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Xetahex

Does Anyone Actually "Do Anything" Here? :

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I've seen hundreds and hundreds of threads on here, because I read websites when I'm bored. So I read seeing if someone has something going that makes me motivated to do something myself. The one time I tried to pull together a serious team of "n00bs" here (on a different SN) I got laughed off the board. So I tried my own thing...and it didn't work too well. Well here I am out of JAVA class, reviewing C++ and learning VB.NET, and SDL, OpenGL and Pygame pretty much didn't work for me, so I just wanna do engine coding now. So it's like I've given up. But I wonder, out of all the "n00bs" I see on here, what happens to them? It's usually a couple posts about wanting to make a game "but I don't have any programming experience, and I can't draw but I wanna do design" or something like "I WANNA MAKE AN MMORPG." Anyone actually accomplish anything besides the experts? :| I mean, hell I tried and just couldn't do it because I shot too far, trying to do games before I could work an API. Sadly I think this is the fate of many people on here who seem determined. I'm a computer science major in college (Okay I'm really just transferring from community college having taken some basic Intro to Programming classes) who has a strong interest in music composition, and pretty much everything to do with video games. I wish I could start again, and I'm looking at some old code thinking "WTF was I thinking?" so maybe I'll start a new project now...feels good to try again. I just hope I don't fail...and I kinda wish I'd see a few people have more success then me. For the experts I ask "What can you do to not be an indefinite 'n00b' ?" and for those new I ask "What do you really want to do?" Do you wanna work hard and do something you're proud of, or just sit around coming up with "cool ideas" and expecting them to just happen? Tell me what you think. This is just what I've noticed.

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The fact that video games are being made and that there are ppl who can answer the noobs question pretty much answers your question. These ppl weren't born programmers, designers or artists. The idea is to start small but stick to it. Programming video games is still programming and if you don't enjoy programming, I doubt you'd enjoy programming games.

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Original post by Qitsune
The fact that video games are being made and that there are ppl who can answer the noobs question pretty much answers your question. These ppl weren't born programmers, designers or artists. The idea is to start small but stick to it. Programming video games is still programming and if you don't enjoy programming, I doubt you'd enjoy programming games.


I enjoy programming...I'm just not good at it. It's like, I find it fun to play with the logic, but the failure hurts my self-esteem. It's a love/hate thing I guess.

And I know there's always gonna be experts and there's always gonna be "n00bs" but the thing is I never see anyone in between. I see people who are like "Hi, I've been programming for 8 years now" and then I see "Hi, I don't know what a programming language is but...." (Not to insult the intelligence of anyone, I'm exaggerating) Is it that game programming is just a harder form of programming that requires years of experience first, or is it that no one bothers to talk unless they're totally new or an expert? Maybe it's just me...

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Original post by Prinz Eugn
Yeah.

Check out the Gamedev journals, (under the 'members' tab), Hopedagger, Stompy9999, SimmerD, dgreen02, Scet, Sir Sapo and I(among others) all have active journals where we post the stuff we've done.


I read the Journals and Help Wanted sections a lot. You guys do some great work.

What I'm looking for though is those who are in between learning a language and building a large game, you know kind of at my level. I feel a bit isolated where I am now. I could sit and try to figure out a game on my own, end up nagging GameDev forums about my stupid dev issues until I get annoying or something works, though I was hoping I could find a few people in the middle.

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I've been programming for close to 9 years now, started with QBasic back in the day, and when WinME can was forced into C++, but I've grown to love it, and have made major improvements over my time, I still get confuse with alot of actual game design stuff (usually im just over thinking it), but I've made several small games, and continue to make games.

Tho I've never been in a group project, probably cause I've never know anyone that programms in real life. and the internet is so hard to colaborate and share.

But yeah I'd assume alot of people here are undergoing many projects and are being quite successful, I mean just look at the IOTD's, they're a great example of indie progression.

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I think that I fit snugly into your supposedly empty niche of "in-between" programmers. I have half a dozen projects, most of them stagnant, and none of them finished, but not because I don't know what I'm doing. I haven't been programming for 8 years but I am definitely developing my skills and have evidence of my work. I try to help those behind me and look for advice from those ahead of me. I don't think it's that uncommon, really.

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Quote:
Original post by oscinis
I think that I fit snugly into your supposedly empty niche of "in-between" programmers. I have half a dozen projects, most of them stagnant, and none of them finished. I haven't been programming for 8 years but I am definitely developing my skills and have evidence of my work. I try to help those behind me and look for advice from those ahead of me. I don't think it's that uncommon, really.


That helps a bit. Count = 1 for now!

