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feza

Hi gamedev forum i'm looking for a good start

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Hi game dev forum

I'm making this topic because i want to get a good start on learning about game development. I've just turned 20, and after the summer vacation i'm starting on software engineering in university.

Programming:
- I've been learning a bit of C# in my spare time over the last 2 years. I've had a few classes in school with c#, really basic stuff, if, for, siwtch and methods. Since i found programming interesting I've been looking more at it in my spare time(c#). And i thing that I've come to the point where i good a pretty good grasp on OOP in c#. Understanding classes, i[font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]nheritance, properties, ya i think i understand the basic stuff of OOP in c#.
[/size][/font]- In school I've been playing around with the wii remoto in c# doing serial communication to control a mini hot air oven we've build.
- At home I've been using c# to solve project euler questions with my friend, i think we god 12 questions down so far XD
- I also know a bit of python, i've made a console blackjack game once.
- Beside that i've been scripting php for 5 years, i've learned some MySQL through this.

Creative:
- I've been drawing and painting for a few years, doing portrait drawings, landscape paintings and a bit of manga drawings, all traditional media, but I'm looking into digital drawing an painting.
- I play guitar, bass and piano and can make a bit of music myself.
- I'm trying to make a pen and paper role play system with my friend, which we are trying to balance so that it can be used for both call of cathulu horror like roleplay and superhero like rolepay.

Okay lets get to the point.
Why am i telling you guys all this?
Well the reason is that i really want to get a good start learning about game development, i want to learn all the basic stuff so when i come to the point of making a little game, i can do it, with at least a bit of quality.


I've decided for now to look at XNA and started reading the book "learning XNA 3.0", my shitty computer can't run XNA 4.0. Later i want to look into flash, but right now i don't got the money to buy it.

So my questions is:
I'm I on the right track?
Do I need to have more programming knowledge before i look into game programming?
And if you got any additional tips or anything of that sort i would be happy to receive them :)

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If you have a good grasp on C# and the related OOP-concepts, and if you feel comfortable in XNA then I assume you're good to go

I always though of C# as a great language to get into programming, and with the introduction of XNA a couple of years ago it became a great language for learning game development as well
The only tip I can give you right now is to start small, a lot of new game programmers try to build their huge dream game as a first project, resulting in a lot of frustration and project abandonment (even if they were warned about this from the beginning)
Read through some books, follow some tutorials, get familiar with the concepts behind game programming and you should be fine :)

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if you are leanring XNA 3.0, why not use XNA 3.1 ?, its basically the same.
XNA 4.0 has changed a bit since XNA 2 / 3.X and what i knew of XNA is now no longer relevent with XNA 4 :(
im just pointing out that, so dont jump to XNA 4 untill you have learned what they have changed and got a book.
well thats just my opinion :D

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Learning XNA is a good thing, but what about the basics of the software-architecture behind a game?
I recommend to read some books that handle game architecture to know how to build up your game properly. (like [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Coding-Complete-Third-McShaffry/dp/1584506806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306231565&sr=1-1"]Game coding complete[/url] or [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Engine-Architecture-Jason-Gregory/dp/1568814135/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306231535&sr=1-1"]Game engine architecture[/url] - alternately you can download the source code from existing engines like Ogre3D or Quake 3 Arena).

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Thanks for the replies :)

I'll try and keep to small projects in the start

If i donwload XNA 3.1 should i be able to open my current projects in 3.0 in it without problems?

I don't got the courage to look at 3D as it is now... But ya I've been wondering if XNA helps me to much, since it got so many things build and running for me from the beginning.

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[quote name='FelixK15' timestamp='1306231630' post='4815046']
Learning XNA is a good thing, but what about the basics of the software-architecture behind a game?
I recommend to read some books that handle game architecture to know how to build up your game properly. (like [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Coding-Complete-Third-McShaffry/dp/1584506806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306231565&sr=1-1"]Game coding complete[/url] or [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Engine-Architecture-Jason-Gregory/dp/1568814135/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306231535&sr=1-1"]Game engine architecture[/url] - alternately you can download the source code from existing engines like Ogre3D or Quake 3 Arena).
[/quote]

As a beginner you really shouldn't worry about engine internals yet, it is important that beginners learn how to actually program a game first before they actually dig deeper
Lots of people who try to make an extensive engine for their first project get confused and won't get any decent results, and looking at the source code from other projects might be even more confusing since they could contain implementations and bugfixes which only apply to that certain project alone and therefore wouldn't be a good example for learning

XNA and possibly an engine on top of it are enough for a beginner to start with imo, the complex internals can be studied later after the basic principles are completely understood

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[quote name='Radikalizm' timestamp='1306232386' post='4815050']
As a beginner you really shouldn't worry about engine internals yet, it is important that beginners learn how to actually program a game first before they actually dig deeper
Lots of people who try to make an extensive engine for their first project get confused and won't get any decent results, and looking at the source code from other projects might be even more confusing since they could contain implementations and bugfixes which only apply to that certain project alone and therefore wouldn't be a good example for learning

XNA and possibly an engine on top of it are enough for a beginner to start with imo, the complex internals can be studied later after the basic principles are completely understood
[/quote]

Okay maybe not the engine internals...But things like framerate calculation \ deltatime for constant movement speed and eventhandling are IMHO things you should know about.

