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kthxbi

how to jump the first hurdle

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hi all. ill start this off by saying this might make no sense to a lot of you or whatever but here goes anyway.

basically, ive done 4 or 5 beginners tutorials to python and pygame in the last 2 days and i think im beginning to get the hang of how some things work. the problem is that theres a huge difference between kind of understanding someone elses code and then making your own code from scratch and this is a wall im having a bit of trouble breaking through. ive copied from loads of tutorials and examples and understood what im doing and how it works 90% of the time but if you asked me to do the simplest thing like make a box run across the screen in a loop i don't think i could do it without looking back over examples. and that doesn't really seem like i've learned anything at all?

i was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the situation or had similar experiences when they were young blood.

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Programming is a practical skill. You must practise it a lot to build it up. Copying from tutorials is a bad idea until you have reached a certain stage as a programmer.

If you have a book, you should do the exercises in it. They tend to build up at the kind of level you should be able to accomplish. If not, this might be a good time to buy one or see if your local library has anything decent.

Note that requiring reference material is not a problem when you are starting out, or at any time. There is no problem is you need to look up stuff, even basic stuff. You will find yourself looking up stuff less and less as you improve.

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so you mean i should try and learn the basics myself without any tutorials first?
i do get where youre coming from and it sounds like a good idea but are there any online books as opposed to tutorials that you think might do the same thing? im pretty penniless at the moment and also quite eager to get started :)

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You shouldn't copy from tutorials. You probably won't be able to learn the basics without any reference material at all, but in order to actually get the knowledge ingrained in your mind you're going to have to exercise it yourself: build programs without relying on tutorials to tell you what to do or how to do it.

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ok yeah these online things are making too many assumptions for me, its time to get a book.
does anyone have any recommendations? obviously id love it if there was a great book out there about programming games in python but i dont want to wind up copying loads of code without being able to write my own so if the game oriented ones won't help me there then another one will be okay.

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There is a couple of online books available for free
Dive into Python
Thinking in Python

Maybe not the best books of all times but hey, they're free =)

It might seem boring to do a lot of simple exercises when what you really want is to make a game, but its worth it. Its the same building blocks that eventually makes a game.

Don't worry too much about remembering everything. The stuff that seems hard to do today will be a piece of cake tomorrow. What is more important imo is to stick to it and make sure you give yourself a new challenge everyday. Keep looking forward.

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ahh thanks a bunch man :) i like the idea of having one big obstacle a day to get under my belt. i can initialise and import pygame and worked out in a few minutes how to make it so that on running the script you could type in and choose the screen resolution as a variable. nothing very flashy but it got me a bit more used to how to define and implement variables i guess.

i do have the problem of not really knowing what stepping stones i should look forward to though, do i tackle classes or blitting or drawing or input or... probably just me thinking too hard about it all but thats what im thinking at the moment

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What I suggest you do is to read through examples and apply the concepts to your own projects. When I first discovered ArrayList, I was like "Hey, I can make a Deal or no Deal type of game with this!". So, instead of directly copying, use the concepts in your own programs in a different way than original presented.

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