I've got a few projects that I've given up on too, and nothing working now. I was designing a text-RPG and I tried to add too many things at once and didn't really prepare for them with the structure, so I abandoned that. SDL was hell for me so I kinda gave up on Tetris, then I wrote an Al Bhed translator because my girlfriend speaks it sometimes online, (FF X language) and I accidently translated backwards, but even when it worked I accidentally deleted the source code, which frustrated me. I try to do things, but I give up on things too easy, and I've had some rather bad luck and bad ideas. I can't believe I've been programming for 2 years now, but I have.

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When I was a coding newblet, making my first steps into the big world of C++, I found it was much easier, (and hence much more rewarding because I actually accomplished things) to make mods rather than trying to make games from scratch.

When making mods, there already lots of content creation tools, there's already a solid game framework to build on top of, there's already networking code in-place, theres lots of other people working on simmilar things to help you...
Modding is just easier than to make stuff from scratch.

Making your own game *is* much more rewarding than making a mod, but the chances of failure are higher. Failure can be a motivation killer, so you should keep your goals within reach. Starting small can be a motivation killer too, because you lose interest. That's why I recommend modding something like HL2 - coz with a small amount of effort, you can make something really cool that will inspire you.

My path from being a n00b to being semi-experienced:
->Learn C++ basics
->make very very simple games
->make simple mod
->try and make better games from scratch
->feel the sting of failure
->make bigger mod
->try and make better games from scratch
->feel the sting of failure
->start make bigger mod with a team
->go to university
->make simple engine
->make simple games
->complete university
->finish making bigger mod with a team (that's right, a big mod can take 4 years!)
->use my modding experience to get a job
->use job to makie games with team
->use game-making experience to get a job making engines
->make engines
->get tired of making engines, want to make games again!


During that time I have always visited this site for help and info, but throughout my modding years I usually used other sites specific to the game I was modding. Perhaps that's where some of the newbs who disapear go?

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Chalk another one up for the "in-between" crowd (not that "in-between" crowd, the programmer's "in-between" crowd [disturbed]).

I would say the biggest game related thing I ever did was my 4 Elements 3 entry. Turns out it didn't work like it should have on half the machines I try it on, but it was still something at the time. I really haven't done much since, other than a fairly simple todo list program.

I think I want to get back into game development, especially using XNA.

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Try different things. See if HGE or Irrlicht suit you, or try a different langauge all together. Don't tell yourself that you're "too good" for things like BASIC, if it comes down to it. You have musical talent and interest? You can join up with a team here at GDNet and compose a soundtrack.

Do what you like, and build up your skills over time, starting small. My first game was a Space Invaders clone, and I encourage any beginner to attempt to recreate it. Move up the ladder, at your own pace, and don't skip things that you don't understand.

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Ive been programing for about 9 months now so id say that puts me rougly in your inbetween part, basically ive always had problems with the design phase, i'll start working on a game and then find that my design is unworkable and spend the next 4 weeks trying to hack around design issues get frustrated and start again. About two weeks ago though i discovered the majic world of "throw away prototypes" which i spend 2-3 days on then scrap and start again until things start looking good, now ive got a half complet compiler which is coming along rapidly and am thinking of resurecting something i was working on awhile ago.

So where have i been the whole time while i was doing that, I came here at the start and after about two wweks stoped coming then about 4-6 months later remembered this site and have been on here trying to help people and asking questions ever since...

I dont think the in between people are as rare as you think but i do notice that lots of the ones who look like theyre doing good tend to disapear...

Edit:

Quote:
I really haven't done much since, other than a fairly simple todo list program.


Todo 2.0? i still use that :)

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I was an utter noob when I wound up here back in 2000 (check out my early posts). I was one of the first 2,500 to join, judging by my ID number--and we're up over 115,000 now. Considering how many people still frequent this site, I'd say we're looking at about a 99%-99.5% noob drop rate.

So I don't really know what makes the difference between those who're sticking it out and those who quit. I guess those who stick around actually enjoy making games, while the other 99.5% found out they actually only like playing games.

It's okay to only like playing games, but you won't make it long around here if you don't actually like making them.

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Quote:
Original post by Hodgman
When I was a coding newblet, making my first steps into the big world of C++, I found it was much easier, (and hence much more rewarding because I actually accomplished things) to make mods rather than trying to make games from scratch.

When making mods, there already lots of content creation tools, there's already a solid game framework to build on top of, there's already networking code in-place, theres lots of other people working on simmilar things to help you...
Modding is just easier than to make stuff from scratch.

Making your own game *is* much more rewarding than making a mod, but the chances of failure are higher. Failure can be a motivation killer, so you should keep your goals within reach. Starting small can be a motivation killer too, because you lose interest. That's why I recommend modding something like HL2 - coz with a small amount of effort, you can make something really cool that will inspire you.

