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crystallus_sancire

Great game idea, now I need the know how, whats the know how?

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Alright, I have completely planned out this online trading card game, I have the rules all planned, most of the cards, and a ton of other things. Now my question is, what do I need to get this project off the ground? First, I plan on learning to program, this will be my project goal once I am done learning to program, then, I plan on getting some help, like a small team together, after I have a website, and a completed design doc. My question is, first off, how big do you experienced game developers think this project is? It is set up much like a strategy game, I don't foresee any 3d models in it, music I will compose myself, as well as most of the art, if not all of it. I plan on expanding endlesly to the game, with new cards, new game boards, exc. after it is complete, so, is this project going to take around a year? I can handle a year, but much more than that, and I will have to think things through more before starting this project. The reason I am posting is because I want to be aware of what I am getting myself into, so that way, this project doesn't collapse on me, so if anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

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but that in your back pocket and learn C++ first.
buy some books in the "Book" Resoures right above your head (see it)I like the SAMS Books cuz there only $3 off amizon.
then make some easyer stuff like Pong or Breakout (there kinda the same)
and see what happens for there.
this card game sound cool but it'll take, well I don't know you never learn all of C++ but I say a year, maybe.

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Perhaps you should reconsider learning to program. Programming is not something that you can learn in a weekend or even a summer vacation. Sure, in a short amount of time, you could learn how to program well enough to implement some trivial things, but implementing anything with substance will take years. Ultimately, the question is this -- what is your long term goal?

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Thanks for the input, I already have some c++ books, and java, as well as a lot of other books (I went through a period of wanting to learn programming, it lasted about a month, and then I got bored a few years back, but I also didn't have any goals at the time.) I know about half of c++, but if it's going to take that much effort to learn to program to the level of this game, I don't know what I am going to do. I don't think I will be able to find some programmers to help me without being able to program myself, but yea, I would have to learn how to program involving servers and such, and I havn't even made a simple game yet. Hmm... well this puts things more in perspective, so what do you guys think I should do? I think I could push myself to learn programming, but my mind doesn't work that way as it is, so I don't know if I would be able to program a game even if I had the know how, I was planning on trying though....

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Do or do not, there is no try-Yoda
You won't get anywhere if you don't try. Although you may not master C++ or Java in one summer, you should be able to learn enough to create an online trading card game, if you work hard enough.

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thanks, that is a good point, I actually think I am going to review my c++ today, I'll try and learn some python too,since that has been recommended. I think I have a book on that as well (I volunteered at a book fair, and they let me keep for free any book I found, I found about $1000 worth of programming books, all for free, recent, and in great condition, some never been used.)Thanks again. Are there any languages besides c++ and python, and pygame (whatever that is) that I should look into?

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pygame is a library for making games in python i believe, but an invaluable resource to anyone shy on funds is a library or used book store, the books aren't always up to date, but then most languages don't break backwards compatability between versions. also your local library may have book sales, where they sell off old books, or donated unneeded books, i know i found 2 or 3 hundred dollars worth of books for a few dollars, although they didn't come with the acompanying cd rom, most programming books with cd roms only have free resources and source code on the cd rom, which you shouldn't use the source code anyways as you learn by doing. and if it is needed you can usually find a list on the website of typographical errors and what not.

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I don't know exactly what I want, it's far off int he future at this poitn, which is what I knew before posting (at the very least a year) so this is what I think I have decided to do. I don't have any books on python, but I do have a c++ book, and two java books. I am going to finish learning c++, in probably about a three weeks. I have a birthday coming up in about, 2 weeks or so, I will be 18, so then I will get visual c++, hopefully (instead of a tablet, sigh) After which, I will begin working on learning directX, through reading "introduction to computer game programming with directX 8.0" (I got this book long before I read any reviews on it)and after which, I will embark on some original games, maybe start with pong, then work my way up to a short adventure game, and THEN, hopefully, after about 6 months to a year, I will be ready to begin programming this game, my ultimate goal. Sound good?

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Ok, first off. Programming isn't that hard. I'm still learning. But the secret to learning how to program is to forget your goals while you learn. If you are too intently focused on what you trying to accomplish. You'll discourage yourself and you'll never reach your goals.

You know that your learning how to program when things start to click. When you wake up the next morning and you understand something you couldnt the day before.

Also, never be intimidated by the complxity of anything. When you break it down into peices its nothing.


Ok.

