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Bengoshi-San

Some questions after reading D. Astle's "Beginners" article.

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[0.1] Thank you for reading this post. My name is Asif. I am 23 years old, on the verge of being 24 this April. I have always had an interest in video game development but never knew where to start or how to start. With what I assumed to be a weak game-economy at the time, I gave up my desire to make video games and followed an alternative route. I have a B.A. in English and am currently working in a Law Firm. Law School is a possibility down the line, but it is not what I really envision myself doing. So I come here to the forums and have started the first step, reading, reading, reading and asking questions. In hopes of keeping this productive and not being naive, I am only currently posing questions which are absolutely necessary in my opinion for me to know. (For reference, I have no knowledge of programming languages or code. I have basic knowledge of computers and wish to develop games for the PS3, 360, PC and Wii.) After reading the "Game Programming Beginners Guide" by Dave Astle, I have a few questions: Q1. The article seems out dated to me, so currently, what is the best Language and Compiler to use when learning how to create video games? He states that it is C/C++ and Visual C++. Q2. Should my target platform be Windows even though I wish to develop primarily for consoles? Thanks in advance.

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If you have no programming knowledge, the target platform is a bit irrelevant at this point. You first need to learn how to be and think like a programmer (and to program, in general), then you need to learn about basic aspects of game development, then you can focus on learning things specific to any given target platform.

I highly recommend starting with C# for your programming language (you can download Visual c# Express at Microsoft's website). Microsoft provides the very nice XNA Game Studio that will let you get started with graphics, sound, etc., and which will let you develop games that run on the XB360 and the PC.

At some point, you will want to become proficient in C++. You can't write a PS3 game in C#... then again, you can't write a PS3 game in any language without the dev tools, but that's a different matter altogether.

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Forgive me for the ignorance, but C# is like the newer version of C++, correct? Or is it a completely different language altogether. If my assumption is right, and with your advice, it would seem to naturally be the best choice for learning.

So I write the code in C#, and have Visal C# compile it into an actual executable application?

Hopefully it all makes sense to me by the end of Friday so that I can at least go to purchase some how-to program beginners books and order any software if necessary.

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Quote:
Q2. Should my target platform be Windows even though I wish to develop primarily for consoles?


The only way you'll realistically develop for consoles is by joining a game studio. That involves extensive programming expertise (years). The reason for this is that consoles aren't open, and to develop anything legal on them, you need to license the software (expensive and complicated).

There are open frameworks coming out, XNA is one. And while publishing on it costs as well, it's cheap. XNA is C#.

Console development also isn't trivial, since compared to tools available on PC, you're dealing with considerably more proprietary solutions, making everything much more difficult.

Lastly, you may find that there's a surprising shortage of console development forums and help. That falls directly under the licensing problems.

Quote:
Or is it a completely different language altogether.


Not just language, different platform. Syntax and concepts are similar, but that's where it ends.

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