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Asa Allen

What should I know before I begin

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Hello. New here. I've been looking around a bit and I've found a lot of information about what games or languages to start with. My question here is for someone who has basic programming experience what concepts are good to know or brush up on before you begin jumping into game development. I ask this both for myself and for future beginners. What math concepts, data structures, etc are good for any hopeful developer to be familiar with? Is knowledge of design documents helpful? Hopefully we can put together a good list. (And then I can go study up - it's been nearly 5 yrs since I really coded anything) Thank you in advance for all your help and input.

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Hello, Sanc6


All that is determined on concept and function needs of a particular game. It is possible (in theory) to make a game with no math or much math. Data structures vary from embedded in the spaghetti game source code of a hobbyist to the highly specialized and customized ones of complex advanced games.

The first thing to do for a fresh beginner is to make 5 to 10 simple console applications such as "Hello World", simple data base, letter display application, simple text editor, and so forth. All the things which you learn in them will be used eventually in your programming occupation.

Next, progress starting with simple games in one of the easier languages for beginners such as C# or Python which have great software development environment and community support. Look at Java, C, Ruby, Lua, and others, too.

About 5 to 10 of these simple games like these should be finished well, modified, and improved to your custom liking:

Tic-Tac-Toe
Crossword Puzzle
Pong
Tetris
Pac Man
Donkey Kong
Asteroids
Defender
Galaxy
Mario Brothers
...and any other game which is considered relatively simple by today's standards.

Read books and online tutorials in your language and program development environment, asking for help in forums from time to time.

You can not make any money on copyright games without permission but they are great examples of basic things which must be learned first to grow into a fluent game developer. There are some open source games were you could make some money, but always check the licenses of everything you use.

There really are relatively few shortcuts in programming in general, but instead climb that mountain step by step and you will reach your peak.


Clinton Edited by 3Ddreamer

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Not that I'm trying to push this particular language on you, but if you check RB Whitaker's C# tutorials you can see a good progression of concepts to learn before starting game development. I'd check for similar resources for whatever language interests you and try to tackle them in relatively the same order. (If the language supports it)

And it doesn't hurt to brush up if you know some of it already!

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I have a Python video tutorial series that covers the development of a simple memory match game, from start to finish. You can watch it here http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDFB7FFF90EE6F0C1

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Something you should look in to eventually is designing as well. Patterns and stuff like that. It might not be at a truly beginner stage, but once you can make those games posted by 3Ddreamer I would recommend that you do them again and try to design them as efficiently as you can. It might be a bit boring, but would really pay off when you advance to more complicated games.

The math is not really needed. If you need math somewhere and you need to do it yourself then you will pick that up when you search forums for it. I think that would suffice.

Nice list :D good luck! Edited by PwFClockWise

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