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opiaboy

RPG fanatic how to learn?

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Ok, I posted something like this before, but I'm going to post one again... I am crazy about RPGs, and I aspire to create a very large, 2D RPG with an active battle system, and some unique features. I have some questions about how I should do so... 1. I want to use C++ to make my game, and I am not particularly good at programming yet. During the summer, when I actually have time for this (I'm in high school, and have virtually no time to program), what should I do to learn C++ so that I can make my dream game? Would taking a college-level course on C++ be the best thing to do, or should I work my way through dozens of books and CDs to build up my programming knowledge? How about online tutorials? 2. Assuming that those of you replying to this message have some knowledge of programming, where and when did you start? How did you get into programming games? What language(s) did you use? Did you go to school to learn programming? I guess you would have to do that if you program games as a profession, but did you take a course BEFORE you went to college? 3.I know this game will take a long time, and I am prepared to work on it until it is done. I want it to be big, huge in fact. But wouldn't I need a team to make a game of that calibur? How would I get a team?

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Original post by opiaboy
Ok, I posted something like this before, but I'm going to post one again...

I am crazy about RPGs, and I aspire to create a very large, 2D RPG with an active battle system, and some unique features. I have some questions about how I should do so...

1. I want to use C++ to make my game, and I am not particularly good at programming yet. During the summer, when I actually have time for this (I'm in high school, and have virtually no time to program), what should I do to learn C++ so that I can make my dream game? Would taking a college-level course on C++ be the best thing to do, or should I work my way through dozens of books and CDs to build up my programming knowledge? How about online tutorials?



1a. You're not going to learn enough during a summer to know enough to achieve your goal.

1b. If you're not particularly good at programming, you should avoid C++. There's a thread in Game Programming currently that details why (3-4 pages... 'What language?' or similar title.)

1c. The best way to learn is largely dependent on your learning style. Some people learn well from reading, some from doing it, some from being shown. Some people learn well independently, some people need structure, some need a person looking over their shoulder...

In general though, online tutorials are not a good route to go, especially for C++.

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2. Assuming that those of you replying to this message have some knowledge of programming, where and when did you start? How did you get into programming games? What language(s) did you use? Did you go to school to learn programming? I guess you would have to do that if you program games as a profession, but did you take a course BEFORE you went to college?


My father is/was a computer programmer, so there was an Amiga around with its flavour of BASIC. I got into programming games in the high school pascal class because the doom2 game was full so I needed to kill time some other way. I've used pascal, c, c++, and c# at various times for various game projects. I did not go to school to learn programming (to my great detriment), though took a course while there for other things and a course afterwards.

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3.I know this game will take a long time, and I am prepared to work on it until it is done. I want it to be big, huge in fact. But wouldn't I need a team to make a game of that calibur? How would I get a team?


Probably.

You by and large don't. You will need to demonstrate that you're a fantastic programmer, architect, and leader... or that you're willing to pay a good wage before people will even consider joining a team. Even then the quality of programmer that is often drawn to such amateur projects is abysmal.


At this point, you're probably best leaving the end dream on the back burner and focusing on developing a solid foundation. As you learn, you'll be able to better answer your own questions about difficulty, time required, approach to completion... everything really. This will only help your dream since you're better equipped to complete it (or adapt it to something completable).

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What I meant when i said I wasn't good, was that I have an apptitude for programming, but I am not an expert at C++ and couldn't create a huge project with the knowledge I have now. I am not new to programming, and I understand C++... not a whole lot, but enough to be able to understand some of what is going on in this programming book that I am working through.

I also know that it will take years before I have the skills to make a game of such calibur. I didn't mean I would become master programmer over the summer, lol, that was my fault.

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Original post by opiaboy
What I meant when i said I wasn't good, was that I have an apptitude for programming, but I am not an expert at C++ and couldn't create a huge project with the knowledge I have now. I am not new to programming, and I understand C++... not a whole lot, but enough to be able to understand some of what is going on in this programming book that I am working through.


Sorry, I used the incorrect words.

Even with aptitude, there will be a lack of experience for someone just starting out (or even a few years in) doing program design. Trying to gain that experience, while learning C++ syntax, while trying to avoid its numerous pitfalls is folly given the numerous, exceptionally better alternatives. (imo)

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I have looked at the page concerning which language to use for programming, but it confused me so much; portability, different libraries, I had no clue what to make out of all that! What exactly do all of those things mean, and why should I care? All I know is that my programmed in C when he was a programmer, and that the word on the street is C++ is the standard for creating games, and it is powerful (although I don't know what that means). What will a different programming language bring me?

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Original post by opiaboy
I have looked at the page concerning which language to use for programming, but it confused me so much; portability, different libraries, I had no clue what to make out of all that! What exactly do all of those things mean, and why should I care? All I know is that my programmed in C when he was a programmer, and that the word on the street is C++ is the standard for creating games, and it is powerful (although I don't know what that means). What will a different programming language bring me?


A lot of people agree that C# is the best to start with. You get faster results on your projects, the knowledge you learn in C# can be used to learn C++ later if you felt that you needed to know C++.

Portability refrences what Operating Systems you could use the game or program on. On the subject of Libraries...I dont think you need to worry about that when making a decisioin on which to start out with.

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The most simple and yet hard thing to do is to just start. You say you know some C++, so start programming your RPG, just make it text based for now. You'll soon figure out that you need to do something you don't know how to, so then you search forums or ask. Then when you get frustrated from having to learn all these new things, start writing your story in. Then you'll realize that you could store all your text in an external file so you could change the story without even re-compiling, so then you figure out how to do that. So basically just keep doing what you can on your RPG, and you'll learn as you go, and then before you finish your dream RPG you'll want to start over and use all the new knowledge you gained right from the beginning.

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I agree with Shakedown I think text based would be a good place to start. The first game I wrote was a text adventure in QBasic if anyone still knows what that is. If you have a story for your RPG already, I would think of a small quest and make the text game out of it. There is lots of stuff you would have to figure out to start like: items, inventories, navigating the world, saving/loading, and conversions (ie if you talk to someone a second time they probably shouldn't say "Hi stranger...nice meeting you").

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Original post by firstelder_dQBasic if anyone still knows what that is.
:)

A text adventure is definately a great to learn a language for those that refuse to pace themselves.

I myself started out with Quick Basic 3, back in the day when XMS was the only way to use more ram then the 1mb dos apps were allowed to use. ~2-3 years of that before WinME abolished XMS and my dos days were finally over with. That's when I got my first copy of VC6 and start typing away. Took my a little bit to get used to the syntax of C++ and the fact that everything had to be in functions. Even so with the already 2+ years of programming experience I still spent a good 5-7 months before ever dabbling (did I spell that right?) in actual graphics api's.

Now with 8+ years experience, I'm still learning the ropes of game developement. Though I feel I've come along way, I'm still learning new thing everyday and I'll hopefully really learn how good I am when I start my 4year CS degree this comming March.

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