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Lexadrik

Newbie Programming Help.

10 posts in this topic

[i]Hello. I'm sorry if this post doesn't belong here, but it has to do with programming, and i wanted something more specific than what the FAQ covers.[/i]

[b]Introduction[/b]
I want to make a game, but I don't know the coding side and i would like to learn more about it.
I know how the logic behind coding works, kinda. I know about pseudo-code bits like conditions and booleans and attributes and what not.

The thing i never quite understood is what could fit my needs.
Do i need to learn C++? C#? Do i need to learn these to use any engine? Do engines come with their own language? Even if they do they are a LOT, like XNA, UDK, SDK. all kinds of dev kits.

[b]My Target[/b]
My aim is an adventure game, 2D. I'm thinking of a 2d world but with 3d particle effects. I get a team, 6-8 months in development, and i present it to SteamWorks.

I'm not trying to be lazy, use a magic wand and poof! game done. I know these things take a lot of time and effort. I would like you guys to point me in the right direction, that's all. Which engine or language would be better? could you give me examples please?

[i]Thanks a lot.[/i]
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Learning C++ will take a lot of time specially since you have never programmed before. You need atleast 6 months of practice or even more to start writing some good codes. So, if you have time, learn it. Just take your time to grab the concept of the language but don't expect for any shortcuts 'cause there are non.

If you however want to learn C#, that's ok too. It's somewhat easier and if you choose to use XNA framework, developing game is much much more easier for you. But as I said before, just take it slowly to learn the language first and then only think about developing a game.

Good Luck!
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First of all, there's no right or wrong way to learn this, any option you choose will get you closer to your final goal of making a game, be it C++, C#, XNA, UDK or even RPG Maker or Phantasya. All pathes lead to Rome, as they say.

My suggestion depends on a question, do you have any background in programming, or just the background knowledge you mentioned and no actual experience? Did you ever try to make a game with some of the GUI designers?(Game Maker/RPG Maker/Phantasya/etc.)

If you already know how to program in a real language, stick to it, any language can be used to make games, and in the end, what matters the most to the quality of your projects, is your expertise.
At that point I would suggest to pick up on tutorials regarding game development specifically(Try [url="http://www.aaroncox.net/tutorials/"]here[/url], and when you get the hang of it [url="http://lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/index.php"]here[/url], for example).

If you don't know how to program at all, you can still take up on Unity or UDK, but I'd highly recommend that you learn a real programming language before you do, since that always comes useles at some point([url="http://www.learncpp.com/#Chapter0"]This[/url] is a good starting point).

In case you'd rather give up on the programming all together, then again it will depend.
If you have experience with game making in general, then sure, you could try Unity or UDK, but if you're new to the subject all together, I'd highly suggest starting out with a RPG Maker variant, which is alot simpler to use than the aformentioned programs, and provides a good basis to all concepts of programming and game design in general.


As for your other question, a game engine is basicly just a compilation of functions made to make your life easier when making a game, keep in mind engines are libraries, for the most part, so no, they don't have a language of their own, but they do have a lot of functions that you'll need to learn and extend the language you're currently using with.

I hope I could help you even the slightest in taking your choice,
Don't hesitate to post more questions if any come up. =)
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If you don't know programming this is the route I would take:

Python -> Java or C# -> C++

If you want to start out in python, there are tons of GREAT 2D game engines for you to use perfect for your adventure game.

Here's a link to some:

[url="http://codeboje.de/2d-game-engines-python/"]http://codeboje.de/2d-game-engines-python/[/url]
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Beyond the simple coding aspect you also probably want to find some ways to work with a team. I've only had a couple experiences working with a team (meaning me and one other person) and it was about four times as hard to manage everything even though I was working with just one person. With a team of even more people it must get exponentially harder.

Also you want to learn the language first and make basic things before even attempting a major project. I'm still at this stage in game making where I am making little things. (and I've been programming for 3 years in school :P ) it takes a long time but it all kind of connects as you learn how to do it better making it more and more fun.

Also good luck!
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[quote name='Lox' timestamp='1309723001' post='4830690']
If you don't know programming this is the route I would take:

Python -> Java or C# -> C++

If you want to start out in python, there are tons of GREAT 2D game engines for you to use perfect for your adventure game.

Here's a link to some:

[url="http://codeboje.de/2d-game-engines-python/"]http://codeboje.de/2...engines-python/[/url]
[/quote]


Why would Java or C# come before C++? There's no progressing in there, you can just as well start out with C++.
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> Why would Java or C# come before C++? There's no progressing in there, you can just as well start out with C++.

Two reasons.

1) C++ has a difficult learning curve. It's beneficial to learn to program with easier languages, so that by the time you get to C++, you can focus on the language itself, and can deal with the difficulties in learning the language.

2) In a shorter amount of time, you can be productive. Your end goal isn't C++. It's to be able to program. You might as well focus on a language that gets you more value in less time.
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Thanks a lot for the feedback.

I have no real coding experience... as far as i know. i've been messing around with Action Script, some LUA and XML files for a private server of a 2d mmo. Basic Stuff
I've done things on Game Maker, and more recently another platform called Stencyl which translates into Action Script 3.0, but that's about it.

I've tried finding a team, as an artist... no luck as of now.

I'm currently starting college, and im thinking of picking up a "C# for dummies" i guess.

Thanks to everyone, specially KazenoZ for bringing up some links and stuff.

