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Taran Shiro

Wrong language to start with?

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Hey out there, Just the other day I bought "Game Programming for Teens" in order to get a good grasp on programming. My true dream is to become a Game Designer, but I'm aware that it's much easier to get your foot in the door of a company with some other skill (such as programming).I'm eager to get involved with community projects but know that there's almost no chance in doing so without knowing something other than how to write and come up with ideas (which is where I am pretty much). So, I've read good reviews about this book, but never see the language it teaches you, BlitzPlus, mentioned in any of the forums as one recommended beginners. So far (Chapter 3) it's been simple. Even easier than Visual Basic which I became familiar with last year. My question is: should I start out with something else like Python or Pascal? Or should I continue my training in BlitzPlus? Though I'm sure some of you will reply saying that all 3 are good for beginners, I suppose my real question is which will give me better preparation for C++? Any insight would be great, thanks!

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Pascal was written as a language to learn C and C++ so I guess that's good. Starting out though; just learn what you find easiest. All procedural languages are pretty much the same, so don't sweat it.

C++ is the current industry standard, so it's worth learning it at one point. It's important to get a good C++ book, otherwise there are some undefined areas, or gotchas that will hurt you.

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Good preparation for C++ is computer science theory.

BlitzPlus isn't considered a "real" language. But it can get your job done fast.

So decide on what you want - write games fast, regardless of how they are coded, or learn proper software engineering (5+ years) for use of any language, including C++ (knowing it is a huge plus, since it requires extremly solid understanding of computer architectures).

Game designers are cheap. Everyone has hundreds of ideas for the next greatest game. But eventually you need to put your money where your mouth is.

BlitzPlus and similar toolkits are fine for some prototypes. But even then they simple don't scale to anything serious.

Pascal is for all practical purposes obsolete. Visual Basic and games simply don't mix. Python, Java and C# are the tools you're supposed to know these days.

But when it comes to software engineering and concepts it requires, C++ is still the defacto required knowledge, even if the language is getting used less. C++ simply covers so much ground, that being proficient in it will make learning anything else easy.

But above all, you will never get a job based on what you want. If you're looking for a practically applicable simple and easy language, look at Flash. Flash skills are in high demand, the tools provided are powerful, and it even allows you to use it outside of game world.

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I'd seriously recommend C. In my opinion it's the most immediate preparation to learn C++ later.

greetings.
seb


edit: and for the startup, I'd recommend the following open source (lightweight) ide's:

*GNU/Linux*
-Code::Blocks (http://codeblocks.org)
-Anjuta (comes with most distros)
*Win*
-Code::Blocks
*Mac*
-Code::Blocks :D

And as nearly all GNU/Linuxen are highly coder friendly, they come with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), which contains the gnu c compiler (gcc. yes, very case sensitive).
As gcc is regarded as standard in the open source field and easily competes with ICC (Intel C Compiler) and esp. with MSVC (Microsoft) I highly recommend it (code::blocks has a windows-installer including a win-port of gcc, btw).


[Edited by - greenhybrid on June 2, 2007 10:56:17 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by Balaam
Pascal was written as a language to learn C and C++ so I guess that's good. Starting out though; just learn what you find easiest. All procedural languages are pretty much the same, so don't sweat it.

Huh? Is it true that Pascal was written to learn C/C++? Pascal was designed for teaching purposes and ease of natural language syntax, not to learn C or C++. Pascal was even released before C.


Taran Shiro, just learn Pascal. But if you even want to possibly go easier than you might want to try its descendant Modula-2, or ITS even more compact descendant Oberon-2 (there's also Oberon-1 but forget that). The only problem with this is that there aren't many resources to find probably. So in the end, for learning, go for Pascal (FreePascal: http://www.freepascal.org/) or Modula-2.

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Quote:
Original post by Bijo
Taran Shiro, just learn Pascal. But if you even want to possibly go easier than you might want to try its descendant Modula-2, or ITS even more compact descendant Oberon-2 (there's also Oberon-1 but forget that). The only problem with this is that there aren't many resources to find probably. So in the end, for learning, go for Pascal (FreePascal: http://www.freepascal.org/) or Modula-2.


Alright, thanks. I'll definitely take your advice look into it. After all, it is one of the most frequent recommended languages from what I've seen.

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If BlitzPlus is working for you, then stick with it. As you have noticed, one of its drawbacks is that not many people use it (just the people that read that book, I guess)> But at this stage, that is not a huge drawback, so stick with it until you have finished the book and have proven to yourself that you are ready to move on.

I suggest Python as the next step. C++ is a difficult language to learn and it will just slow you down at this point. Depending on how far you want to go with programming, you may want to learn C++ eventually, though.

Another good choice might be Flash. The reason it is a good choice is that with Flash you can make complete games very quickly and put them up on a web site so others can try them out.

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*Insert the usual recommendation for c# here*

(I won't bother wasting valuable minutes typing more as there's a million posts about c# already).

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Quote:
Original post by JohnBolton
If BlitzPlus is working for you, then stick with it. As you have noticed, one of its drawbacks is that not many people use it (just the people that read that book, I guess)> But at this stage, that is not a huge drawback, so stick with it until you have finished the book and have proven to yourself that you are ready to move on.

I suggest Python as the next step. C++ is a difficult language to learn and it will just slow you down at this point. Depending on how far you want to go with programming, you may want to learn C++ eventually, though.

Another good choice might be Flash. The reason it is a good choice is that with Flash you can make complete games very quickly and put them up on a web site so others can try them out.


yeah, that seems like the wisest thing to do. I'm a junior in high school so I have plenty of time to make my way to the industry standard C++ if I choose to do so. Thanks for the advice :D

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Quote:
Original post by gharen2
*Insert the usual recommendation for c# here*

(I won't bother wasting valuable minutes typing more as there's a million posts about c# already).


Quoted for truth. C# and XNA is IMO the way to go for new programmers, nowadays.

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