My path from being a n00b to being semi-experienced:
->Learn C++ basics
->make very very simple games
->make simple mod
->try and make better games from scratch
->feel the sting of failure
->make bigger mod
->try and make better games from scratch
->feel the sting of failure
->start make bigger mod with a team
->go to university
->make simple engine
->make simple games
->complete university
->finish making bigger mod with a team (that's right, a big mod can take 4 years!)
->use my modding experience to get a job
->use job to makie games with team
->use game-making experience to get a job making engines
->make engines
->get tired of making engines, want to make games again!


During that time I have always visited this site for help and info, but throughout my modding years I usually used other sites specific to the game I was modding. Perhaps that's where some of the newbs who disapear go?


I'd mod...but funny thing is I have no PC games. :| I'd like to find a team to work with as I go through college, I don't care what it is so long as it's not a MMO or a 3D FPS team. I'd try putting together a new team, but few take me seriously and even less would be dedicated enough unless they're way better than me and would get tired of having me on the team. (Or that's the low self-esteem that comes with being a nerd talking)

Yeah I dunno...thanks for the advice though!

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Original post by Xetahex
Quote:
Original post by Qitsune
The fact that video games are being made and that there are ppl who can answer the noobs question pretty much answers your question. These ppl weren't born programmers, designers or artists. The idea is to start small but stick to it. Programming video games is still programming and if you don't enjoy programming, I doubt you'd enjoy programming games.


I enjoy programming...I'm just not good at it. It's like, I find it fun to play with the logic, but the failure hurts my self-esteem. It's a love/hate thing I guess.

And I know there's always gonna be experts and there's always gonna be "n00bs" but the thing is I never see anyone in between. I see people who are like "Hi, I've been programming for 8 years now" and then I see "Hi, I don't know what a programming language is but...." (Not to insult the intelligence of anyone, I'm exaggerating) Is it that game programming is just a harder form of programming that requires years of experience first, or is it that no one bothers to talk unless they're totally new or an expert? Maybe it's just me...


Personally i had completed 5 games before i even bothered getting a gamedev account, i did lurk around and read alot though. (its amazing how much you can learn by using the search function :)), I would guess that there are 3 types of posters really.

Newbies who write introduction threads asking "Where do i start".

Reasonably new programmers posting specific questions including in but not limited to "For beginners".

"Experts" (who are they?)

as for how to avoid being an indefinite 'n00b' i wouldn't know, i've been a newbie for close to 13 years now. (The more you learn the more you understand how little you know). i made my first game before i learned any API though. (back in the DOS days when it was easy enough to go directly to the hardware).

Personally i think everyone wants to sit around and come up with cool ideas, and it sure would be nice if those ideas would become reality without any real work :)

The reality though is that i havn't completed a game in close to two years now. (and the last serious one is close to 5 years old now), i spend more time writing small tools, web-services and odd AI experiments that lead absolutely nowhere(its interesting though) than i spend writing games.

The main issue for me right now is that i've completed a bunch of simple games, and even a few simple games with advanced graphics, There is very little motivation for me to make yet another small game (unless i get a brilliant idea, though those are truly rare)

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Original post by Julian90
Todo 2.0? i still use that :)

That, sir, just made my day. If you are interested, I have released a version 3.0 (still in beta) that offers a few significant improvements over version 2. (just see my signature).

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I am somewhere between doing nothing and creating the MMOOORRGG. I am trying to make a few contacts on messenger of people messing around with XNA. Simple stuff.

I think I can tell by the help wanted post if its someone who knows what they are getting into or its one of the 'I can't really program but I wrote down some ideas and need to get some programmers do code it and not get paid' people.

I take people much more seriously if I see they have coded something on thier own.

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I'm one of the middle people :)

I only learned my first Object Oriented language last year (Java, I HATE Java). I just built my first game in December, it was a BreakOut clone. Just a few weeks ago I rearranged the code to be less sloppy (what would normally be multiple game states and a 'MoveFrame' method were all in my Render method :( ).

After I figure out a peculuar error (the fixing of which this forum was no help >( , not ONE reply! ), I'm going to make a 2d space shooter.

The key, and i'm sure you've read this a thousand and one times on this forum, is small steps.

P.S. I love to program, but I hate doing most windows applications. To boring, not enough problem solving, not enough innovation. For me the only choice is to program games :) Good thing I love all three (games, programming, and programming games) ;)

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Hey man I sort of know how you feel. Just keep working through though man. I'm sure most of these succesful people really had to just keep working through all this. Just keep going man it may take "forever" but finally you'll get the self disipline to do it.

