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Programming Fundamentals

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Hey, I'm thinking about getting into game programming/design and have been learning C++, but the book I'm learning from is quickly going over my head. Do any of you know some good resources on programming fundamentals, like the basic concepts behind programming? The book I am using seems to assume I have programmed before, and I have not. EDIT: Forgot the subject.

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Quote:
Original post by DevFred
Any particular reason you have chosen C++ as your first language?


It's what my brother had laying around and what I have been told by many to be the best language to program in.

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Unfortunately, there is no best language. When choosing a starting language, there are ones that I would say are quite poor at this. C++ is a particularly bad offender, IMO. Once of the core design philosophies that C++ was built around is "the programmer is always right". This is rarely true in practise, and certainly false in the case of a beginner.

A good programmer will be fluent in many languages. Even if your goal is to learn C++, that doesn't mean you have to learn it first.

I would recommend Python or C# as beginner languages. In particular, I believe Python would get you learning the "basic concepts behind programming" without dealing with a lot of the complexity that C++ brings to the table.

That said, if your brother is a good C++ programmer it might be an idea to use it, as you would have a ready source of help. This assumes you two get along [smile]

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That said, if your brother is a good C++ programmer it might be an idea to use it, as you would have a ready source of help. This assumes you two get along [smile]


Heh, I only said he had it laying around the house, I never said he ever read the thing. But on the subject of other languages, I looked into python, and it does look easy. Is python as good at programming games as C++? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm really just trying to learn.

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Webmonkey.com has a lot of good tutorials that show and explain things... javascript is a nice quick way to learn a lot of the basic concepts of programming.

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Python is quite a capable language. It has a few nice libraries for graphics (or so I have heard). You probably would struggle to write Doom 4 in it, but a beginner is going to struggle writing such a game regardless of the language [smile]

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I think Basic is the best language to get started with. The reason is sorta in the name.

VB.Net is the state-of-art Basic language and you can download the express edition without charge and Microsoft has a set of tutorials for VB as well.

I don't think C nor python are great for a true beginner, the syntax of both is esoteric.

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Original post by Shannon Barber
I think Basic is the best language to get started with. The reason is sorta in the name.

...

I don't think C nor python are great for a true beginner, the syntax of both is esoteric.

You think the syntax of Python is more esoteric than BASIC?

:sigh:

People, Python's syntax is simple. The only thing that is "esoteric" about it is that whitespace is significant. This really isn't a big deal, because most readable code indents consistently anyway. In other words, Python teaches you to write well-formed, readable code by virtue of readability being a prerequisite for syntactic correctness.

Visual Basic.NET is a red-headed stepchild. Tons of .NET libraries don't work properly or fully with it, because it lacks language features that C# does. Python is a clean, object-oriented language that possesses powerful constructs yet imposes no organizational restrictions on code - you don't even have an entry point, and execution begins at the top of the file! Despite this simplicity, it has modules, classes, metaclasses, reflection, introspection, closures and much, much more.

Python is a much better beginner's language than BASIC.

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Thanks for all your replies guys, I think I'll check out VB.NET and Python later.

I have another question on a completely unrelated note.

I have been seriously considering going to a game development school when I graduate (which is still either a half year or year and a half away, depending on the way they decide to measure my credits), something like a Full Sail or a DigiPen. Are these worth the time effort and wads of cash required, or would I be better off slowly teaching myself and getting a degree from a standard college?

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From my experience of going to an accelerated college, you better be certain of what you want and that you can handle it...and that you are getting what you are paying for. If you don't, you burn out, waste money, and end up not getting anywhere. I got sick and burned out at the same time due to conditions at the school...along with a $25,000 debt...so yeah, just be careful in that aspect.

As far as digipen, I've not heard anything bad about it, but from looking at what they offer I think it'd be a great school to go to if you have the grades and the money. However I don't think it has broad enough appeal alone for Designers, but for programmers it is probably perfect.

Fullsail, I hear nothing but bad things but you should go and do research from graduates and such that you can easily find. It pretty much says it is trash as far as education, expensive, and lies about it's placement, in fact in some reviews from alumni some say that they found that some companies actually avoid hiring from Fullsail, but that's just from what i've looked up myself.

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Quote:
Original post by Bromordra
I have another question on a completely unrelated note.

I have been seriously considering going to a game development school when I graduate (which is still either a half year or year and a half away, depending on the way they decide to measure my credits), something like a Full Sail or a DigiPen. Are these worth the time effort and wads of cash required, or would I be better off slowly teaching myself and getting a degree from a standard college?

It's a bit of a toss up right now. Until fairly recently, the "game schools" didn't have the cachet to justify their costs if that was a concern. (Keep in mind that Full Sail isn't just a game school; it's also a film and visual effects school.) Right now, the game industry is growing large enough to warrant specialized training, and some of the programs that are emerging all over the world are pretty good. However, I would still recommend a traditional computer science education over a pure game school approach for a programmer. That will probably change in the near future.

Also keep in mind that many traditional schools have game programming courses, specializations, minors and even majors now. It's not a clear cut decision either way. In a few years, though, I fully expect the answer to be an automatic yes, the same way that the majority of people wanting to get into film production will go to film school.

Hope that helped [smile]

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Original post by Oluseyi

Visual Basic.NET is a red-headed stepchild. Tons of .NET libraries don't work properly or fully with it, because it lacks language features that C# does.


This seems like misinformation. Doesnt sound very likely but I could be underinformed, clear to clarify?

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You should probably learn the language you WANT to learn. Otherwise you're not going to have much fun learning it and... never actually learning it. Look around at the various capabilities, syntaxes, methodologies, whatever, to get an idea at how some of these languages differ from eachother, pick the one the looks the most interesting or most suitable for what you want to do, and go with it.

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