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Advice on learning

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Hey there, I am a student currently studying a film related degree, I have no experience in game design whatsoever beyond dabbling with some 3d animation programs, free game creation software and rpg-maker tongue.png.
I am looking to study another course on the side in order to further my knowledge, though i am unsure what the best option would be.
Though my current course has probably helped with aspects of design and production that could be relevant to game design, am i best to start at the beginning and take a course in programming rather than something design related?
If anyone could offer some reccomendations, or even some useful books to read it would be greatly appreciated.
Thankyou smile.png

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It largely depends on what exactly you want to do. For example "I want to make games" means two different things for me and my brother. For me, that means programming. For him, that means story, art, and music. He's not a programmer and I have very little interest in doing art.

Do you want to learn programming? If you do, it's a very deep rabbit hole. I'm an experienced developer and relatively new to game development; in my opinion, game development takes much more skill that any other area of applied software development. You can do it, of course, if you put enough time and effort into it, but you should be honest with yourself about what exactly you want to do.

That said, even if you do stick mostly with art, it will never hurt you to learn some programming. If nothing else, it broadens your horizons and gives you a little context when you're working with programmers. (This cross-disciplinary training is good for everyone, actually.)

As a side note, no matter what you do (art, animation, programming), please learn how to use a version control system. (I like Git peronsally, but I've also used SVN.) Once you do, your workspaces will no longer be full of this kind of stuff:

cow.jpg
cow-2.jpg
cow-3.jpg
cow-3-final.jpg
cow-3-really-final.jpg
cow-3-double-secret-final.jpg


Anyway, it boils down to this: What exactly do you want to do? If you have a clear idea, we can help steer you in the right direction.

Cheers!

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Hey thok, firstly, id like to thank you for such a well written response.
Having had a bit of thought about it, i think my interests lie mostly with the modelling, animation and story side of things.
I do however have a fascination with how coding and programming works and would like to attempt to learn at least some of the basics for fun or as a
transferable skill, like you mentioned.
I will look into version control systems as admittedly my files currently resemble the list you posted :P

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Hey thok, firstly, id like to thank you for such a well written response.
Having had a bit of thought about it, i think my interests lie mostly with the modelling, animation and story side of things.
I do however have a fascination with how coding and programming works and would like to attempt to learn at least some of the basics for fun or as a
transferable skill, like you mentioned.
I will look into version control systems as admittedly my files currently resemble the list you posted tongue.png


No problem.

For an intro to programming, I can recommend Learning Python the Hard Way: http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/. It's free, well written, practical, and highly newbie-friendly. Python has a very low barrier to entry, compared many other popular languages. It's also the scripting language used in Blender (which might be useful for you if you're using Blender for modeling).

For version control, SVN and Git are good options. I recommend Git, personally. (Others may balk at the idea of learning Git instead of SVN as your first version control system, but I don't care; I think it's much nicer to work with.) Lars Vogel has a nice tutorial on using Git: http://www.vogella.de/articles/Git/article.html

Cheers,
-Thok

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Hey Thok and happy new year :P,
I have been looking through the materials you reccomended and am also gradually progressing my way through a book about C++,
while it is all extremely complicated I am enjoying learning the basics a lot.
Thanks again for the advice and I'll keep you updated

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Cool, glad to hear you're enjoying it.

As a side note: If you read almost every "I want to learn to program" thread in this forum, you will consistently see experienced developers advise new people to _not_ learn C++ as a first language. Go ahead and read all of the posts; I'll wait. :P But seriously. It's a brave move to dive straight into C++, but you may be better off learning something else first. That's why I recommended Python. Others would recommend C# or Java.

Anyway, good luck.

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