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felonius

Is this place overrun by newbies?

62 posts in this topic

I think a big problem with posts like this is that anyone who is new who sees it is likely to get offended. I think the problem is that "newbie" doesn''t really mean everyone who is new.

I like to use two terms: "beginner" and "newbie." Beginner refers to someone who is just starting out, but is eager to learn, and just looking for guidance. We need to be patient with beginners, because they will eventually be great contributors to the community.

"Newbies" on the other hand are people who possess one or more of a number of undesirable traits. These include things like expecting to have everything handed to them, an unwillingness to figure out things on their own, laziness, rudeness, and lack of respect. Note that they don''t necessarily have to be new. We should try to help these people too, because they can change, although in many cases they do not. Although it''s tempting to flame newbies, it doesn''t really do any good, and it often makes things worse. Just try to post a simple reply, preferably pointing them to a book or article that will answer their question and maybe possibly get the on the road out of "newbieness". If they become a nuisance, make sure the forum moderators knows so he/she can handle the situation appropriately.

As a couple of people have said, there are almost as many newbie bashing posts as there are posts by newbies (well, maybe not almost as many, but a significant number). I think they are starting to do more harm than good.
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My take on forums is that the serious game makers don''t hang around forums, because they are a waste of time, for the most part. People talk about ideas, complain about not having a project, but when a real project forms, they would generally prefer to stick to the forum banter rather than commit to a poject...generally speaking.

Forums are good for meeting people to work with, but beyond that, they only cause problems. Read through the postings here, and you will notice that about 99% of them are useless. By useless, I mean they will never yield any tangable results, and will not to solve any problem. To sum up, I would just use it to make contacts.
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Actually, since the start of this thread, I have attempted to make my replies to people''s questions longer, more coherent, and more thought-through. I realised that I HAD been getting a bit short-tempered in my responses, and probably not doing much good.
Whatever people may think of me by now, I really do not want to discourage anyone from trying to learn to program games ( or graphics ) - the more in the business, the better. We can all learn from eachother, even the vets from the beginners.

And the newbies, well, I guess some people have a bit of ego, and haven''t realised yet that it''s not as easy to start programming games as it is to get good grades in high-school on every subject. While I''m sure these people have the capacity to program games, they still lack the understanding, and it''s our responsability to try to give them that understanding, patiently, and softly correcting if they cross the line of courtesy.
Only if they repeatedly offend, and continue after warning, then perhaps we need intervention. But realistically, how often does it get that bad?


#pragma DWIM // Do What I Mean!
~ Mad Keith ~
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Well, just in defense of myself, my thread was not meant to bash newbies (although some may have interpreted it that way). Just thought I''d mention that in case anyone is trying to include me in the newbie-bashers category.

I guess the problem with "newbies" as opposed to beginners is not so much stupid questions, but instead bad attitudes. That''s what annoys me. I couldn''t care less if they post asking what a pointer is, but if they haven''t even tried to figure out what it is on their own, then that really annoys me. It''s a matter of respect really. I''m more then happy to help anyone who posts, but if they expect me to spend *my* time when they haven''t spent any of *their* time, then that really irritates me.

In other words, to those people who want to learn and are willing to put in some effort, don''t be discouraged. Most of us are glad you''re here. The anti-newbie posts aren''t directed at the dedicated people -- they''re directed at the guys who think that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter.

--TheGoop
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Yo -- anybody?

what about the recipe idea?

think it´s stupid?
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I don''t mind newbies, only when they ask the wrong question. Some people need to take more time to learn. I spent most of last summer learning C, and it''s turned out good. So for newbies, before you go here, spend some time on your own, do some coding, and when you know the basics, ask the question.

altair
altair734@yahoo.com
www.geocities.com/altair734
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Have to come back on my previous post,

Newbies are oke, unless there are about 99% of them on this board.

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quote:
Original post by black_eyez

I don''t want to start a debate about vb vs c++, but VB is a serious language, and can be very useful for game programming (though some more intensive effects such as alpha blending are done better through an assembly dll etc.) So the addition of vb support into dx7 wasn''t just something for newbies; there are quite a few good game programmers that have wanted dx support since version 3!

I think there should be a ''newbie-only'' type forum, where these types of people should be confined to And, a general FAQ list would be nice, covering the stupid questions like "How do I make a game?" and stuff like that

David


Finally, someone who agrees with me!


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There is a problem with trying to solve the newbie riddle.

People say try reading the what''s new, questions have been answered, etc, and are suggesting things like a newbie forum and other methods to deal with their bias against newbies.

Now come along two (or more) groups who take positions such as:

You were all newbies once.

and:

When I was a newbie, I tried to solve the problem on my own.

And so an effort is made to separate the impatient newbie from the willing to look for the answers first newbie.

But the problem arises that few people can tell the difference.

