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Trinary

I'm wondering if I'm in the correct path as planning to be a game designer goes.

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I really want a future in game development, and I've been thinking for a while about how I want to get into programming. Right now my knowledge only span being well versed in PHP 4, well versed in the use of computer and skin-deep knowledge of various programming languages. Obviously I've played tons of games as well. I decided to learn C for a few months to be well aware of it, before learning and programming in C++ and Python and way later maybe learn Assembly as needed. I don't really the idea of making single platform games, so I'd avoid .net languages and similarly cross-platform crippled languages for now at the very least. In the graphic side, I'd learn and work with drawing, photoshop, XSI, and secondarily see what other tools I decide to try and use otherwise, such as blender, maya, 3dsmax, lightwave, rhinoceros. For graphic engine I would go for OpenGL instead of DirectX, as game is not all about graphics anyway, and I really like the thought of being crossplatform. Game design wise I'd learn by doing things like pygame, or some mods for games like oblivion, etc, or even go with things like rpgmaker while waiting for my programming/3d design to bear fruit and integrating them in my mod making projects, as they fit. I believe they all have their benefits in studying, even with all their own constrains and limitations. All that obviously could change as it's a medium term plan, and new languages/tools pops up... But does it look like a decent plan? I intend to get back into college, but money is limited at the moment, so the college part will have to wait until I have more money. Sorry for wasting your time, but I just realized that I shouldn't be afraid to ask questions to those more experienced in the path, if I want to be successful. :)

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You haven't really said what your goal is. It is hard to comment on your plan without knowing what the goal is.

If your goal is to get a job as a programmer, then the best plan would include getting a degree. If that is not feasible, then you still need to focus on learning programming. Forget the rest.

If your goal is to get a job as a game designer, then learning about programming and art is good, but don't spend time on useless details like learning assembly language or creating a cross-platform graphics engine. Try to your foot in the door by getting a job as a tester.

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Quote:

For graphic engine I would go for OpenGL instead of DirectX, as game is not all about graphics anyway, and I really like the thought of being crossplatform.


wow, wow, wow.. what's that supposed to mean? :P

Anyways, it looks like you have the right idea as far as tools go, but i hope you don't plan on mastering all of that. Being a great 3D Modeler / Content creater and a solid programmer isn't to good of an idea, unless you plan to just get to know some of these apps and focus on one side of games or the other. (Assets vs. Programming)

If you want to start down your path w/o college, its very possible. I would go over either a book or a CProgramming website. Learn as much of the syntex and structure you can and move on.

Step one: Learn C/C++
Step two: Master Datastructures and Understand OO design
Step three: Learn Vectors and Vector math
Step four: Make a technical document detailing the system architecture for mario.
Step five: Make mario

From here, i would move into Matrix math and more complicated vector math, and learn an API like OpenGL. Once you understand 3D concepts and programming and know your OO design principals, coupled with the practice of actually planning out the architecture of some projects, your set to just expand on what you know.

Then again, im not in the industry but thats how i see it.

Just remeber to practice designing your architectures. It may seem like overkill but if you dont, you will anyway when you start figuring out what works and what dosnt through trial and error :)

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Quote:
Original post by nef
Step one: Learn C/C++
Step two: Master Datastructures and Understand OO design
Step three: Learn Vectors and Vector math
Step four: Make a technical document detailing the system architecture for mario.
Step five: Make mario


Don't you know most people are multicore [wink]. People can learn multiple things at once. SDL helped my understanding of pointers early on. Making a few simple games helped in data structures. It also help me realize the importance of good OOP design.

I my path went a little something like this:

1) learn basic C/C++
2) start SDL, continue C++
3) take datastructures, make tetris
4) start OpenGL.

My problem is I forgot to (read: avoided) take math so now I'm stuck with OpenGL because my math background sucks. The only thing I would change with my route is to add math along the way.

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My goal is to be a lead game designer, but of course, that's a dream job that's not easy to reach. I intend to get there mostly via being a game programmer first as a stepping stone. Right now it's unfortunately not feasible for me to get back to college due to cost and such, but I intend to do so asap. Learning other things related to the game development in general would help though as I would for example needs some form of portfolio, and I'm bound to have to start alone in making things.

I won't waste time on assembly, and other things, they're just tertiary/last focus for me. They'll be somewhat useful, but there's many other things that will be much more effective.

Just don't like the idea of being stuck for windows, nef, and I don't like to have to use Cedega/Wine to play my own game in linux which is the case if I use DirectX. I intend to mostly leave windows sometimes soon anyway for linux when I get my laptop in the next few months. :P

Quote:
unless you plan to just get to know some of these apps and focus on one side of games or the other. (Assets vs. Programming)

It's exactly as you say. My aim is to to focus on the programming side, and later on the lead developer side if i ever get that position in something noteworthy. I simply want rudimentary/usable knowledge in the asset, etc as well as that'll help me both when/if I ever get to be a lead developer, to work with asset creators and of course for my one person example portfolio that I'll probably mostly ends up working with before I get any name.

Quote:
Just remeber to practice designing your architectures.

I have a habit of doing exactly that in my life for good or bad. This thread is an example. I'm designing the architecture, foundation of how I intend to pursue my goal to be a game designer before doing it.

I actually loves math, so I'm looking forward to getting into them again.

Stuck with opengl, lazy foo ? Isn't opengl the choice alternative to DirectX ?

I've actually started a work on a php based web rpg that a few years ago that I abandoned because I wanted to learn to make proper real time games instead. I might just restart and finish it as it'll be useful portfolio/experience wise, even if they're not C/C++/OpenGL/etc while learning those.

Thanks a lot for the suggestions and examples. You've all been great. They are helping a lot. ^^

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Quote:
Original post by Trinary
Stuck with opengl, lazy foo ? Isn't opengl the choice alternative to DirectX ?


stuck as in I don't have enough of a background in calc to do anything big with it.

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This brings to mind a side (but related) issue I am having lately. I feel I am only a dabbler in most things, but not a master of any one discipline. I am only semi-proficient in most technologies I have learned, because I have the bad habit of trying to learn too many things at once - rather than trying to concentrate on a single goal. There are so many things I want to improve on or learn, but where does one even find the time in such a busy, hectic world? It must be daunting to the complete beginner who has no knowledge of game development whatsoever to undertake such a life goal. There are so many things that need to be learned beyond "Hello World" before even attempting to make your own Quake. Anyways, just empathising with all the newbies out there. :)

My path started with electronic engineering, then I decided that wasn't for me, but I had gained an interest in computers, so then I decided to become a computer programmer/analyst, but then decided that wasn't for me, so then I gained an interest in graphic design, so became a graphic designer, and now from that I wanna program computer games. So after 2 degrees and 1 diploma, I have found what I want in life. Just still so much learning to do. Good luck to anyone who has made it - I respect all the hard work that must go into the dream that is game development.

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