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Programming is literally KILLING me

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Well I started learning programming 2 years ago from a site called cprogramming.com From that point, I was self taught and I never had any tutors, but I did use books and online tutorials to help teach myself. Back then, I was learning so much about programming and how I could make such wonderful programs. Now, I don't even think that way anymore. Why? Well, now I'm hardly making any progress at all. I'll try to tell you what I did, and then maybe you can see what I did wrong during my journey of programming. Ok, I'll start. I learned programming for 1 month, then I worked on my text rpg for the next 8 months, that was the time that it took to finish it. During that time, I barely used any lessons from programming sites at all, but I did learn a lot from making that project, which gave me enough experience to start windows programming. At first I was kind of clumsy in programming Win32, but I eventually got better and learned many new kinds of techniques that I could use. Along with that, my design skills improved as well, but then later I found out that the tutorials I found on the site winprog.org were from 1998, which disappointed me very much. So I decided it was no longer a good idea to learn Win32, therefore I went straight to learning DirectX, with only about 1 year experience in programming. Now, this is where the most serious problems come up. So I got a book on how to learn to program an RPG in DirectX 8, but at the end of learning D3D, I couldn't even draw a simple shape. Most of the features I learned also didn't work, and therefore I thought that D3D was very confusing. Then I skipped the rest of the D3D chapter and went on to learn DInput, and I had no problems. But during learning DSound, I was so confused that I decided to quit DirectX, then go to OpenGL. OpenGL was extremely hard, mainly because I was using NeHe's tutorials, outdated yes I know now, but before I did not know, and I didn't want to memorize all of those huge and clumsy lines of code. But after seeing how OpenGL was so difficult and complex just like DirectX, I lost all my motivation in learning it, again. This time I learned SDL from Lazy Foo's site (lazyfoo.net) and it was pretty good, but then I read some articles on GameDev about how to be a professional game developer and things like that, and eventually after starting a worms clone project, my project kept crashing on SDL_Mixer so I quit SDL, thinking that it was unreliable and not worth to use, since it also couldn't even use 2D, either. So then I went back to OpenGL for a while, hated it, went to DirectX this time, still made no progress. Then I switch back to learning SDL and OpenGL like this: Learn SDL for a week, then quit it Learn OpenGL for 3 days, quit it Learn SDL for 3 weeks, quit it Learn OpenGL for 2 weeks, quit it Learn DirectX for 1 week, quit it Learn SDL for 2 months, quit it Learn OpenGL for 4 days, quit it again But that was not all of my problems, the most serious ones were that after quitting each API and going to the next, when I wanted to go back to the previous one, I forgot almost everything I knew about it, so I had to relearn it all and review it all over again. And, even worse, sometimes I would take long times (like over a year) playing games, and not programming at all. During those times I wanted to program so badly, but the damn games would just keep addicting me back over and over again, so I uninstalled them, programmed for a week. But then I was about to explode from the boringness of programming and I wanted games back, so I reinstalled my games, and, right after I did, I quit programming again, and played them for so long, that when I had to go back to programming, I forgot tons of stuff, so I had to go back to programming in DOS and everything. It's just plain terrible, and I hate it when I have to relearn everything all over again, and during this time, I've been doing it for like 10 times that I had to relearn things. And now, here I am, talking to you guys. I started programming in the late January of 2006, and it's almost 2 years now. But I have nowhere close to the skill of a programmer who really has 2 years of experience. I am also still addicted to the games, but there's still problems with it addicting me, and I know that if I uninstall it, then I will be craving for it back, which will prevent me from concentrating well on my programming. So now, I want to tell you about what I have going so far. I have a game called Blockout, which is a Breakout clone. I also have a new text rpg which is a continued one (as in continued story) to the previous one that I have made, it's going to be huge and take a year of development, I will not learn anything new from developing this rpg, but do you think it is worth the design skills for? Especially when my rpg's are only in Dos? I want to finish my rpg only if I can, but I also want to start working on SDL. I have decided to hold off on my dream of becoming a programmer who works in the game industry. I really don't have much of any other things that I like to do, so I really won't have a lot of career options that I will enjoy, besides programming. But I know that deep down, programming is something that I love, but things just keep trying to tear me away from it. So, now I ask you, should I cancel my huge rpg project, and start working on my Blockout game? Or should I just cancel both of them, and learn more SDL, and eventually OpenGL? Also, I would like to know if there is a good way to prevent myself from getting addicted to games again? I would like some nice suggestions on games, games that are fun, but not addicting? Playing games is a good relief from programming in my opinon, it also motivates me to be a game programmer. Oh, and how can I make sure that I do not switch API's again? I want to learn all 3 (OGL, DX, SDL) but would this be a good choice? Thanks for reading through all of this, I know it was a burden, please respond soon... -RadeonX A programmer who has been suffering for an entire year =(

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Step one: Buy some programming books. A language reference (in this case, The C++ Programming Language 3rd Ed, by Bjarne Stroustrup), a college textbook for a first year student (and work through it all, cover to cover), and books detailing the various libraries, APIs, and toolkits you wish to use.

