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Stixx

Member Since 17 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 24 2013 02:38 AM

Topics I've Started

Simple tech tutorials, books on game programming for total newbie from another field?

21 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I've been working as a screenwriter in independent film for a few years. I want to write for games... eventually. For now, I just want to start by understanding how games work on the technical side (sprites, objects, how/why things move or don't and are solid or not, processes or methods of implementation, etc.). I will choose a language to focus on soon (leaning towards Python), but I must walk before I can run... and I don't even know where my legs are yet.

My goal is to get a foundation with 2-D games, move to 3-D and create a few solid games to use as a calling card to get a job at a company and work with a team on 3-D games (ideally). I know you can write for games without necessarily coding them yourself, but I want the experience and understanding that comes from doing so, even if I never get really good at it. In film I've done just about every job there is and, no matter how seemingly unimportant or unrelated to screenwriting, I know it has all helped with my work as a writer on productions with a large team.

Most of the things I've found in my research on games are supposedly aimed at beginners, but already contain a lot of terms and concepts that aren't explained very well for total newcomers. Either that, or I am just dense --which is entirely possible. I am a writer. ;)

I'd like some recommendations on reading/viewing materials or even languages/engines for someone coming form a different field with only minor experience in the technical world. I'm not looking for info on how to make GDD's or the "developing your idea" side of games (sloperama has a wealth of good stuff on that) but I want to understand how games are made from the coding side and begin making some myself. I'm just having trouble finding something that explains things in terms I understand. Thanks for your time.

- My non-writing skills:
Ancient HTML (my last web dev job was 2001. It's something though, right? I did a lot of problem-solving and... Wait, why are you laughing? Okay, yeah, it's very old experience).
Photoshop.
Various Film editing programs.
Various Audio editing programs.
A 2-D Animation program.
I am learning Blender. Time will tell if I get any better at it.
I am experimenting with Game Maker but I don't feel it's giving me an understanding of what I am really doing. I can make things happen but I don't know why they happen or don't. If I could see code created that corresponds to the drag/drop, then I could see why something works and what it does. I like to deconstruct. Is there such a way to view things in GM that I haven't found yet?

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