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nesseggman

What would I need to get someone else to program for me OR how can I learn easily from home with no money?

22 posts in this topic

I am an artist and a writer, and my friend is a composer and arranger. We have come up with ideas for games, taken many notes on them, documented a lot about the rules, planned them out, etc. The problem is neither of us can program, and both of us have already been to college, have tons of debt and no money, and other things to occupy our concerns before trying to take on the task of learning to program.

So we are thinking of trying to start up our own small development group locally. We don't know any programmers currently but I'm sure we could find one.

I know everyone has a great game idea, but I was wondering what I would kind of preparations I should make before trying to find someone willing to help us program, without pay of course. I would want to have as complete a portfolio for the intended game as possible, but I'm not sure what all to put into one before handing it to a programmer and saying "Help!"

What should I put together to give to a prosepctive programmer?

Also, if we were wanting to create a game that utilizes 3D graphics/movement, we also need a 3D artist, right? Would we need to find that person before the programmer, or could we find both as they come (and it doesn't matter who comes first)?

Lastly, in the case that we can't find anyone or decide to try ourselves, is there a way to learn programming on your own easily without money? I took Java in college and found it to be easy and natural, and I would also consider myself a logical person, but what you learn in a few college courses is nothing like making a game, it seems. I can make a bunch of console applications, but have no idea where to go from there.

I tried teaching myself C++ (I understand the controversy, but I just wanted to try it) and found that it was very easy to use and debug, but all I ever seem to learn how to do is make console applications and then I don't know where to go from there. I can't go to school or buy books, and the public library here won't allow checkout of reference books.

Even if we do find a programmer or two and start our own little development club, I'd still like to teach myself programming for the fun of it. But something more than console applications... I just don't really know how to teach myself things. I am good at learning through classes, and I'm even good at teaching others, but when I have to teach myself something, I seem completely lost at how to find good resources and go about the whole ordeal.

Thanks for your time and sorry for a long and annoying post!
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The primary way you get people to do things for you is by paying them.

Since you have no money, your next best option is doing it yourself. You can learn all you need online for free. If you understand the basics of Java and C++, you are already pretty far along. Search this forum for advice on getting started and post again if you have questions.

Third down the list, you could try to convince someone who already knows programming to help you, perhaps by getting them excited about your project. But I don't expect that will be easy.

EDIT: Shouldn't you be trying to get a job at this stage in your life? Edited by Álvaro
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Having a job doesn't mean you have money. You can have multiple jobs and still not be able to afford even the things you need to live. Your money goes to all the things you think are the most essential and then you have none. If I had another job and more money, it would go toward more costs of living that I currently sacrifice.

I've met people before who were willing to work on projects for free simply because they wanted practice and wanted to work on a project, including programmers. I don't see how this is such a ridiculous idea.

But yeah I've been looking around. I don't really understand where to go after learning how to make console applications. I am terrible at learning things without some kind of direction. I can find plenty of resources online, but I don't know how to utilize them to learn what I am wanting to learn. I'm not even sure what it is I'm wanting to learn.

It's like... I can find plenty of Spanish dictionaries online, descriptions of Spanish syntax, etc., but I can stare at them all day and never learn to speak Spanish. And any site that claims to give you direction and teach you Spanish will most likely teach you how to express the most basic of all utterances and get you nowhere.

This is the problem I have with teaching myself things.
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The problem I have with your question is that it is ultimately so broad that I can't really give you a good answer to anything. You need to answer more questions for yourself and your project before you do anything. The product drives the technology, not the other way around. What I mean is, I could give you a bunch of links to go learn C++ and DirectX, etc but I have no idea if that is actually what is best for your project.

So before discussing specific technology, why don't you elaborate more on what the requirements are for your game. Things like, what platforms is it running on? 3D or 2D? What sort of content is in your game? What genre does this fall into? The answers to these questions will inform us better to giving you information and advice that is actually actionable.
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[quote name='colossal' timestamp='1354671683' post='5007263']
The problem I have with your question is that it is ultimately so broad that I can't really give you a good answer to anything. You need to answer more questions for yourself and your project before you do anything. The product drives the technology, not the other way around. What I mean is, I could give you a bunch of links to go learn C++ and DirectX, etc but I have no idea if that is actually what is best for your project.

