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Lord Hen

Where to go from here?

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I feel like Im stuck. I love programming. Ive had 'programmers block' for ~2 years. Its hard for me to finish a project, or even get halfway through. I want to go into the programming industry. But I dont know what to do next. Ive never taken a class, Im self-taught, and know a good number of languages fairly well. I seem to have a lot of trouble with design, in specific. Ill start off with an idea, make some classes to handle things that Ive made 20000 classes for in the past (ie. clsImage, clsImageManager, clsAnimation - if i decided to make a game). And once Im done with those.. I cant put them together right. What can I do to get better at that? I've tried to 'design' the program before I start writing. I don't really know how. Ive looked at some articles on gamedev about design docs and such. They didnt help me much. Ive read about UML. Ill probably buy a book on it soon. Is there anything else I should look at? UML seems to be for people who are in teams and such. Maybe not. If you read all this, thank you. If you have any insight that might help, please reply =)

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Sounds like you need an idea that gets you excited about working through to completion. Then you need a project plan.

First you need to create some design off of your idea. Some people like a bottom up approach, very similar to what it sounds like you've been doing. Basically you start right at the details and work your way up. Other people like a top-down approach. They want to see the big picture and work through all of the big interconnections before starting.

So now you have an idea you like and have worked through a rough design. Now make a plan by writing down every step you must take to reach completion. How detailed you get is up to you, some people can work at higher/lower levels than others.

Now follow the plan till complete refining it as you go. You should have a finished project in no time :)

BTW, UML is just a standarized way of putting down ideas on paper so that other people can understand what you're saying. If you want to use UML great, but don't get stuck on the graphics or what every piece is supposed to mean. Especially when working by yourself. If jotting down 5 squares and a circle is best for you to visualize the system then by all means do it :)

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Well, I wouldn't worry about having "programmer's block," even if you haven't really made any games. As the AP said, you need to find an idea that you can complete quickly that gets you excited, and make it. Then people will see that you aren't just trolling internet forums all day and are making cool things - then you'll be motivated to make cooler things. It's a self-feeding positive cycle.

And if it makes you feel any better, I'm 16, have programmed for ~3-4 years, and have never taken a class before. Many haven't - it's possible to make really cool games and never take a class specifically on CS. It just takes some effort.

Someone post the link to the motivating programmer articles.

... And I would actually make some games before I start worrying about UML, design docs, and such. That's kind of overkill if you haven't made Pong before.

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