I wish though there were more classes for game programming, that would make it easier. Or if there was a nice free online one. I myself do better in classes, keeps me on task, motivated and keeps me away from reaching beyond my grasp.

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I'm another in-between person.

Started learning lua a few years ago for a mod for ToME (an oldstyle roguelike :)). Got rather overambitious with the mod and somewhat disheartened with what I was doing and stopped.

But then I started learning C++ about a year ago, along with SDL, and I began messing with OpenGl about 3 weeks ago. I find it interesting, and while I doubt I'll ever be an expert, or anywhere near a professional, I don't see that as any reason not to carry on programming.

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Original post by Xetahex
And I know there's always gonna be experts and there's always gonna be "n00bs" but the thing is I never see anyone in between. I see people who are like "Hi, I've been programming for 8 years now" and then I see "Hi, I don't know what a programming language is but...." (Not to insult the intelligence of anyone, I'm exaggerating) Is it that game programming is just a harder form of programming that requires years of experience first, or is it that no one bothers to talk unless they're totally new or an expert? Maybe it's just me...


I'm confident the forum is *full* of intermediates. They're the people that don't explicitly identify (or are easily recognizable) as experts or n00bs. :)

Game programming in particular does carry certain extra challenges that you don't see in other forms of programming, but it's not as extreme as you might think. Also, game programmers usually *don't* have to deal with complex database systems or anything else involving the word "enterprise"; don't have to maintain decades old code written in ungodly languages like COBOL (it still exists - in unbelievably huge masses - and your sensitive financial information is likely to be highly dependent upon it) and don't have to build systems that model real-world kludges with ridiculous corner cases and exceptions (like, say, the tax code).

And regardless, all programming "requires" in a sense "years of experience", because programming is an art or craft just like painting or music; it's something you dedicate yourself to (to varying degrees), and there is no point at which you can say "I know it all now".

"To practice for a thousand days is called training; to practice for ten thousand days is called refinement." -- Miyamoto Musashi

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Quote:
Original post by Xetahex
...I mean, hell I tried and just couldn't do it because I shot too far...

A goal is a tool, nothing more. The trick is to make a useful goal. And when the journey is more important than the destination, then the goal is truly only something to keep you going in the same direction.
Quote:
Original post by Xetahex
... and I'm looking at some old code thinking "WTF was I thinking? ...".
I've been programming for more than 30 years and I still ask myself that question occasionally. It's a good sign. Get used to it.
Quote:
Original post by Xetahex
...For the experts I ask "What can you do to not be an indefinite 'n00b' ?"...

I love to learn new things, so I am quite happy being an indefinite noob. I will always be a noob to somebody.

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I'd like to add that there are in fact a number of professional developers working for major publishers who contribute to the forum here from time-to-time. We truly have a mix of n00b's, intermediates, and seasoned pros...

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It is easy to have no programming experience.

It is easy to have learned how to program a long time ago.

Think about it -- if start programming between the ages of 10 and 30, you have 50 to 70 years of being a programmer ahead of you.

At the same time, far more than 90% of the population are not programmers by any stretch of the imagination.

So there are lots of people who can't program, and lots of people with years of programming experience. The people with only a medium bit of programming experience are pretty rare, because they either stop programming (and leave our sample space), or grow out of it.

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Probably another 'in betweener' here - enough knowledge of C++ to feel I can do things, but still working out the little details like 'what' and 'how.' ;) I'm one of those GD members that reads more than he writes on the forum - I prefer my PC time to go on development.

For me it's all about persistance. I come up against a wall with something I'm working on, and it's simply a question of whether to break through it or give up. I consider myself to be smart enough to learn, and given that it's clearly not impossible then I just tell myself to keep plugging away until I crack it. Then I write down what I did wrong, and how I corrected it, so next time I'm faced with a similar issue I won't spend 8 hours writing cr*p. Eventually I guess I'll accumulate the ability to stop writing any cr*p at all, and be able to comfortably get on with coding games without feeling that it's just a learning exercise. (Though maybe not!)

Current project: a 'Thrust' type game, very early stages i.e. writing Direct3D rendering stuff sufficient to include some placeholder graphics so I can work on the game itself. This is my first DirectX project, disregarding 'learning exercises,' and frankly it's slow going, though steady. (The 8 hours of cr*p I mentioned was test code for a particle system.)

I think the 'noobs cycle' is the same for anything difficult actually. A parkour forum I am a member of has exactly the same kind of statistics: thousands of members 'on the books' but probably fewer than 10% of them are currently active, and 1% are experienced. The 9% gap, in both parkour and games coding, is a difficult position to occupy without dedication and desire to improve.

L
-

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