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Luca72

How to start from the ground up

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Greetings everyone! I looked around at some other beginner topics, but most seemed to be from people who had at least some experience with programming or game-making software. I have a different problem: I have a very specific idea for a game I want to make, have written up a 40 page design document that catologues every feature and how they interact, but I have no programming experience at all.

I'm a microbiology major at uni, so I've taken math up to basic calc, and I know I have the ability to learn whatever needs to be learned if I put the time in. Where should I start? Should I take some courses in C++, or are there ways of learning coding that are more streamlined for making video games specifically? The game I want to make is turn-based tactics game with some twists, so I want to build the engine from scratch rather than use something like RPG maker.

I'm grateful for any help you guys can give me!

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A c++ course would be helpful. Calc is much less useful in computer graphics than linear algebra, so if you are going with c++ and opengl or directx, you will want to take basic linear alg. Perhaps look at c#/XNA, as c# is a much simpler language than c++. c# is also similar in many ways to Java, which is also a good starter language. Don't let my term "starter language" hold you back, as many enterprise programs and some games like minecraft and runescape are written in java. If you want to go the c++ route (which I don't recommend if you are just wanting to make a game) then you will definitely want to get some background in the language before jumping into games. c# wouldn't be too bad, I learned it by experimenting in XNA game studio.

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Thanks for the tips! I looked into c# and it does seem like a good place to start. I've been able to find more tutorials/courses in Java than c# though, would it be worth getting a good base in Java first? Is there any crossover between the programs? I'm leaning toward c# more than Java because I'd like to get my hands on XNA :) . I'm worried that I'll get too lost in learning the language and the goal of making a game will start getting further and further away, so using c# as a bridge into XNA seems like a good idea.

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Really, any language you might be likely to choose is capable of making games, and either of C# or Java would make good choices for you. If you tried both, you would find that C# and Java are quite similar, although obviously you can't just use the same code for each. My personal preference of the two of them would be C#, especially if you're interested in XNA. If you want to take a course however, you might have more difficulty finding one that covers C#, as Java is very popular as a teaching language.

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