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Daniel Quince

Learning. New guy.

10 posts in this topic

Hi I'm new to everything. But I'm very creative and have always wanted to make my own game however simple.
I am a big fan of Minecraft and so i was thinking maybe java would be a good place to start learning, but where do i start? what do i need to download?
I need a place to start writing script I'm guessing?

And I know I cannot jump straight in so I'm willing to copy something that has been done before to get to grips with scripting.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you

Daniel [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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Hello Daniel, and welcome to the forums. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

Creating games can occur on many different levels. It all really depends on [multiple factors but most generally] how close to the guts you want to get, how much time you have on your hands, and how much of a perfectionist you are. If you don't have any intentions on getting into the programming scene, you really don't have to. You can use programs like Game Maker. If you aim to make games using Flash, I believe there are programs for that as well. While working with whatever program you choose, chances are, you will become somewhat familiar with programming through the scripting capabilities that programs may provide (generally, majority of the functionality that you would put in the game you can put in with the GUI but sometimes you just need to script a few routines). A good few games provide tools for modding, so if you feel that's more like something you'd want to do, you might want to give that a try. Some games give you a lot of control; sometimes enough to possibly make a game of your own or so I heard anyway.

If you do want to get into programming, your best bets are C#, Python, or Java. If you prefer a structured way to learn, you may want to buy a book that will explain the language and basics to you in a very straightforward manner. A lot of tutorials have sections in a fairly logical order and with a lot of descriptive detail so even if you don't buy a book, you should be able to grasp the language without too much trouble. Some people like videos, I personally don't. You'll have to understand though, that learning the features of the language is only a small percentage of the battle, and frankly you don't need to know them all to make a coherent game. You'll find that with varying genres you'll have to know a lot of different things and not just programming [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] So remember, start small and gradually progress into bigger projects.

Good luck man!
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Java is an entirely reasonable place to start, but not because Minecraft was written in it. (Minecraft could just as well be written in any other mainstream language, and a number of more obscure ones.) Blindly copying things is not a good way to learn to program, nor is jumping in without a decent reference point. Whilst it's entirely possible to teach yourself online, this does make life that little bit harder, not least because there is a great deal of terminology to learn at the start (so you don't even know how to correctly express what you're looking for) but also because of the inconsistencies which you'll bump into from the start, and because you don't have a convenient path through the material already planned for you.

I think you would be best to start with a book (perhaps [url="http://www.amazon.com/Java-Program-Harvey-M-Deitel/dp/0136053068"]this one[/url], although I have no experience with it and am going purely by reviews and content listings) and use the web to find alternative explanations of things where the book doesn't suit you. In terms of software you need, you probably want the Java Development Kit (JDK) and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) like Eclipse or NetBeans, although there are many alternatives to this setup.
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Thanks for the info guys. I've downloaded JDK but have know idea how to run it.
I would like to get a good understanding of every aspect of game creating. If I feel like I'm progressing and learning new things I will put my all into it. I just need to get my head around this first step.
Getting a program running (java), so I can start writing lol
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The Java Development Kit is a set of programs and standard library code (more or less) that lets you compile and execute the code you've written. If you download NetBeans, you'll have a nice program to combine all the tools into one program (you can compile and run your code right from NetBeans).
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[quote name='Daniel Quince' timestamp='1325202250' post='4897973']
Thanks for the info guys. I've downloaded JDK but have know idea how to run it.
I would like to get a good understanding of every aspect of game creating. If I feel like I'm progressing and learning new things I will put my all into it. I just need to get my head around this first step.
Getting a program running (java), so I can start writing lol
[/quote]
Start small. Very small. Just about every programmer's first step is just getting the language to print "Hello World" on some kind of form or display. There's a reason for that - It's the simplest complete program you can write; it verifies that everything is working and it gives a nice sense of "oh, ok."

Next, get the program to ask your name and say "hello" to you.

Mess around with input and output for a bit.

Write a "Guess-my-number" game.

Read about good coding practices and refactor (re-write, re-format and edit) your game to conform to them. Your implementation probably won't be the best, but this is all just to get you started.

By now, you should have a taste of programming. You're probably bored with what you're doing at this point. The question is, do you feel interested in learning more and writing better programs? This is the critical question. Don't worry about that at this point; write some more practice programs. Find ideas (tic-tac-toe? Hangman?) on the internet and code them. Don't worry too much about graphics at this point.

Once you've got a few done, write one of them with a graphical interface. You can find free game art links in the art forum; generally, it's for non-commercial (free) use only. Alternately, whether or not you've got any art talent, open up Paint and draw some stuff. Doesn't matter if it's "bad art"; we all know that. It's called "Programmer Art". :)

Still interested? Keep going. At this point, you'll have a real idea. Not interested? Consider whether it's because you're not challenged or really making much (although it's probably much more than you've written before) or, if you're not interested in programming. That's perfectly ok; best to find out now, rather than ten years later in a carreer you hate. :)

If you are still interested or are looking forward to real games, pick a simple game. Define everything that will be in it - Make it a short list. Define how you're going to implement that stuff. Then, write it. Stick to the plan, for the most part - Be flexible, but not inconsistant or indecisive. This will be your first original, solely-yours project. It's a good feeling. :)

Have fun. :)
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Also, later (about a year, generally), you will look back at what you wrote and probably hate it. Don't; it's not any worse, you've just gotten better. Happens all the time, if you're improving. :)
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Thanks a lot guys there's some great advice here :) first thing in the morning I'm gonna get netbeans and have a look at that.
When I was a kid I used to constantly sit in front of my Amiga 500 plus drawing game ideas and trying to program games with my father. It was a good feeling and I'm getting it all back again now ;)
Cheers
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[quote name='Daniel Quince' timestamp='1325206501' post='4897995']
Thanks a lot guys there's some great advice here [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] first thing in the morning I'm gonna get netbeans and have a look at that.
When I was a kid I used to constantly sit in front of my Amiga 500 plus drawing game ideas and trying to program games with my father. It was a good feeling and I'm getting it all back again now ;)
Cheers
[/quote]
Cheers! For me, it was the Vic-20 - I also have fond memories of the Amiga 500.

Also, emulators are great. :)
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[OT]

Sadly I didn't get to do any programming when I was a kid XD All we had was an NES, little later SNES, and before we left for the US we had a PSX. I wasn't even aware of programming until I was about 13 maybe where I came upon someone mentioning C++ on youtube by pure accident.

But, speaking of emulators, I do use the NES sometimes for some nostalgia moments XD
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I'm only 30, but the first computer we had in our house was one of them pong machines with the paddle controllers lol. Then i got a spectrum 128k, Amiga 500 plus, Amiga CD (yes i had one of them), Mega drive, Mega CD, SNES, Playstation, 1, and 2.. I built a few PC towers and now i have a packard bell laptop and a Xbox 360 :)

And inbetween all that I like to record me playing Guitar on our Ipad 2 :)
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