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Mystixs

Newbie to Game Development

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Hello everyone. I am a newbie to game design and I am wandering what language I should learn first. I perfer to play and make 2d games. I have been told VB6 is a good one but Microsoft doesn't support it anymore. They support VB .net so I figured I might do that but I thought it would be best to ask you all first. What programming language is best to learn first for a newbie to 2d game design? Thanks, -Mystixs

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In an IDEAL world, you'd learn ASM first, then a higher level language (C/C++). Then you'd have really great programming principles. But, in reality, your best bet would probably be to start right into C then to C++ (Not that bad of an idea) or even start with Java. I don't know much about Java's game making abilities, but it's best to learn a language, without the game programming, before you jump into games. This will get you thinking like a programmer. Java is great, because it's object orientated (you'll understand once you start programming in it ;) ), but C++ is VERY powerful, flexible, efficient and just plain easier (in my mind at least).

It's up to you, but personally, if you're SERIOUS about making a career out of this, I'd start with C and C++. I started out learning Visual Basic, and frankly wish I hadn't, because I felt it was a waste of time at this point.

Those are my suggestions, choice is up to you.

Have fun! Feel free to PM me with questions about C++ (After you've read every book and article there is on the language, of course ;))

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You really don't need to learn assembly.

Learning VB.NET is fine. You could also try some game-specific language like BlitzBASIC or Dark Basic PRO.

For me, the order was something like:
BASIC
Simple assembly (6502)
PASCAL
C
C++
Advanced assembly (PowerPC, x86)
Everything else (shell, LUA, Python, PHP, C#, it's all a blur :-)

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I would hurry and download the free/no license restrictions Visual C++ 2005 Express from Microsoft's site. Even if you aren't ready to start coding C++, you should definitely get this compiler while it is still free, because in serious game development you are probably going to end up using C++.

I am relatively new in game design myself (been doing this for about three years.) I started out using DarkBasicPro, which is a high-level BASIC game-developing program. This tool helped me get a feel for the way games are coded in general, and helped me think more like a programmer. However, I always wanted to do gamedev "for real", so I eventually dove into C++.

I should warn you to _not_ get Visual C++ 6. This was the second compiler I used after GNU C++, and I developed thousands of lines of my current game project on it. I became attatched to VC++6, for my part, but it simply had too many problems. I am uneducated in this field and may be completely wrong, but VC++6 tends to create weird compatibility problems. Besides this, it is outdated and difficult to find help for. I'm sure that there are many people out there who are able to do fine with it, but I wouldn't risk it.

I hope that my advice is helpful - I remember breaking into this field on my own and how intimidating that can be, what with all the acronyms, compiler names, and other stuff one has to assimilate.

-synth_cat

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