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[quote name='FelixK15' timestamp='1306231630' post='4815046']
Learning XNA is a good thing, but what about the basics of the software-architecture behind a game?
I recommend to read some books that handle game architecture to know how to build up your game properly. (like [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Coding-Complete-Third-McShaffry/dp/1584506806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306231565&sr=1-1"]Game coding complete[/url] or [url="http://www.amazon.com/Game-Engine-Architecture-Jason-Gregory/dp/1568814135/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306231535&sr=1-1"]Game engine architecture[/url] - alternately you can download the source code from existing engines like Ogre3D or Quake 3 Arena).
[/quote]

Oh, please [i]please[/i] don't go digging into Q3's source code looking for how to build a game 'properly'! It's a tangled mess of design and 'get it done' attitude and is really the worst kind of example you could have to work from! The engine itself is fine, but please, if you are going to start on engine architecture, or want to learn about modern design practices, [i]do not[/i] go for commercial engines source code - especially [i]dated[/i] commercial engines source code! Look for white papers and books written from an authority on the subject if you want to learn more about those things.

To the OP: you can go quite a bit longer then you think without any sort of engine pre-coded; in fact, you can build a pretty sophisticated 3D game without ever having to build an engine at all! A 3d engine is sort of leftover, not pre-built, components that can be disassembled and put together for the next production. You can start making games at any time, but I'd recommend solidly grounding yourself in C# or similar [i]before[/i] you go graphical - all that 'boring' stuff that most beginners want to skip is crucial to getting anywhere and not consistently feeling stuck and puzzled as to why things don't work (which is often caused by having too little knowledge of programming fundamentals as well as lacking in both math and physics).

Start simple and build up. You can get something on the screen pretty fast if you are a good learner and have enough time to dig your teeth in. Good luck! :)

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I'll try to be sure to learn more about c# so i don't get stuck in projects because of lacking knowledge of programming.
Does anyone know any good books on c#, i know it's only a google search away, but do you know a good book you would recommend.

I'm not sure... Are you guys saying that its best to learn to build upon existing engines or should i be starting from the ground up?

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[quote name='feza' timestamp='1306234455' post='4815062']
I'll try to be sure to learn more about c# so i don't get stuck in projects because of lacking knowledge of programming.
Does anyone know any good books on c#, i know it's only a google search away, but do you know a good book you would recommend.

I'm not sure... Are you guys saying that its best to learn to build upon existing engines or should i be starting from the ground up?
[/quote]

I'd recommend to just stick with basic XNA, you don't need an engine to get good results

I'm not too sure about books on C# introduction, I only have a reference book on C# which assumes the reader already knows C++ and as a result tries to put all C#-aspects in a C++ context, so I can't really recommend it to you

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[quote name='feza' timestamp='1306227113' post='4815025'] i want to get a good start on learning about game development. I've just turned 20, and after the summer vacation i'm starting on software engineering in university.
I'm I on the right track?
Do I need to have more programming knowledge before i look into game programming?
[/quote]
Feza, what is your goal? Are you going to seek a job in the game industry after graduation? Or are you planning to seek another career, and do game programming on the side? (The only reason I ask is to determine whether this thread belongs in For Beginners or should be moved to Breaking In.)

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[quote name='feza' timestamp='1306234455' post='4815062']
I'll try to be sure to learn more about c# so i don't get stuck in projects because of lacking knowledge of programming.
Does anyone know any good books on c#, i know it's only a google search away, but do you know a good book you would recommend.

I'm not sure... Are you guys saying that its best to learn to build upon existing engines or should i be starting from the ground up?
[/quote]

I just bought some intro books on C# and it's a real dry read. Trying to remember the subject matter and applying it is what I need.

Here's a decent C# intro website with very easy tutorials the examples are very good.

[url="http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/csharp/csharp.html"]http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/csharp/csharp.html[/url]

I would recommend working through them BEFORE buying any books.

Cos even C# for Dummies gets technical real quick!

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As for now i just want to learn about game programming.
Goals, well i want to make iphone and or android apps(most likely games) with a few friends while studying. Yes i want to find a job in the game industry after i graduate. But as it is for now i my first goal is to be able to build simple xna and or flash games from the ground up.

I'll be looking through the tutorials on that side for sure thanks :)

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