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I learned C#. Now what?

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This is more of a general programming question.

My goal is to learn programming very well first, then jump into games. I know the syntax fairly well, but I don't know where to go from here. I expected I'd be able to write awesome programs if I learned a programming language, but I wouldn't how use C# to even do that! Help!

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To start writing awesome programs you still have to get there. The trick is to start small. There is no way to know when you actually know programming well enough without applying your knowledge to practical problems, so I suggest that you should jump into writing simple games right away.

I don't know how experienced you currently are, but working towards creating a tetris clone would be a great start. If you don't yet know how to create it, you should come up with a simpler game to work on. And when you succeed you should take up a bigger challenge.

Also, please check out this article.

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There is no better way to learn than just to jump in and try to make a game. No point procrastinating and thinking, when I'm ready, to steal a phrase from a certain shoe company. Just do it!

I program in C++ and I have an OK grasp of the syntax, but when you try a new API its barely ever syntax that stumps me, its the typedefs, the naming conventions, how they pass variables between functions in the API the return types. There is much much more to programming than just the language.

Ive been programming a game for nearly 18 months now, definitely a huge learning process for me! But its damn fun, there is no point just reading get stuck in now, and fix the bugs you create along the way. Worked for me anyhow :p


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Quote:
Original post by Jamoflaw
There is no better way to learn than just to jump in and try to make a game. No point procrastinating and thinking, when I'm ready, to steal a phrase from a certain shoe company. Just do it!


I agree with this. Sometimes ignorance is more productive. My output dropped massively when I started trying to do things "the right way" rather than just getting stuck in and doing it like I did in my teens.

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I agree with the sentiment about APIs. My largest program I've made on my own is probably 500 lines. What does it do? It makes a circle orbit another circle by 2pi/60 per sec and calculating the position. It's not a game, but it's simple enough to make some applications and uses mostly API classes. If you made something like that, you could revise one aspect at a time. For instance, the math that calculates the x and y positions could be manipulated not by a timer but by user input via keyboard.

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I agree with all the above in "just do it" with the caveat that you need to keep your expectations reasonable. If you're just starting out, try making little clones of simpler arcade games like Pong, Breakout, Space Invaders, and Asteroids. Picking a game like that will help because they have fairly simple rule sets and well defined game play, letting you focus just on implementation. Once you're comfortable with those, then you should move on to more complicated games like 2D platformers and such.

Another good piece of advice is to finish the games end-to-end. Implementing the gameplay is good, but if you go the extra mile to add score boards, menus, and the final bits of polish, you'll start to really appreciate where a lot of game development time can end up. :)

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