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Atzeng

Where to start?

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Hello all, I am an Aerospace Engineering Student currently, I know Python, and Visual Basic primarily but have some foundations in C++/C. I am looking for some advice on how to transition from highly complex mathematically based programming to Game Programming? In particular what is the language that would grant the quickest and firmest grasp on Game Programming? What libraries would be needed to start in said language? What would be the best CAD program to quickly get on my feet in terms of creating a game. Any help or direction would be very much appreciated, Thanks!

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Getting your feet wet in game programming will be easy enough for you, I think. Python is held up as one of the most beginner-friendly languages, and you already know it. Used with the PyGame library you can get some 2D games running very quickly to get a feel for how games are handled in contrast to any other programming you've done. If and when you want to move to 3D, Panda3D works well with Python (I hear).

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Thanks do you know of any tutorial to get me into the nitty gritty fast? What would be a good CAD program to create the Game Aspects, once I gain some grasp on Game Programming, my knowledge of programming says tutorials are good for learning, stumbling through your first solo effort is great for learning.

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Online tutorials make for a decent, and free, start -- but be aware that the people making tutorials are quite frequently inept programmers themselves.

Beyond that, you need to buy a book for the language and API you intend to target

As for what to use, it depends on your budget and your intentions for your game. Each language and API has its pros and cons (although I don't recommend implementing a full game in a language that uses exceptions for every possible error or is interpreted). For example, although it's poorly supported right now, I would recommend SDL 1.3 for a 2D game written in C++. C#, XNA is the best option probably. 3D game? Irrlicht and Ogre are popular free libraries, and DirectX is the best system-level API on Windows for games.

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What would be your suggestion in terms of an API for a beginner, and for said API do you know of any good resources / tutorials. Danke.

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If I were to attempt to stick to Python for right now what would you recommend in terms of API?

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With Python, I'd say PyGame for sure. The PyGame website has a lot of tutorials that are generally well regarded, and you can cram in some MS Pain programmer art while you get the basics of a game loop down (which shouldn't take you long).

As for a modelling program, I won't be much use to you. I hear good things about Blender, but there are people on these forums who actually do modelling and will be able to give you a more nuanced recommendation.

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Thanks alot, I am already downloading PyGame, Do you have any ideas on which tutorials to start with on PyGame website for maximum effect, I generally pick things up quick so a good tutorial will rocket me ahead.

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I'm not too familiar with the individual tutorials, but you'll be able to go at your own pace whichever you pick. If you learn all you need from it, you can move on to another one.

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I'd suggest starting here.
Although, to be a bit more specific, when I first started out as a beginner with zero knowledge I found this tutorial particularly helpful. I imagine it's too basic for your taste, coming from a more well-grounded background, but it gets the basic things across - like getting an image on the screen, some input and movement. Good luck! :)

Other than that, read the Pygame documentation and start messing around to get some results!

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