Here are three reasources I reccomend you look into.

http://cplus.about.com/library/blcplustut.htm (NIIIICE!!!!!)
http://libsdl.net (easy to learn library.. or at least thats what it seemed like after I read the tutorial)
Sams Teach yourself c++ in 21 days. (It's Boring as hell but it gos indepth into EVERYTHING)

Most importantly. Read every single bit of code you can get you hands on. I mean ALL of it. If someone made a pong game read it, study it, memorize it. Thats how you learn how to program.


Anyhoo.. Im off to go bash my head on some more c++. I whish my sense of dignity would let me go back to DarkBasic but Nooooo.... Well cya... My sense of dignity is currently sitting on my shoulder and poking me it pointy things so i guess that means i should go learn some more..


(BTW! First Post!!! w00t... and um hello *hides*)


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1. You're going to need to learn C++ because it's the game industry stadard
2. You're going to need to learn more than those basic Sams books will teach you. After learning a solid foundation of C++ look into probrably DirectX (for the DirectDrawness) or OpenGL (whatever you like better)
3. Good luck ^.-

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Personally, I prefer C/C++, but if you want to make an online game where speed is not an issue (like your idea), use Java. Java's API is (mostly) really simple to learn, and online and gui stuff is easy with Java. I've never done graphics with Java, but that shouldn't be too hard.

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Why do C++??

I think for that purpose you should learn PHP and go with it.
The context is very Javaish, so you won't have trouble going there once you know PHP.
And from there it's not a far step to C++ if you're still interested in the subject.

With PHP it'll be easy to create an online interface for your game, because it basically generates webpages.
Then you program your little game behind it and voilà!
You got your game!
Also the online documentation on php.net is very good.

And to push it up even further I learned it within a couple of days, though I knew C++ and Java before and since the context is nearly the same, I only needed to learn a few specialised things.

So for you it'll be maybe 4 to 6 months I guess.

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C++ is easily the hardest mainstream language - its a decent OOP language built on a nasty, difficult near-low-level language.

Personally, in your place, I wouldn't bother with C++ - think about it: your game is a CCG, which means that it won't be very speed intensive. If you're careful, you could keep it very lightweight. This is an ideal application to make as a web-based applet in Java (or possibly .Net). Java has all the difficulty of C++ OOP but less of the old C crap.

Python is easy as hell. Don't worry about not owning a book on the subject: every book on Python is overshadowed by the tutorials they provide on the Python website. While the language won't be the first and last language you learn (like C++ can be) it is definitely very, very good for beginners. Its legible, sensible, and fast to work in. Once you become an advanced user, its flaky speed and hidden gotchas become unpleasant, but I can't recommend anything better for a beginner. The PyGame library is a very nice environment for making 2d sprite-based games. I highly recommend you start there.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by cyberflame
Ok, first off. Programming isn't that hard. I'm still learning.


Maybe you haven't learned the hard stuff yet. I've been programming in different guises most of my life, I'm 32, and I still think programming is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? And programs wouldn't have bugs.

There are some elements of programming that are accesible though and with good teachers they can appear easy. htdp.org and drscheme.org are good starting places.

I try to be aware of my own short-comings - see Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments - as it helps me have a more balanced approach to things. I don't get as disheartened, even when doing difficult stuff.

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edit: that was me, the AP above

Quote:
Original post by cyberflame
Ok, first off. Programming isn't that hard. I'm still learning.


Maybe you haven't learned the hard stuff yet. I've been programming in different guises most of my life, I'm 32, and I still think programming is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? And programs wouldn't have bugs.

There are some elements of programming that are accesible though and with good teachers they can appear easy. htdp.org and drscheme.org are good starting places.

I try to be aware of my own short-comings as it helps me have a more balanced approach to things - see Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. I don't get as disheartened, even when doing difficult stuff.

Saying programming is easy can be discouraging to people who are finding it hard. Being a bit more realistic is helpful.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hmm... not quite what I meant... I meant "Programming isnt as hard as it initialy appears to be." Not that it isnt hard.

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Quote:
Original post by crystallus_sancire
I don't know exactly what I want, it's far off int he future at this poitn, which is what I knew before posting (at the very least a year) so this is what I think I have decided to do. I don't have any books on python, but I do have a c++ book, and two java books. I am going to finish learning c++, in probably about a three weeks. I have a birthday coming up in about, 2 weeks or so, I will be 18, so then I will get visual c++, hopefully (instead of a tablet, sigh) After which, I will begin working on learning directX, through reading "introduction to computer game programming with directX 8.0" (I got this book long before I read any reviews on it)and after which, I will embark on some original games, maybe start with pong, then work my way up to a short adventure game, and THEN, hopefully, after about 6 months to a year, I will be ready to begin programming this game, my ultimate goal. Sound good?

