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id Nut

My ordeal...

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I''ve been attempting game development for about four years now. It was my dream to make games when I was 13 and I''ve been discouraged countless amounts of times that usually takes 6 months to recover from and attempt again. Hell, this bout of sunshine now still probably isn''t the beginning of Summer for me. I keep receiving these little boosts of motivation to make games but then the doubting part of me returns a negative look at things saying that maybe the industry isn''t for me. No matter how hard I try to ignore that voice, I always submit to it, delaying any progression for another 6 months. I took two years of C/C++ and now, have completely forgot most of what isn''t in my ongoing collective notebook, "Game Developing Notes". At the end of my Summer of 2002 community college C/C++ course, I gave up on programming and conceded defeat (ironically, I passed with a B average). I believed that I had too much emotion that would be neglected in the effort of programming; only the technical can go into computers, no emotion despite sweat and blood is in the code. What I mean is that I am an extremely emotional person that enjoys putting feeling into his work. In programming it seems I can''t do that but there is an urge within me that wants to push all that aside and get very technical. I''ve attempted then crashed and burned due to my very little patience in learning and understanding the process of coding. I''ve been strongly inspired and motivated by the most talented group of people in the world, id software. John Carmack and John Romero are the main inspirations growing from their badass tone and attitude toward the industry that is unique and inimitable. Their description of programming makes anyone wish they were in their shoes and as involved as them, making little games, coding all night, etc. Sure those times are mostly over but it makes me eager to walk in footsteps similar to their''s. Ever since I was 13 it was my dream to make games and now at 17, nothing has really come true. Sure I can make a level in Quake III and know how to operate the console well but these are extremely novice skills that most anyone could pick up. I know nothing unique or special that would separate me from the newbs of the industry. That part of me is taking over again and the inspiration that lived through this confession is now going into hibernation again from the grueling and merciless negativity of my inner pessimism. It''s likely that programming isn''t my trade but I''ve tried everything else while accompanied by that damned negative voice. I can no longer draw worth a damn, can''t control my writing skills, level designing skills are squat, sound abilities aren''t worthy of anything special, my attempts at animation and modeling are pathetic also. My main interest is entertainment. I am dedicated, no, obsessed with entertaining but I have no single way to portray it. I know what I like and I know what I don''t but what job in the real world is like that? The bottom line is I''m screwed. I doubt everything I do before I do it and lack any rock-solid motivation from the futility I see in life. My grades this last past year have spoiled any chance of a decent university or school (no f''ing way would I go to my community college for college, not because of the reputation but out of pure hatred of the school) and I just feel I''m going to be a goldbricker the rest of my life. Someone who had a lot of potential that doubted himself so much to keep it forever potential. Thanks for reading and reply with any helpful advice. -------------------------- Tried to save myself but myself keeps slipping away.

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Okay. I know how you feel. I am twelve, and have been discouraged several times. However, programming is very hard and requires dedication. For example, I''m on vacation, and am on a computer at 1:30 AM. Programming can get emotional and difficult, but learning to cope with it is part of programming. For example, when I first started out, I was trying to work on the "Hello World!" message. Little did I know I needed to declare the namespace std, but I didn''t give up. Instead, I went through the tutorial without typing in any more code. As with emotion, I know how you feel. A number of emotions go through a programmer''s head. These include pride in work, anger towards other people and computers, and frustration. Frustration is the most common that I have seen. The truth is, if you have trouble with it, programming is not for you. Mark Mencher in his book Get in the Game! Careers in the Games Industry states that if you can''t stick with your work and you instead give up easily, programming is not for you. This is true, but you still have several hopes. Maybe, you can use the online community and bounce back. Even better, try something easier. HTML is a very simple language to learn, and you can start using it right away. That is how I started, and it heped me get the programming concept. Or, try scripting. Several languages exist that are very easy. Python is one of the easiest languages, and is very powerful. This helps a lot. Also, some syntax is somewhat related to C++, so it helps more than you think. Simply put, programming is all about dedication and controlling emotions. If you want to try again, e-mail me with any questions you might have. Chances are, I can answer.

Scott Simontis
Engineer in Training
Have a nice day!