It''s easy to say read the manual, and many times, people who do read the manual will get their questions answered. But sometimes, the manual doesn''t help. Go to the DirectX/OpenGL forum and see how many questions were answered with "Read the DirectX SDK help. All the info you need is there". But here is where the problem comes in for the "newbie". Many times, the manual is just incomprehensible, even if you do know Visual Basic or C++. Many people have specific goals on where they want to go, and don''t really want to learn COM completely, just a couple features. Others can use the help file, and voila, their question is answered.
But what of the person who can''t understand the help file (or manual), and has a question? Find another book?
That could go on for a long time. Sure, somewhere in this world, their is bound to be an answer for almost every question that they could ask, but after searching a long time, many people give up.
Although they may look impatient, maybe their impatience is gained by searching for a long time.
IE: One of my relatives just got a first computer. My relative doesn''t even know where or what the power button is. Sometimes for a complete beginner, even the simplest of tasks can be too complicated for them.
So everytime I show her where it is, she says something like "Oh, you meant the thingy."
Also, many people like to take things one step at a time. How many computer programming books do you have that seem to go from:

"Step 1: (show how to create the window)"
"Step 2: (show how to add the graphics, tool bars, dialog boxes, etc)"
I honestly have several like that. I just want to do one little thing, and find an easy step one (like 10 lines of code), and all of the sudden the next step, with little explanation becomes 10 pages of code, and I have honestly no idea what just happened.

With asking questions, even repeatedly, the newbie might find it easier to take everything line by line, rather than concept by concept. If books tried writing a thourough guide to simple questions:

1: It would be long (probably several thousand pages)
2: It would be very difficult to find what you are searching for.
3: It wouldn''t contain as much information as books contain now, because they tend to be brief and cover a series of topics.

Personally I am glad there are newbies, even if people tend to resent them. The more people who try, the bigger chance that something good might come about.

Remember the golden rule. Do you want people treating you like you them? Or would you prefer help from those with experience.

Also, just because you remember yourself as a hard worker in the beginning doesn''t necessarily mean others remember you the same way.

{The preceding was in no way meant to be an attack on any people, newbies or experts.)
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Newbie here... I just completed my first project. It is a Tetris knockoff. Why Tetris? I lurked this board for a while and found a few articles...
"Direct X-tacy" - Andre Lamothe
"How do I make games?" A pathe to development - Geoff Howland
''A path'' was great and I took it to heart. If your new - read them both.

As a defence, however, I do know how to program. Somewhat. There are just things that make SO little sense that you just don''t know enough to know what questions to ask, so you end up asking stupid questions. Many times I have gotten the RTFM answer from questions about DX. Well, I have to say that the SDK sucks. Yes, it does answer almost all questions, but often so archaiclly that they are useless to me. So I ask a question. RTFM is an acceptable answer - but please - maybe section references or something?

There are several aspects of programming that I just can''t fathom. Pointers to pointers is one? Why would you need that? But I do know that this an inapropriate place for those questions.

In closing, I am an absolute newbie in this. I am trying my hardest to learn but the curve is steep and there is almost TO much info to absorb at a time. If I ask a question that appears stupid to you, it is only because I HAVE searched for an answer and failed or found an answer that I was incapable of using. Have patience please. Thou art probably greater than me.
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I think we should just ignore the questions we don''t want to answer, and don''t flame the newbies. I see more and more that "respected" programmers flame and dishearten newbies only because they ask questions.

Also gamedev staff should ask itself why there are so many newbie postings. Allow them a better way to seek their answer on gamedev, and the newbies postings will decrease greatly.

I despise the idea of a newbies only section, because the next step would be to not allow newbies in the other forums.

Also, some posts recently have been moderated by various moderators and in at least 30% of the cases, the moderator was overreacting.

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If I might offer some suggestions and comments...

1) Make the "New? Start Here" graphic red or flash.
I never seen this link until it was mentioned in this thread and I went looking for it. It blends in too well with the rest of the site design. If is was flashy it might catch more newbie''s attention.

2) Tutorials (or links) on engines.
It does seem as though most newbies are less interested in coding an engine than using one to realize their game. If information on using scripting engines were available maybe there would be fewer questions like ''could someone just give me the code for a 3D isometric engine?''

3) Be specific when directing someone to documentation or a web page.
If you''re going to take the time to reply to a post you might as well give them explicit directions where they can find information. I''m sure those who are serious simply could not locate the information on their own.
Don''t get me wrong, I do agree that too many newbies are posting questions. I''m still learning myself but I find that I can answer most questions posted. This does not justify flaming someone. Remember, you don''t have to reply to every question posted.

4) A newbie forum will not work.
How many of you would regularly scan the newbie forum? If no one would respond to posted questions they would eventually post the this forum ''... but no one would respond to my questions.''

I apologize if any of this is repeated from other posts. This seems to be a hot topic.

Thank you for your time.
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