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PlutoWarrior

Teaching Programming

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Hey guys its been a while since I've posted last but I need some input of a few things. First let me explain what I'm doing. I'm going to be teaching a minicourse at my college in game programming and I've decided to start out by teaching Qbasic. I know, I know... why the hell would I wanna use qbasic. Because its easy to get a copy of,its really simple to teach the basics with, and I wanna eventually move from qbasic to dark basic. I wanted to know what you guys thought were the most important topics to cover for beginners as far as game programming, or programming in general goes. Also, if anyone knows darkbasic and would be willing to help me out on a few things it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Wouldn't it be much more useful to teach a language that's still relevant in the modern world? I would suggest Python + PyGame.

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Start with C++. It is almost as easy as qbasic to understand. And your students do not need to "re"-learn another language when they are going to do "real world programming".

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Even Java might be a better choice... It's not my favorite, but it's fairly easy to learn and it is free to run it. It also lets them make more 'modern' looking games.

I guess it really depends on who is going to be in the class. You know more about this than I do, so chose an appropriet decision based on that...

About what to teach, I'd start out with something simple and build from it week to week. I think that this will keep students interested and allow them to make something cool by the end. I'm not sure how flexible you would want to be though, as to what kind of project they can chose... Whats the fun if they all program the same game? A sence of accomplishment every week would be helpful to keeping them interested, making it much easier for them to learn and you to teach. I'm not quite sure how you should go about introducing one thing or another and what order everything should go in... I think that as long as everything builds from the previous lesson and you end up with something useful like a game, you have sucseeded.

Interesting topic

Dwiel

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Are you teaching the course to college students? If so, couldn't you just make it a requirement that everyone enrolled had some sort of programming experience in C++ (or Java)? If you get programmers coming into the course, I think there is a better chance they'll actually be able to do some sort of game programming.

Really, if you get all non-programmers, and the course only lasts about 15 weeks, how much do you want to get accomplished?

I'd say that if you'd mandate that prior knowledge in C++/Java is a prerequisite, you'd be able the accomplish a lot more. Also, there are compilers for C++ and Java for free, so there would be no extra cost.

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Thanks guys, I'll definetly look into all of those options. I can't put any prerequisites on the course so I wanted a porgramming language that I could teach to newbie programmers relativly quickly, I could teach them c++ except I only know how to set up opengl in visual c++. I've never done it in any free compilers like Dev c++. Mostly cause i've never had to, think any of you could tell me how to set it up or where to go to find out?

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Setting up OpenGL in Dev-C++ is easy. ITs no different than VCC apart from all u have to do is link the libs a bit differently, thats all.

EDIT: how to do it: All you have to do is go to Project->Project Options->Parameters tab

In the Linker box write: -lopengl32 -lglu32
WARNING: Dev-C++ will get VERY pissed of if u try and use glaux.

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I don't know if OpenGL is particularly good for teaching programmers. OpenGL is not designed to be easy to use or powerful, it's designed to let you talk to your graphics card from your C++ program. If you're teaching programming to absolute beginners, and don't want to use QBasic, I think something like Java's graphics library is easier to learn, because you can get nice results much faster.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by PlutoWarrior
Thanks guys, I'll definetly look into all of those options. I can't put any prerequisites on the course so I wanted a porgramming language that I could teach to newbie programmers relativly quickly, I could teach them c++ except I only know how to set up opengl in visual c++. I've never done it in any free compilers like Dev c++. Mostly cause i've never had to, think any of you could tell me how to set it up or where to go to find out?


And you honostly think your qualified to teach this course? I don't think so. Sorry.

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