill do you have?

 

3) Have you done any 3D stuff in packages like Maya, Max, Blender etc?

 

4) Do you have any education in the field of computing or IT?

 

...its a bit vague what your current situation is, and so I apologise in advance if those questions are in any way degrading to you. But just answer each question for me.  And I will reply...

 

Regards. Steve.

 

Yes

 

I plan to refesh my memory on everything from algebra up to the stuff needed for 3D math.

 

No, but I am working towards learning Blender3D.

 

No, I am self teaching, I plan to go to college here soon though. Until then I am self teaching.

 

Okay, so you know a bit about programming(I will assume a beginner in C++ and use it as an example from here on), you don't know the maths involved or have forgotten it, and you have not loaded up any 3D program whatsoever...

 

1) Lets talk C++ and upcoming education.  This should be your main priority and you need to learn programming like the back of your hand.  Enrol in a course at College that teaches a computing language and the basics of computing. Does not matter if its teaching C++ or not - just do it.  Now, in your own time, learn C++ from SAM's Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days.  So long as you've installed Visual C++ Express, you can work through it.   If you really want to be able to program games then just see this advice through. Being self-taught is important, but if you can complement it with some formal education then you will learn it much quicker.

 

2) Maths. Second most important thing you need to learn.  Definitely look at trigonometry first(find out what SohCahToa is!), and then basic substitution in Algebra. You might be able to mix in Maths with your college education, which would be a bonus. Start small and just keep at it, but don't avoid it.

 

3) Blender, Max, Maya and all things 3D modelling & animation.  This is not an easy thing to do, although it has become much easier in recent years. If you can, learn either Max or Maya. They are the top dogs of that industry and a worthy addition to your CV. On the other hand, you can do the same stuff in other packages, and like programming, its 90% what you know about 3D in general rather than what tool you use.  Which ever tool you use(I use Silo, Blender & Paintshop Pro), learn your skills in this order: polygon modelling, texture creation & mapping, rigging & animation, rendering. If you can only learn one of these, learn polygon modelling(I recommend Silo if you are a beginner). Like I say, learning this is time consuming(a task as great as learning programming) so only worry about it after you sort out your programming and math skills.

 

...so, you are a professional programmer first, a swanky mathematician second, and then a tree-hugging-hippy-3D-artist third. Bill, this is going to take some time, so accept you are in the learning stage for the next two years and keep in mind what I have said here as to what you need to do.  If you look after your skill as a programmer, then it will look after you in turn.

 

That's really all I have to say. Well, there is more but I doubt you'd find it interesting...

 

( a load of GameDev subscribers now put pistols to there heads and fire away! o_O )

 

I appreciate some of the advice I guess.

 

I won't use Sams Teach yourself in 21 days because I've heard by a LOT of people it's a horrible resource.

 

I know what SOHCAHTOA is. Seriously, I'm not that stupid.

 

As for modeling, I understand, but aside from the things you listed, there are a million concepts I need to learn about involving it, (I already know about topology, to an extent, theres more, but I just woke up and can't remember the ons I know). Other than the ones I know, idk how many 3D concepts there are exactly



#32 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2204

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

So I should forget OpenGL altogether?
 
I've been trying to figure out all of the crap I need to download aside from SDL for OpenGL.
 
I see a million things like FreeGLUT, GLFW, GLSL.
 
I figured DirectX was a microsoft only thing.

 

OpenGL vs directx depends on what you want to build.

 

directx is the 3d extensions to windows, an add-on component of the OS itself. as of windows 8 directx IS the os graphics engine.

 

the capabilities of both poly engines are similar, with similar APIs. 

 

the question boils down to what does you user have, or what is easiest for them to get. The answer is usually directx for a PC title running under windows.

 

If your app is targeting linux (for example), then openGL is the only way to go.

 

after you learn one, the other will be pretty easy to learn. i can follow openGL code with little difficulty, just from my directx experience.

