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pingu2k4

New guy starting out

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First off, hey. I expect to become a lot more active here over the coming weeks and months.

I think I should give a breif intro as to who I am, and what I want out of game development.
My names Matthew, im 22. I left school having done my A levels, one of which being computing. I really enjoyed the programming aspect (we were using pascal), and went to university hopign to study computer games development. I couldnt get on that course, (my A levels sucked and it had high requirements) so I did computer forensics for a year, using that as a step onto the games course. Half way through my first year on the games course, I made the decision to take on a full-time job to cover my extensive debts, and attempted to do both uni and work.... however that didn't work out all too well as you might imagine. A couple years down the line, and I'm now looking at creating some games as a hobby, to start. I then want to be making some games to build up my portfolio, hopefully get a few games that prove to be a success as far as being an indie developer goes... and finally use all of that to help me land my dream job. (its with one particular company).

So, with that information... I have one game idea that I think is great, its a 2d game that tackles a popular game type, but gives it a whole new spin. I would like to start off working towards that sort of game. The genre BTW is a tower defence sort of game. What I want to do, is make some basic games, starting off dead simple, to progress into my full game idea. Once I've made that, I will try other 2d games, and hope to progress onto 3d games as well after that. My budget is practically non existent, and I know that there are plenty of free tools out there for non commercial use, my question is... what do you think I would be best using?

I am leaning towards using XNA and moving onto unity perhaps later either as an "instead of" or as an "aswell as". However... I am not the expert on this decision and thought I would post here to ask your advice. As well as game engines, I would like advice for other sorts of tools I might need, or jsut other general tips, theyre all very welcomed!

Oh I should have put this a couple paragraphs up.... but in uni I worked with both Jave and C++ as well... all be it not to a great knowledge... jsut the basic stuff I guess. (everything up to pointers). Im a really quick learner with programming, and my mind works very much on the "problem solving wavelength". If you want to know any more about it, please ask away Id be happy to share any other info!

I look forward to your feedback!

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Programming skills are transferable. Learn the language you like best; it'll take much less time to get up to speed on each subsequent language. At some point, you'll start looking at code for languages you've never even seen before, and have a rough idea of what it does, if not how it does it.

This also applies to APIs. Unity? XNA? Ogre3D? The more you use, the easier each one gets.

And the best way to learn is just dive in. Computer courses just provide a structured framework and an instructor providing advice.

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Yes the best way to start is to just pick a language/technology and start making something. Keep practicing, keep working at it, and eventually you will improve.

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[quote name='Narf the Mouse' timestamp='1339326205' post='4947880']
Programming skills are transferable. Learn the language you like best; it'll take much less time to get up to speed on each subsequent language. At some point, you'll start looking at code for languages you've never even seen before, and have a rough idea of what it does, if not how it does it.

This also applies to APIs. Unity? XNA? Ogre3D? The more you use, the easier each one gets.

And the best way to learn is just dive in. Computer courses just provide a structured framework and an instructor providing advice.
[/quote]
Yup. Pick one language and run with it. You have some experience it seems but you'll need a lot if you're going to do what you're talking about. Start small and just build it. Possibly program how you're tower defense game will work but without the graphics. This will show you what you will need (in some ways) to do when you're finally making that game. The bare bones of the game.

[quote name='shadowisadog' timestamp='1339387879' post='4948056']
Yes the best way to start is to just pick a language/technology and start making something. Keep practicing, keep working at it, and eventually you will improve.
[/quote]
^ That is the quote for every post that is like this.

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Thanks for the advice so far!

So, Ive gone through the entire "xna 101" free tutorial on 3d buzz up until the point where it asks you to become a paying member to watch any more.
They took me through creating a text based console game in C#. So actually no XNA at all really. I guess its just setting up the groundworks for later.

Becuse i didnt want to pay, I headed off to the XNA tutorial here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb203893.aspx
I found that one a bit overwhelming. I was getting stuck at step 5, it wasnt moving the image at all. =/

I really enjoyed learning the way of the 3d buzz tutorials, following them along step by step in the video. the msdn tutorial was jsut giving me code to paste, not telling me what it was actually doing. whilst some lines were obviouse... otheres were not.
I am looking for recomendations to continue learning, hopefully in a similar fashion to that of the 3d buzz videos if possible, although if your recomendation isn't like that it would also still be good to hear.

As for the above comments, I have decided I wish to learn C# and XNA framework together closely until I am very competant at them. The extent of my programming skills in any language has all been console applications... I am looking to get further than that although I wont mind starting off there to learn fundamentals.

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Well It depend's what language you want to learn, most popular for games is obviously C++. If you want to build simple 2D games, with C++ I would suggest using SDL or Allegro library. SDL if you're more comfortable with C++ language. Take a look at what I have made with SDL library couple years ago for example:
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-82HDLgLEs&feature=plcp"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-82HDLgLEs&feature=plcp[/url]

Here are good tutorial series on SDL library and Allegro, that require you only to know basics of C++:
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4RqHtEAAds&feature=relmfu"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4RqHtEAAds&feature=relmfu[/url]

Once you become comfortable with SDL, you can move to OpenGL library (3D library), here are good tutorials on that, but I wouldn't suggest on touching OpenGL until you're an expert SDL and decent at C++

[url="http://www.videotutorialsrock.com/"]http://www.videotutorialsrock.com/[/url]

Hope That helps :)

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@Pingu2k4

I'm a complete beginner too and I'm learning my way with XNA right now and I'm quite impressed by Speedcoding techniques Microsoft developed.

You were having some problems with tutorials so I thought this site might help.
http://rbwhitaker.wikidot.com/xna-tutorials
It has got some nice coding algos, topic wise categories of tutes, and below every code there is a nice explanation about how it works, why it works,when it works etc.
I referred to the site many times and I just love the tutorials. Hope it helps you in the same way. :)

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