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James Miller

How long would it take to...

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I know there's been threads about this strewn all over the net, with the question "How long does it take to learn C++", with the answer pretty much being "You never stop learning", however, I have a few questions I'll put out here as specifically as I can, as I'm curious.

1: How long would it take the average person learn C++ to the point where they can confidently and reasonably use all C++ commands/functions etc (even if they're not quite at the John Carmack skill level). I'm just talking, to the point where they could create anything they're asked, even if it's primitive.

 

2: Continuing on from Q1, how long would it take our average Joe to go from making their first Hello World, to a primitive, but functional 3d engine, something on par with say, the original QUAKE or Half-Life 1 engine in terms of functionality, graphics etc (nothing next gen, just simple but functional).

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I am not sure the average person can learn C++ to the point where they can create anything they're asked. Your average Joe will never deliver a 3D engine nearly as good as Quake or Half-Life. Edited by Álvaro

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I know there's been threads about this strewn all over the net, with the question "How long does it take to learn C++", with the answer pretty much being "You never stop learning", however, I have a few questions I'll put out here as specifically as I can, as I'm curious.

1: How long would it take the average person learn C++ to the point where they can confidently and reasonably use all C++ commands/functions etc (even if they're not quite at the John Carmack skill level). I'm just talking, to the point where they could create anything they're asked, even if it's primitive.
 
2: Continuing on from Q1, how long would it take our average Joe to go from making their first Hello World, to a primitive, but functional 3d engine, something on par with say, the original QUAKE or Half-Life 1 engine in terms of functionality, graphics etc (nothing next gen, just simple but functional).

No one will be able to approximate the amount of time required for any given project. It entirely depends on the person. My suggestion is just try it and see. Just don't let people tell you that "C++ is too hard". You don't need to learn everything in C++ to make a 3d engine seeing as it's been done in C many times before. Edited by ic0de

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I know there's been threads about this strewn all over the net, with the question "How long does it take to learn C++", with the answer pretty much being "You never stop learning", however, I have a few questions I'll put out here as specifically as I can, as I'm curious.

1: How long would it take the average person learn C++ to the point where they can confidently and reasonably use all C++ commands/functions etc (even if they're not quite at the John Carmack skill level). I'm just talking, to the point where they could create anything they're asked, even if it's primitive.
 
2: Continuing on from Q1, how long would it take our average Joe to go from making their first Hello World, to a primitive, but functional 3d engine, something on par with say, the original QUAKE or Half-Life 1 engine in terms of functionality, graphics etc (nothing next gen, just simple but functional).

No one will be able to approximate the amount of time required for any given project. It entirely depends on the person. My suggestion is just try it and see. Just don't let people tell you that "C++ is too hard". You don't need to learn everything in C++ to make a 3d engine seeing as it's been done in C many times before.

 

Fair enough, thanks for clarifying that.

 

With that being said, I have another annoying question in relation to the above, is creating a simple 3d game engine something that could be achieved with a good solid year of studying (or less?) or is it one of those things that takes many many many years to learn (like 5-10 years?)

Edited by James Miller

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I know there's been threads about this strewn all over the net, with the question "How long does it take to learn C++", with the answer pretty much being "You never stop learning", however, I have a few questions I'll put out here as specifically as I can, as I'm curious.

1: How long would it take the average person learn C++ to the point where they can confidently and reasonably use all C++ commands/functions etc (even if they're not quite at the John Carmack skill level). I'm just talking, to the point where they could create anything they're asked, even if it's primitive.
 
2: Continuing on from Q1, how long would it take our average Joe to go from making their first Hello World, to a primitive, but functional 3d engine, something on par with say, the original QUAKE or Half-Life 1 engine in terms of functionality, graphics etc (nothing next gen, just simple but functional).

No one will be able to approximate the amount of time required for any given project. It entirely depends on the person. My suggestion is just try it and see. Just don't let people tell you that "C++ is too hard". You don't need to learn everything in C++ to make a 3d engine seeing as it's been done in C many times before.


 
Fair enough, thanks for clarifying that.
 
With that being said, I have another annoying question in relation to the above, is creating a simple 3d game engine something that could be achieved with a good solid year of studying (or less?) or is it one of those things that takes many many many years to learn (like 5-10 years?)


To tell you how long it took me specifically to become good at C++ it was about a year and a half but you will end up with numerous completed projects before then. To make a 3d engine it takes as long as it takes, I'm almost done mine and I've been working on it for a little over a year. To answer your question I would say it is possible but obviously the more experience you have the more solid your engine is likely to be. Edited by ic0de

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How long would it take the average person learn C++ to the point where they can confidently and reasonably use all C++ commands/functions etc

3-5 years, or more, depending on how much effort you expend on learning every nook and cranny of the language. That said, read on...
 

I'm just talking, to the point where they could create anything they're asked, even if it's primitive.

That's a completely different question. You don't need to know the whole of C++ to write programs with it - I'll go out on a limb and say that most people who use C++ don't know everything about it.
 
6 months to a year ought to do it, if you are fairly diligent about continually writing programs to expand your abilities.
 

how long would it take our average Joe... a primitive, but functional 3d engine

A lot longer. You need to learn a 3D API and a bunch of math, in addition to your programming language.

That said, write games, not engines is required reading. A "3D engine" should probably never be your ultimate goal, and it certainly shouldn't be your first goal.

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That said, write games, not engines is required reading. A "3D engine" should probably never be your ultimate goal, and it certainly shouldn't be your first goal.

This article seems to have become a bit of a thought terminating cleche around here. I don't think people shouldn't make engines but they should obviously be developed concurrently with a game. I don't think this article should be used to smack people in the face who want to write an engine and I don't think it should be put on any kind of game development pedestal. Edited by ic0de

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Learning all of the commands/syntax in C++ is barely 10% of the battle. Really it comes down to logic and math, while there are certainly different paradigms used in different languages the process is mostly the same. Still C++ requires you to think about more of these simultaneously as it doesn't handle any of it for you. 

 

Think of it like learning a musical instrument. You can learn all the keys/strings etc but you still won't be Aerosmith overnight.

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I don't think this article should be used to smack people in the face who want to write an engine and I don't think it should be put on any kind of game development pedestal.

That's not what I use it for (nor what the article actually says, if you ignore your knee-jerk reaction to the title and really read it).

 

I'm merely pointing out a trap a lot of newcomers fall into, and sure, if the OP is purely looking for a learning exercise, then no one will stop him, but it never hurts to inform. If the OP had asked about "a primitive, but functional 3d game, something on par with say, the original QUAKE or Half-Life 1" I wouldn't have mentioned it at all...

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