Step two: Get some more esoteric books that deal with philosophy that you feel comfortable with. If you're religious, something to help study your religious text(s) of choice. While it won't help you be a better programmer from a technical point of view it'll help you centre yourself and better your ability to gain insight from your surroundings (which is a quite useful talent).

Step three: Read them all. Then forget about them all and just go to town on your code. If something doesn't work right and you can't fix it yourself, #ifdef 0 it out for now and work on other things. When everything that isn't defined out works fine, start working on those #ifdef sections, one at a time. Be methodical and don't accept surrender.

Step four: Profit???

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1) If you think you are actually addicted, seek professional help (likely from a psychologist, but your primary care physician will be able to direct you better).

Otherwise you are suffering from the standard form of "I want immediate results". I gather that you're young, because that's a typicaly young person attitude. No big deal, that's just how it goes.

Realize that you're staring down an infinite hallway and it's going to take you a long time to get noticeably far. Your problem is that you're reaching for the end of that tunnel before you've even taken a step.

I think you're confusing confusion with boredom.

Try starting down the "typical" pathway:

text based RPG
simple 2D graphical game (like pong)
harder 2D graphical game (like tetris / breakout)

then:

2D platformer or simple 3D shooter

What that pathway does is ensure that you understand the basics before jumping into the harder stuff.

-me

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Where there are some pros and cons about your journey in programming that you have. I will try to address each one that I read, and try to give you good improvements on how you can critique your weaknesses, and strengthen your strengths with your programming pathway.

pros
-Your ability to want to learn to program
-Your potential to want to program
-Your potential to in wanting to learn new API's
-Playing Games
-Programming in general
-You have great ideas

Cons
-You quit
-frustration by programming and giving up (this is what programming is all about)
-starting, stopping, projects
-Taking a year for a text RPG that should probably only take a good month
-You give yourself no goals


Here is what I saw as I read your post. You want to program games, you have the desire, but I must say take programming in by moderation, take playing video games in by moderation. Any one thing is only good if taken in by moderation. I love mathematics, I love programming, I love playing video games, but I'm not going to go home and do any one of them all day for weeks at a time; I would get sick, lose my desire in those fields, and just give up.

What I suggest is doing everything you like in moderation, and more importantly give yourself some goals. Ask yourself what have you learned, what can you do with the knowledge that you have gain thus far? Can I make a pong game? Can I make a breakout game, or am I not that far yet?

Also, learning API's is a good thing, working with different API's and definitely different libraries (Allegro, SDL) is a good thing. For instance, when you are learning a new library it gives you a challenge, gives you something new to look forward to, it's a challenge, and plus it teaches you how to work with other people's code. (much of what you'll be doing if you get hired by a Game dev company)

When you do make games that you know that you can make don't expect them to be "perfect, or the best" there is no such thing as the "best" or "perfect" game out there. It just doesn't exist. Also, when you do make your game have people test it let them critique the hell out of it. Let them give you the pros and cons of your game. Let a coder look at your source code (presumably, one that is well knowledgeable or has a degree in the field) Let them help you pick out the code that did and didn't work with that particular program. Find out ways to improve your own coding techniques daily. Constantly be learning. Programming is an on going learning experience. No one will ever know all about programming.



When working with different libraries (like SDL, Allegro) keep a manual handy on your desktop they're free from their website, and comes with very specific API, and class calls. Constantly reference them when you need to.

Also, don't try to remember each and every little function, class you come across in program, but simply learn the technique of reading a function, class, and knowing how to apply it to a specific situation that will benefit what you want to do. Never re invite the wheel.

Hope this helps!

Well, if you need any help, or suggestions, or would like to work on a project with me let me know.

IM: finch17@hotmail.com
Email: cfinch86@gmail.com

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Quote:
Original post by Antheus
What exactly constituted a banning here?


In my experience, you rarely get to see what constituted a banning because it either happened privately (eg. a private message or duplicate account), or the offensive posts were deleted.

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i think im going to recommend coldacid's advice as the best thing that you could do. whats killing you is that your not getting anything accomplished and you have a huge desire and you are putting in lots of effort and its not coming very easily at all. bothers me sometimes as well. do this.

plan your game and when you find something exciting that you know you can implement do it. take out some pen and paper and draw out your system. then implement it in code. its really not that bad when you try it this way. if you sit at the PC and try to just write code u will get nowhere almost every time. if you cant work out the maths on paper what makes you think that you can do it in c++ =)

let me give example, your game needs a resource manager, a 3d camera, networking messages... you start thinking about it and you really dont know what to do about networking messages. you do, however, got a basic grasp of 3d now but not enough to know how your gonna manage your resources. the 3d camera will be best part to start on so you start there because it seems like a challenge you can handle and theres some maths your excited about working out

you start there and you work out the whole camera on paper. but u need something to look at so you render a basic basic triangle at the origin. really easy render. then u get ur camera class working pretty good and now u can start playing around with loading some models in. it will be a lot easier with a working camera =) and once u played around enough you are ready to manage those puppies. thats how i work, it works pretty good

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