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Xandamere

Basic programming question

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So I've worked in and around the game industry for a little while now, and I'm looking to expand my technical knowledge and start to learn a little bit of programming. I'm fairly computer-savvy (build my own machines and basic stuff like that), but I've never programmed anything beyond very basic HTML.

I know there is no "best" way to start, but I'm looking for some advice. I've done a lot of research over the last couple of days and believe that Python would be a good way to get started. Could any experienced game programmers please give a bit of input? Does Python sound like a wise way to get started, or would I be better served with some sort of prepackaged game development software like Gamemaker or Blitzmax to get my feet wet?

Thank you, any input is appreciated!

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Quote:
Original post by Xandamere
...but I've never programmed anything beyond very basic HTML.

You're stretching the definition of programming language quite a bit :)

Quote:
Original post by Xandamere
Does Python sound like a wise way to get started, or would I be better served with some sort of prepackaged game development software like Gamemaker or Blitzmax to get my feet wet?

You don't really say what your motivation behind learning programming is, but in any case Python is a perfectly reasonable choice to get started with. It's easy to get into, has a clean syntax, is popular in the game industry, and is at the same time general purpose enough to be applicable to a very wide range of development tasks. Game development packages like those you mentioned won't teach you anything about programming, certainly not much that could be useful to future work in the industry. If you are currently working at a game studio, and their game engine uses some scripting language, find out what it is and learn it. Chances are it's Python or Lua or some dialect of Scheme.

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Python is often recommended as a good language to start with - I think you're fine there.

Starting with a game authoring such as Game Maker would also be a viable option, as it would give you a chance to get more familiar with some of the basic mechanics (game logic, etc.) before getting into the programming side of things.

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Game Maker would be better if your goal is to make a game. If you want to learn about programming and expand your technical knowledge, then Python would be a superb choice.

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input.

One final question, if I may - does anybody happen to know of a good book or web tutorial for Python? There seem to be a lot out there, and picking randomly can be kind of hit-or-miss. Thanks again!

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