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Welcome to the bottom pal. I too have been there many times (although not as deep as you I''m afraid). I don''t really have any good advice other than to change your attitude. If you keep saying that you suck at this and suck at that then pretty soon you start believing it even though it might not be true. In fact, I think you already do believe it. I have a life motto that I say to myself when things just aren''t going right. I''m writing my second programming book right now and I''ve had to say it many many times. I just want to quit and admit defeat but I won''t. Here''s what I say/think:

"In life, there is no can or cannot. There is will and will not. If you want something bad enough, you WILL do it."

Basically, there is nothing you cannot do. There is just a lot of things you won''t do because you don''t believe in yourself. Find that passion and just go for it. You''re gonna hit rocks along the way but just keep going.

Right now I know that my math skills stink big time. Sure I went through 4 quarters of calculus and other boring classes but I just scraped by. I really don''t remember much. Is that preventing me from learning 3D graphics right now? Heck no. I just picked up LaMothe''s new book and it has revitalized me. Luckily, when it comes to programming, I don''t have to search for the passion, its just there.

I don''t really think I helped you much. Just hang in there and find your niche. Heck, you''re only 17. I''m 30 and it wasn''t all twinkies and lollipops on the road to where I''m at now.

Good luck,
Mark Schmidt

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The problem I see is that you may have too high of expectations for yourself and probably no attainable goals to get a solid metric of where you are. You''ve mentioned Carmack/Romero and their attitudes and skills ( and probably ''documented'' lifestyles ) as your impetus to throwing yourself through the ringer of coding and the various facets that involve game development. These guys are legends in their own right, but each persons path is different. What you see is the end result of their years and years of work and ''luck''.

School doesn''t mean shit, period. Nearly anyone can cruise through your average CS regiment and come out wide-eyed and clueless. Just like people can go through physical education regiments and come out not being able to exercise properly. I wouldn''t put any great worry into your academic history directly correlating into how you''ll do things in the real world.

The only thing that will be your salvation is your desire and resolve. You have to have the working desire to learn all the relevant materials that will allow you to participate in game development on a professional level ( citing Carmack and Romero, I assume you want to do this professionally ) and you have to have the resolve to not get down on yourself when you''re forging your path to enlightenment.

Also, allow yourself room to breathe. You can get burnt out on this shit if you dedicate every waking hour to it. As a result, your work can suffer and you can run into roadblocks. Get out and do other things, make sure you''re taking care of your body ( exercise, eating right ), etc.

The fundamentals of many things doesn''t allow for much emotion or creativity. However, they are the building blocks that build the skills to allow you to be more creative without doing things completely off-base.

When you learn the fundamentals of basketball, for instance. You''re not learning to no-look pass, reverse dunk, same-handed dribble between your legs, etc. You are learning the fundamentals that will allow you to play the game and developing the basic skills that will facilitate the more advanced aspects of each part of the game. Of course everyone wants to jump to the creative and ''sexy'' aspects of the game.. being able to 360-dunk on a fast break and being the next LeBron James. Without the fundamentals, all the natural athleticism in the world isn''t going to save you in most cases.

People learn things differently. Some people take longer than others to put their head around certain concepts for various reasons. You have to figure out what works for you. You can''t compare yourself to John Carmack or Michael Jordan in most cases, because you''re setting unrealistic expectations. You can try to travel the same general road as those people, but like I said.. everyone has a different path.

Pick yourself up and start doing things differently. If you''re obsessed with being a rock star, 360 dunks and the like.. maybe you don''t really like game development ( or basketball ).. but rather the biproduct of where relentless work pays off and the notoriety from such things.

At the ripe age of 17, I think you have plenty of time to figure everything out if you want to.


.zfod

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All it takes is Time and Patience.

Yes, You are sick and tired of hearing it but...

Your Trials and Tribulations will reward you later...

If it was easy to defeat would you love it even more or less than if you struggled?

This is why people play difficult games and you will later make difficult games for the public. This will be difficult to make too! HA!

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Appreciate the replies, they all make a lot of sense and are good advice but I''m still at square one where I don''t know which way to go. I love gaming, and I love making games, even the little text games I made in C two years ago and I can imagine making a 2D world would just be exciting as hell. And yes, as you can tell, I''ve been reading Masters of Doom a lot.

So, I don''t know what to do. My two goals have been to make a mod for Quake III or make a 2D scroller or overhead game before I graduate high school. I set that goal in 9th grade and now I''m going into 12th and nothing has happended so far. Something I''ve failed to mention is that I have only one programming friend around here that is actually semi-serious about coding. Before 10th grade, I had about five who said they would try and make a game company with me. Well, that didn''t happen but luckily my one old friend showed me this site before he kicked programming two years ago.

