Sign in to follow this  
qprmanzz

where to start?

Recommended Posts

hi i'm brand new to this forum.. so hello everyone here :) i realise this must be asked alot.. but i'm really having trouble finding a way of starting game development.. im only 16 (well in a few days time) but i'm willing to learn and take as many lessons are needed.. but i've gotta say first i have no money at all to spend on software or nything like that.. so any free soloutions to my problems would be appreicated :) i did about two months worth of lessons with c# but found out nothing really to do with game development.. and don't really like the idea of xna (besides my comp doesn't seem to want to download it anyway :() and as i've heard that java is quite a commonly used game programming language, and apparently offers lots of online tutorials i was wondering what i actually need to download to get to work.. can someone please list litrally everything i need to get and just briefly explain what does what, just so i literally have a direction to go in, or if anyone feels java is a bad choice and they have a better one please mention :).. i realise this must be asked alot and is really annoying but any help would be greatly appriecated. oh, and by the way, i'm kinda looking for something thats a bit simpler on the graphical side of things for now, just like simple 2-d, capabale of making sega-style graphics? As i don't really want to have to learn how to make some really cool looking 3-d game when i can't even get the lanugage right :P thanks x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi and welcome to the forums!

A lot of the answers to the common "where do I start" questions have been summarised in the beginner Forum FAQ, so hopefully some of those will be helpful.

For specific advice, although I haven't used it much myself I've heard that Python and Pygame are great starting languages for game development.

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently answered a similar question, you might find the response helpful:
Quote:
from How to develop a game
Quote:
Original post by haythem
Am new developer and i would like to develop any game so could any one guid me how to start and which language to be use.
Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
Ok, there are a few options for developing a game, and depending what you want to achieve you don't neccesarily have to program. I'll get to choosing a programming language if that's what you want to do, but I want to lay out a couple of alternatives:


You can create a game with little or no programming languages using authorware tools. These tools often provide point&click and/or drag&drop interfaces or allow you to work with very simple scripting languages, and you can achieve some pretty good results if you choose the correct tool for the project you're working on. The disadvantage is that you lose a bit of control over the final product and that some ideas may be difficult or impossible to achieve with certain tools; these tools are created with certain goals and limitations in mind and are usually very good at specific tasks but difficult or impossible to use in areas other than that for which they are intended. Some examples include Game Maker, Torque Game Builder, Adventure Game Studio and Inform. There are plenty of different options around suited to a huge range of different products, so if this option interests you do some searching to see what's available.


You can create a game by modding existing games. This is a sort of halfway point between using authorware and DIY and can potentially involve some (or even extensive) programming. Many commercial games now ship with (or make available online) tools allowing users to modify the game, sometimes with very impressive results. How this works varies from game to game, and as I don't know your specific goals or what games you own I'll leave it up to you to do some research into this option if you think it might be for you.


...and that brings us to programming. This is the most difficult and time-consuming option but also the one which offers you the most control over the final product, and can also be very rewarding when you manage to get some results. If you want to follow this path you'll need to pick a programming language and go about learning it. My recommendations for programming languages would be Python (Python resources), C#, or Flash/ActionScript (cool and relatively easy, but quite expensive).
You could also take a look at Kid's Programming Language.

Hope that's of some help. [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In addition to the above mentioned, I would like to recommend you to try Blitz3D.

It's a great language made in C++ as a type of advanced game engine for general purpose use in both 2D and 3D. It has lots of functions and will help you to learn all the fundamentals for developing and designing a game.

There is really no limit of what you can make with it when it comes to 2D, and the same goes for the 3D part as far as a beginner is concerned.

As for the syntax it's very easy and is like a hybrid of C and Basic. I had no problem porting my old C/C++ games into this neat language. So give it a try, it will definitley help you to learn about game development and ease your way to more advanced developing later with ex DirectX.