 

figure out your target platform(s) and operating system(s). this will pretty much decide the best choice for poly engine.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#33 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2204

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:40 PM

for languages, you'll need to stick with c++ for hardcore real time stuff. Skyrim don't run on Java!

 

i started in basic, then went to pascal, then c, all driven by the need for speed.

 

don't mess around and waste time with low performance languages. learn C and be done with it. PCs are so fast, assembly doesn't even get mentioned anymore.

 

if you're not doing real time stuff, then any language will do, and may be faster/easier to develop THAT PARTICULAR TYPE OF GAME with (notice the emphasis on that particular type of game). this will vary on a case by case basis. same games may not need speed, and can be done with flash, or hypercard, or java, or whatever faster and easier than with C. They will run slower, but you can write them faster. 

 

as stated elsewhere, modeling packages (3ds max, blender, etc) are all similar in their basic capabilities. However, blender does have a somewhat intimidating interface compared to most. But then again, modeling software is inherently big and complex, and the interfaces of all of them reflect that. 3ds max is the most commonly used tool. and most models you find online are that format. however there is that price tag. I learned on 3ds max, but when i recently restarted my company on a shoestring, i settled on truespace, as it had the basic capabilities, easy export to directx formats, and an unbeatable price (free). with a little searching, i found all the docs, all the video tutorials, everything.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#34 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

I appreciate some of the advice I guess.
 
I won't use Sams Teach yourself in 21 days because I've heard by a LOT of people it's a horrible resource.
 
I know what SOHCAHTOA is. Seriously, I'm not that stupid.
 
As for modeling, I understand, but aside from the things you listed, there are a million concepts I need to learn about involving it, (I already know about topology, to an extent, theres more, but I just woke up and can't remember the ons I know). Other than the ones I know, idk how many 3D concepts there are exactly

 

SAM's TYC++I21 Days is a beginners book, not an in-depth resource on the C++ programming language. Its a good start, nothing more. After one works through it, they should then move on to Herbert schildt's "The Complete C++ Reference" which is one of the best books one could buy on the language. So, think once again about my recommendations on the books and whatever you choose to go with...good luck.

 

Not everyone who programs knows what SohCahToa is nor is good at maths.  Strange, but true. Give that some thought as we are a community here after all...if you see where I am coming from...

 

Back to the 3D modelling issue...best way in is to get Antony Ward's "Game Character Development" as it is written so that you can use any 3D application so long as it has a basic modelling tool set.  The author uses Silo, Maya and Mudbox, but he doesn't give instructions that are constrained to those packages, nor versions. Personally, though, I have to recommend Silo as it focuses on the Modelling stage alone, is dirt cheap and of course beginner friendly whilst offering enough features to make it a professional tool. But anyway, you'll find there are so many camps as to which package is better...so, once again, good luck with whatever you choose to go with.

 

Anyway, that's the advice I wish I had been given back in 2000 when I first bought a book on a subject called "C". Best of my knowledge back then, one had to fork out money for the apps to get started or result to "other means", which I do not condone.  In today's world, you have the likes of MS C++ Express, Netbeans, Ecllipse, Blender and GIMP which are free and legal downloads. Also, today's "crap" computers are like F1 cars compared to the Robin Reliant back in the day...

 

Best of luck.



#35 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:57 PM

as stated elsewhere, modeling packages (3ds max, blender, etc) are all similar in their basic capabilities. However, blender does have a somewhat intimidating interface compared to most. But then again, modeling software is inherently big and complex, and the interfaces of all of them reflect that. 3ds max is the most commonly used tool. and most models you find online are that format. however there is that price tag. I learned on 3ds max, but when i recently restarted my company on a shoestring, i settled on truespace, as it had the basic capabilities, easy export to directx formats, and an unbeatable price (free). with a little searching, i found all the docs, all the video tutorials, everything.

 

Aye, I first started my 3D shenanigans in TrueSpace. It usually came free with 3D World magazine, which was a bloody good deal considering Blender wasn't as functional back in those days. Moved on to Maya and then Max afterwards, but they never as much fun as TS. ^_^






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