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I am a 3rd year student in software engineering and I have a good background in art. All this is worthless because I do not know what languages, what programs do I need to create a video game. I have time, patients and a new pc on the way. I know it will be hard and almost impossible alone to learn. But what the hell ... I must try. What languages do I need ? What programs do I need to create the graphics ? What is OpenGl and for what do they use it ? What is Maya/3dmax and for what do they use it ? I thank you for your responses.

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Original post by Fares
I am a 3rd year student in software engineering and I have a good background in art.
All this is worthless because I do not know what languages, what programs do I need to create a video game. I have time, patients and a new pc on the way. I know it will be hard and almost impossible alone to learn. But what the hell ... I must try.

Nothing is impossible to learn, especially if you have time and patience. (I guess it was just a spelling mistake and you are not a therapist ;) ).
Quote:
What languages do I need ?

C++ would be a great foundation, it is the "most important" language in desktop games programming and will stay the major language for some time.
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What programs do I need to create the graphics ?

Photoshop is probably the most powerful tool to create and manipulate 2D graphics.
Most common 3D modelling tools are Maya, 3DMax, XSI, Milkshape... look in the Visual Arts forum for detailed information.
Quote:
What is OpenGl and for what do they use it ?

OpenGL is a graphics API, together with Direct3D it represents the industry standard.
Quote:
What is Maya/3dmax and for what do they use it ?

As already mentioned this are 3D modelling editors. You use them to create 3D objects and animate them.

[Edited by - kiome on September 15, 2006 9:27:04 AM]

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Hi!

Let's look at it like this: a computer game is essentially made up of a program and data. Programs are written in programming languages (C++, Java, Python, ... the list goes on forever). These programs can be more than a bit complex, and it's nearly impossible for one person to build every little detail from the ground up - that's why we use APIs (Application Programming Interface - provides an interface which connects to already implemented programs), and libraries (a set of functions, classes, etc - bits of programs) to ease up the load. Data, like artwork, is created using various tools: level editors, 3d modellers, 2D paint programs.

What you need to do is:
- choose a programming language and learn to use it
- familiarize yourself with the concepts of APIs and libraries, and learn to use some of them
- gather a set of tools for creating artwork

OpenGL is an API for displaying graphics. It is a low level API which means it provides basic functionality so you don't need to communicate with the hardware directly.

Maya and 3DSMax are 3D modeling tools.

Ok, that's long enough already, so ask away if something needs clarification. Also don't forget to look around this site for beginner resources and FAQs.

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Since you are a software engineering student, I'm assuming you already know at least 1 programming language. You can most likely use that to make games; you don't have to use C++.

There are two main areas involved in making games: designing /writing the code, and designing/making the content (art, scripts, maps etc). Which do you want to do (or both)?

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What programs do I need to create the graphics ?


I'm going to throw this out because I don't think it's been mentioned anywhere and it is, admittedly, out in left field.

I'm not an artist and for some reason I have trouble with visualization using modeling software. But the one program I've found helpful in creating graphics is a freeware program called POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision.) It's a ray tracing application that's text based.

Basically you define objects geometrically and apply your own defined textures or select from some in the libraries supplied. You control lighting and camera position/orientation.

It's not for everyone but I find it easier to use than some other tools.

Lilith

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