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Halowood

Where to learn Video Game Programming?

3 posts in this topic

I'm an Australian High School student doing my last year of my HSC this year.
I've always wanted to get into Video Game Programming so for my Software Design and Development Major Project I decided upon doing a basic 2D classic RPG in Java.

I chose 2D RPG because I figured it would be the easiest genre to design and program and run on the low end machines the project would be marked on. I chose Java because I heard it was simpler than C++ (My next goal after I finish school) and close enough to it that learning C++ will be easier.

I have previous programming knowledge of Python 2.X I have about 6 months I think to get the whole project completed and ready for submission I only intend to get the first quest hub with maybe 3-5 quests.

Could anyone point me to some online resources/tutorials in Java that could help out?
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I've found that the O'Reilly book "Killer Java Game Programming" was very useful for me. It starts our quite basic but it does explain some of the basic issues with game programming such as how to build a well timed game loop where you separate the game update and game render from the game painting. One of the first chapters discusses the issues with simply figuring out how much time has passed since your last update/render/paint. It also shows how different timers run on different operating systems. I was amazed at how much of a difference there was and how coding techniques can solve those problems.

The book uses the Java2d graphic classes which are fine for learning. To take on Java game programming and OpenGL at the same time would be a huge learning curve.

The book goes on to talk about isometric tiled games and then into some basic 3D game concepts. Although you'd probably not want to write a 3D game using just the basic Java libraries (you'd probably want to use the Light Weight Java Game Library LWJGL as an interface to OpenGL) every concept in the book is still useful.

The author has a good web page with earlier versions of many of the chapters in his book here
[url="http://fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th/%7Ead/jg/"]http://fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th/~ad/jg/[/url]

All the source code is available there as well.

I hope that helps.


Also, an RPG is still a huge project. It's really easy to bury yourself with complexity because you have so many good ideas and you just want to write all of them.

One of my first games was a game called Planet Ball where two players control the movement of two planets (red and green). The planets accelerate and decelerate in the direction of the keyboard controls. The goal is to capture an asteroid of the same color as your planet. You get 10 points for a capture of your own asteroid and -5 if you capture the opposite color. Once I got that working I start adding billiard ball collisions/bouncing if the two planets touched each other. Then I looked into adding a shield so one planet could shock the other and freeze it to keep it from moving for a few seconds. I added a 60 second timer for the game and then started adding sounds. In the end it was a pretty big project for a simple concept.

Now imagine how big an RPG would be. I'd suggest coming up with a small idea and prototype it first. Believe me, you'll still learn a lot.

Good luck.
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I use the term RPG in it's barest form.
One small region, an animated player sprite, a single fight etc. a really really bare form of RPG.
But thank you for the help!
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