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Getting Started - a Summer Project in Python

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I am a student looking to expand my programming and computer science knowledge and skills this summer. I was thinking that creating a game would accomplish this.

I'm hoping to focus on game engine design (creating a 3D environment with some basic physical aspects) and the related technical challenges. If at all possible, I'd also like to throw some AI design into the game, as I'm hoping to go into AI research and development.

I've been programming for about 2 years, but very much consider myself a beginner. Most of my work up until now has been in PHP, JavaScript, and SQL, though I am familiar with Java and C, and am learning Python, Haskell, and Lisp.

I have a couple questions.

First, are these goals too ambitious for a summer project for someone of my experience level? If so, how might I tone down my expectations while trying to achieve some of my goals (language mastery, programming experience, game engine design/development, GUI/OpenGL/etc experience, AI design/development)? I will have a couple friends focused on the actual game design, so I won't have to focus my energies on that.

Secondly, where/how should I get started? I know I should start by learning engine design/development, and proceeding from there, but are there any particular resources you would recommend? I'd prefer to do the project in Python/Java (for the language experience).

Thank you very much for your help!

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They key to starting is to start. You mention Python so it sounds like you have a language in mind. [url="http://www.pythonogre.com/"]Python Ogre[/url] or [url="http://www.panda3d.org/"]Panda3D[/url] would meet your 3D goals.

In terms of scaling down your expectations, ect the best bet there would be to do a 2D project instead of a 3D one. One of the most popular choices when it comes to 2D in Python is [url="http://www.pygame.org/news.html"]PyGame[/url].

I will say that for a summer project your goals are too ambitious and you would probably get further with a 2D project of some sort. Edited by shadowisadog

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