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the other spartacus

wanna be iphone game guy

9 posts in this topic

Hello all.. I am the other spartacus and I'm declaring my noobness to all... Please be gentle. I've been banging my brain with xcode for a few weeks now (in what little spare time I have) doing a basic tutorial by Ray Wenderlich. It's called 'BullsEye'. Actually I'm kinda stuck on it at the moment, but that's another story.

I've also been doing some research and have discovered that there are other ways to make games. I've checked out iTorque 2D amongst others and was wondering what you guys might think about it. Coding is difficult for me as I am not from a codey background (I work as a gardener).. I was wondering whether using iTorque 2D was a good idea. It appears to be less hard core corey and easier in general. I would like to eventually become more codey myself, but feel that this app might bring me closer to it sooner.

Oh, and do you think that it's actually possible to make a game that's comparable in the way it works to something like Tiny Wings (creativity aside) using iTorque2D?

I'd be grateful for any feedback.. Thanks.. Edited by the other spartacus
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Make the Tiny Wings-like game your long term goal. You'll never be able to follow along more advanced tutorials, and will always get stuck, because you will just be copying stuff down without understanding how it works. Everything builds on the basic knowledge you get when you first learn to program.

In the short term, forget about your iPhone, and learn the basics of programming. Grab a book for your language of choice (Objective-C?) and read through it. Do all the exercises, and make sure you understand it all.

Then you can start to tackle more advanced programs.

I can't speak much about iTorque2D, but game programming always requires programming in some form. Whether you are doing it raw, with a scripting language, or with some kind of visual editor, it's all the same concepts.
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Thanks Daark.. you sound wisen, like Yoda. I've bought a book through Amazon called 'Programming in Objective-C - fourth edition' by Stephen G Kochan. From my research, this seemed to be the book to get for beginners. I haven't been sure how to go. But after what you've said, it seems to be a good idea to just knuckle down and plough through the book and then focus on games later. Kinda like crawling before walking? I'm guessing that you don't really think that things like iTorque 2D are a good idea.. like cheating? And in the long run, not such a good idea as you're dependant on crutches that don't allow for much creative programming.. would that be a correct way of seeing it?
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http://www.coronalabs.com/

Kinda like iTorque2D, but well, better. You'll be using Lua instead of TorqueScript, which is more of an industry standard language. They have tons of great tutorials as well.

That said, start smaller than Tiny Wings :P Hangman, Snake, Pong ... get your training wheels first!
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[quote name='the other spartacus' timestamp='1344001677' post='4965837']
Thanks Daark.. you sound wisen, like Yoda. I've bought a book through Amazon called 'Programming in Objective-C - fourth edition' by Stephen G Kochan. From my research, this seemed to be the book to get for beginners. I haven't been sure how to go. But after what you've said, it seems to be a good idea to just knuckle down and plough through the book and then focus on games later. Kinda like crawling before walking? I'm guessing that you don't really think that things like iTorque 2D are a good idea.. like cheating? And in the long run, not such a good idea as you're dependant on crutches that don't allow for much creative programming.. would that be a correct way of seeing it?
[/quote]That looks like a great book.

There is no cheating! Go ahead and use iTorque2D if you like. I'm unfamiliar with the product, so I can't say much about it.
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[quote name='the other spartacus' timestamp='1344001677' post='4965837']
I'm guessing that you don't really think that things like iTorque 2D are a good idea.. like cheating? And in the long run, not such a good idea as you're dependant on crutches that don't allow for much creative programming.. would that be a correct way of seeing it?
[/quote]
Use existing libraries whenever it makes sense.

A game like Tiny Wings is a bad fit for iTorque2D and other engines.

The game engine is good for complex games. It has some overhead, but a good engine can reduce a team's efforts by several work-months or even work-years; spending a few weeks of effort instead of years of effort is a good trade.

Tiny Wings and similar games are essentially a sine wave ground height functions, and two variables for a sprite's height and velocity. It is a very simple game. Most experienced programmers could write a clone of the game in a week or less.

The overhead of using the engine far outweighs the effort of creating that type of game from scratch. Edited by frob
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Hey man, what you want is certainly doable. However, Obj-C can be a little scary at first. I know the feeling of just wanting to get going with writing your first game (that was only a 5-6 months ago for me), but the others here are right...it would suit you very well to pick up a few fundamentals of programming in general. I'm still a very new computer science student myself, but I'm finding more and more that the seemingly trivial exercises I did over and over...and over in coding class dampen the learning curve for game programming quite a bit.

My school uses C# for introductory teaching purposes, and rightfully so...it's quite approachable. It's also the language that Windows and Xbox games speak. ;) I've dabbled a bit into Xcode and some Obj-C and it takes a little getting used to. But here's the encouraging part...once you understand the fundamentals of writing code in general (objects, modularity, etc), each language/environment's little quirks will be SO much less of a setback. A little digging around in the documentation or on google and you'll be sailing in the new language like you were born to use it!

In conclusion, learn C (almost identical syntax to Obj-C) and read about general logic...then go from there. Best of luck to you...game programming is an absolute blast and there are so many resources out there ripe for the picking. Edited by mainmethod
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Thanks for the advice guys.. I'll be shoving my head into my objective c book I think.. It seems like the smartest course to take - though I suspect not the shortest..
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The first language is always the hardest to learn. Because you are learning the concept of programming AND learning the language. All other languages will come much easier after that.
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Word of advise:
Mobile development (iOS being a mobile platform) is much more restricted and has some weird quirks compared to desktop development. Its much easier to learn how to code on a desktop PC/mac and then move onto mobile platforms later, I'm only just experimenting with mobile development myself (windows phone 7 specifically) yet I've had 2 years experience in programming.
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