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Sprugles555

Beginning in Programming

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Hey guys, I found this forum and thought it was a great community for someone starting out in programming. Basically, I've always been interested in playing games, and not long ago i started my GCSE coursework and began to think, "What would it be like to make a game?" My favourite type of game has to be MORPG's like WOW and 9 Dragons and have always aspired to make one. I know that I'm not going to make that Infamous game anytime soon and am willing to spend years learning to how to programme games. As I said I started my GCSE courses a month ago and really am interested in adding to my knowledge. But my main question is, "I am completely new to the programmin scene, I have messed about with a few cheap and easy game engines like FPS Creator X10 and RPG Maker. But how should i start off programming? Whats the best and easiest language to learn first? How are proffessional games made? And how long will it take me to learn to programme like the pro's? I have alot of time on my hands and am planning to go to university to do a Game Programming Course..." If you could help me that would be really appreciated. How should I start off is really what I would like to know. Thanks in Advanced Me :) (sorry about the long paragraph xD)

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"I am completely new to the programmin scene, I have messed about with a few cheap and easy game engines like FPS Creator X10 and RPG Maker. But how should i start off programming? Whats the best and easiest language to learn first?

There's really no "best" or "easiest" language, overall. However, Python is usually an excellent place to get your feet wet. The only caveat to be aware of right now is that you likely want the 2.6.x version of Python, not the latest bleeding edge 3.0 version -- the latter version changes things a fair bit, but most documentation and most of the libraries you'll want to use aren't really updated for 3.0, so you may end up confused.

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How are proffessional games made?

It depends, but in general the scale and scope of such projects vastly eclipses what you'll be working on for a while; in choosing tools and processes for your own work, you don't actually need or want to consider what professionals do. Their requirements differ greatly.

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And how long will it take me to learn to programme like the pro's?

That depends on you, so its hard to answer. "Many years," is a safe generalization. Those of us who are professionals in the industry are still, always, learning and bettering ourselves.

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I have alot of time on my hands and am planning to go to university to do a Game Programming Course..."

Personally I would not recommend taking "game" courses from "game" schools. However, you should at the very least not commit to such a decision so early. Leave your options open -- you will want to at least consider more traditional degrees like Computer Science when it comes time for you to make that choice, or you're just short-shrifting yourself.

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If you could help me that would be really appreciated. How should I start off is really what I would like to know.

Go grab the latest 2.6.x version of Python and install it. Then check out some of the beginner guides referenced from their online documentation section -- in particular the "Python for Non-Programmers" is probably a good place to start. Things should start to follow along naturally from there.

Please try to keep in mind that, if you're coming from a background of using tools like GameMaker and such, programming games more directly like this may seem like a step back at first -- you'll be spending a fair bit of time getting accustomed to the language and processes involved in just making text-based games before you move on to shiny graphics.

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Original post by Sprugles555
How are proffessional games made?

Not too dissimilar from how you would make them, but on a larger scale with more people, bigger budgets, and more organizational nightmares. ;)
Quote:
And how long will it take me to learn to programme like the pro's?

There isn't a fixed profile of a professional game developer. But like with some many things, usually the more experienced the better. So get going! :)

Good luck & have fun!

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Thank-you all for your help, especially Jpret, Ill take a look at Python. I do know it will take a long time... One question what are "Libaries"? I think i have come across BASS before, and I know its used for but is that a libary?

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A library in the computer programming sense is very similar to your every day library containing books, as wikipedia says, "A library is a collection of sources, resources, and services,...". The library you ask of works just like this, it contains a bunch of objects that help us program without worrying about how they work or who made them, they offer additional functionality while hiding the gory detail of how they work which can often be very complex.
They typically work by you, the programmer, including some header files, or declarations of the objects (functions, classes, structures etc) that you want to use to have added functionality. This way, your compiler or whatever will now see that you can use these without having to create them yourself. Then, you link your app the actual library itself which contains the meanings of all the functions and classes.

"In computer science, a static library or statically-linked library is a set of routines, external functions and variables which are resolved in a caller at compile-time and copied into a target application by a compiler, linker, or binder, producing an object file and a stand-alone executable."

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Ok, I think I understand now. Thank-you :) So basically a Libary is a collection of code that someone else wrote, and instead of you having to write out this code yourself to preform a certain function, you link your app to the libary and it finds the function for you without having to write out demandingly long pieces of code. Is that right?

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Yup that's pretty much it, for example if the lib contained a function called DoWork(), you would include the declaration in your app, in C or C++ for example:


include<myLibrary>


then in myLibrary.lib, you would have the definition for DoWork, but in your app, you only need to call DoWork.

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