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Can I do this?

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Hey guys I really want to learn to eventually be able to make a small scale games and work up from there. I realize it may take me a few years so don't think I'm a kid that just got a little ambitious, yet unrealistic, dream. Heres my situation: I have purchased a beginners c++ book from a local bookstore, to get started. Now I am finishing up my first year of high school, so I can't really take any classes on C++ or anything somewhat related to real computer programing. My parents are afraid of identity theft and no matter what won't let me purchase anything over the net. Could I still pursue my ambition of hopefully someday being good enough to join a team, even without being able to purchase any apps such as a good compiler or whatever is required in the gaming industry? I just don't want to put a lot of time and effort in this only to come to the sad realization that it will never happen. As for hardware I have windows pro xp service pack 2 ati radion express 2000 intel pentium 4 cpu 3.06ghz Frequency 3066MHz Will this all be sufficient? Please keep in mind that I may not be too knowledgeable since I have only had a computer since December. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience, Joe

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You will find that most programming tools that you want to use are free. I have yet to pay anything except the cost of the computers and operating systems I own.

If you have broadband, you can download Microsoft's Visual Express 2005 for free, AFAIK. Otherwise there are more lightweight C++ IDEs available (although they tend to be of inferior quality).

If you are just starting out though, consider learning a different language. Python comes highly recommended as easier to lean and use. Its not a "beginners only language", its a fully featured language in its own right, in many ways more powerful and flexible than C++. It would more than suffice for your needs.

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You don't need an especially powerful computer to work on hobby game development. An ordinary end-user style set-up is fine. Your PC is not bad at all.

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C++ is not an easy language to use if your by your self starting out. Most people around here do use it and get by but you might want to consider using something like Python.

It might be slower than C++ (at best 10%, at worst - 10x slower than C++) but you can do a lot out of box and the syntax does not get in the way as much. you will never miss a ';' or '{}' set in Python. There are also developed game library's for Python as well.

Just a thought.

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I already have a basic understanding of what loops, else, functions, if statements, etc. as I have done a bit of web design, with php, (not much) but would I need a book on python b/c it wasn't in the book store and thats about the only place I could get my hands on a book for it. And if I do decide to go with python do you guys have any good suggestions as too a good compiler?

thanks,

Joe

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Well this might help. ;)

Here is an online book that you can buy (to support the author) or download for free.
http://www.diveintopython.org

And you can get the Python Interpreter from:
http://www.python.org

Easy as that.

Just a note that you don't have to compile python because its interpreted, so all it has to do is execute the file - or even just run the interpreted (python.exe) and just start coding. Very handy for testing.

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Thanks for the links they are quite helpful. I do have one question about the compiler however it says #

Python 2.5.1 Windows installer

(Windows binary -- does not include source)

and
Python 2.5.1 Windows AMD64 installer (Windows AMD64 binary -- does not include source)
does amd64 just mean 64 bit?
and what does "does not include source" mean? do I need to download something else?

P.S. python.com != python.org lol

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Not only is AMD64 for a 64bit processor, it's for the AMD processor. But that's moot as unless you are using a 64-bit version of windows then you should just use the regular windows installer, I believe. So you need a 64-bit processor AND 64-bit windows(the 2nd implies the former). You can find this information quite easily by going to System under the Control Panel.

As for 'not including source' that just means that although Python is an open source project that allows you to examine and modify the Python source code, you have to get it from a different file than the installer. As in, a few links above the executable. You don't need the Python source code if you're learning Python. Especially since the source code is probably in a different language than Python.

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K guys I'm really confused as how to install it. Aperantly you need to have msi for windows nt and earlier, so I don't need it on my xp. So it says I need to download a python.exe, but everywhere I go I only find a python.msi and when I have installed that it does not give me any options after I install it. What should I do?

Thanks

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save yourself some trouble and go to www.activestate.com and download the free version of ActivePython. Active State packages the defacto windows distrobutions of Perl, Python, and TCL ... so if you ever need any of those on a windows box, I recommend you go to ActiveState (because they create a nice installer that includes the basic distro, the most common windows libraries, an editor or ide, sometimes a debugger, and even sets up windows file extentions for you).

the download is under the menu "Languages" then "ActivePython" then click "Get ActivePython" then "Free Download" then click "Continue" (you don't have to fill in ANY of the information if you don't want to). Finally, you want the MSI package for "Windows (x86)" ... I don't know if you want 2.5 or 2.4 cause I don't do python development right now. Probably doesn't matter much, but get whatever version matches any book you have - or just get the newest one.

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