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blakefisch

Advice on a place to start with development

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Basically, I'm looking for a good place to start. I've been programming for about 3 years now as I'm pursuing my major in Computer Science. I've become familiar with a lot of languages so far, however my strongest points are in C++ and Java. I developed a little 2D graphics game in C++ about a year ago (w/ OpenGL in Visual C++) and over my last Summer break, I helped develop a game/app for the Android platform, in a little team of a couple of other students.
Anyway, like most, if not all of the people on this site, I have a huge interest in landing a career in Game Development. However, I feel like I could really use some advice on where to start. Besides my past developments, I don't feel very strong yet. As in, I don't feel like if I had someone there to help me, I could produce much (if that makes sense?). I would just really appreciate any help or advice on where exactly I should start, how I should start to improve my skills, what IDEs I should use, APIs, etc. Anything would be helpful. If you have any questions about me that may help you provide a more thorough answer, please let me know, I'll be glad to answer anything.

Thank you :)

-Blake

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Basically, I'm looking for a good place to start. I've been programming for about 3 years now as I'm pursuing my major in Computer Science. I've become familiar with a lot of languages so far, however my strongest points are in C++ and Java. I developed a little 2D graphics game in C++ about a year ago (w/ OpenGL in Visual C++) and over my last Summer break, I helped develop a game/app for the Android platform, in a little team of a couple of other students.
Anyway, like most, if not all of the people on this site, I have a huge interest in landing a career in Game Development. However, I feel like I could really use some advice on where to start. Besides my past developments, I don't feel very strong yet. As in, I don't feel like if I had someone there to help me, I could produce much (if that makes sense?). I would just really appreciate any help or advice on where exactly I should start, how I should start to improve my skills, what IDEs I should use, APIs, etc. Anything would be helpful. If you have any questions about me that may help you provide a more thorough answer, please let me know, I'll be glad to answer anything.

Thank you :)

-Blake



I wrote a guide for beginning developers that want to start but since you have prior programming experience, a lot of it wont be all that useful. However, in regards to answering your questions regarding IDE's and libraries to use, it very much will be. You can jump directly to the Java or the C++ section

Otherwise I say just jump in and create a game. Experience is easily the best teacher, well other than I suppose a really good teacher. ;)

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Thanks. I actually just read some of that guide a few minutes ago. Assuming I wanted to write a game in C++, would you recommend only using Visual C++? And same with Java, assuming I wanted to write in it, would you recommend using only Eclipse? (Which we used when we developed the app).

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Thanks. I actually just read some of that guide a few minutes ago. Assuming I wanted to write a game in C++, would you recommend only using Visual C++? And same with Java, assuming I wanted to write in it, would you recommend using only Eclipse? (Which we used when we developed the app).


It depends, if you only care about windows development, use VC++. Eclipse is probably one of the better cross platform ides and it can do C++ as well. For Java netbeans is also pretty good.

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Ah, I'll have to look into Eclipse for C++, I only used it for Java, but I found it to be a little frustrating to work with. I'll give Netbeans a try too.

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Ah, I'll have to look into Eclipse for C++, I only used it for Java, but I found it to be a little frustrating to work with. I'll give Netbeans a try too.


To be honest, I despise Eclipse, just seems to cause more problems then it solves. Netbeans supports C++ and is a much more streamlined experience. If for some reason am I stuck doing Java development, if possible, I just Netbeans or Intellij over Eclipse.

My personal IDE of choice is Visual Studio. So long as your "development platform" aka, what you write the code on, is Windows you are completely fine to work with Visual Studio. Your code can generally still be compiled on other platforms. You could also look into Code::Blocks, but I never really got the point. It kinda rings to the crowd that thing Visual Studio 6 was the zenith point in developer tools, a view I very much do not share.

That said, these are all purely matters of opinion and come down to a matter of personal preference.

But if you don't like Eclipse, don't use Eclipse!

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But if you don't like Eclipse, don't use Eclipse!


I think the main thing to take away from this conversation is that you should try as many IDEs as you can until you find one that you like. From my own experience though, after Visual Studio, it's pretty much all down hill...

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. I developed a little 2D graphics game in C++ about a year ago (w/ OpenGL in Visual C++) and over my last Summer break, I helped develop a game/app for the Android platform, in a little team of a couple of other students.
[/quote]
To be honest your question is wrong, You say you have developed a 2D game in OpenGL and your asking advice on a place to start development. I am not trying to be harsh, But seriously you have already started with game development, Yes. you are in the right path. OpenGL is a good platform for 2D and 3D games. Just keep learning, you'll reach the peak one day. Never lose hope.
Maybe if you want to be a bit cautious and learn from 2D, i suggest SDL or SFML, good cross platform for 2D games.
Good luck.

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It is very important to have a vision of the end product of your project before you even begin. If you have not answer these questions you should not be writing code yet. 1. Will this game be 2D or 3D? 2. What platform will you be targeting? 3.What technologies are you going to use? 4.Do you intent to publish your work? 5.Will you be hard-coding your levels or using a level editor? In my opinion things like development environment and programming languages are secondary to these questions when developing games.

1. Fairly straight forward 2D and 3D games are quite different, you would not want to start writing code to load and render 3D objects for a 2D game (well in some cases you might).
2. Who are you targeting? android? PC? IOS? If you want to program for the android perhaps direct-X is not the way to go.
3. Once you have question 1 and 2 answered, question becomes 3 becomes simple. Do you want to use unreal engine? XNA? OGRE? OSLIB? AndEngine? will you use a third party map editor?
4. Do you intend to publish? if you are then it is not a good idea to to use art, and sounds that are not your own.
5. Will your levels be hard coded? or will you use a kind of game editor? If you are going to use an editor I suggest starting there, with proper programing techniques you should be able to reuse most of your code for the game engine.

I hope it helped take care!

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