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Another Typical "Beginner" Thread

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Hey everyone. I'm new to GameDev, but not so much new to programming. I messed with C++ on and off the past few years but had difficulty in understanding learning material once it started covering pointers and classes, so I admit I kinda lost motivation for a bit, but I really want to learn how to do this, so I'm getting back into it.

I did actually finish a "game", so to speak. It was a text-based Hangman clone that allowed for one or two players. It's not too great to play as one player, though, because there are only 30 words built in because I didn't know how to have it select a word without manually coding all the statements in (I kinda know a way now).

So I decided to move up to SDL and try to re-make the Hangman game graphically and improve the mistakes I made, but halfway through this project, I'm not really sure if I'm learning the best way.

Can anyone give me any advice?

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Hey everyone. I'm new to GameDev, but not so much new to programming. I messed with C++ on and off the past few years but had difficulty in understanding learning material once it started covering pointers and classes, so I admit I kinda lost motivation for a bit, but I really want to learn how to do this, so I'm getting back into it.

I did actually finish a "game", so to speak. It was a text-based Hangman clone that allowed for one or two players. It's not too great to play as one player, though, because there are only 30 words built in because I didn't know how to have it select a word without manually coding all the statements in (I kinda know a way now).

So I decided to move up to SDL and try to re-make the Hangman game graphically and improve the mistakes I made, but halfway through this project, I'm not really sure if I'm learning the best way.

Can anyone give me any advice?


Common question, common answer. That's a beginners guide, language, library, tool and book suggestions link all in one.


What it doesn't cover is motivation, and that one's a bitch. Frankly, I don't really know how to teach motivation. One thing I can suggest, if you are motivationally challenged, is pick a library/language with highly visible turn over. Seeing constant success is always good for a first project. Also, use someone elses graphics in your project, there are a ton freely available on the net and see your game with with art instead of programmer art is also highly motivating! In this regard PyGame+Python is a nice combo, although you aren't going to be writing a AAA any time soon. That said, you aren't going to be writing a AAA game any time soon anyways, so this is a stupid caveat*.


* - stupid caveat or not, too damned many new developers are hung up on being capable of creating a AAA title right out of the game. These are the people that tend to get nowhere after writing their 75th incompletely game engine or demo, but that doesn't matter. Simply put, unless you are a savant, you can't skip the learning curve.

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Nice idea about the art! I never actually thought of it that way, but I'd love to be able to have something aesthetically pleasing to motivate me to work on a game.

Also, I know what you mean about people expecting to make the next amazing game of all time without any practice, but trust me, I'm not one of those people. What I'm really looking at right now is to one day be able to create a Tetris or Pacman clone, I'll even go as far to say I'd like to make a platformer like SNES Mario, but I know it'll take time to get there, and I'm alright with that. I just want to feel like I'm moving forward and not backwards or standing still.

Thank you for the link and the advice!

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So I decided to move up to SDL and try to re-make the Hangman game graphically and improve the mistakes I made, but halfway through this project, I'm not really sure if I'm learning the best way.

Can anyone give me any advice?


Your question is very open ended, "The Best Way" is entirely with the person you ask.

I might have a suggestion to help keep you motivated, you should do a project that is more interesting to you.
When I first started I was doing things like this, I might have well just been making spreadsheet applications because it just felt like course work, when I finally started working on things that interested me I really started to have fun and learned a lot more.

TLDR;
You should post a more specific question if you want a more specific answer.

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Your question is very open ended, "The Best Way" is entirely with the person you ask.


Right, I understand. I wasn't so much expecting a universal answer as much as a general one. I'm all for listening to a few opinions.

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Right, I understand. I wasn't so much expecting a universal answer as much as a general one. I'm all for listening to a few opinions.


I re-read that and it sounds a bit snarky (at least to me) I didn't mean it that way =p
But if your want my opinion some of the things you should focus on are these:
1) Structure of your code and game loop - This is one of the most important things later on that will help you in my experience
2) I wouldn't worry so much about making everything perfect - If you need to learn something new make a separate test application until you figure it out, then add it to your main app
3) Try to make flexible reusable functions and classes - I have a huge code base of things after doing hobby programming for years it makes virtually anything easier.
4) Make sure your having fun, if your not having fun whats the point? =p

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Common question, common answer. That's a beginners guide, language, library, tool and book suggestions link all in one.


Ahh... So I actually just got done reading that page, and honestly, I'm more confused than when I first posted this thread. All I took from that post was that the author mentioned multiple languages, but then pretty much shot all of them down?


I re-read that and it sounds a bit snarky (at least to me) I didn't mean it that way =p


No worries, it's fine. I realize that it's sometimes difficult to not sound like you're giving attitude over a forum. Even if something looks rude, I try not to take it that way.

Anyway, if there is one thing I've learned so far, it's that functions are wonderful things. The idea of programming anything seems so much more easier and plausible to me now, know that I can just take it piece by piece without having to look at the whole picture all the time.

I'm also a very big fan of creating "Test.cpp" (lol) to work out a theory that pops out in my head before I try to implement it. I really enjoy it when I can come up with solutions to complicated (or, what's complicated to me anyway) problems!

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[quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1321033592' post='4882995']
Common question, common answer. That's a beginners guide, language, library, tool and book suggestions link all in one.


Ahh... So I actually just got done reading that page, and honestly, I'm more confused than when I first posted this thread. All I took from that post was that the author mentioned multiple languages, but then pretty much shot all of them down?


I re-read that and it sounds a bit snarky (at least to me) I didn't mean it that way =p


No worries, it's fine. I realize that it's sometimes difficult to not sound like you're giving attitude over a forum. Even if something looks rude, I try not to take it that way.

Anyway, if there is one thing I've learned so far, it's that functions are wonderful things. The idea of programming anything seems so much more easier and plausible to me now, know that I can just take it piece by piece without having to look at the whole picture all the time.

I'm also a very big fan of creating "Test.cpp" (lol) to work out a theory that pops out in my head before I try to implement it. I really enjoy it when I can come up with solutions to complicated (or, what's complicated to me anyway) problems!
[/quote]


As the author I tend to disagree with your conclusion. ;)

I don't make a recommendation, and that is one purpose, the choice is a highly personal one. All 4 of those languages are perfectly valid choices, pick one. ;) Take a look through some of the linked resources and see what language appeals to you the most.

Again though, from hearing your perspective and goal, I think PyGame+Python is your best fit, at least inititaly.

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As the author I tend to disagree with your conclusion. ;)


Oh goodness, I really hope you didn't thinking I was tying to insult the work or anything, but I'm pretty sure you weren't offended, judging by the smiley faces you used in your previous post!

I'll take a look into the PyGame+Python thing you mentioned. Thanks again :)

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[quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1321036836' post='4883016']
As the author I tend to disagree with your conclusion. ;)


Oh goodness, I really hope you didn't thinking I was tying to insult the work or anything, but I'm pretty sure you weren't offended, judging by the smiley faces you used in your previous post!

I'll take a look into the PyGame+Python thing you mentioned. Thanks again :)


[/quote]

No worried, not insulted by that in the slightest. If my skin was that thin, the internet would be the wrong place for me! :)

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