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Carbon101

Advice on programming

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Can anyone here give some advice on programming. I have the game engine and my design doc, but when it comes to the actually programming, I am stuck. I completely freeze up. My first project is a simple pong game, but I honestly don't know where to start. I am using the Haaf game engine. I go to the documentation or Manual and look at all the different functions, but I don't know what to do with them especially when it comes to placing code inside the function body. I spend hours looking at tutorials and copying them confused because I don't know if I should copy them as an outline or what.. I am learning and using c++ and I am also learning Java as well, if that makes a difference.

I just need advice or tips. And also, what are game loops and how can one use them in a game exactly? Examples would be nice.

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I suppose the first question I would ask is, what have you programmed before? I would also suggest that when you are starting out in programming that you focus on one language at a time.

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Nothing big or complex. I have worked on projects that focused on loops, math methods, conditional statments and things of that nature in java. These are usually at school, but I try to make some at home as well.

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A game loop is just a loop that does game stuff. A timestep is simply the time it took for the game loop to run last time.

If you haven't programmed any games before, start with something simple - I like recommending "Guess my number" or "Hangman" because they both have input, output, display, scoring, pattern-matching and win-loss conditions. Right now, don't overcomplicate things - Learning a programming language will do that for you. :)

Pick a defined, small set of language functionality and learn that. What you're aiming towards is when it all clicks and you realize how the language hangs together. Best way to do that is just use it. You have a design document, so now pick the simplest, top-level thing on there and try getting it coded. Then, work your way down.

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