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Nevemoth

A few questions....

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I have a few questions for those experienced developers out there. First of all, you should know that I am already aware of the challenges faced by new game developers, and learning a new programming language. I have some experience in Java, as well as HTML and CSS, so coding in general is not unfamiliar for me.

1. What online resource(s) would you recommend for someone starting out with C# (I've decided to learn that, but if there's a language more suited to this sort of thing, don't hesitate to suggest it) ? Online classes, books, video tutorials, what?

2. What design resource would you recommend? I tend to code incredibly bad code, and would like to brush up on my understanding of how games and programs SHOULD be designed. What resources have helped you refine your overall design of a program/game?

3. And lastly, I think I've decided to start out with XNA, along with C#, but is there a better/more beginner friendly suite of software that would be better to use?


Thank you for your time,

~Nevemoth

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I have a few questions for those experienced developers out there. First of all, you should know that I am already aware of the challenges faced by new game developers, and learning a new programming language. I have some experience in Java, as well as HTML and CSS, so coding in general is not unfamiliar for me.

1. What online resource(s) would you recommend for someone starting out with C# (I've decided to learn that, but if there's a language more suited to this sort of thing, don't hesitate to suggest it) ? Online classes, books, video tutorials, what?
Just Google intro to C#. If you go to a book store there are probably several intro books that teach you the basics about the language, what a value type versus a reference type is, etc. That being said the internet is full of the same info but books tend to put things neatly next to each other whereas on the net you might wonder back and forth not knowing what questions to ask the search engine to find the help you need.

2. What design resource would you recommend? I tend to code incredibly bad code, and would like to brush up on my understanding of how games and programs SHOULD be designed. What resources have helped you refine your overall design of a program/game?
A generalization about software: there are very few "typicals." How you go about things depends on what makes most sense given what you're trying to do. Just keep that in mind and don't buy into advise that claim to always be the "best" way to do something. Think first, do second. Even if you're scratching to get to code go take a coffee break and walk around your block and just think about what you're trying to do and then code what is most logical to accomplish your goal and don't be afraid to later get an epiphany and delete all your code up to that point. No one wants to play games that suck so just keep it and you'll get it right.

3. And lastly, I think I've decided to start out with XNA, along with C#, but is there a better/more beginner friendly suite of software that would be better to use?
Not really. XNA wraps up the vast majority of the the graphics calls and math functions for you. I would suggest starting out with the XNA video tutorials on the XNA web site.

Thank you for your time,

~Nevemoth


Hope that helps.

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1. Other than MSDN? I can't think of one. Online resources in my experience are vastly inferior to books, which are in turn vastly inferior to actual brick and mortar classes. Exceptions exist of course, but...

2. Code Complete and Design Patterns (Gamma et al) were very helpful to me, but require you get to a certain level of experience before you read them. Trying to use all of their advise without thinking or knowing how to incorporate it all practically can be detrimental. In the end, only practice will help you get the feel for program design. Design a program, see what works, what doesn't. Design another, see how/why you can't re-use code from the first program. Rinse and repeat, trying new approaches. Eventually you'll develop a feel for certain concepts/patterns, where to apply them, what to avoid... the art of program design.

3. Possibly, but if you've got experience with Java, then C# is probably your best bet.

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If you are experienced with Java you will find C# very similar and for the most part should be able to wade in with some experimentation and using msdn etc as a ref. plenty of xna tuts and topics online so also a good ref for C#.

Telastyn mentioned the gang of four book for design patterns, but if you are a beginner try the O'Reilly Head First Design Patterns book.The book looks like a joke if you judge by its cover and format, but when you read it and absorb the content you wont find a better intro to design practises. example code is in Java, but this is irrelevant, the subject matter is what is important - its also very cheap. Then you can graduate to the books like gof(gamma et al).

Personally I think a design patterns book makes more sense after you have been wading in as a beginner for a bit; because its makes you realise how you could of done your shit code better, or puts a name/principle to something you were already trying to do.

xna is all about being beginner friendly.

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Thank you all for the prompt responses.

So, what I've heard so far is that...

1. Classes > Books > Any online resource.

2. Good design comes with practice, but O'Reilly has a design patterns book that's helpful.

3. No, XNA is fine.


Any suggestions for a helpful online class, or some other such resource to learn C#/XNA? And, should I purchase a beginning C# book, or is limited Java knowledge and a syntax reference enough?

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Java and C# are very much alike and you'd quickly adapt, but there is always some finer points that are worth getting a book from the library and just skimming through. As of resources and books for C#/XNA, just check out Amazon, there's a bunch of them. Hope it helps!

Cheers!

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