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mrpectate

Into what should I tread first?

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I''ve been reading through the dizzying number of posts here at GD for many hours on and off. (this really is a HUGE community) I am really anxious to learn games programming. I have absolutely NO knowledge whatsoever. My biggest fear right now is that I won''t be able to grasp the concepts of programming while trying to learn. I thought I had it figured out when I decided Blitz?? would teach me the basic (no pun intended) concepts that would eventually help me into a language like C++. Sort of like pre-school. Now I''m just not sure what to do. From what I''ve read, C++ is what I should really learn, but it''s much harder to start out with, unlike Blitz which is easier to learn.My question is this: Would learning an "easy" language first help a total beginner (we''re talking pacifier here) with a language like C++ later on? I really don''t want to learn "wrong" either. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I am really sincere here and I''m sorry if this post starts any arguements down the line. Thanks for reading this.

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My advice depends on how rushed you are to become advanced. What I did when I first learned C++ is went extremely slow. I read a few books on c++ then I took a college class. I am really happy I did this because in order to program games using c++ you not only have to know thoroughly some kinda of graphics library (DirectX or Opengl) but you also must be extremely comfortable with C++. So what I am trying to say is just jump into C++ right away, but take as much time to learn everything perfectly before you move on. Hope that helps =)

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Game programming is language independent. Meaning, there is no ONE language good for making games. I made my first games on the TRS-80 in BASIC, and were better than some I have played today. Many cell phone games are made in straight C (ex. Fujisoft). EA is still using ASM.

1) Think of a fun idea. Don''t copy! Tetris clone? Nope! Shoot blobs at baloons if it interests you. If you find it fun, it will help you finish your game.

2) What do you have access to? Do you have basic installed? C? VB? Cobra? Do you have some books already? Start there.

3) Go as far as you can go. By finding the weakness in the language you choose, instead of concentrating on the language you didn''t choose, teaches you more.

Just look at all the ''cool'' games coming out. Now, REALIZE how much CRAP they are. The language and tech mean nothing. Use what you can and want to.




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I'd learn Blitz or VB. I first started in QBasic, and it helped me stay motivated early on. The problem with C++ is you have to be at least intermediate before you even touch graphics.

Language comparison:

Blitz: Game centric, probably doesn't have the power of VB. This might be a good language to start with as you can see results upfront. Remember, Game programming is suppose to be fun, so don't worry that Blitz can't do mutliple virtual inheritance!

VB: More professional app oriented, might be a little while before you can make a game. VB tries to make programming accessible to everyone. You can put together some pretty nice text adventures with it, but the graphics commands can be a pain. Honestly, I'd learn Blitz instead.

C++: Lets you do anything you want, and I do mean anything. C++ lets you shoot yourself in the foot, and generally doesn't even complain about it. C++ is, without a doubt, the most versitale language in existance. Its hard, but learning C++ is very rewarding. If your serious about game programming, you'll end up learning C++ anyway. Don't expect to be drawing graphics onto the screen your first week tho. You have to be at an intermediate level in C++ before you even consider graphical programs.

Good luck.

[edited by - Evangelion on January 25, 2004 12:28:09 AM]

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really, there are other alternatives to C++, if you never coded before. You've got to be very patient if you want to start with C/C++. You might get frustrated very early on.

Blitz Basic is a lot easier on the brain, and allows a great deal of creativity. I've heard good things with Dark Basic too.

here is an example of what you can achieve with Blitz, or Dark Basic (it's essentially the same thing).

Deathmatch game

that's a rather advanced example, but Blitz does simplify coding complex things like that, and makes it very easy to import textures, sounds, sprites, controlers, ect...

Java would be easy to learn, and you can do some cool stuff, like integrate little applets into web pages.

Just check things out, I'm not sure I'd recommend C/C++ to a complete beginner. It's cool to say 'I want to make games', but the amount of work required to achieve even decent results can be daunting. Blitz, and other, really help you with the nitty gritty boring part of game programming.

[edited by - oliii on January 26, 2004 2:20:15 PM]

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The simple answer to your question would be: Yes. (In my opinion )

Most programming languages allow you to achieve the same goal, just via different routes. Hence if you know Blitz well enough, you will be able to code a program that is just as professional as would be possible in any other language (citing Oliii''s post above).

The main point about learning a language is that you will begin to learn and understand the basic and consequently, more advanced, programming concepts. These concepts are completely language independent and therefore any language which you begin with will help you to learn them. Once you have learned the basics, your knowledge will be transferable to any language you later choose to learn.

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Sincere thanks to you all for your time and for sharing your experience. You have all made good points and they are truly appreciated. Time is definitely not an issue for me. I am willing to put in whatever it takes, and I do NOT expect to be impressing anyone for quite some time. I am going to take it slow and right now I''d like to concentrate on grasping the concepts of programming because it is so strange to me. I''m thinking of trying Blitz3D, for now, because I understand that it''s easier to pickup (which kinda calms my fear of failure:o) and there are some good points about it in your replies.

Thanks again for reading this.

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