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Im Really New I Need Tonnes Of Help!

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Hey, My name is Rory and I am a 16 year old student. I have finished my GCSE's and am looking to go into A-level. But I have a real intrest in Game Development and Design. I would love to create some simple games...Does anyone have any software and books that could help me to start this dream of creating games. Game design software is all the same to me at the moment, unlike web design where Dreamweaver is a clear winner. Thanks in advance Rory

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You need to choose a language before getting software or books, else how would you know what software and books to get?

Look at the getting started section of the Forum FAQ and follow some of the links. Choose a few languages to try out then go with the one you are most comforable with.

If you want books then take a look in the books section. Or you could try a library.

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This link is commonly suggested for requests such as this. It might help you gain a little more specific understanding of what's involved, and thus help improve your search for more information.

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OK, thanks but as I say I am really new infact I have thought about it for ages, yet today I'm taking action... What language is the most pop. / most effective?

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Quote:
I would love to create some simple games...Does anyone have any software and books that could help me to start this dream of creating games.


I use c++ in programming. Of course it is pretty complex, but rewarding. SDL is for graphics in every language and simple. (suprisingly stands for simple-direct layer)

Quote:
Game design software is all the same to me at the moment, unlike web design where Dreamweaver is a clear winner.


Well, I not so sure you would like game maker stuff. They are normally complex (not that programming) and slow (as in execution speed). Gamemaker is not that bad.

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OK so I am going to use C++ any good places to buy the software from? Cheap im on a tight budget...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
what about for free?

You only need a compiler. It puts all you're C++ code together into a exe. Two of the most popular are microsoft visual studio C++ and Dev-C++. If you intend to get further with windows programming, I'd suggest visual studio. But that's my idea.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualc/

~ Stenny

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Free downloads of interest to you:

The compiler and IDE

Platform SDK for Windows XP

DirectX SDK

Edit: AP beat me to it ^_^;

Edit2: No, you create code in Visual Studio. But you could create it in notepad if you are masochistic. Judging by your questions you've not had any previous exposure to programming, so I'd recommend starting with something really simple. First, get a decent C++ book (if you are set on C++) and work your way through their examples. I'm gonna plug Bruce's book here, since it's free and you're on a budget, but I've heard some others claim that it's not as clear/beginner-friendly as his Java book.

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Nope, all you have to do is download a compiler (I use Dev C++) Open the compiler, make a new project and start coding away!

I think you really read about the langauge carefully because c++ can be intimidating at first look. I'm still learning it, but I would suggest you learn basics like defining variables, what the langauge rules are, and how to create simple console programs. After that then you should invest in a book on beginning game programming. You might need to know a little bit of drawing graphics in Windows though. I suggest getting beginning game programming by michael morrison. You need to know a little bit of windows programming for that book. For the basic rules of the language and getting to know what functions are, basic math, and other stuff, I would suggest c++ for dummies, but other programmers don't like it because it doesn't teach you how to think(problem solving). But for learning the basics, that should be good to start you off. Google Bloodshed Dev C++ and you can purchase the two books I mentioned at Barnes & Noble.

Hope that helps you start off.

[edit]Aw man, the first time I can help someone with something I know on these forums and light gets to beat me to it =(

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I use code::blocks for an IDE.
As help:
C++
SDL

Both great tutorials. Just as a side note graphics should be your last thing to do. Go through all of the first before starting the second. Also following the C++ workshop mightbe useful.

Also as personal experience DirectX is hard. I could not find any good tutorials. Also SDL and C++ are good together because they are totally cross-platform.(I think)

EDIT: SonicD007 is right about c++. I can see how it can be hard. (and furstarting you cant do anything cool for a while), but if you havedone programming before it should (depending on what you did) be too hard to pick up. Tip: Go slow and start small. Also for more links: Link

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by SonicD007
Nope, all you have to do is download a compiler (I use Dev C++) Open the compiler, make a new project and start coding away!

First DevC++ is not a compiler, its an IDE ...
Second you don't open the compiler, the compiler is usualy comand line tool, you code in a text editor, and then use the compiler to compile the code ...

Use VS Express as recomended by several other posters, its the best for free, + you get the MSDN (documentation) and

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Quote:
Original post by getmegames
Ok that great thanks. So what do I create the code in, notepad?
Programs like Dev-C++, codeblocks, or visual C++ are IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) so they come with editors but you can write code in whatever plain text editor you want.

Just plain compilers do not come with text editors so you would have to write code in something like notepad.

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don't fall into the trap that you HAVE to do it in C++ just because lots of other people do. There are many many other options:

The main 3 I've used are
C++ (not that fun, but fairly easy once you get going)

Java (fairly good, mostly easy. Looks a lot like C++, but doesn't have some things that make C++ a lot more complex than many say is really needed these days. Is marginly slower than C++ but unless you have been programing for 10+ years, this reduction in speed shouldn't matter. More likely HOW you program it will be a bigger slow down than the actual language. These slowdowns are found in EVERY langauge!)