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks for all the help so far everyone, and i hate to be a pest (it seems as if i've ignored what you are saying but i had a look at every link posted i promise) and java seems to be the best begginers choice for me, although i'm still confused. i seem to be ok (as with c#) actually learning about programming and making functioning applications.. but i never really know what resources i need to get started, like a complier? or somewhere to make graphics for it after i've mastered the language? i don't really have much of a clue what i actually need to download to be able to start programming with java... if anyone could provide links and names of things i need to get started (not so much the tutorials just the actuall programs) will be so incredibly helpful, and please, treat me as if i were a baby... i can't realy remember the names of many different things like compilers and stuff :P

thanks again xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few options with Java:
- using an IDE: its good when you are new to the language, as it is autocompleting some code, doing the layout etc...
if you go for that option i recommend NetBeans http://www.netbeans.com, its free and well supported.
- not using an IDE: better, more control but often so frustrating. I would think it is a better option after some practice in an IDE. All you need is a text editor and the command line utility.

The IDEs include their own compilers, if you do it in notepad, you just have to go in the command line and use javac, the standard java compiler.
If you go for Java, go on the Sun website, it is really helpful and there are lots of tutorials.

Best of luck,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yep, nothing wrong with Java at all, although a few will ridicule Java for this and that, but alot of universities teach Java to help learn OOP methodologies such as the Open University and University of Kent at canterbury, both universities are excellent.

Java allows you to create applications, games (very fast with LWJGL), it's a nice experience with Java although some things can be quite tricky, still, it's well worth learning!

get yourself on the sun microsystems website and download J2SE and J2ME and start learning ;o)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
right... sorry to be such an idiot but i do appreciate all the help offered.. especially as the responses have been so fast, am i right in thinking that i need to download netbeans,J2SE AND J2ME? i'm not sure if need all of them or what i need to do lol sorry once again.

thanks xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes download all three and run the installation packages. If you run on a mac, java is already preinstalled, so you just need netbeans...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks sooooo much for all the help, managed to get what i need and i've just started doing some tutorials that explain the basics of java, thanks very much everyone has been incredibly helpful :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeh, J2SE is what you need although if you don't want to write Java code for mobile devices then you don't need J2ME, but I would still learn with J2ME, there is just something so cool about writing programs that run on mobile phones with bluetooth functionality LOL ;o)

Netbeans is quite nice but can be kind of slow, I have found JCreator LE to be a really good IDE - which is what I use, probably the best IDE out there as it's easy to use, easy to setup etc...

have alook at the many IDE's out there, Eclipse, NetBeans, JCreator, DR Java etc... but JCreator wins everytime for me ;o)

good coding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks virtual X, i'm havin another problem atm.. does anyone know the exact most recent JDK? coz' on my tutorial it mentions using JDK 1.6... but i can only find 1.5 for download, is there that much difference between them? if i used 1.5 instead of 1.6 would everything still work? thanks xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know if 1.6 exists, since i still use 1.5 for compatibility reasons with my school projects.

Anyway, 1.5 will probably do, since most basic stuff stays the same, and i think that's what you're going to use most for the moment.

For a good Java tutorial, check this site:
http://chortle.ccsu.edu/java5/cs151java.html

If you're going to use it, try to do the quizzes and exercises behind every chapter, since they really help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thankyou M-E.. i'll stick with 1.5 at least for a while :)

thanks for the link for the tutorial as well , seems pretty helpful so far even though i'm only a little way in, so thansk again. :) xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by qprmanzz
thankyou M-E.. i'll stick with 1.5 at least for a while :)

thanks for the link for the tutorial as well , seems pretty helpful so far even though i'm only a little way in, so thansk again. :) xx


And a plus is that this particular tutorial does use java 5.0 (1.5.0)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by qprmanzz
hi i'm brand new to this forum.. so hello everyone here :)

Hello [smile]

Quote:
but i've gotta say first i have no money at all to spend on software or nything like that.. so any free soloutions to my problems would be appreicated :)

It'll probably be a good idea to set money aside for a book or two. Yes, there are plenty of free tutorials online, but the problem is that they pretty much all suck. (or only focus on very narrow and specific subjects, and assume that you're already a decent programmer)

Quote:
i did about two months worth of lessons with c# but found out nothing really to do with game development..

Programming isn't to do with game development now? [wink]
You have to learn a bunch of things *before* you can make a game. And most of them are best learned by focusing on them, and forgetting that it could also be used for games.

When you're learning programming, you need to focus on learning programming. Which means yes, spending time on non-game related books/lessons/tutorials/exercises/projects.