I'll learn some C# and then i'll lthink what to do after that. Unless you have a better plan, hehe.
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[color="#1C2837"][size="2"][quote][/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]I want to make a game, but I don't know the coding side and i would like to learn more about it.[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]...[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]The thing i never quite understood is what could fit my needs.[/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"][/quote][/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]
In order to understand what fits your needs, you need to decide what your needs are. If you wanted to build a wood shelf, a welding torch might not help you nearly as much as a hammer with nails! Choices are overwhelming if you are unsure of what each tool enables, and that is fine. You will learn how to choose what is most relevant in time.

The tools that are best for the job only become clear when you know how to sort your options based on context, and you are a good judge of the utility of each option.[/size][/color] You never become a great judge, but you always get better!

[size="2"][color="#1c2837"][quote]I'm not trying to be lazy, use a magic wand and poof! game done.[/quote][/color][/size]

[size="2"][color="#1c2837"]As long as you are still motivated to get things done, go ahead and be a little lazy. It can be easy to accept that using third party libraries or engines is somehow not "real" programming, but this conclusion is often reached with a kind of "macho" attitude. I've worked on an MMORTS, two ship shooters, and a top-down RPG. One thing is certain... I wish, for the love of all things holy, that I could use a magic wand and materialize a game out of thin air. I wish this today, even after using both high-level and low-level technologies. [/color][/size][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]It takes a lot of time and effort to make a game, even if you use tools that help you tremendously. Outside of learning purposes and having a better solution in mind, there is little reason in burdening yourself with previously solved problems.[/size][/color]
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[quote name='KazenoZ' timestamp='1309721141' post='4830680']
First of all, there's no right or wrong way to learn this, any option you choose will get you closer to your final goal of making a game, be it C++, C#, XNA, UDK or even RPG Maker or Phantasya. All pathes lead to Rome, as they say.

My suggestion depends on a question, do you have any background in programming, or just the background knowledge you mentioned and no actual experience? Did you ever try to make a game with some of the GUI designers?(Game Maker/RPG Maker/Phantasya/etc.)

If you already know how to program in a real language, stick to it, any language can be used to make games, and in the end, what matters the most to the quality of your projects, is your expertise.
At that point I would suggest to pick up on tutorials regarding game development specifically(Try [url="http://www.aaroncox.net/tutorials/"]here[/url], and when you get the hang of it [url="http://lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/index.php"]here[/url], for example).

If you don't know how to program at all, you can still take up on Unity or UDK, but I'd highly recommend that you learn a real programming language before you do, since that always comes useles at some point([url="http://www.learncpp.com/#Chapter0"]This[/url] is a good starting point).

In case you'd rather give up on the programming all together, then again it will depend.
If you have experience with game making in general, then sure, you could try Unity or UDK, but if you're new to the subject all together, I'd highly suggest starting out with a RPG Maker variant, which is alot simpler to use than the aformentioned programs, and provides a good basis to all concepts of programming and game design in general.


As for your other question, a game engine is basicly just a compilation of functions made to make your life easier when making a game, keep in mind engines are libraries, for the most part, so no, they don't have a language of their own, but they do have a lot of functions that you'll need to learn and extend the language you're currently using with.

I hope I could help you even the slightest in taking your choice,
Don't hesitate to post more questions if any come up. =)
[/quote]

sweet thanks for these links
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I am glad you here asking for help. I hate to say it, but in before someone else says it. The FAQ associated with this forum can answer some of those questions right off the bat.

Now onto languages. Your programming languages that you choose now, will never affect what you choose later. Albeit some languages favor others, a good programmer knows many languages. In your case you are wanting to do 2D top down with some 3D. I would highly reccomend that you explore a little on the python side first being a new programmer.

[url="http://diveintopython.org/"]http://diveintopython.org/[/url]

This is the series I used to learn python. I honestly couldn't get a grasp on python, but that is mainly because it argues with everything I know about Ruby. If your going to work with a game creator, and they use scripting languages you might get thrown some words. Heres some break downs for you!

Lite-C = C application that comes from A7/8 game engine (Atari game product)
LUA - [url="http://lua.org"]http://lua.org[/url] - is used in many many games as a scripting language. Its very powerful as a scripting language
C++ - [url="http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=d1434abf441133049c1f616771e32dfb"]http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=d1434abf441133049c1f616771e32dfb[/url] this web series is free for the starter kit. If you get ahold of it, consider buy it.
C#/XNA/.NET - [url="http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=8921f96ddec49a357999b164ee0918b7"]http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=8921f96ddec49a357999b164ee0918b7[/url] another series

------------

I would reccomend that you learn another smaller language that is easier to grasp before learning C++. Although some have no problems and can stomach it, others just get smoked in the face with way to much and just drain dump the basic fundimentals. make pong. update pong. make pong faster. make poing with less code. make pong overly complicated while cycling images and having random things happen on screen without a fps hit. Things like that will sharpen your skill in programming.

Don't walk away from it. You will not get it your first shot. Don't ever let someone lie to you saying they have never been stumped for x hours or days. Programming is an epiphony moment. Some days you just don't get why its not working, you have viewed every angle. Then your out on the street and someone spits gum and suddenly your brain thinks how to thread something to prevent it from crashing. No idea why, but your brain will just randomly come up with the solution. Just practice practice practice. If you still don't believe me, then why do game companies create patches? Cause it can never be perfect.

Python is going to be your best bet for learning programming fundies. Its fun, interactive and you can basically see results within an hour of learning. Remember that when you buy these giant books on how to learn a language they are old print. Its easier to use them as a reference than it is to use as a training guide in my honest opinion.

Good luck :-).

-Mayple

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