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Head First Java?

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Hey guys,

I purchased the book Head First Java with learning the basics of the language in mind before I started on my adventure of Game Programming. I'm nearly finished with the book and really want to get into Game Programming now. I don't want to start doing a 3D Game or some MMO. I want to start with stuff simple I can learn from and slowly build up. II've looked around the forum on where to go after this and saw some conflicting topics on what to do next, so I figured I would just create a new thread.

We all want to learn how to do 3D Programming and build MMO's, which is something I would love to do, but I understand there are certain steps I have to take before getting to that point. So I am going to outline the things I would like to learn and maybe someone could point me in the right direction. Again, this is what I would like to learn. Some of these choices are expert topics and some are probably more beginner or intermediate level, and if you have any suggestions besides from what I listed, by all means please let me know.

I'm not limited financially, so books, video tutorials, text tutorials anything will do. And here's the list:

What I would like to learn:
  • Basic Engine Programming -- Nothing to robust. I would like to learn what they do, how they interact with classes, how it can be reused and how I can build a very basic 2D engine.
  • Level Editor -- Probably a more expert topic...
  • Making 2D Sprites -- Easier done then said, I guess.
  • 8 - 16 bit games -- Like RPG's back from the old NES. ;)
  • Random World Generation -- this probably has to deal with a lot of algorithm type stuff, no? In that case it's probably a more advanced topic.
  • Chat Systems -- Networked chat between two or more people.
  • MORPG -- Like I said, we all want to create this. I have a dream to make a SNES/NES like game so I would like to have this as a top goal that I am slowly gaining speed towards.Those are things that I would like to learn, but honestly, just reading one book, a beginners book at that I am probably not ready for these. Maybe a dumbed down chat system, but yeah. Any suggestions on what I should do next to advance my knowledge/learn to build applications like described above? Or even applications that I can learn from?



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Hello Mr.Aphex,

Unfortunatly I cannot help you on your topic at hand, for I too am an aspiring Java Game Programer. I have the book on it's way you mentioned after reading nothing but good things about it. Just wanted to extend a "Thanks" for bringing the book to light for me.

I wish you the best of luck on your path to success.

As a great man once said - "Theres nothing more powerful than an idea who's time has come."

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Your welcome, one thing I want you to keep in mind though is that there are some parts in the book that are difficult. Like the "DotComGame," even if you don't understand it, keep moving forward in the book. ;) Then if you don't understand Polymorphism, I suggest checking out some videos to back it up, there YouTube names are "TheProgrammingTuts" and "MyBringBack." Good luck with the book!

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I just want to point out that it also depends on how you learn. People don't all learn the same - some people may only learn by having other people show them in a pedagogical way (i.e. teachers or books), while other people like me learn better by example, such as reading commented code, and yet other people may prefer reading theoretical papers and implementing the algorithms themselves from scratch. But in any case practice does make perfect, and while your first few games will probably look ugly, have convoluted logic and feature nonexistent exception handling, they will be the building blocks for a better game to come.

Bear in mind that you will not be able to make an MMORPG all by yourself, even when you reach the state of Java god, (if anything, how are you going to get all the assets i.e. art, sound, and story?) so you'll need to team up with other people. But that's the end of the road really, what's important is the journey.

As MouzAphex pointed out, don't get stuck on a particular chapter of a book - if you don't understand even after trying hard, just move on - it will only be easier to grasp later on when you acquire more knowledge, and will save you a lot of time (this doesn't mean skipping large chunks of the book because it sounds boring, however!)

Making a wish-list at this point is not very important because you'll need to learn a lot of stuff to even reach the point where you can make a functional 3D game with a colored cube. What I recommend is first getting to grips with the language in general, then (the following are examples, don't feel you need to do those specifically):

- make a simple 2D pong/tetris game

- keep the 2D aspect of the game but try and convert the actual graphics to 3D (i.e. add a dimension to the graphics but not the logic)

- make a 3D "game" which involves dropping spheres in an open box container, the spheres should react in a physically correct way

- find out how to make that 3D game multiplayer-friendly (work out some rules for multiple players, like which player occupies the most volume in the box with his spheres of various radii), then add simple chat to this game

Each of those tasks will probably require weeks, maybe months of work, for a beginner to tackle, but once they are done the sense of satisfaction is great and you'll be able to move on to even better stuff, and eventually you'll reach a point where you'll be able to tackle one of the points on your original post's list.

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