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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?

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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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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.


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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This is the problem I have with teaching myself things.

Have you tried tutorials? I mean, if I wanted to learn a new language, I wouldn't pick up a dictionary, but I would type in "spanish tutorial for beginners" in google and pick a promising one. Then, after a few weeks/months of following increasingly difficult tutorials, I now known enough spanish to read actual books or listen to the radio and work on my pronunciation etc.. the same goes for programming languages.

Obviously you have to be willing to put in the effort to learn. If you're going at it with a half-hearted "this is a waste of time" mentality, you can stop right there.

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.[/quote]
That's because you're either not looking at the right sites, or are just not putting in the effort to carry the exercises to completion. Many free "learning" websites on the internet are crap, yes, but that's the case for any topic known to man, there is just a lot of crap on the internet. If you need help sifting through google results to find good resources, there are forums like this one to help (though you might want to use the search feature - such questions have already been asked and answered about a billion times).

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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 Construct 2, Game Maker and RPG Maker, but there are plenty of other options (see this list, and this list 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. smile.png

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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 Construct 2, Game Maker and RPG Maker, but there are plenty of other options (see this list, and this list 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. smile.png


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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