Python (syntax is a little odd after having started with Java. But it is easy to work with. Things are VERY newbie friendly for the most part)


Python is very easy to work with, and a fair number of good resources to get started with. There was a time when I was against something like Python because I didn't know enough to see just what it was. It was so simple, it just couldn't be as good as Java or C++ (having first learned Java to any extend and get anywhere with it, I'll always be bias to it) but Python is great for new people.

Python, keep your mind on the work more than your code itself. Lets you solve the problems, not have problems getting code to work.

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Ok I keep making taht mistake. Like what AP said, Dev C++ is an IDE...

But what I meant by opening the compiler was launching Dev-C++

Sorry if I confused you.

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Quote:
Original post by yaustar
Just to clarify, do you want to design games (design), devleop games (production) or both?

Both really, I have a plan of having some games which you can download from my website (which Ill Make) for a small fee, but also the site will work as a portfoilo

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THANKS EVERYONE

I now have a plan

1. Buy a book explaining C++,
2. Get myself a Dev-C++, codeblocks, or visual C++ proggram
3.Use the book and other online resources to begin to make a easy game, I have herd tetris is easy(ish).
4.After a few years, hopefully I will understand C++ and some other coding lanuages.
5. Post them on a website it be an online portfolio.

Is there a game making magazine (in the UK), because I learnt tonnes from reading web designing magazines when I was learning HTML etc.

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1 free IDE that i know of is Microsoft visual c++ 2005 express edition.
It is an 81 mb download i think.

You can download it here:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=51410&clcid=0x409

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If you are a complete beginner in C++ I suggest you work your way through Teach yourself C++ in 21 days
That way you dont need to spend your money on a bad book until you know that C++ works for you. The book is better than its title implies, and will take you through the language in an easy to understand manner. In other words, its not too technical, but still straight to the point.

Also, what people refer to as an IDE (Intergrated development environment) is simply an all in one solution for programming.
In this case all in one means at least the following components:
compiler, linker, editor and debugger. (If you decide to go with Codeblock, make sure you download the version with the MingW compiler.

There is many free IDE's out there for pretty much any language, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

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Yup, C++ can get quite complicated if not approached from the correct direction, but please be persistent with it, its the most flexible language you can program in.

I'd like to say though, whats more important than the language itself is to understand the underlying concepts, which are generally universal to every language; i.e. polymorphism and inhertience... Try to find a book which explains these things rather than just the syntax of the language; that way whatever language you choose to program in the future, shouldn't really be much trouble at all to learn because you have the underlying concepts pinned down.

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I just don't understand...

For free Windows C++ IDEs (the kind of environment where you type up your code, it will highlight things and make it look pretty, then send it all to a compiler which will make it an executable), the most popular are Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition (someone already gave you the link), Dev-C++ (http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html) and Code::Blocks (http://www.codeblocks.org/).

Having used all three, I can tell you that the compilers behind dev-c++ and code::blocks are exactly the same (some Windows spin of a GNU compiler... MingGW??), so the only difference is how the IDE feels, and Code::Blocks takes the cake. There is absolutly no competition in my eyes between the two. Even Dev-cpp's special dev-pak packages can be used by code::blocks, it's better and very simple. I would not recommend dev unless for some odd reason you couldn't use code::blocks.

Visual C++ (which I use ATM) has Microsoft's compiler, which has been greatly optimized, but I find that the IDE is a little clunky and a little buggy. However, it is overall much better, but more complicated, use it only when comfortable.

My opinion, skip Dev-C++, use either Code::Blocks or Visual C++.

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Quote:

1. Buy a book explaining C++,
2. Get myself a Dev-C++, codeblocks, or visual C++ proggram
3.Use the book and other online resources to begin to make a easy game, I have herd tetris is easy(ish).
4.After a few years, hopefully I will understand C++ and some other coding lanuages.
5. Post them on a website it be an online portfolio.


I see you take this quite seriously. That's good ^_^. I have only comment on step 2:

As I have said before (as an anonymous poster because I forgot logging in), both of the programs are free. I'll explain what they do (in this case VSC++)...
You can just open up VSC++ (I use that) and you click on new->project. You enter a project name click on create/ok/finish/whatever. VSC++ will then create you a nice project within which you can add *.cpp files. These are the main files you need for programming C++. In that file you can just start programming. So in other words: you don't need anything like notepad. You can though, but something like VSC++ is way more handy.

As for a good book I would recommend: C++ for dummies. One of the famous "...for dummies" books. This book gets you started from easy C++, like cout and cin and goes genuinly to pointers and linked lists. It's a good book and I haven't seen any serious errors in it that will stop you from creating working programs. Off course I'm not the best programmer out here, but I thought it was quite usefull.

~ Stenny

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I'm going to do the obvious and suggest the C++ Workshop for you. They have a book and compiler picked for you already. Also you can jump from the beginning and people will still help you. No need to feel rushed or the need to "catch up". Click the link and get started with C++ the right away!


First class of C++

The C++ forum itself

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