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Best way to learn game programming


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#1 jonin   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:56 AM

ok so i have taken it upon myself to learn c# and xna to make video games as a hobby

 

my question is this:

 

am i better off just coming up with a game project and starting from menus to displaying graphics work my way through...

 

or am i better off getting a c# book and sitting down and making the boring console programs etc

 

just thought i would ask you guys what you thought

thanks for reading

 

jonin



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#2 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3539

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:51 AM

or am i better off getting a c# book and sitting down and making the boring console programs etc

With this attitude, you'll still be asking this question years from now.

Those boring console example programs teach you the fundamentals of the language and the basic concepts programming itself. You have to know these things to be able to make your games.

For instance, people always say that they want to make RPGs. Which is fine, but they think because they know how to draw a sprite on the screen they can suddenly make an RPG. Drawing is the last step, not the first.

RPG games have inventories. How do you make a class that will represent all your items? How do you store and keep track all those items on the character? How do you find the one you need? How do you check to see if a character possesses a required item? How do you sort them by type? How do you remove x about of item y? How do you swap items between characters?

The answers to those questions are learned when you make those boring console programs.

The programming behind a graphical game doesn't look any different than the programming behind a boring console program. When one is done it's update loop, it draws a picture. When the other is done, it draws text. Everything else is the same.

#3 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:08 AM

^^ This.

 

That guy knows what he's talking about. Heed his words young padawan.


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#4 warnexus   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1379

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:06 PM

Agreed. Do the basic stuff first. They don't take much time to grasp. If you do not learn them, then you will be sorry when you are caught in this difficult situation of what to do next because you neglect learning the basics. Please be patient and you will be happy that you did learn the basics. The complexity of programming are just made up of simple problems put together. You need to treat programming with respect and care if you want to  even make a game by yourself.

 

There is no best way. Any way of learning it will require struggle and force you to think and open your mind.


Edited by warnexus, 02 March 2013 - 03:03 PM.


#5 Goran Milovanovic   Members   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

The programming behind a graphical game doesn't look any different than the programming behind a boring console program. When one is done it's update loop, it draws a picture. When the other is done, it draws text. Everything else is the same.

 

Exactly.

 

This is something that I clearly demonstrate in my Python video tutorial series, where I first build a console only game (where all the important decisions are made), and then extend into the graphical version.


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#6 jonin   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

hello all,

 

let me start by saying thanks for all your input

i dont think i conveyed what i ment to express regarding "boring console programs"

i just wondered if there was a huge difference between application programming and game programming (i know games are just programs) and needed to know

if i did need to focus on the basics (i obviously have no problem doing that) or if i could start further along, but you guys have answered my questions.

 

i have a good c# book from wrox called "beginning visual c# 2010" i also have linda.com c# tutorials explaining the basics i can start to watch.

 

is there any particular application programming that will move me towards gaming quicker...

or will it come quicker once i have mastered the basics...

 

thanks again for reading and letting me know

jonin



#7 blueshogun96   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 808

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:28 PM

For now, it's best to focus on mastering your programming language of choice.  I already made the mistake of trying to do complex Direct3D stuff before mastering my language C/C++.  Back then, I thought I was "top dawg" and thought I knew everything because I had never come across a better programmer then myself in person.  I got smug because no one was around to challenge me (I lived in a very small town in the mid-west back then).  My point being, don't be as dumb or as smug as my former self. ^^

 

After you have finished learning C# and feel comfortable using it and Visual C# Express IDE, then I recommend getting started learning something like XNA which is supposed to be simple to learn.  I personally don't like XNA or C# at all, but I won't deter you from using it and I still recommend XNA for the beginner.  For me, it's C/C++ with Direct3D or OpenGL, or nothing!

 

It's also important not to rush into the complex stuff.  This is linked to my first mistake as a programmer.  Take your time and learn at a pace that works for you and avoid taking too many shortcuts.  The clock is ticking, but don't let the clock intimidate you!  When you rush things, you are more likely to miss out on details, tactics and opportunities to learn more. Well, that's just from my experience.  I just hate seeing history repeat itself.

 

Shogun.


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#8 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3539

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:40 PM

You can't ever skip further along ahead, because everything will build on those concepts. The advanced things are all things you invent! Every programming language is just a bunch of simple keywords and build in utility functions. From there it's up to you to combine them into whatever you need.

More advanced programming talk will end up dealing with concepts instead of actual code.

#9 warnexus   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1379

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:26 PM

hello all,

 

let me start by saying thanks for all your input

i dont think i conveyed what i ment to express regarding "boring console programs"

i just wondered if there was a huge difference between application programming and game programming (i know games are just programs) and needed to know

if i did need to focus on the basics (i obviously have no problem doing that) or if i could start further along, but you guys have answered my questions.

 

i have a good c# book from wrox called "beginning visual c# 2010" i also have linda.com c# tutorials explaining the basics i can start to watch.

 

is there any particular application programming that will move me towards gaming quicker...

or will it come quicker once i have mastered the basics...

 

thanks again for reading and letting me know

jonin

How about this? If you want to make games, start making the console programs that simulate a basic game. Even the console ones will test how much you know and know how to solve the problems in your game as well as fixing bugs. If things go bad with your program, trace the code through and understand why it is happening. If you're still having a hard time, ask us. Don't think of the programs as boring, programming is not about that. It is about challenging your mind, fixing bugs that are giving your program a hard time. Bug hunting is the best. Again, if you skip things along the way, it is only going to bite you later because you neglect to learn it. What you don't know will hurt you during your journey. You're ignoring what could have made your life easier in the long run and make you type less and write better more efficient and more readable code-something that matters a lot in the industry. You've been warned.


Edited by warnexus, 02 March 2013 - 07:46 PM.


#10 Xanather   Members   -  Reputation: 703

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

i just wondered if there was a huge difference between application programming and game programming (i know games are just programs) and needed to know

I really think there isn't that much of a difference. It all comes down to the ability to create algorithms in order to implement ideas and features to the program no matter the programming language. For a game though, you can then draw the game to the screen (using whatever technology you want) based on the state of the program. Similar to what Daaark first said. So program anything biggrin.png turn ideas into something actually functional


Edited by Xanather, 02 March 2013 - 11:01 PM.


#11 minibutmany   Members   -  Reputation: 1471

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:36 PM

Your first project can be a game, and it can be a good experience, but keep it simple.

Ignore menu systems, fancy graphics, 3D rendering, networking etc. until you really get the hang of things.

Of course you need a few "hello world" programs to get your toes wet, but after that try to make things fun.

Everybody says to start out by making pong, but honestly that's nothing new and no fun to play when your done, right?

Make something new, but with the same simplicity as pong.


Stay gold, Pony Boy.




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