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mistervirtue

What Is My Next Move

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mistervirtue    611
So I just finished a DIY XNA (Learning XNA 3.0 by Aaron Reed) book and I don't know what to do next. I feel like still need training wheels as far a logic and programming goes. I have a set aside enough time everyday to practice and get better, just don't know exactly what to do for practice and getting better. I am CS college student, but my classes haven't really gone in to any real programming yet. I try to read as much as i can here on gamedev, a lot of it i don't understand but I read it anyway. I know a still only a low level programmer but I have a desire to get better. Should I get another book or just do more online tutorials? I don't know where to go or what to do. I feel like a level 3 programmer who just left the starter area but I don't quite know where i should quest next. Any advice would be most helpful.

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Haps    1331
If you're confident enough, you might Google for a tutorial for a type of game you'd want to create, or visit the [url="http://xbox.create.msdn.com/en-US/education/catalog/"]education catalog[/url] for specific examples of things you want to work on. (Note that XNA 4.0 has a few notable differences from 3.0. You might want to look into those, too.)

A good way to find out what you need to work on is by running into a problem you do understand, but don't quite know how to solve yet. I'm not sure what stage you're at after reading that book, or what you know from college, but you could try to create a very basic game on your own to put what you've learned into practice - Just keep it reasonable and within the bounds of what you're sure you know.

Also, [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-level_programming_language"]low-level programmer[/url] means something other than what you meant. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img] Edited by Haps

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mistervirtue    611
I don't think my programming toolbox is ready for anything bigger than breakout at the moment. The book I worked through was nice and covered a lot of stuff but I don't feel confident to start making games quite yet. I want to master the basics before I move on to anything to serious. I really want to get really good at the most basic fundational stuff before move on to the next thing. Does gamedev have a super basic page or anything. I just want to be put in the right direction, i don't want to be to ambitius and not complete a project and feel defeated. I want to take as many small steps as i can before move on to game development. Edited by mistervirtue

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Haps    1331
Pretty much as Arthur Souza said:

We can't give you recommendations because we don't know what you've learned. And you won't find your limitations until you hit them. But at least hitting them will give you the answer to what you asked us: What to focus on next.

All I can think of is to try an online tutorial for something that interests you, and see if you get hung up on anything. If you do, the answers should be there (or in this forum,) for you to figure them out. If it all goes smoothly, you can try to apply that knowledge to a separate project or pick up another tutorial.

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arthurviolence    1621
Great to hear that! Exactly, once you hit on a huge stone on your path you'll see where you really are. Then you'll be able to come here and say "hey, I've just made this, but I'm having some issues with that, does anyone have some directions for me?"

Also, its great to just get your hands dirty on some code and see what you can create.

Good luck there.

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Liuqahs15    819
I just wanted to add that I know exactly what you're going through. I went through the same thing last spring, and then over the summer I decided "Hey, I know enough to make something. So why don't I just make something and see what happens?"

All I can say is, the difference between my skill now and my skill level back then is exponential. Tutorials are great for the basics, but [i]nothing[/i] and I repeat [i]nothing[/i] is as incredibly powerful as actually building something from the bottom up, even if you don't completely finish it. Remember, as a beginner, you have no choice but to go up from here. Even a mistake is a good thing for people like you and I. So just do something, is what I say.

Think of something that excites you. Ignore your current abilities. Just find something exciting, and then once you know exactly what you want to do, try to make it fit into your skill set. That's much easier than saying "What can I do already...?" And, of course, you're likely to challenge yourself and grow as a result if you try to do stuff you're not sure you can do.

Good luck!

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mistervirtue    611
Thanks for all of the positive advice and direction everyone. I am going to take my level 3 programmer gear and go quest and see what i can do. Hopefully I will return as a strong better programmer with shinier gear.

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NightCreature83    5006
if your logic and math skills aren't that good yet check out project euler. This will teach you some maths and when you finish a problem you can compare your implementation against their reference and optimised implementations. This might give you a better idea of what you aren't doing very well at this point, as they explain why their algorithms are the way they are as well.

Other then that I'd say try to make breakout or pong on your own without the tutorials from a book.

Programming is a lot of reading of maths, physics and general algorithm design, untill you understand the problem completely and can come up with a solution. Even an experienced programmer often has to read up on a lot of stuff just to understand all aspects of a problem he hasn't tackled yet, the only real difference with a novice is that he knows he has to do that.

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