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What's a good way to get started?

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I've been thinking, and I want to have another try at programming. Previously, I've worked with GameMaker's scripting language, GML, and became fairly proficient. However, I'd like to try my hand at an actual language. I've messed with learning c++ several times: each time I lost interest. So I thought I'd try out Python. I like that fact that it's interpreted, and that it's apparently nice and simple. Ease of use is why c++ failed for me after all. So I thought I should make plans on what to do to familiarize myself with the language. Of course, I plan on going through several tutorials and the likes. However, what I do after that, to get more in depth with it, is what I'm debating on. My initial plan was to take PyOgre and PyGame and make a techdemo with it. Perhaps I could even use it as a pilot to help pitch a later design and get team members. I was thinking though, maybe I should make a useful tool for myself first. I thought I might try to do an authoring style tool, similar in scope but more expandable than GameMaker, but I doubt I'll do this. What I think looks best for me is to do that, but on a simplified scale: e.g. a sort of asset manager. Something that could have graphic files, sound files, maps, scripts, etc. and keep them all organized. It would probably have a code editor, so that it could be used as a one-stop solution (minus making said assets). Which one of these do you think would be best to pursue after I've gotten familiar with Python? Or, do you have any suggestions for other good starting routes? Thanks for your time. :)

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Original post by Riekistyx
C++ is the way to go for games.

Naughty. Just because it's an industry standard doesn't mean everyone must or should use it, and it's certainly not the best option for beginners.

Some Python resources:
- How To Think Like A Computer Scientist
- Dive Into Python
- Thinking In Python
- Python 2.4 Quick Reference

Definately go through whatever tutorials or books you choose to learn from first and familiarise yourself with the language. Doing the example programs and any questions offered in such texts is excellent practice, and you could also try applying what you learn to small programs of your own.

What should you pursue after that? What do you want to try to make? Pick something (try not to let it be something unrealistically huge), and set about developing it. Tools or small (or even larger) games would be an excellent choice. Your asset manager sounds like something useful and realistic, and involves a lot of different features, so that could be a good choice. The authoring tool could end up a very complex project, and you'd have to be careful to keep yourself focussed on keeping your aims achievable, but could also be an excellent project to test out your abilities and get a solid grounding in the language.

Just as a final note, if you stick with Python and learn it well, you'll probably find that trying C++ again will become a lot easier for you in future. Once you learn how to program properly, picking up additional languages (unless they're extremely different) becomes a relatively simple matter of learning syntax.

Hope that helps. [smile]

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