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Where should I educate myself to learn programming/game design

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I'm at 15 years old and have an interest in animation but have nearly no experience at all at programming. I bought these books: Game Programming for Teens Game Art for Teens All from Thomson Course Technology please pst me or email kywee925@sbcglobal.net

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OH sorry i forgot to put the question int he forum. Where can i learn to program, design games, animate etc.

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you have basically 3 options:

1. teach yourself
2. pay a crapload to go to some specialized place like fullsail that you won't get the greatest education at
3. go to a 4 year college and major in computer science and take as many graphics/simulation classes as you can.

personally, I do 1 and 3.

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First of all, animation is not the same thing as programming. Second, there have been many people who like video games and want to create one of their own, but after getting deeper into the subject they are completely repelled. If you want to actually create video games, you should first have a firm understanding of programming. If after a few months you don't feel like shooting yourself in the head, then you can start getting into game creation.

Teaching yourself is probably the only way you will get into game programming. And yes, the road is long and hard when you go it alone. It's great that you are really motivated: that's probably the only thing that will get you through it.

Good luck!

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If I was you, I would start by programming in flash.

Specifically I would start by using SwishMax, which is an inexpensive tool which you can code in and also it's easy to do 2d animations too.

You could make animations, interactive presentations and even games with this tool so it's pretty superb!

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I suggest beginning in C++, but with books that do NOT relate to game programming. I currently use a book called [u]C++ Programming: Program Design Including Data Structures, Third Edition[/u] By D.S. Malik. It is a 1575 page book (including appendixes) from Thompson Course Technologies that covers all of the following (Which are afaik all the major C++ concepts and OOP concepts):

An overvew of computers and Programming Languages
Basic Elements of C++
I/O
Control Structures I (Selection)
Control Structures II (Repetition)
User-Defined Functions I
User-Defined Functions II
User-Defined Simple Data Types, Namespaces, and the STRING type
Arrays and Strings
Records (structs)
Classes and Data Abstraction
Inheritance and Composition
Pointers, Classes, Virtual Functions, Abstract Classes, and Lists
Overloading and Templates
Exception Handling
Recursion
Linked Lists
Stacks and Queues
Searching and Sorting Algorithms
Binary Trees
Graphs
STL

Plus a bunch of Appendixes.

I got it new from my school for about $115 I think. It's a very good book if you want to start with C++.

M.

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Hello my mate-by-year heheh :D Well I am fourteen in the time being, still 15 days to my 15th birthday ehhehe :D. I suggest you start with C++ as the man before me said. I started with it at the age of 12 but I understood at the beginning of 2007. I studied windows programming for 3-4 months and now I am working my way to the top with DirectX10, a very sweaty job but who else is going to do it for me... I suggest to you that you do as I did, step by step... When you get to understand C++, and I mean that you really understand it from top to bottom, then start with windows programming, and then you'll be ready to start creating virtual worlds a.k.a start studying one of the major APIs like DirectX or OpenGL if you haven't given up already, that is :D. It's a painful process but if you got the will 'n' the guts, open a book, get Visual C++ any way you can and dive in! We are here to help ;) And don't buy that crap from "for teens" series.

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You haven't been very clear as to what you want to do. Do you *want* to program? Do you want to animate? Do you want to design games? Do you want to do it for a living?

Remember that programming, animating, and designing games aren't the same thing. What you want to do dictates which direction you want to take. All games needs programmers, artists, scripters, etc. Only in the indie game development scene are these roles usually shared (though knowledge of the other ones would probably be of assistance). These roles are as different as being an actor and directing a movie. As different as writing and editing books.

And if you want to program, there is no reason to start with C++. The people that tell you to start with it have 99% of the time not programmed seriously in any other language. Python is IMO a far better choice for a first language (actually, as a language in general). You've got time a plenty to learn C++ latter, so you might as well start with a modern language before hurting yourself with an old, clumsy language. <hearsay>This topic has come up time and time again on these boards and almost all the people screaming "Learn C++!" are themselves beginners (though that word is dangerous, since aren't we all really beginners?) and the people saying to learn Python, Scheme, or [insert language here] are veteran programmers. Do a quick search, and see what the consensus is; it's pretty clear.</hearsay>

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I agree with you that Python is a good first language, but I disagree with your statement that people who recommend C++ are automatically noobs.

