Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
erdrick22

Advice on a starting point

This topic is 3884 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hello, I am looking for some advice on a starting point to increase my game development knowledge. I finished my college degree about ten years ago and since then I have had a decent career as a business applications programmer. I have a few C++ courses under my belt but have not used the language in years. I have finished a few small/simple 2D demos but never went any farther due to a lack of motivation, friends who were interested in helping out, access to knowledgeable help, etc. I want to get back on the wagon and give game development another shot so I am looking for advice on where to begin Some ideas I had are: 1.) Take a few gameinstitute.com courses (I have already paid for a few but have not finished them) 2.) Download an engine (Ogre?) and start playing around with it 3.) Go to a community college and take some math courses In the short term I would like to learn something that will stay relevant or that I could possibly use as a springboard to a career change if I am successful and stay with it. I'm looking for something that I can do successfully and make some steady progress on that will keep me motivated. Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
So what language do you use for business applications? If its Java or C# or VB.NET, you might want to just stick with that. Pickup OpenGL bindings or XNA respectively and dabble a little bit with something simple. Tetris, space invaders, asteroids... Just something to bridge the gap from the knowledge you have to the new application.

Then expand into where you want to go, graphics demos if that's what you want. AI demos if that's what you want. Pickup a framework and work on an indie game if you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
So what language do you use for business applications? If its Java or C# or VB.NET, you might want to just stick with that. Pickup OpenGL bindings or XNA respectively and dabble a little bit with something simple. Tetris, space invaders, asteroids... Just something to bridge the gap from the knowledge you have to the new application.

Then expand into where you want to go, graphics demos if that's what you want. AI demos if that's what you want. Pickup a framework and work on an indie game if you want.


The tool I write business applications with is very obscure and is something you have likely never heard of. It is a semi-compiled scripting language with a graphical front-end similar to VB. Kind of like C but without pointers and more high level data types.

In any case, I am leaning toward sticking with C++ since I have written small programs in that language before and I know most commercial games are written in C++ although it is possible I could be convinced otherwise.

I think the gameinstitute courses are geared toward creating and understanding the mechanics of a graphics engine using the DirectX API, whereas starting with an existing engine such as Ogre3D would allow one to concentrate on other aspects of game development. I'm not sure which of those starting points would be better in the long run. I need to work on my math skills as well so that could be a factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It really depends on your work experience. The easiest way to change career paths is to do your current career as it applies to the new industry. Since you have app programming experience have you considered a job working on tools? I know Gearbox had a listing for just such a position not to long ago. After you have experience at a game company then you could try to move to the position you want if it isn't tools. It seems like C# is starting to replace c++ as the tools language of choice since devs have beefier machines than their target audience so seed isn't quite as critical. Though C++ is still the lingua franca.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick (Erd?) wrote:
>I finished my college degree about ten years ago and since then I have had a decent career as a business applications programmer. ... I want to ... give game development a... shot so I am looking for advice on where to begin
>Some ideas I had are:
>1.) Take a few gameinstitute.com courses (I have already paid for a few but have not finished them)
>2.) Download an engine (Ogre?) and start playing around with it
>3.) Go to a community college and take some math courses

It sounds to me like you aren't really all that highly motivated. You described a history of starting and quitting repeatedly. And it sounds to me like the reason for that is that none of the things you've tried have given you enough of a "satisfaction" rush.

So it sounds to me like #s 1 and 3 aren't going to do it for you. So you should give #2 a try. Only thing that worries me is: you haven't already started giving #2 a try. Instead, you're asking if you should. If I were you, I'd try a bunch of different tools until I found one that I liked. I'd try the list at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson56.htm

But of course, before you start playing around with any tool, you should have an idea of what you want to accomplish with it. And what you want to accomplish should be something small and fairly easy (not a full-blown MMORPG). If you give yourself small satisfaction rushes, that might lead you to the kind of patience needed to enter into longer projects, and if you find a tool set that you like working with, you might even decide that there's really a light at the end of the tunnel you went and walked into.

[Edit: changed "stopping" to "starting" since that was a typo.]

[Edited by - tsloper on February 5, 2008 9:32:53 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the responses, they are all quite valid. It would be nice to talk to someone who has a similar background and has tackled some of these issues already. If you don't mind being contacted shoot me a PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by erdrick22
Some ideas I had are:

1.) Take a few gameinstitute.com courses (I have already paid for a few but have not finished them)
2.) Download an engine (Ogre?) and start playing around with it
3.) Go to a community college and take some math courses


4. Make sure you can do these. Grab a simple 2D graphics API and convert Rectangle Blitter III into a graphical equivalent. (The viewports will then have a width and height expressed in pixels rather than characters; and instead of reading text data from a file, you'll use the API's image-loading functionality to load a picture.) Have the commands come from some kind of script file instead of an interactive prompt. For bonus marks, add a way to load some sub-rectangle of an image resource as a "sprite"; add a way to animate sprites (cycling through a set of images each frame); add a way to move sprites along a pre-defined path within their viewport.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!