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SamuelKauffman

What's a good place to start programming at?

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SamuelKauffman    105
You see, I have a few books on programming, and I know that, in order to be a better programmer, I'm supposed to just stick with it. However, I'm not a guy that is easily able to stick with anything,.. though I'm not ADD, I have similar problems to them, and... yeah... no more tangents like that from me.

Anyway, currently I'm working with an engine (more like an editor) called RPG Maker XP, but I'm no good at scripting in it's scripting language (a variant of Ruby called RGSS), so I can't customise the features it gives or make new ones. However, I'm stuck with it for a while, and I'm needing to work with it until my time with it is done. The thing I'm working on is a contest entry for a competition off-site, and it has a really badly done story so far, because I'm not sure how to make it good.

Anyway, I didn't want to share about my life like that, I wanted to know what would be a good place to start programming at. What would you guys recommend?

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Tom Sloper    16062
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306025486' post='4814036']
I wanted to know what would be a good place to start programming at. What would you guys recommend?
[/quote]
You can start programming at school, or you can start programming at home. And we recommend that you read this forum's FAQs -- lots of useful information for beginners there. There's a link atop this forum.

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JBourrie    1204
[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1306035252' post='4814096']
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306025486' post='4814036']
I wanted to know what would be a good place to start programming at. What would you guys recommend?
[/quote]
You can start programming at school, or you can start programming at home. And we recommend that you read this forum's FAQs -- lots of useful information for beginners there. There's a link atop this forum.
[/quote]

Usually my preference is to start programming at a computer.

[quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]However, I'm not a guy that is easily able to stick with anything[/quote][/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Well then snap the f*** out of it, because learning to program is a long and winding road :) RPG Maker is pretty simple compared to typical game programming, so if you're finding you have trouble with it then you should probably work on your fundamentals. Pick a language (I recommend C#) and get a "beginners guide" book. Learn variables, conditionals, loops, functions, classes, etc [i]without[/i] worrying about how they relate to games. Don't try to build a game until you know your fundamentals, or you'll get all bass-ackward and probably just find yourself frustrated.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]The best advice I can give is that if you really want to learn, you've got to pick one thing and stick with it even when it's really hard. Learning to program is filled with "epiphany" moments, where you spend weeks not getting it and then all of a sudden it clicks... usually when you're in the shower or driving home or something like that. Once you have that moment, you'll make great strides forward until you reach the next blocker... then as long as you stick with it that epiphany moment will come again, and again, until you can take on pretty much any challenge.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Oh, and most importantly, have fun! :) [/size][/color]

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SamuelKauffman    105
Well... thanks for the advice, not what I was expecting, but oh well.

Anyway, I'd better say what I do have, before anything else: I have Python, Visual Studio 2010, RMXP (the RPG Maker I have), Game Maker (a different editor) 8, FPS Creator and DarkBASIC (both Classic and Professional). Now, I know that I should stick with one thing, but my attention span sucks at times (other times it's impressive). Knowing me, I'd want to know which to start with (once my contest entry is done), but I always had this ridiculous notion to overwork myself and then (eventually) quit partway through. So, this time, I wish to know which one to use and where to start in my quest to be a better programmer.

Any suggestions? I mean, other than C# at the current time, because I don't have books to teach me how to program in it yet.

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Tom Sloper    16062
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306103654' post='4814370']
Well... thanks for the advice, not what I was expecting, but oh well.
Now, I know that I should stick with one thing, but my attention span sucks at times
Any suggestions?
[/quote]
Stick with one thing until you learn it. Get better at the attention span thing. And read this forum's FAQs.

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JBourrie    1204
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306109764' post='4814384']
Ah... that makes better sense. Anyway, I have every intent of fixing that damn attention span, but I don't know which one to start with... that's going to be a problem.
[/quote]

It won't be a problem if you listen to Tom and actually read the FAQ: it suggests where you should start.

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jyk    2094
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306114354' post='4814410']
Also, I was told to start with either C or Java by a person on a different site, is that true?[/quote]
That seems like kind of an odd pairing - did the person offer a rationale?

C and Java are kind of at opposite (or opposite-ish) ends of the spectrum, language-wise - C is relatively low-level and has a fairly cumbersome compilation model, while Java is fairly high-level and is conducive to rapid development.

Some people advocate starting with something like C and 'working your way up' towards higher-level languages, but I think starting with something like Java or C# is probably more common (and will certainly get you up and running faster).

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nooblet    167
[quote name='Xamusel' timestamp='1306114354' post='4814410']
But I have read the FAQ... strangely enough.

Also, I was told to start with either C or Java by a person on a different site, is that true?
[/quote]

I'd respectively disagree for personal reasons, but it's entirely up to on what to start out with, and your entire goals. Not to be condescending, but if you perform a search (located in the top-right hand of the forums) with just the subject you used alone, you can find [i]many[/i] threads with the same question, which all end up with the same answer. The choice of language you want to start out with is entirely up to you, although some are easier than others. If you have indeed checked out the FAQ, then you'll notice the team of game developers suggested C# or Python. Why? Because those two languages are easier to get started with compared to the hundreds of languages out there.

You shouldn't worry about the language you're learning, honestly. If you choose to start with C# or Python, then you can worry less about syntax and more about the software engineering side of programming, which is great! So many beginners, including myself when I first started, worried so much about the language and constantly battled with themselves that they are learning the wrong language. If you're on that boat, then I'd recommend starting out with C#. It's growing to be popular in the software engineering aspect, and the syntax isn't much different then that of C++ or Java. You should focus more about "how things work" and function throughout programs/games.

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I started programming in C++ here a few months ago: http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/ . This taught me the basics of coding and its functionality, simply using the console. After thoroughly finishing those tutorials, I decided to work with a library called SDL, here: http://lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/index.php .

It's important to learn the basics on the first site before moving on to the more exciting SDL work, because then you will understand what is going on to a far better extent. Using knowledge from these two sites, I learned a lot about coding and have coded my first game.

I hope my links are helpful.



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SamuelKauffman    105
Wel, trust me, I'm not going to stick with either of those two languages (C and Java)... I might as well stick with Python for the time being. I actually have a starting book for it.

Anyway, I was going to mention this last night, but I was kicked off of the computer before I could say anything.

Still, I never got the chance to try those links on C++, sorry... uh... don't know how to pronounce the name.

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FirstApple    100
[quote name='A1P4A_0M3GA' timestamp='1306153230' post='4814554']
I hope my links are helpful.
[/quote]

Personally, I found your links quite helpful, particularly the SDL one. I started out with the C++ tutorial that you mentioned myself several months ago. It was great and got me off onto a great start (not to mention very helpful to get an 'A' in my intro to programming class a few semesters back)

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