It is easy to get attached to a particular language and forget the learning curve that is involved. I used to suggest C++ because it was my favorite language, but now I recommend starting easier because I have seen how many beginners struggle with C++ as a first language.

So someone suggesting C++ could just be because it is the language that they use themselves and they think it is a good language ;) .

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Quote:
Original post by shadowisadog
So someone suggesting C++ could just be because it is the language that they use themselves and they think it is a good language ;) .


Those who think only noobs recommend C++ usually think like I do: That such zealotry can only come about from either not knowing the alternatives, or not having experience with them, as only this could explain (by ignorance or lack of a feel for) the huge slew of ways C++ fails in ways other languages simply don't. It's not just about learning curves, it's about problems which reoccur time and time again in C++ that just don't happen in other languages.

That is, that believing C++ to be a good language is grounds enough to believe them to be unexperienced.

(And this is coming from someone who knows C++ better than most the people on this forum. Then again, my standards are impossibly high: I consider no current programming languages honestly "good", just "not as bad as C++").

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Every language is easy if you try enough! Start with whatever you want, they are all good.. Except BASIC, it sux :D

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I personally like C++ but it's what I work in daily. For a new person to programming I'd recommend a language that's quick and easy to pick up like Perl or Python. I personally don't know either but my friend makes some pretty cool games (basic ones he just does it while "working"). Its also a good starting point to get the basics down. Another good option today is C#, bit more complex and I'd likely recommend it after you've learned of the above languages.

Also, if you want to work on games you'll be either programming or doing graphics, not both. Figure out what you like best (do you love math? Then programming might be more your thing as you'll use it often). You got 3 years to experiment and enjoy life, do both.

I'm personally self-taught, but that's how I learn. School would be a waste of money for me as I just read the books to figure things out. Heck high school was a pain for me until I figured out to stop listening to the teachers and just read the books, verbal learning doesn't work for me. From failing to A student in 3 months straight! Booya!

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Quote:
Original post by MaulingMonkey
Those who think only noobs recommend C++ usually think like I do: That such zealotry can only come about from either not knowing the alternatives, or not having experience with them, as only this could explain (by ignorance or lack of a feel for) the huge slew of ways C++ fails in ways other languages simply don't. It's not just about learning curves, it's about problems which reoccur time and time again in C++ that just don't happen in other languages.

That is, that believing C++ to be a good language is grounds enough to believe them to be unexperienced.

(And this is coming from someone who knows C++ better than most the people on this forum. Then again, my standards are impossibly high: I consider no current programming languages honestly "good", just "not as bad as C++").

C++ IS a good language. I don't know of a more flexible language out there. I think you just needed to keep at it long enough to get over the second hump of realizing all the things that are really neat (Multiple Inheritance, Operator overloading, etc.) are meant for special purposes, mostly library design. Using them in normal programming is more likely to cause problems than to solve them, unless youre VERY good, have a specialized need and are programming solo.

Having said that, I'd reccomend C# express as a first language/environment. There is a bunch of code out there, and several videos free on the MSDN site that cover basic and specialized programming. I haven't used VSExpress, only VSPro, but I can tell you that you need to consider the environment as well as the language itself, and Visual studio is now very usable.

My 2c,
Ralph

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I think you should start programming with python. I started with it and it helped me such a lot before i started learning c++. In python you dont really have to worry about memory or data types(not like in c++), no compiling, its well documented and comes with a whole bunch of standard modules to help you. Also if you want to make games theres pygame which is also very easy to use and will get you started with games

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I'm putting a vote in for the intertubes... I weigh heavy on the fact that if you are already here, there is no more cost overhead.

It's much better then having to learn it from monthly issues of Compute Magazine. I'll be of the same mind set of, just pick a language to start. See how you like it, see if it does what you want. Even if it is basic... try Pascal or Turing if you feel like an adventure. There's probobly more then enough net examples of all things C++ and java.

