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Sean Frazier

Which programming language should I teach myself?

15 posts in this topic

I have spent a few weeks learning c++ and have written a few long programs but everyone tells me c++ is useless. Is that true? If so what is the best language to start with? I plan to try and create my own games once I settle on a language.
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I don't think C++ is useless. I think its still worthwhile to learn C++ even for game development. It might not be the most productive language to learn for gamedev though.
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Ive written a bunch of fully functional console programs with c++ but Im not really sure where to go from there to start creating graphical programs. Im still very new at all this
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Try [url="http://www.sfml-dev.org/tutorials/1.6/"]http://www.sfml-dev.org/tutorials/1.6/[/url] for 2D graphics, high level functioning event handlers, audio, image manipulation, etc. Works well with C++. For the very basic, just figure out how to make pong.

Also, there is no best language. Think of programming languages as vehicles. There is no one good vehicle, they are all based on the individuals preference. Each language has their own unique functionality. C++ is known to be much faster in some aspect of game development when dealing with complex algorithms, number crunching, large amounts of collision detection needed as well. Edited by Cdrandin
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You'll find C# or Java much easier to learn and use. I personally believe that these languages are ideal for independent game-development and that C++ is overkill. I remember when I first opened up a c++ IDE and tried to use Direct X, it was a real pain, then I discovered C# and XNA and I was blown away with what it could do. Managed languages are so much better for a whole range of applications including small to medium size games. IMO.
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So the guy should jump right into object-oriented programming?

I started with Java, and had no idea what I was doing, so I spent awhile with Python, then came back to Java.
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I use C#. It's enough for most purposes unless you want to write the really low-level stuff, but I can't see why you would want to do that under most scenarios unless you're building a graphics engine from scratch. But that seems to be overkill to me when there are good libraries out there for that purpose; libraries that allow me to concentrate on writing a game, and not reinventing the wheel.

C# with MonoGame give you a good starting point, and it gives you a pretty good base of platforms as well.
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Nothing is wrong with C++. It was my first language and I loved it. Seeing as you already started I see no reason why you shouldn't continue
[quote]If so what is the best language to start with?[/quote]
In my opinion that would be C++.

[url="http://www.libsdl.org/"]SDL[/url] is a great library for getting started with 2d game development. Edited by ic0de
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[quote name='Sean12111' timestamp='1355035061' post='5008718']
I have spent a few weeks learning c++ and have written a few long programs but everyone tells me c++ is useless. Is that true? If so what is the best language to start with? I plan to try and create my own games once I settle on a language.
[/quote]

Useless? Lol heck no. A bit of a pain to use compared to more recently developed languages? Yes. I think Python is the best to start with. You need to spend time learning computer science and when trying to learn a language AND computer science at the same time you want a language that won't get in the way of the CS component (because that is FAR more important than the specifics of the language). It's relatively easy to pick up a second programming language once you have the computer science fundamentals down.

I've plugged it several times on this board and I'll plug it again, but Udacity is a great place to start learning computer science with Python. Another great resource is the inventwithpython.com website which has two free books for beginners that is completely centered around making games. I'm using these books to teach Python to my daughter (she's 11). Python is just a fun language to work with. My daughter will actually come home from school and ask "Hey Dad, can we work with Python today?" I think that alone should speak volumes.
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[quote name='Cdrandin' timestamp='1355037851' post='5008728']
Try [url="http://www.sfml-dev.org/tutorials/1.6/"]http://www.sfml-dev.org/tutorials/1.6/[/url] for 2D graphics, high level functioning event handlers, audio, image manipulation, etc. Works well with C++. For the very basic, just figure out how to make pong.

Also, there is no best language. Think of programming languages as vehicles. There is no one good vehicle, they are all based on the individuals preference. Each language has their own unique functionality. C++ is known to be much faster in some aspect of game development when dealing with complex algorithms, number crunching, large amounts of collision detection needed as well.
[/quote]

great advice, but you linked to the 1.6 version of SFML, and as for now the 2.0 is very mature and almost perfect, i would go for the 2.0 if you follow this route!
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Thanks for the replies everyone. After doing some more research I have decided to stick with c++ and learn it inside and out. From what I have read that seems like the best course of action. I have also enrolled in a cs and intro to programming course for next semester. Im really looking forward learning all of this!
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What languages will you be using in your course ? So far in my degree, we have used :

Haskel
C
rPeanut (a mini assembly language designed for learning)
Java
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The best thing you can learn is concepts, techniques and ideas. A programming language is merely a tool to construct the combination of these ideas and techniques with. So it shouldn't really matter which language you start with. It is recommended to start with a language that has enough resources backing it up, so either C++, C# or any other popular programming language could be fine to start with. If you know the concepts on the other hand you could implement ideas in whatever language you like (you do have to learn a little syntax though, of course).

Don't focus too much on a certain programming language, pick whichever you want based on your goals and the resources available for the language. But there are certain more important concepts that apply to all programming languages: Learn game maths, learn about creating algorithms for problems (there is a wide array of books available on this), etc. And meanwhile you can just enjoy learning the syntax of whatever programming language you like.

Of course this is just my 2 cents, but imho the concepts are more important than learning a specific syntax. But if you do want a specific language recommendation I'd say either C++ or C# based on the resources both on the net and in the book store.
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i don't think c++ is useless,i think it is the best language,speed is faster than other (not all of them) and it is special,like pointer,i think pointer is very useful but if you can't control it very well it will be bad.
I think c++ is very flexible and its implement efficiency is very good,but its development efficiency is slower than other language.
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