At this point, what do I do? There are so many options that I just don''t know what to do. I mean, I can''t believe there are 12-year-old game programmers and I can''t even display an image in C. Anything is, if there are so many people now that can do everything a thousand times better than I''ll ever be able to, why even try to get into the gaming industry? It seems completely futile to learn it all and never be able to find a job because the positions are all full by the elite programmers and such. That''s another question I''ve been pondering.

--------------------------
Tried to save myself but myself keeps slipping away.

Nothing''s essential.

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quote:
Original post by id Nut
only the technical can go into computers, no emotion despite sweat and blood is in the code.


BOLLOCKS!

i''ll say it again

BOLLOCKS!

I find coding to be just as emotional as painting or writing. There''s an inherent beauty in the way systems come together and operate, the elegance of powerful solutions to problems. It''s much deeper than ''artistically tabbed code.'' If you''ve seen the Honda advert you might know what I mean.

But even if that beauty doesn''t appeal to you, you can put emotion into the content of your programs.

Ever written a "Hello world!" program? I haven''t. I haven''t, because it''s boring. I wrote an "I AM A GOLDEN GOD!!!!!" program, instead, when I was learning C. In the process, I learnt more about the nature of the code, about what the strings and statements actually did.

That''s how I learnt to program back in the first place - taking games from a book, typing them into my BBC Micro.. but then, changing numbers here and there, to see the effect on the game''s behaviour.

So, that''s my advice. Don''t do the ''traditional'' learning excersises - look at them, and say to yourself, "how could I make this cooler?" Then do that.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
Enginuity1 | Enginuity2 | Enginuity3

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You''re only 17 and you''re acting as if your life has ended. No one accomplishes their dream by that age unless they were born a genius.

I do not see how your life is ruined. You go to a community college if you can''t get into a university, then transfer when you are able to. Unless you do just that you''ll never get into the gaming industry, gaming companies want degrees. If you have some ego and think you''re to good for community college then, well, you need a reality check. Not everything goes according to plan, that''s life.

You have two choices...
1) Wake up to reality and go to school, and maybe with some hard work you''ll become a game programmer. If not, life is such, but at least you''ll have an education and degree so you can find another decent job.
2) Head off to Burger King and work 65 hours a week just so you can scrap enough money together to live off of. Without a decent education and degree this is where you''ll be working.

I''m 22 and am still going to a community college. One day I''d like to be a game programmer as well. If things go well this year I may try and transfer over to DigiPen. If I don''t make it, oh well, that''s life and it wasn''t ment to be. But I''ll know that I tried, and in the end that''s all that matters. At the very least I''ll have received a good education and will be able to fall back on a few various jobs, such as software developer or maybe even Q&A at a game company if need be.

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superpig is right. Coding is emotional. You gotta love your game to achieve anything, and then it''ll be fun and rewarding. So I think you should find an idea you really love and you really want to see in action.
Perhaps it would help if you don''t do it alone. Think something up with a friend or multiple friends. He/they doesn''t even have to be a coder, but can be an artist, or write the story, or whatever. I''m currently working on a cool (but huge) project with a friend, and although it''s never going to be finished, it''s fun and very inspiring.
Before, I, too, could never get the motivation to program something interesting.


My Wonderful Web Site (C++ SDL OpenGL Game Programming)

I am a signature virus. Please add me to your signature so that I may multiply.

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Damn dude...i only really read ur post id nut...but it sounds like ur really broken up about not bein able to make games...im goin into my sophomore year...and im in my first year of community colledge (compscience 110) and anyways...wut i think u should do is use the internet as much as u can...like i am (ive asked probably 50 completely noob questions today...and i actually got a few good answers) the rest were discouraging...just stick with it...im gonna try and do the same...use the ppl around u to help too...websites, this community as i already said...im sure u know a few ppl who program as i do...use wut u got and go with it
btw. u sound kinda artsy (thats not supposed to be an insult at all) i mean...u seem to be a good writer...expressive and all....there are otehr ways to break into this area...3d modeling??? im too lazy to get a link...but alias|wavefron has a free version of maya...i got it..made half a glock...half an mp5...lol...as u can see...im not very focused..but anyways...maybe ull like htat more...
and yes..thats my two cents

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