More specifically, don't bother with graphics. Work on console (text-based) apps until, well, until you're a decent programmer. Adding graphics is not really relevant to programming. It won't teach you anything new about programming (which is what you need to learn), it'll just pose a bunch of distractions.

Quote:
and don't really like the idea of xna (besides my comp doesn't seem to want to download it anyway :() and as i've heard that java is quite a commonly used game programming language, and apparently offers lots of online tutorials i was wondering what i actually need to download to get to work.. can someone please list litrally everything i need to get and just briefly explain what does what, just so i literally have a direction to go in, or if anyone feels java is a bad choice and they have a better one please mention :)

First, C# is generally considered a better choice than Java.
Second, if you can't be bothered to learn programming through C#, what makes you think you'd do it through Java?
You still have to go through all the programming (ie. non-graphical) bits.
But *if* you decide to try Java, you need to download the Java SDK (or JDK) from java.sun.com
And then you might want an IDE to write your code in. Eclipse (www.eclipse.org I think) is free and pretty good.

Quote:

oh, and by the way, i'm kinda looking for something thats a bit simpler on the graphical side of things for now, just like simple 2-d, capabale of making sega-style graphics?

You're aiming too high [grin]
Start out without graphics. If you want to make games, you can do hangman, or maybe a text-based adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do agree with most points listed above, graphics shouldn't be approached until you gain a certain level of confidence in general programming and designing.
I just started on C++, and I have books on OpenGL waiting for me,O high is the temptation to go and read them... But no.

To be fair, university courses in general computer science only start teaching graphics in 2nd/3rd year of courses (graphics not GUIs).

If you want a good book, Java in two Semesters is a book I found quite good and it was also recommended by a lecturer. Also, Java the Black Book is full of resources :D.

Now is the touchy topic of IDEs... I tried Eclipse (Together, by Borland), tried NetBeans, tried Xcode, tried Crimson Editor... and they all have their advantages really. Most of them being free or having demos online, I would just tell you try them all and find your best one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
It'll probably be a good idea to set money aside for a book or two. Yes, there are plenty of free tutorials online, but the problem is that they pretty much all suck. (or only focus on very narrow and specific subjects, and assume that you're already a decent programmer)


i realise what your saying, and loads of people say how money helps to get better things, buti litrally have none, and no way of getting any to spend on a book.. i jus figure if i use enoough online tutorials and maybe this site :) i'll eventually be able to teach myself what i don't know.

Quote:

Programming isn't to do with game development now?
You have to learn a bunch of things *before* you can make a game. And most of them are best learned by focusing on them, and forgetting that it could also be used for games.

When you're learning programming, you need to focus on learning programming. Which means yes, spending time on non-game related books/lessons/tutorials/exercises/projects.

More specifically, don't bother with graphics. Work on console (text-based) apps until, well, until you're a decent programmer. Adding graphics is not really relevant to programming. It won't teach you anything new about programming (which is what you need to learn), it'll just pose a bunch of distractions.

oh, don't get me wrong i realise things must be learned before you begin game programming.. after a few months of looking and finding out things about it i realise it isn't that easy :P it's just with C#.. i couldn't find any websites at all that helped me advance from where i was.. i could do basic things but i was pretty limited.. and when i found out that xna was the typical graphics program (i think i got that sentence right :P) it kinda scared me off to be honest, i realse not to start with graphics, but i would like to do some simple graphics first rather than really nice looking 3-d landscapes straight away, that and my comp spat xna right back at me lol.

Quote:

First, C# is generally considered a better choice than Java.
Second, if you can't be bothered to learn programming through C#, what makes you think you'd do it through Java?
You still have to go through all the programming (ie. non-graphical) bits.
But *if* you decide to try Java, you need to download the Java SDK (or JDK) from java.sun.com
And then you might want an IDE to write your code in. Eclipse (www.eclipse.org I think) is free and pretty good.

i know i've already kinda mentioned about this but i just want to get something straight.. it wasn't that i couldn't be bothered to learn c#.. i spent quite a few months slaving away learning new things most weeks.. it's just that i thought c# was nothing to do with game development, i heard from places its very different to other languages and i heard lots of people use java so i though i would try that instead.
Quote:

You're aiming too high
Start out without graphics. If you want to make games, you can do hangman, or maybe a text-based adventure.

don't worry lol i didn't mean right now :P.. just as and when i do start getting into graphics after i'm comfortable with the programming side of things i would like to start with 2d tbs games (like shining force, as i really enjoy playing those games and they don't depend too much on graphics.)
either way, thanks for the extra links posted everyone :)

EDIT:
after reading what spoonbender said about c# it got me thinking... to be honest the times i spent using c# i found it quite comfortable and i could somehow get to grips with it.. i just thought it was more a language for applications than games.. so now i have a few questions.. WOULD c# be a good language to stick with as i have a little bit of earlier experience with it? is xna capable of making 2-d graphics? is xna free does anyone know?
and also are there any other graphical designers (don't really know what theyre called) other than xna that work with c#? i'd be happy to carry on learning that language just i always read that it was aimed for applications and so thought i was on the wrong road completely.. thanks for all the help so far everyone xxx

[Edited by - qprmanzz on June 3, 2007 12:35:40 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, you can make 2D games with XNA, in fact most of the games coming out for the framework are 2D. You should download XNA Game Studio Express and have a look in the documentation. In there you will find a set of easy to follow tutorials which tell you how to place a sprite (a simple 2D image) on the screen, and how to make it animate and bounce around etc..

Edit: Sometimes I forget the documentation is online... http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb203893.aspx

Just to say that XNA is not a 'graphical designer', it's actually an extension to the .NET framework, with lots of special classes and tools designed to make game programming easier. To be honest I don't think you will find making 2D game programming any easier with Java then you would with XNA, especially if you already know a little C#. :)

Edit: Oh yeah, XNA is completely free, but in order to get your game to run on an Xbox you need to pay a $100 subscription fee. That's completely optional though and if you are just making Windows games you will not have to worry about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thankyou darktimes.. i didn't realise you could make 2D games games with xna.. thats made me alot happier now :P
so, when yo usay it's an extension to the .net framework.. does that mean i do all of my c# work in there rather than the visual studoi 2005 express edition i've been using so far.. not all to sure on whether you use both for different parts or it's a all or nothing type thing.

very very happy to know it's free as well :) lol and as i don't have an x-box shouldn't have to worry about that either.. thanks again for the response dark times explained alot of what i was wondering about, if you (or someone else :P) could just clear up whether i just use xna game studio express and stop working with visual studio 2005 express edition.. or if i have to combine the two to get any results, thanks yet again xxxx

EDIT: sorry again.. but what exactly do i need to download for xna.. theres something called XNA game studio express 1.0 refresh? is that the right thing or does it just let me play the games created with xna? thanks xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, you want XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh, as that is the latest version. The game studio includes everything you need to program games, as well as the files you need to give other people so they can play them.

XNA is just a plugin for Visual C# Express, so you will just use Visual Express like normal, but after installing XNA you will notice a few new features that weren't there before. You work with a game in VS, just like you would with a Windows or Console application. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oh, thanks again dark times for making everything a bit simpler.. i need a newer version of windows to run it first.. but then everything should be all good :) thanks for all the help and advice (everyone but especially dark times) and i'll probably be back here within the day with more easy problems i can't solve :P xxx

EDIT: looks like i was right.. sorry again in advance, but i'm having real trouble installing the service pack 1 for Visual C# Express Edition.. i have visual c# 2005 express edition, and when i tried to install xna it said i needed visual c# 2005 express edition SP1... so i go on to the microsoft website and download the SP1 thing for visual c# 2005 express edition and when i try to begin the update it comes up with this error

"the uprgrade patch cannot be installed by the windows installer service because the program to be uprgraded may be missing, or the uprgrade patch may update a different version of the program. Verify that the program to be updated exists on yoru computer and that you have the correct upgrade patch"

which i don't understand.. i DO have visual c# 2005 express edition because i've used it for quite a while, and it is the right program is it not? is there something really obvious i'm just missing out here coz' i'm very confused... as usual the help is very much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah good old Microsoft application patching... Check the directory of the application folder and try to install to a different one, thats what I would do before kicking the computer into pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe you can just go into Help > Check for Updates in Visual C# Express and it will locate the correct download for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this