So before discussing specific technology, why don't you elaborate more on what the requirements are for your game. Things like, what platforms is it running on? 3D or 2D? What sort of content is in your game? What genre does this fall into? The answers to these questions will inform us better to giving you information and advice that is actually actionable.
[/quote]

Thanks for your helpful reply, and this is actually a good answer to my question. I more am asking, "What kinds of things would a programmer want to know if I were to give them a portfolio about a project?" I want to know what is too much and what is too little. What all kinds of questions should I ask myself first.

I'm not asking what kind of language or tool or whatever I need. I am asking if I were to find someone who said they love programming for free for no reason (that's a joke), what all should I tell them to not bog them down with unnecessary information about a prospective project.

Since I am coming at this from an artist's perspective, I easily could have forgotten to even mention what kind of platform I had thought about. Those are the kinds of questions I am looking for.
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If you are an artist, and want to collaborate with programmers to make a game, then money is the best way to go, because even if the programmer is eager to work for free for experience for no reason, he will get bored eventually if the project is anything but trivial and you'll be back to step 1. Obviously there are exceptions, and you can certainly try to advertise your ideas, but be aware that your success rate will be considerably lower if you're asking for volunteers.
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You could also try working with an "authorware" package that allows you to create your games with little or no programming. A couple of the popular options include [url="http://www.scirra.com/"]Construct 2[/url], [url="http://www.yoyogames.com/make"]Game Maker[/url] and [url="https://secure.avangate.com/affiliate.php?ACCOUNT=COGENMED&AFFILIATE=38915&PATH=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rpgmakerweb.com%2F"]RPG Maker[/url], but there are plenty of other options (see [url="http://clicktobegin.net/tools/how-to-make-games-without-programming/"]this list[/url], and [url="http://clicktobegin.net/tools/more-ways-to-make-games-without-programming/"]this list[/url] amongst others), and despite sometimes being looked down upon these types of packages can -- and have been -- used to produce good quality games that you can sell. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1354672997' post='5007276']
You could also try working with an "authorware" package that allows you to create your games with little or no programming. A couple of the popular options include [url="http://www.scirra.com/"]Construct 2[/url], [url="http://www.yoyogames.com/make"]Game Maker[/url] and [url="https://secure.avangate.com/affiliate.php?ACCOUNT=COGENMED&AFFILIATE=38915&PATH=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rpgmakerweb.com%2F"]RPG Maker[/url], but there are plenty of other options (see [url="http://clicktobegin.net/tools/how-to-make-games-without-programming/"]this list[/url], and [url="http://clicktobegin.net/tools/more-ways-to-make-games-without-programming/"]this list[/url] amongst others), and despite sometimes being looked down upon these types of packages can -- and have been -- used to produce good quality games that you can sell. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]

This is true. RPG Maker XP got me back into programming after several years of being frustrated and thinking I'd never be able to do it. I learned Ruby there and then moved on to C, C++, Lua, MASM, Java (for about 30 seconds) and now I'm glancing casually at C# with mild distaste. Something like RMXP can give you a pretty good idea of what all is involved in making a fully fledged game, and lets you decide on your own how deep you want to get into it. If you can't stand programming then you don't have to do any - you can just set things up in the menu-driven database. Later, if you want to add functionality to the engine, you can jump into the Ruby script that runs the game and make more or less anything you want. (Seriously, I made a Super Mario game with it once. Not an RPG - straight up Super Mario.) Edited by Khatharr
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Need some programming work? Go find 100k for a good one, 200k for a few of them, or 60k for a compSci graduate fresh out of college basking in this sea of unemployment. Want to learn it yourself, do you lad/lass? Find a cave with internet access and consistent electricity outlets. Bring your computer. Study. All sarcasm aside, there are [b][i][u]many[/u][/i][/b] members of this site in the same situation as you and your friend. People just don't know programming, I guess, which kind of defeats the purpose as a game won't even be created at all without at least one programmer. Try reading some older yet concrete books on the fundamentals of programming, the likes of K&R, the Dragon Book, and others you can find on the internet (to buy that is, piracy is stupid, especially for books). Edited by MrJoshL
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Thanks everyone. A kind of general reply:

Tutorials - Yeah, I think I am just really bad at finding sources/tutorials. I didn't think to search the forums (see, I am bad at it!) but that is good advice. I will try that soon.

