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capo328

Is BlitzBasic a good language to start with?

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This is just my personal opinion - expect others to disagree [smile]

When first learning to program, it is far more important to learn the mindset and the general principles of programming. The biggest and most important hurdle is getting used to the strict requirement for perfect syntax and clear communication with the computer. In general, I feel that it is more important for a beginner to get stuff done than to make things that are "pretty code" or "don't involve bad habits."

Once you pick up the basics, and get used to things, it frankly isn't that hard to learn better habits and practices. You'll eventually want to pick up other languages, and there will be plenty of time to refine your skills then.

I know plenty of programmers (myself included) who started in BASIC languages or other "beginner" languages that supposedly teach bad habits. All of them have gone on to develop much better habits over time. My personal opinion is that the dangers of "beginner languages" are vastly overstated.


Bottom line: don't sweat it, BlitzBasic is fine. It is a good language for getting stuff done, especially when first starting out, so it's a fine choice. If you're really uneasy about it, though, you can look into Python and Ruby - they are also quite productive languages and easy enough to learn, but don't have the same (unfair) stigma of BASIC dialects.

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Quote:
Original post by King of Men
The real question is, can you make a professional-quality hockey game in it?

Its HTML bindings are top notch, so I certainly don't see why not.

I agree with ApochPiQ. What good is learning good habits if it takes you three years to actually do anything cool? By then, you run the risk of getting bored and fed up with the entire process, and just giving up. And then where are you?

CM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Sure, its fine but you're not going to be hired by anyone. Learn things from the bottom up with C++/Win32/dx. You WILL have to later, so you mind as well start now before wondering what a large amount of time you wasted - especially with doing 3d first. All I'm trying to say is don't become another statistic here at Gamedev.

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Quote:
Original post by Conner McCloud
Quote:
Original post by King of Men
The real question is, can you make a professional-quality hockey game in it?

Its HTML bindings are top notch, so I certainly don't see why not.


Capo might need a little explanation there. Hint: find the Gamedev comics.

I've never used BlitzBasic/Max. But what might be a 'good habit' in Blitz could be considered a 'bad habit' in other languages. Even if you switch from, say, Java to C++ or vice-versa, you'll probably be trying to program the same way you had before and not take advantage of the new languages features. Theres a joke that Fortran programmers can program Fortran in any language.

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I too began programming with BASIC, and the farthest concepts from game programming possible! Personally, I enjoyed the experience, and accomplished alot! I feel the feeling of success is a strong motivator for better coding habits. But! I feel that learning object-oriented (or based) coding is GREATLY important, when accomplishing any task. I'm not 100% sure on the format of BlitzBasic, but if it's more like BASIC than not, it's procedural (function-based) and limits the ability to grasp how code can be much more agreeable with objects.

I think BlitzBasic is attractive in the sense of immediate "pretty" results, but I think limits the programmer from really being able to get the greatest potential from your idea. As humans, I think we think in systems that are connected. So OOP may conceptually seem natural to some. Even for beginners, I think OOP is a step in the right direction.

I'm definitely biased toward C++, so that may be a good beginner's language with OOP, and there are a TON of free IDEs and compilers out there!

Hope I wasn't too longwinded!

- stealthgate

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The blitzbasic language is great! I've spent alot of time comparing languages, Java, C++, Python, Blitz, and a few others. I found that while Python had a slower runtime 99% of the time it would not be noticeable, and if it is there are programs make to speed it up (Pysco). Python is also much easier to learn, is OOP, and is dynamically typed. That ruled out Java and C++, the reason I went with Blitz was the community, faster programming oriented for gaming, and everythings pretty much included.

Commerical games have been written with Python, but moreso with Java and C++, but I dont plan on making a career out of this, so Blitz was the best choice. Check out the galleries, and you'd be suprised at what Blitz can do. Mind you though, graphics are mostly because of the artist, not the engine, but the galleries do show what it's capable of.

Some screenshots:

[IMG]http://www.blitzbasic.com/gallery/pics/820.jpg[/IMG]
[img]http://www.blitzbasic.com/gallery/pics/1186.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.blitzbasic.com/gallery/pics/133.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.blitzbasic.com/gallery/pics/1074.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.blitzbasic.com/gallery/pics/1107.jpg[/img]

There is also a MMORPG, yes, a MMORPG, being created not only in BlitzBasic, but by some teenagers! And more! It looks great! It runs great! They've got screenshots, movies, website, and beta already out!

http://www.afelhem.com/

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Quote:
Original post by Conner McCloud
Quote:
Original post by King of Men
The real question is, can you make a professional-quality hockey game in it?

Its HTML bindings are top notch, so I certainly don't see why not.

I agree with ApochPiQ. What good is learning good habits if it takes you three years to actually do anything cool? By then, you run the risk of getting bored and fed up with the entire process, and just giving up. And then where are you?

CM


i also agree. worry about "good" and "bad" programming habits later. it's best to start out with something that will let you accomplish your goals with minimal effort.

i've never used or looked at blitzbasic before, but if it allows you create something quickly and easily and helps to teach you the fundamentals of general programming, then use it.

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I started off with a form of BASIC laguage. DarkBASIC. more of an engine than a language but it helped me understand basic programming conecpts like loops, variables and y'know just how games should be structured. When i moved to C++ it took a while to get used to the syntax (Although I don't know it all off by heart and I never will I keep my trusty reference books with me) but because I had used DarkBASIC beforehand it made it easier to understand C++

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I have no experience with BlitzBasic, but considering that Grid Wars was coded in it, I would consider it a good game programming language. For beginners though, you might want to start with something like Python to teach you the basics of programming, logic, etc. Personally I started with PHP, but I don't recommend it.

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Quote:
Original post by King of Men
The real question is, can you make a professional-quality hockey game in it?


I did get a great laugh out of that :-)

Question is, though: was it an appropriate post in the thread?

Anyway, to answer another post:

Quote:
Sure, its fine but you're not going to be hired by anyone. Learn things from the bottom up with C++/Win32/dx.


If "getting hired" is your goal, go to college. Even with the best instructors, it takes many years to achieve a level of programming proficiency that would be sale-able at the high-end programming jobs you're probably thinking of. If it takes 10 years to achieve mastery (which is an estimate I've heard in several places), what language you use during the first three years is unlikely to matter.

My advice to a beginner would be to pick one that's easy to work with and gives you quick results, to keep the interest going. C++ and Win32 won't qualify on that list.

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