I'd probobly also weigh in and find something with a sweet debugger... nothing kills coding like not being able to debug.


I was self taught for the most part, then I went to school to get the piece of paper stating I knew what I was talking about. So I'm biased.

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Quote:
Original post by Ralph Trickey
C++ IS a good language. I don't know of a more flexible language out there. I think you just needed to keep at it long enough to get over the second hump of realizing all the things that are really neat (Multiple Inheritance, Operator overloading, etc.) are meant for special purposes, mostly library design. Using them in normal programming is more likely to cause problems than to solve them, unless youre VERY good, have a specialized need and are programming solo.


ToohrVyk is currently in need of Reflection in C++. ToohrVyk is very unhappy.

More seriously, the problem between C++ and beginners is that C++ assumes that the programmer knows what he's doing. This is an additional burden to bear when learning how to program, that doesn't exist in languages which mistrust the programmer. To a beginner, a compiler which complains about everything is more precious than a compiler which silently generates undefined behaviour, regardless of the freedom it provides to an experienced developer. Lack of feedback about one's errors is a serious problem when learning.

As for C++ and experienced programmers, the language is lacking in areas such as a module system that goes beyond forward declarations, syntax that is semantics-independent and easier to parse, additional consistency (both on the syntax and on the semantic level), using standard library features across library borders, and a more evolved generics system.

Regardless of all this, you only ever know how to use language A when you learn how to use language B, so one should probably learn several languages (from different paradigms) anyway. Which of these is C++ varies, but I believe that as a second language, it would be fine.

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You want to learn programming and game design?

I'd recommend getting a broad, holistic education at a decent 4 year university. I have a BA in anthropology. Why? I don't know, I liked studying it. But also, it can relate to game design because anthropology is the study of humans.

History, culture, psychology, sexuality, you name it. It should be pretty clear how that might help with game design.

As for programming, pick it up as a hobby. if you tear through it and can't get enough, minor in it for college. Or major in it, and minor in some holistic discipline like sociology, anthropology, history, archaeology, whatever floats your fancy.

You should decide, of course, if you want to be a programmer with design capabilities, or a designer, with programming ability.

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Quote:

Those who think only noobs recommend C++ usually think like I do: That such zealotry can only come about from either not knowing the alternatives, or not having experience with them, as only this could explain (by ignorance or lack of a feel for) the huge slew of ways C++ fails in ways other languages simply don't. It's not just about learning curves, it's about problems which reoccur time and time again in C++ that just don't happen in other languages.

That is, that believing C++ to be a good language is grounds enough to believe them to be unexperienced.

(And this is coming from someone who knows C++ better than most the people on this forum. Then again, my standards are impossibly high: I consider no current programming languages honestly "good", just "not as bad as C++").


Somebody needs to get off of their high horse I think >.>;

"Only n00bs recommend strawberry ice cream. They wouldn't recommend it if they knew about more flavors of ice cream. If you think strawberry ice cream is good, you're obviously inexperienced, because I've tasted lots of flavors of ice cream (more than most of YOU) and I disliked all of them, but especially strawberry ice cream. So obviously I'm like some kind of connoisseur of ice cream that can make snap judgments of other peoples preference. Disliking them all proves my superior palate."

I don't think you have the right to call anybody a noob just because they like something that you don't. Sure there are inherent problems with using C++, but every language has it's draw backs and pitfalls. Oh, am I a noob because I don't share your views about what a crappy language c++ is?

You probably do know c++ better than me, but that doesn't change the fact that automatically considering anybody who likes something different than you as being inexperienced is really wrong, and really ridiculous. It's just being incredibly narrow minded and full of yourself.

[Edit]: I'm sorry if this came out wrong. Maybe I'm taking it a little too far, I don't mean to insult or attack you, but I really think it's important to point out some things about your argument. But I am insulted at your implication that anyone who has a different taste is inferior. I'm pretty sure that's not how you meant it to sound, but it's definitely how you came across to me.

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