Authorware - I have used a lot of programs like that before. I like them but in the end I usually am frustrated by the lack of freedom (though I know a lot offer quite a bit of freedom). It's that additional programming ability that I lack. Though I'm very impressed to hear of making a platforming game in RMXP. But yeah, I've made my share of games in all kinds of these programs, from as far back as ZZT.

Books - I don't really know what those books are, but I will try to look into them. I don't have money for books and the library is really stingy about what books it lets you check out.

[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1354672378' post='5007269']
Take a look at the topic "so you're a programmer", it should have plenty of helpful advice for you.
[/quote]

This is just what I'm asking for! I had no idea such a topic existed nor how to find it. Thanks so much! Edited by nesseggman
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I found video tutorials were good, usually when following written tutorials, there is an error that if you don't understand why it has an error, They can be hard to fix.

[url="http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8CAB66181A502179&feature=g-user-a"]http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8CAB66181A502179&feature=g-user-a[/url]

I found this tutorial in java useful..its a bit more advanced them some of the other game coding tutorials, but its easy enough to stop/rewind, there are simpler ones, and in other languages, if you do want to try something else.
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I am always amazed that the replies to this, seems to be, often asked question is the same. So here is, I hope, A different response....
1 - In learning Game Programming while designing a game > Start by keeping it simple and build from there. Choose a simple Language, Choose a simple routine. I Started with BlitzBasic.com for gaming. No complicated Graphic routines to learn, a blend of C++ and basic Language.

2 - Get your game mechanics worked out. For Example : If you need to roll some dice before you move, Then start by learning how to roll Some Dice. If you need a game board then make a Graphic of your game board and write the code to simply display it.

What I am trying to say is that learning how to program a game, became a lot easier if I programmed my game as I was learning how to program my game.

Check out BlitzBasic.com Free Sample download with documentation.

As far As getting a Progammer, Let me Know. I Game. My help me to follow someone else's thought process. I currently Have a 3D first Person Space Shooter / Quest game, an RPG game and a word puzzle game underway. ( WordPuzzle is in test Mode )
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I kind of agree with Poigahn - you don't "learn programming" then "write a game". You learn as you go. I've been developing games and applications in C and C++ for over 15 years now and I'm still learning on a daily basis.

The trick, as the above poster points out, is to break down your task into smaller and smaller tasks until you have a task simple enough to go research and implement. If you look for a tutorial on "How to write a MMORPG", you'll not have any luck. But if you gradually break the task down smaller and smaller, you'll find yourself looking for a tutorial on "How to create a Direct3D window" or "How to detect a mousepress in Windows" etc.

You'll then find Google far more useful and you'll find source material far more easily.

I'd also agree with other comments here - attitude is king, patience is essential and always, always have a small, manageable goal in sight or you'll lose interest. Breaking things down into smaller chunks helps with this as well.
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I didn't read all the posts so sorry if I'm wrong.

It seems everyone goes around the answer: read here, read there, search, etc. But I failed to notice direct answer.
So lets say you decide to use C++ to create your game, but you said you have no idea how to do anything else but console application. Since it's a game you need graphics, well OpenGL and DirectX APIs can be used for graphics. Finding tutorial on Google is easy (doesn't mean it's good), it'll explain and show how to draw just colored triangle, then models and so on. That should get you started.
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[quote name='nesseggman' timestamp='1354688452' post='5007313']
Though I'm very impressed to hear of making a platforming game in RMXP.
[/quote]

Was a long time ago... (omg I'm so old)

[url="http://www.creationasylum.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=26374&hl=mario"]http://www.creationa...=26374&hl=mario[/url]

(You have to have RMXP to run it. Sorry, I don't have the stuff on this PC.) Edited by Khatharr
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Okay- I will take the Job of your Programming Consultant. I like the pay. Very little Taxation at that level.
The first thing I need as your programmer is your story. What is the game about ? Are we going to follow a story-line or have open play ?
Next, is your game based on what the charactor(s) in the story can do ? Or, on what the player can do ? This will direct our Graphic Options.

