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gentrinity

Complete noob needs guidance!!

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Hello everyone. First post but I hope that there will be more to come. I am interested in building two games. A basketball game and a Bushido Blade 2 fighting engine. So far I have no programming knowledge other than HTML and CSS, a little javascript, actionscript, and asp.net. Very little I know!!! I am willing to dedicate myself to the art of making games but I am the type of person that needs to set goals and timeframe for goals so that I can keep my focus and do things right. I give myself tight deadlines cause thats how I work best. So anyway, heres a few questions I would like to ask; I plan on doing the games suggested in the begginer's articles, Tetris, Mario, etc; cause I understand how thats going to help me in the future. How long is it going to take me to make all those games? A month or two? 6 months? A year? If I use some prebuilt engines like Endorphin for the physics, how much time would I be saving myself? Is it worth it to build my own physics engine or is that too advanced for a noob? Are those two specific engines that I mentioned simple, or are they tuff? How would you rate the game developing difficulty on them? Also, Im probably going to be using C#, but what do people here think about actionscripting? is it too weak a programming language to make the games I mentioned? I would prefer to stick to that language since it pertains to my current industry(web design). Thanks to everyone for any help!!! Take care!!

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Quote:
Original post by gentrinity
So far I have no programming knowledge other than HTML and CSS, a little javascript, actionscript, and asp.net. Very little I know!!!

I would not worry about attempting to make a game yet, as you do not know anything about programming. HTML and CSS are basically just used to format things like text. I would first get the hang of an actual programming language like C or C++.

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I would suggest what the above person said too.Start learning a more advanced language like Java or C++ and work you way slowly(or at your own pace as you mentioned) up to the point of understanding the language good.
At that point you should make a mario/tetris/pacman clone so you can see how the programming stuff you learned , mostly OOP(Object oriented programming) stuff such as class hierarchies , inheritance would work in a simple game.
As you complete that too , you are ready to pursue the goal you set at the start :) .Now about the time this takes ... it can take from months to years ... depending on how much time you actually put on it.I have seen a friend starting from nothing and going to the point of being able to program a mario clone in java in just 5 months.But he really got the game programming devil in him for that period of his life :)

Hope I helped !

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I agree totally with these comments. I've been coding C++ for a few years now but largely limited to numerical simulations for my physics degree. I've been trying to extend my knowledge recently and get into game coding since I'm still into programming but no longer in academia. I was surprised how much I have to learn!

I think the first thing to do is to get a sufficient grasp of your language to program a simple text based game. My choice has been an 'Elite' style space-travel-and-trade game, which is almost complete. I've learned a LOT from doing this, despite the text-based UI and limited scale of the project. There's a C++ tutorial on this site (and a book to go with it) that reaches the stage of coding a text-based adventure/RPG. That's a good place to start from scratch.

I've also been reading in advance about DirectX, since my next target is to make an equally simple game with a proper interface.

How long will it take to learn a language like C++ from scratch? I think that depends - some will inevitably take to it easier than others. Just keep plugging away at it because it's just logic and syntax and eventually you'll know it, or enough of it to do what you need. More significant is the design, I think, and for me that's only slowly developing with experience.

L
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Thanks alot for the help. I understand what everyone here is trying to say and I totally agree.


@Fukushousha

I will then set a 6 month timeframe for a sidecroller fighting game. Judging by my extremely quick learning curve(I have a photographic memory) and how easily I can stop having a life(Ive done it before for other stuff), I think I can do it.

One predicament I would like people here to advise me on is the following;

Being a web developer and designer, I would ultimately prefer a progamming language that I can later use for web pages, cause thats what pays the bills. VB.net would be the ideal language but C# would be just as usefull since you can program ASP.NET with C#.

But what about actionscripting? Can anyone comment on how powerfull this language is. Is it good enough to develop the games I mentioned?

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Well, I don't know what "ActionScript" is, but it sounds familiar to me. And if you want it to pertain to web development, I can only offer up two solid possibilities: Java and Flash/Shockwave. (Does Shockwave even still exist?)

I'm not trying to start a programming "holy" war, but Java is the better language for web development stuff. With C#, you have ASP, yes. But with Java you have JSP, Applets, and full blown applications, including full screen games. And the best part is you only have to compile once, and it runs on any computer around the world. Plus Java is ubiquitous on the internet for making applet style games.

Flash is also amazingly popular for simple little games online, as well as other such web based stuff. I think this is where I remember the term ActionScript coming from, but I could be wrong.

And eidetic or not, I don't think anyone could go from web developer with no-to-little programming experience to a full blown game developer in 6 months. There's just too much to learn. Game development isn't G.I. Joe. Learning isn't half the battle here...it's only the beginning. You still have to implement everything you read, and trust me when I say books have errors. Tutorials have errors. If you memorize what you read, you'll be in for headaches. :)

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I was going on what Fukushousha said about his friend. Maybe 6 months is a bit too soon, but from what he said, its in the realm of possible.

Actionscripting is Flash's programming language. I have seen the ability to constuct a 3D engine so I assume its a pretty potent language. Its not a scripting language so dont let the name fool you.

Your java recommendation is pretty good and not a bad idea at all. But my current need is ASP.NET and Flash, so I think ill stick to C# and actionscript since there seems to be some neat integration between the two.

Im going to learn actionscript first though, because I have been using Flash since it was Flash 3(Flash is up to version 8, so thats probably 5 or 6 years) and I still havent learned actionscripting >.< which is kinda pathetic. Im good and all but thats inexcusable. So Im going to go ahead with that and actually learn how to make basic games with that language. Probably take it as far as the language lets me. If I get to a point where it seems that I will hit a wall, then I can start getting into C# and continue on from there.

Thanks again!!!

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Hello, well I am farily new here too and just wanted to say hi and tell you that if you want to program games in C# you should look into this book:

http://www.course.com/catalog/product.cfm?category=Game%20Development&subcategory=Programming%20Techniques&isbn=1-59200-517-9

I am currently reading one of the other books in there series to learn C++. So far the book has been great, so this one should be too. Maybe if you read it throughly and asked questions about stuff you don't know on here, you can make your 6 month goal. :)

BTW go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx and check out XNA!

If you are going to learn C# you have to look into this engine when you are done learning. It is a add on to C# express (Free software form the same site) that will help you program games in C# for Windows and the Xbox 360.

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PKLoki

What tutorial are you referring to? I want to start off with a text based game also. I was considering attempting the project that jwalsh started in the cpp workshop (since I'm reading that book) but I don't have much confidence and think I need a little more spoon feeding.

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Quote:
Original post by X_GRAYWOLF_X

BTW go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx and check out XNA!

If you are going to learn C# you have to look into this engine when you are done learning. It is a add on to C# express (Free software form the same site) that will help you program games in C# for Windows and the Xbox 360.


Thanks alot. I already have XNA downloaded and waiting to be installed but I am not fully aware of what exactly it does. Could you give me a noob explanation cause the microsoft site wasnt very helpfull.

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