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jwells4258

huge beginner

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i am in highschool and am thinking of going into the video game industry as a career. i want to be a programer/designer. i have no clue how anything works tho, i would like to know some software i can bbuy to get started, software that will show me how to do stuff, also some books. someone please post some things i should buy.

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First of all, make plans on going to college. College research sucks, but that's what this site is for. Plus this site is searchable!

Also, if you want to program now, I would suggest NOT learning C++ as your first language. It's too complicated, as a beginer, you won't apreciate its power and it has tricky syntax. Although the latter warning is something you do get used to.

Then, I suggest Python or some form of BASIC as a first language. Python.org can get you Python, but I don't know where to get BASIC. And you should learn several different languages. I'm told it helps in the long run.

Lastly, everyone is opinionated. Evaluate all opinions before following any advice. And a fun paradox: what if someone else tells you to only listen to one opinion?

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Well there are some neccessary tools you will need to start. You will need a compiler. Google Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 Express. I would stop at your local book store and head over to the computer section and take a gander at the C/C++ programming books. Look at the Preface/Introduction to the book, and skim through the first chapter to see if you like the authors style of teaching.

Your going to want to learn a programming language fairly well before you begin programming games and tools for making your games. Don't worry about being a designer, most people that become designers start off doing something else in the game industry and work their way up.

Good Luck on you journey.

Ps: Don't get any book that say, Learn "Some Subject" in 24 hours. These books are a waste of time. Your money would be better spent somewhere else.

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[i]Also, if you want to program now, I would suggest NOT learning C++ as your first language. It's too complicated, as a beginer, you won't apreciate its power and it has tricky syntax. Although the latter warning is something you do get used to.


I always find it interesting when people say that C/C++ is not the first language and that its hard to learn. It was my first language and I'm haveing no probelms with it at all, actually never did. I pretty sure, thousands of others learned C/C++ as their first and were quite successful as well.

jwells4258, everything takes time to learn and master. Just take your time, and you will do fine. Just study hard.

Ps: The first step is always the hardest, but once you get past it you'll do fine.

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The last poster gave some very good advice, which if you decide to persue things farther, I suggest you follow up on.

Now, im going to give you some advice nobody every gives someone new.

Try programming first.

Really its that simple. I am of the firm belief some people "get it" and some people dont. Its not an insult at you if in the end you do or dont get it, but programming is as much an aptitude as it is a skill.

I watched it in University. Granted, it was the mid nineties, so things have changed, but my class size started out at around 300 people. Within a semester, we were down to about half that number. An equal part flunked out as to the parts that dropped out. If half of these people had *any* experience coming in, they probrably would have known it wasnt the profession for them, but they just say the formula computers == $$$ and off they went. In the end, my graduating class was under 20 people and it really wasnt that hard of a program.

Im not saying this to scare you off going into programming. This profession really isnt rocket science, but you should try it before you go on to school. Unlike many professions, if you dont get it... you probrably never will. Nice part is though, you will quickly be able to figure out for yourself if you do get it.

Last part of my scare tactics.... :) Forget the designer part for now unless your going to work on Indy projects. Frankly, there are more diplomatic ( as in political) positions then there are game designer positions. I am not saying dont am for that job, im just saying there arent many of them out there. Also, programming is programming. There is nothing magical about game programming. Playing games is fun as hell, writing them is work. Thats something many young people dont realize. On the flipside, it could be a job you love more then anything in the world. Just come in with your eyes open, writing games is *nothing* like playing them.

Ok. Doom and gloom speech done! [smile]

Python and pyGame are a good way to get started. You can see some pretty instant results that way, and python is a pretty modern language, so the skills you learn will be applicable to further learning.

Also, there is no need to buy anything just yet. The aforementioned python is available for free. So far as game assets ( like graphics files ) you can download progams like Blender for free aswell. Also, Microsoft recently announced XNA which allows you to get experience in a near to professional tool ( Visual Studio Express ), using an SDK that allows you to write Windows ( and shortly Xbox 360 games ), again for free.

Regardless to which way you decide to go, there a ton of resources available for free aswell. Pick one, and countrary to many opinions, you cant really make a huge mistake at this point. One language or package isnt "right or wrong" at this point. The most important part is to immerse yourself into it and see if you like it. Once you do, post back here what you are working on, and I guarantee we can provide books to buy or advice to point out on the tool you choose to work with.

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Original post by LostSource
I always find it interesting when people say that C/C++ is not the first language and that its hard to learn. It was my first language and I'm haveing no probelms with it at all, actually never did.


Impossible. There is no such language as "C/C++" - that is a phrase used to refer to two separate languages in a context where either is applicable. Several people have a mindset whereby they treat C and/or C++ as if this mythical "C/C++" language actually existed. If you are one of them, you actually are having huge numbers of very serious problems, which you merely don't realize.

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"you actually are having huge numbers of very serious problems, which you merely don't realize"

Nope no problems here for me. I took my time learning the languages and how the work with memory. Well, that's not true that I don't have problems, I can't say that I don't have problems because who doesn't. But I can say that I never and hate mixing C with C++.

I guess I should restate that I first learned C then C++, that is my reasoning for saying C/C++, and not for it to mean some phrase that people use to coin using one or the other.

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Original post by LostSource
Quote:
[i]Also, if you want to program now, I would suggest NOT learning C++ as your first language. It's too complicated, as a beginer, you won't apreciate its power and it has tricky syntax. Although the latter warning is something you do get used to.


I always find it interesting when people say that C/C++ is not the first language and that its hard to learn. It was my first language and I'm haveing no probelms with it at all, actually never did. I pretty sure, thousands of others learned C/C++ as their first and were quite successful as well.

jwells4258, everything takes time to learn and master. Just take your time, and you will do fine. Just study hard.

Ps: The first step is always the hardest, but once you get past it you'll do fine.


As someone who has begun programming a few different times over, once in C (but had to stop due to school) and once in Blitz BASIC (Never knew why I stopped) and lastly in Python (the only one that stuck), I can say that yes, you can learn C as a first language, but there's one logical point you ignored in your counter-statement and one logical statement I forgot to make.

You never responded in telling me whether a beginer can or cannot apreciate such a language. The argument I forgot to make: It takes time. An experienced programmer can write in one week what it takes the same programmer to write in C or C++ acording to the Python documents. Java would still take two weeks. C language codes might run faster, but beginers shouldn't be obsessed with optimizing.

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