I wouldn't try to schedule your programming. C++ can take a while. I made this mistake when I started programming. At first, I read C++ for Dummies, and I thoguht I knew enough to do anything. I then tried to learn OpenGL, didn't understand most of it, but figured I would just go along with it and understand it later. This ruined my programming efforts, and wasted about a year I spent programming. I reccomend first that you read a basic C++ book. After you have read it and understand it, try making a text-based game or some simple utilities to get some more experience with C++. After this, you might want to learn some more advanced features of C++, such as OOP, namespaces, and the STL. This is the stage I am at right now. At this point, you will probably be looking for a book like Bruce Eckel's Thinking in C++ series, or maybe even Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Language. Then, you will want to learn programming specific to your OS, may it be Mac, Linux, or Windows. After you know the basics of this, you can choose to use the graphics system provided by your OS, such as GDI on Windows, or you can use a seperate API, such as DirectX. Also, don't limit yourself to DirectX. Look at OpenGL as well. Read enough on each language to make a very simple program, like a spinning cube, and then pick one. i hope that helps, but that's just my opinion, based on my experiences so far.

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Best language to learn: c and c++.
But maybe you dont have to learn it, everything depends on your long term goal.

As recommendation, learn c/c++ first, no matter what. Up to classes/pointers would be enough.

After that...

If you like that language
and/or your goal is "i want to get a job at the gaming industry"
and/or "i want my games to be speedy, and i want to create more complex games than this one":
Then you should continue learning c/c++

If your long-term goal is just to create that game and c/c++ is too confusing, then id suggest Visual Basic. You dont even need DirectX for a cards game... But you should still learn c first, at least the basics!

I dont like Java, and despite i love PHP i wouldnt use it in this case. Use c, vb or one of those "game maker" programs.

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Quote:
Original post by giaym
... and despite i love PHP i wouldnt use it in this case.


Just for personal interest, can you state why you wouldn't?


I have to admit VB is a serious alternative, probably even better than PHP. I don't see why crystal should start with C or C++ really!?
I mean what's the point? Why learn all this stuff just to make his online card trading thing? If you have a worked out game, you should make fast progress otherwise you might drop it, and that's not good. So for this one, you should use the easiest tools (languages) to get the job done.

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Quote:
Original post by l3mon
Just for personal interest, can you state why you wouldn't?

Well, the main reason: i think it would involve a lot of extra work than using VB, so id use VB, not PHP.
The only reason i wouldnt use VB would be that the project was actually an "exercise" on my road to the "games industry" or whatever bigger project that wouldnt benefit from VB, in that case id use c/c++, not PHP.

I imagine a simple Online TCG having...
1. Player Vs Player
2. Player Vs Computer
3. Chat
PHP can handle the first two, it needs Java to get the third, it needs CSS to make it look good, it needs HTML as well (well not much of a problem once you learned them, but i think those are a lot of topics for a newbie)

Anyway, if you add a Java chat... well, you should stop using PHP and do the whole thing with Java.
The only good point i can see on using PHP or whatever to make the game web-based, is that users won't have to download any *.exe file, and that your game will be accessible from any browser.

Quote:
Original post by l3mon
I don't see why crystal should start with C or C++ really!?
I mean what's the point? Why learn all this stuff just to make his online card trading thing? If you have a worked out game, you should make fast progress otherwise you might drop it, and that's not good. So for this one, you should use the easiest tools (languages) to get the job done.

I think that if your goal is "to program" and not something specific like "to program for databases" then you should start with c++. Once you learned the concepts you could go and change to another language if you wanted.
Thats the way i think though, maybe because i started with c++ ^^ (i had some pascal before but not that much)

What is crystal's goal, is it "to program"? or "to program games"? or "to program games up to some complexity limit"? or "to program that Online TCG and nothing else"?
I wouldnt like wasting my time using VB to program the TCG if my goal was higher (um lets pretend, programming Doom X) and the TCG was actually a step to get closer to that goal.
I think you should take the shortest way to complete your real goal without caring if it is the longest to complete a specific step or not.

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