Let me know. I want the job !!!
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Okay, Why was I voted down for the above statement. The person asked for a programmer and somewhat guidance, I volunteered and was voted down ?
Come on. There was absolutely nothing negative there!!
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The original poster asked for [i]advice[/i] about how to find a [i]local[/i] programmer or advice on how they could handle their own programming and you began responding as if there was a proper job offer. I appreciate that you may have been genuinely wanting to help -- the comment on the pay and taxation is [i]reasonably[/i] obviously a joke, but could quite easily have been taken as presumptuous instead -- but are you [i]really[/i] surprised that someone found the post objectionable? Your response just isn't particularly relevant to the question asked, especially given the original poster was specifically asking about finding [i]local[/i] help.

I wouldn't have down-voted you personally, but I also don't think it's particularly out of place for someone to consider your response to "not improve the conversation". Volunteering probably would have been fine, but in this specific case the original poster [i]wasn't actually looking for a programmer[/i] and you responded as if there was an explicit job offer. Always remember that text does not communicate tone -- you have to make it [i]very[/i] clear if you're having a bit of a joke or not being entirely serious.
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I will give you a +1 for honesty. But maybe you should read more closely and not take responses so litteral.

I would like to politely point out a few items and please correct me if I am wrong.

1- I found no referrence to where locally actually is, so I perceive this site to be considered locally.

2 - As you pointed out my referrence to pay and taxation was meant to be light hearted. No Pay is No real Job. ( Personally not looking for Additional Work )

3 - Original post asked what was needed to start putting things together ( Paraphrasing ), My second line in your down vote clearly states what I < Meaning myself> would need as a programmer who would be willing to help, would generally need to get a rough start.

I thought I was helping. After all is not that what this Web-Site is about ?

As for me personnally , I have copyright computer programs on file, albeit not recently. Currently write application software for local small businesses.

I know your position here, and I am putting forth my honesty, Since there were no JOB OFFERS following my down voted statement. I feel that maybe you should have waited on your negativity.
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Poigahn, jbadams didn't downvote you (neither did I), he was just explaining the nature of the voting system and a likely explanation as to why you received a -1. I too personally think it wasn't that necessary to downvote you (especially since someone has to take a point deduction themselves to do so) but I would concur with the potential reasons why.

[quote name='Poigahn' timestamp='1354893864' post='5008133']
maybe you should read more closely and not take responses so litteral
[/quote]

The written word is king here. There is no tone, no facial expressions, and no agreeable cultural context (aside from using english). Literal is the only way things CAN be taken. If you write something out, you can't guarantee how it will be interpreted if it was a "loaded" or sarcastic statement. Especially if the reader is from a culture where that's not a normal way to tell a joke. The request to "not take things so literally" is therefore a little trite and unfitting for this environment.

[quote]
- I found no referrence to where locally actually is, so I perceive this site to be considered locally.
[/quote]

The internet is everywhere and nowhere. It doesn't matter that the OP didn't indicate where they are, they weren't specifically asking for an applicant, moreso [i]how [/i]to ask for one [i]successfully[/i]. Your point about a rough idea of the story and concept is helpful therefore, and something several people mentioned in the "so you're a programmer" thread.
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I'm a a programmer, and I can tell you what I would like to know if I were considering joining your project.

* What kind of game are you making? RPG? First person shooter? Turn based isometric strategy game?
* What level is your art-work at. Would I want to be associated with your art? I mean, if your art is on the level of pastel stick-figures, I probably wouldn't want to be in your project. So. Do you have a portfolio?
* What sort schedule do you have?
* Do you accept that art is code-driven, and that I would most likely come and tell you to change things for optimal performance? I mean, a single 200 frame animation might not be the most optimal thing, and I might need just 40 frames instead, and I might want you to squash your high polygon models into something manageable in code?
* What are you like as people?

What I'm getting at is that I would like you to tell me that you have a definite vision, that you have considered the work-flow, and most importantly that you are people I would like to work with for a prolonged period. It's not so much about code and languages, because as a coder that would be my responsibility. I am more interested to know if you have a realistic project that I too can enjoy and learn form, and I would like an incling as to the personal dynamics I would expect to face.

I hope that helps somewhat. Good luck in finding someone. Edited by MaxieQ
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