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Padraic Hickey

Hardware & Software to buy

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Hello all, Basically I am interested in getting into the area of game development and I am wondering what software/hardware I need. I plan on developing 3D games. I require good sound quality and good performance. What should I look for in a computer, i.e. processor speeds, soundcards, RAM memory, cache memory. Do I need to get any peripherals, ie joypads What software do I need, to create programs, compile programs, build 3D graphics, etc? Any help would be brillant because I have not got a clue. Cheers, Padraic

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Well, for most developer work, you don't necessarily need the most top-of-the-line computer to develop and test your games, especially for beginning coders. For hardware, any modern computer (3 years old or newer) should do fine for most applications.

If you're just getting started with programming, you won't be coding with any high-end game engines anytime soon. Starting off with 3D graphics right off the bat will be a daunting task and you would end up with a lot of backtracking and frustration.

For a developer, you need at least two pieces of software: a compiler and a code editor. Most of the time they come packaged as one piece of software called an IDE (integrated development environment). Dev C++ is an example of this. It has a text editor, not unlike Notepad, where you write your code, and uses a GCC compiler to convert your code into a working program.

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Hardware is easy: You basically just need whatever you need to play your game. Technically, you can use a slower system too, but testing and debugging will be a pain... :)

Software:
You need an IDE/compiler. There are several free ones around. Visual C++ Express, gcc, mingw, Code::Blocks, Dev-Cpp are a few (Yeah, I know I listed both compilers and IDE's in one big mess, but eh...)
You need something to make your 3d models in. Maya, 3d Studio Max or Lightwave, for example.
And you need something like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro to do textures and such.

And of course, if you want sound, you need something to create the sound effects/music you want too... :)

But as was said above, you're not going to make any AAA games any time soon. Stick with your current PC and whatever free software you can find. That should be sufficient to get you started and, if you're good, let you make a few games.

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Thanks for all the advice.
The reason I am going to start with 3D graphics is that I have a lot of experience programming. Ive programmed with C++, Java, COBOL, Asp.net, vb.net and some others.

Also I don't have a computer at the moment. I was worried that I would have to get a top of the line model but
"Hardware is easy: You basically just need whatever you need to play your game" really answered my fears.

Again Thanks for the tips.

Padraic

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Quote:

Also I don't have a computer at the moment. I was worried that I would have to get a top of the line model but
"Hardware is easy: You basically just need whatever you need to play your game" really answered my fears.


That might be true but after using Visual C++ Express a couple of days
my impression is that it uses a lot of cpu/memory, so if anything need
you to have a high-end system it is this IDE.

Personally I have installed dev-c++ w/mingw aswell, that I use for everything else than DirecX.

PS.
My PC is a 2GHz cpu with 1GB memory.

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