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chidosengan

I am doing well? College Courses?

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All right, let me start with my current status: -Never programmed anything in my life, period. -Read around the "For Beginners" sections to find out where to start on developing games. I have a small idea where to start. -After reading about the languages, I decided to go for C++ -Read many of the threads in here, to find out where to get tutorials, useful books for beginners, what compiler to get, ect. -I downloaded Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, looked at it, and my brain exploded.... Is this a good compiler? ...Is this a compiler at all? See how lost I am? -Ordered a book (C++ Premier Plus 5th Edition). I waiting for it to arrive. So that's my quest for development so far in a nutshell. Am I in the right path? Now another question that has been bothering me for very long time. I'm still a high school junior student (graduating high school next year), but don't know what college courses I need once I get there. Is computer sciences and computer programming good choices? What other courses should I look for? Any pointers and advice would be appreciated.

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Well if you have never programmed anything before, then how do you know if you will like doing it?

My advice is to get your hands dirty so to speak and to start programming things!

Visual C++ 2005 Express is all you need to create and compile c++ programs. Although really C++ might not be the best language for a novice. I would recommend taking a look at Python or C# but that is just my opinion.

It seems to me that you desire to make games but you don't even know if you will like doing it (It is like thinking about taking a journey so you pack your bags but you don't make any reservations).

At times game programming can be fun but it is still work. You need to make sure that it is something that you love to do before deciding to do it as a job.

Another reason to program things is that you have no code to show potential employers. While a degree is a positive thing it is also important to have a portfolio of things that you have done.

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I agree with shadowisadog, best start with something that doesn't need a compiler, like a scripting language such as Python which is pretty simple to use. Once you are comfortable with the basics of programming you can easily learn any other language.

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Quote:
Original post by chidosengan
-Never programmed anything in my life, period.


Everyone starts somewhere.

Quote:

-Read around the "For Beginners" sections to find out where to start on developing games. I have a small idea where to start.


A desire to learn is a good way to start learning.

Quote:

-After reading about the languages, I decided to go for C++


Now to work on those decision making skills...

Quote:

-I downloaded Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, looked at it, and my brain exploded.... Is this a good compiler? ...Is this a compiler at all? See how lost I am?


It is a compiler. To be nitpicky, it's far more than a compiler, but you need not concern yourself with such nuances.

Quote:

So that's my quest for development so far in a nutshell. Am I in the right path?


There are many paths, and the one you're on is... good enough.

Quote:

Now another question that has been bothering me for very long time. I'm still a high school junior student (graduating high school next year), but don't know what college courses I need once I get there. Is computer sciences and computer programming good choices? What other courses should I look for?


Computer science is generally what you'd major in. Personally, I'd spend the summer dabbling and a course next year taking whatever your high school has to offer in the programming department (which is likely to be something, albeit not much).

Generally, you shouldn't look for courses. Computer science is pretty ubiquitous these days, but the level of education varies wildly. You'll graduate with a BS in CS most anywhere you go, but you'll learn exceptionally more at a good program like... Carnegie Mellon than you would at Rutgers, which is in turn better than any trade school or community college.

A more general school will also benefit you since you're in a situation more likely to change majors. In general, go to the best school you can get into. Loans might seem steep going into it, but remember that a great education will allow you to command more income for the rest of your (working) life.

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When the above poster mentioned BASIC, he may have meant Visual Basic .NET, Blitz BASIC, Dark BASIC, or something like that. BASIC is a bit antiquated, and it desperately lacks some functionality.

Many on this forum advise beginners to start out with c# (c sharp) and XNA. I've never used c# before, but apparently it is a great language.

There is a plethora of posts on these forums regarding the different languages. It would serve you well to reread through a couple of these topics. May I suggest you read this article? It doesn't cover c#, but it does give you a glimpse of what many different languages have to offer. (That article is a bit old, but some of its advice on choosing a language is still applicable)

Good luck.

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The absolute easiest language to learn (that i've used) is Visual Basic. I don't know if theres a trial version, but learning some simple loops and object-based stuff with that is a good way to get started, and then you can take that logic and have a much better starting point for a language like C++.

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I was once in your shoes. Here is what I can tell you to do. Take atleast one Java class, and as many C++ classes as you can. Even a programming logic class if you think you need it. Be well acquanted with OO Programming.

Now, mathematics

I took Statistics my senior year with Calculus

Freshmen college - retook Calculus 1, because of transferable crap if you don't make a 5 on the AP exam you'll have a high chance of retaking the class.

Sophmore college - Calculus II, Linear Algebra I, and in the summer if they offer it Calculus III.

These are just the math classes, and you don't have to double up but by the time you get in 3D programming you'll want to know about Matrices, (i.e. take Linear Algebra)

Hope this helped. And program daily, program often, and program something that is constantly challenging you. That is the best way to learn how to program good games. Atleast I can say this from experience.

Good Luck,

c.s. Finch

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In my opinion, the best thing you could do at this point is to try and enroll in a programming class. If they offer them at your high school, that would be a good option. An even better option would be to take a few college classes while you're still in high school. Many school districts allow this and will pay the tuition for these classes (I did this a few years ago and highly, highly recommend it). Some useful college classes for programming are discrete math, linear algebra, and calculus III (vector algebra part).

The first language I learned was PASCAL. It is an obsolete language, but learning it was a very good introduction to programming. Although I have not used BASIC, it would also be good as a first language.

I would advise not to start out with C# or Java. They are exclusively object-oriented languages. It's best to start out with structural programming first (in BASIC, C, C++, etc) to learn about basic topics such as flow control, loops, and functions. Then once you feel comfortable with this, move to object-oriented programming (in C++, C#, Java, etc).

Microsoft Visual Studio is a very sophisticated integrated development enviroment, which is basically just a text editor with a compiler and debugger (among other things). It can be intimidating to a beginner, but is widely used by professional developers and the express editions provide you with with all the functionality you will need. Best of all, they're are free. The only operations you have to know are how to create a project, build (i.e. compile) it, and run it. There are plenty of tutorials out there to help you, but as a last resort you could buy a book on it. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth the investment of time it takes to learn it.

Good luck with your studies!

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