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Confused on the steps of the steps of getting started?

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Hello. I am using a friends account and i am not that computer savvy. I want to get started in the exiting world of gamedev but after reading the posts above me(I know how to use a forum but get nervous around the dos looking windows) my head began to spin. The way it seemed to go is 1--Learn a language 2--Become very fluent and useful in said language 3--Translate this somehow into gamedev Because i have not even set foot on step 1 i am not as concerned about step 3. Ive seen posts about some languages being easier than others. What makes one language easier to pick up than another language? I have never seen code before so this kind of confuses me. I looked up java(the only language i have heard of) and it seemed kind of straight forwards. There are no classes in the school i attend that teach programming. What are others? Are there easier languages? Does easy effect the outcome of what i do? I some day hope to get a job in gamedev even though i know nothing about it besides playing games. thanks a lot

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We don't think of languages as "easy" or "hard". We rather think of them as "low end" or "high end". Low end languages are closer to the way computers think, while high end languages are closer to the way humans think. It's easier to program in high end languages, because they are more intuitive and often do things for you automatically(like garbage collection, which can be quite a pain in low end languages). However, they are slower than low end languages. Also, it's easier to learn the concept of programming with low end languages.


I suggest you start with C. It's a simple and popular low end language, and many other languages(including Java) are based on it's syntax. After that you can move to your language of choice, be it a low end language like C++, a middle end language like Java, or a high end language like Python. Or you can stay with C if you want.

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I think if java seems straight forward to you, you should just start with it.
I think java would be more stimulating because you could start working with
mouse click, and images much earlier than if you were to start with C.

This is a C program if you haven't seen it:
#include <stdio>
void main(void){
printf("Hello World!");
}

This is a java program that shows an image:
[ htm ]

I am by no mean suggesting that C is not worthwhile learning, or that you should learn only java. In fact I like C better than java for some other unrelated reasons. I don't like the coffee icon and I don't want to see it in my system tray.

Game developing (as in game software development) is a subset of communication and data processing. It is the purpose of the software that makes the game a game. You could apply the knowledge of programming to game development at any point. But I suppose you meant that you would focus on acquiring programming skills and knowledge instead of trying to write a game with the limited knowledge.

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Quote:
Original post by someboddy
We don't think of languages as "easy" or "hard". We rather think of them as "low end" or "high end". Low end languages are closer to the way computers think, while high end languages are closer to the way humans think. It's easier to program in high end languages, because they are more intuitive and often do things for you automatically(like garbage collection, which can be quite a pain in low end languages). However, they are slower than low end languages. Also, it's easier to learn the concept of programming with low end languages.


I suggest you start with C. It's a simple and popular low end language, and many other languages(including Java) are based on it's syntax. After that you can move to your language of choice, be it a low end language like C++, a middle end language like Java, or a high end language like Python. Or you can stay with C if you want.
It's probably just a language issue, but in American English at least, 'low-end' and 'high-end' are typically taken to refer to cost or quality (e.g. a 'high-end' car). I think you mean 'low-level' and 'high-level'.

@The OP: 'someboddy' has recommended that you start with a low-level language, but many around here would recommend the opposite, that is, starting with a higher-level language such as C# or Python. For (much) more info on this and related topics, search the forum archives for (e.g.) 'beginner language'.

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I personally would recommend learning c++, to a reasonable degree, maybe for 9-12 months or so, so that you learn how to program at a low-level. Then switch to c# once you have learnt how to write advanced console programs in c++ (and can deal with pointers, memory management - essentially until you get to the point where you believe you can program anything you want. (you probably can't, but that's another story...) maybe have written say a simple board game running in the console.
Frankly learning to program native directx or opengl is a real PITA compared to using xna, if you ever want to get a game actually finished. (No discredit to c++ or anything - it's still my favourite language, but I think for a hobbyist now there is no reason to use it over c# on windows, anyway.)

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Quote:
Original post by soiheardyoulike
What makes one language easier to pick up than another language?
Several factors confluence to this, including: the skill of the programmer, the expressive level of the language and the paradigms it employs.

Quote:
I looked up java(the only language i have heard of) and it seemed kind of straight forwards.
Java is an adequate choice for a beginner; it is frequently taught as a beginners language. If you think that Java is a language you'd be interested in learning then by all means go for it.

If you want my personal opinion on Java: I find it, as a language, to be somewhat unsatisfying, it is neither low-level nor high-level enough to deal 'nicely' with certain programming scenarios which I think just adds unnecessary complexity that beginners might not appreciate. That said, any programmer worth his stuff should expect to encounter problems to overcome, so don't let that deter you. I consider C# to be an 'improved Java' which fairs much better in those scenarios that Java finds awkward.

Quote:
What are others? Are there easier languages?
I personally think Python is the best languages to start beginners on. C# has already been mentioned. BASIC is another good, albeit dated, choice too although you might consider Visual Basic (.NET) as its modern day descendent.

Quote:
Does easy effect the outcome of what i do?
Yes, it can, but perhaps not in the same sense that you mean. The language of Python, for example, is just as equally capable as Java or C++ (a non-beginners language) when it comes to making games.

Quote:
I some day hope to get a job in gamedev even though i know nothing about it besides playing games.
Chances are you'll need to learn a few languages in that case (or else an art-form like modelling and graphics design), so in that sense it doesn't really matter which language you start off with [smile]

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Quote:
Original post by soih
1--Learn a language
2--Become very fluent and useful in said language
3--Translate this somehow into gamedev

Steps 1 and 2 are OK, but you have step 3 wrong, and you don't have steps 4 through 20 listed.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2.
4. Repeat step 3.
5. Repeat step 4.
6. Make a game.
7. Repeat step 6.
8. Repeat step 7.
9. Decide which way you want to go with the game-making thing.
- a. Indie games;
- b. Get a job in games (a can lead to b);
- c. Start a company (b is a good prerequisite for c).
10. Pursue the route decided on in step 9.
11. Work your butt off at that chosen route for a year.
12. Repeat step 11.
13. Repeat step 12.
14. Repeat step 13.

And like that there.

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If you have no immediate need for learning a particular programming language but you are interested in learning more about game development, and its associated technologies, then I would recommend picking a decent moddable off the shelve game engine; preferably with a decent scripting language.

Then just start getting creative with it; if it has a good modding community behind it then join it, and get active in it. Work you way to maybe joining a mod team and lend your skills to that.

You will learn so much if you actually just jump into some thing and start 'doing'.

If scripting and modding a game seems like it might be a step too far then make a level first; mod teams need level designers as well :). Same goes for modelling and texturing etc.

In main just get creative, make 'stuff' :)

[Edited by - Guthur on January 15, 2009 8:11:32 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by soiheardyoulike
Hello. I am using a friends account and i am not that computer savvy. I want to get started in the exiting world of gamedev but after reading the posts above me(I know how to use a forum but get nervous around the dos looking windows) my head began to spin.

I think there's a fundamental assumption being made here that - judging from your first few statements - ought not be made. You want to get into the exciting world of game development, and you are assuming the only way to do that is to program. While programming is a critical part of game development, there are many other aspects of the process that are just as important. Just go to the help wanted section, and you'll find development teams looking for non-programming help such as artists, composers, and writers just as often as programmers. If you're sure programming is what you wanted, though, then by all means heed the good advice you've already received.

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