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30 Tips For Newbie Game Programmers

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I've got nice link from 3D Game Engine Programming by Stefan Zerbst and Oliver Duvel to gamasutra.com.

Surfing it for a little I've got to a programmer blogs. And got it - 30 Tips For Newbie Game Programmers by Emrah Ozer.

I want to talk a little about 8th tip:
If you're developing your own game -please I beg you- don't make a clone game. Nobody needs a another bubble game. Clone game development causes you to not to learn the game design iteration process.[/quote]

I think it's really important for us, I'm talking about novices in gamedev which are looking for idea to realize.
There is no need to realize ping-pong, asteroids, breakout and other crap, being implemented so many times...

For those who don't know about ludum dare.
So as a source of ideas I want to show you ludum dare contest. There is no prizes or anything, but there you can find really interesting in gamedev people which can give you a nice feedback to make you game better. So read about this contest and take a part in next one.

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I kind of disagree, personally. A beginner programmer has enough on his/her plate just trying to learn how to program (syntactical rules, basica algorithms and data structures, problem solving, etc). Learning how to design a game does you nothing if you don't know how to program (assuming your goal is to be a game programmer).
Yup.
Learning to design games is a very good skill, and can be done by designing card games and board games.[/quote]You can't learn everything that goes into an action game design by just designing card games.
Integrating that with programming is also a good skill, but obviously requires programming skills, something which needs to develop first. If you already know how to program, then yeah, great, design something original. I like that idea. But if you don't know how to program, well shoot, learn that first, it's way more important.[/quote]Programming is not more important than design..

Another good thing about cloning a game is that the beginner can learn how complicated simple things can be. Otherwise, they're likely to get carried away with grand visions of WoW clones if they don't have something to ground them. Trying to clone a simple game can be a much needed humbling experience.
[/quote]I think designing while coding could also go wrong for a newbie in the exact opposite way. They could rob themselves of skill development if they hit things that are challenging to code, and rather than figure them out properly, tiptoe around them by altering the game design. This doesn't happen when you commit to making a semi-faithful clone of an existing game.

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Programming is not more important than design..


idea -> design -> execution
without execution, you have nothing! Frankly, the vast amount of projects out there never passes execution
To a small degree, you also learn design by doing
A part of doing includes learning from other people, which in turn may have a much better design than you
Research & Duplicate!

I agree with you though, but.. for beginners, i would just get on with the programming
Just spending time finishing the projects should be more than enough
With that time spent, the beginner programmer will notice all kinds of deficiencies and complexities in his code
I think, that over time a programmer will start designing naturally
It is just one more thing to help us stay sane, after all.. i hope
Edited by Kaptein

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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1353443519' post='5002748']
Learning to design games is a very good skill, and can be done by designing card games and board games.
You can't learn everything that goes into an action game design by just designing card games.
[/quote]
Of course not. I never said you'll become a master game designer by making a couple card/board games. But the basics can be learned without meddling it with programming.


Integrating that with programming is also a good skill, but obviously requires programming skills, something which needs to develop first. If you already know how to program, then yeah, great, design something original. I like that idea. But if you don't know how to program, well shoot, learn that first, it's way more important.
Programming is not more important than design..
[/quote]
It sure has heck is if you want to be a game programmer, which is (according to the title) what this thread is all about. Heck, you can be a game programmer and have crappy game design skills, albeit you won't be a great game programmer.


Another good thing about cloning a game is that the beginner can learn how complicated simple things can be. Otherwise, they're likely to get carried away with grand visions of WoW clones if they don't have something to ground them. Trying to clone a simple game can be a much needed humbling experience.
I think designing while coding could also go wrong for a newbie in the exact opposite way. They could rob themselves of skill development if they hit things that are challenging to code, and rather than figure them out properly, tiptoe around them by altering the game design. This doesn't happen when you commit to making a semi-faithful clone of an existing game.
[/quote]
Yes, I should amend my previous post by encouraging beginners to feel totally free to modify the clone. I certainly didn't intend for "clone" to be taken uber-literally and that beginners should experience absolutely no freedom. But the emphasis when a beginner is making his/her first game(s), I'd argue, is on programming, not necessarily design. Not until they're comfortable with programming. Then the emphasis can shift.

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I think it's really important for us, I'm talking about novices in gamedev which are looking for idea to realize.
There is no need to realize ping-pong, asteroids, breakout and other crap, being implemented so many times...


If they're novices, do you really think they should be spending their time to do something that's never been done and losing their way with less chance from getting help from experienced developers? At least, if they do something that's been done, others will likely know how to assist them in it because they have probably done it themselves.

Sides, most people who want to go into game development, have plenty of ideas they want to utilize, but their lack of skills is what holding them back. Which is why they redo simple games to learn the skills so they can get to what they really want to do.

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What I believe the author of the article meant was that (And I'm paraphrasing here):
Once you understand the fundamentals of game programming, please don't make knockoffs of popular games and sell them for easy money.[/quote]
Which essentially means: Once you've already made the knockoffs while you were learning, and you understand how to program a game, start making your own games instead of knocking off other games.

For beginners, starting with well-known games is fine, because it lets you focus on the programming rather than the game design. The concept of pong is fairly simple, and most people know it, so using it as a learning tool is great.

Now, when you're fully capable and you start making knockoffs of games that you sell for money, that's a different story to me. However personal knock-off projects to further yourself programming doesn't hurt anybody.

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Now, when you're fully capable and you start making knockoffs of games that you sell for money, that's a different story to me. However personal knock-off projects to further yourself programming doesn't hurt anybody.


All well and good, but remember one thing:
I don't think there is a programmer on this planet who will be doing anything but what he wants to do, on his own time
regardless of the type of project
In that respect, i consider a knock-off calling your game Legend of Zelda: Back to the Zelda II
I don't consider a knock-off being yet another RPG, MMO*, block-world, FPS, RTS, yet another game engine
If there is attitude towards what people want to make, it will simply cause hostility towards a large portion of the hobby game developers
And i have to reiterate: Everyone makes what they want to make, nothing more, nothing less
I actually used to be a part of a zelda fan game forum back in the day, and the things we made kept the community going for a long long time
It was really fun, and it helped a large amount of the members get into game-making
Don't knock knock-offs

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People learning to program don't need to learn game design iteration. They need to be able to take an idea and make it work in code. Game design just muddies the waters.


Telastyn,

I understand your point. Wouldn't you agree that some people just have to learn things the hard way? We see new ones putting the cart before the horse every day around this forum. People need to know that there are some general proven ways of making solid progress in game development. With games slowly but surely getting more complex on average every day, it's obvious to see the need for a solid coding foundation. An exception would be those wanting to become game designers instead of game developers, but that is another topic.

I feel that it is very possible for a new game development programmer to not see the forest for the trees. It's good to get information and the working philosophy of others, but in the long term it is the need to increase workflow efficiency and not complexity which escapes many people. I am speaking on daily simplicity of workflow but the long road is of course complex to complete a game with a large code.

Clinton

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