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Do I learn the skills I need then make the game, or do I work on the game, and learn the skills along the way?

22 posts in this topic

if you understand this concept (wikipedia)

 

while( user doesn't exit )
  check for user input
  run AI
  move enemies
  resolve collisions
  draw graphics
  play sounds
end while

 

you are ready to start

I do, actually.

 

In fact, when I'm brainstorming for design ideas, I'm also thinking of how they function in this format.

 

That said, what is my problem then? Why am I not out there just doing stuff?

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There are two separate skill sets involved here. One we might label a programming skill set and the other a game programming skill set. The first comprises the foundation you need to put together any sort of software application. The second is the set of knowledge and abilities specifically related to game development. Trying to learn the second while knowing nothing about the first is asking for a world of hurt.

 

Assuming a level of comfort with basic programming, then the answer to your question would be yes. You learn the skills needed to make games by diving in and making games, preferably starting with small, simple games and progressively making more complex ones (with the caveat that not everyone learns alike, so there are some people who dive into the deep end first). As you do so, you can't help but become a better programmer in the process. But it does require that you have that foundation first.

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I recommend jumping in and working on the game you want to make. Having a project to apply programming skills to and is useful to learning and provides motivation.
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if you understand this concept (wikipedia)

 

while( user doesn't exit )
  check for user input
  run AI
  move enemies
  resolve collisions
  draw graphics
  play sounds
end while

 

you are ready to start

I do, actually.

 

In fact, when I'm brainstorming for design ideas, I'm also thinking of how they function in this format.

 

That said, what is my problem then? Why am I not out there just doing stuff?

 

 

You're letting the issue of "I don't know" get in the way of "learning how to know". In other words, "just do it". There are so many tutorials out on the web. Just pick one --I normally suggest Lazy Foo's SDL tutorial-- and work your way through it. Don't be scared to jump in. Remember the pool has a 3ft area and an 8ft area. You don't have to jump in the 8ft area to learn how to swim smile.png

 

this. do tutorials until you don't need them ^^;

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It all makes perfect sense. Well at least I can be clear that failure at this point is my own fault.

 

That said, I use C# and XNA so any tutorials related to that would be appreciated.

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It all makes perfect sense. Well at least I can be clear that failure at this point is my own fault.

 

That said, I use C# and XNA so any tutorials related to that would be appreciated.

 

XNA Game Development by Example 

 

by Packt

 

There is a 2D and a 3D book

 

good luck!

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It all makes perfect sense. Well at least I can be clear that failure at this point is my own fault.

 

That said, I use C# and XNA so any tutorials related to that would be appreciated.

 

You only fail if you give up. Indecision is never failure, just ask Lebron James.

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I was wondering the same thing! I no what kind of game I want to make but I'm not sure If I should learn as I go or strap down and learn things I dont even intend on using. So far though my prob is memorizing long lines of code though so I plan on spending more time practicing things I need.
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SlateBoard, my friend, what is missing is the confidence to just have a go at making a game.  The best thing you can do right now is learn how to draw a bitmap to the screen, display some text and obtain some cursor key input. If making a game is a tall order then just start with a simple demo of a character walking around an environment(2D, 3D whatever).

 

Give things a shot. Do it how you think it can be done - even if you are not sure its the "correct" way to do it. You WILL make mistakes along the way, but the main thing is that you just do it.

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Iv been using python seince freshman year in high school I stopped for a while but I can still remember pythons rules and such iv even made a few programs to brush of my rust. I can do basic things in pygame like basic animation and I can make a cube move around using the arrow keys. Where should I go on from there? Right now I'm copying code and tinkering with it like changing colors, coordinates and such.
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So far though my prob is memorizing long lines of code though so I plan on spending more time practicing things I need.

 

As far as memorization goes, there are a few keywords you need to know, and It is good to get a nice knowledge of the SDK or whatever you're using, but when you really feel confident as a programmer is when you understand how each line of code works, what it does, and how you can change its arguments to make it work differently. I never really liked mushing other people's code together, because it usually turns into a big soupy mess and doesn't teach you as much as you had maybe hoped about programming. You can look at other people's code for reference or for ideas, but it really helps to type out each line, think about it, and get a really clean knowledge of how everything works together. That way, when you want to program something from "scratch", you feel like you know how to implement each feature.

When a problem comes across in your code(such as simple collision detection), before reaching for a book or looking on Google, try to see how far you can get solving the problem by yourself. Doing that as much as you can will definitely slow down your project, but will make you a more confident coder in the long run. Many problems in programming aren't really about knowing what "word" or "command" in the language to use, but about a good understanding of mathematics and logic.

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Both ways "could" lead to the same place but my own experience (through hurt as daaark put it) has got me going back to getting the language and paradigm down over blustering through a game. 

 

So "along" with doing the gameinstitute courses i am religiously following these resources.

 

http://see.stanford.edu/see/lecturelist.aspx?coll=11f4f422-5670-4b4c-889c-008262e09e4e

http://see.stanford.edu/see/courseinfo.aspx?coll=2d712634-2bf1-4b55-9a3a-ca9d470755ee

 

fwiw

 

b

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Start by making a simple game such as a Tetris or Pong clone. This way you will have a much better understanding of how to go about making a more complex game.
For a more detailed account of why making a Pong clone is a good idea as your first game, you can read this post of mine

 

[entry='2254511']Why Make Pong[/entry]

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I was wondering the same thing! I no what kind of game I want to make but I'm not sure If I should learn as I go or strap down and learn things I dont even intend on using. So far though my prob is memorizing long lines of code though so I plan on spending more time practicing things I need.

Things you think you don't intend on using are the things you are neglecting to learn. You will be sorry when that thing makes your life easier programming the game. These things are built by programmers and for people using them because it works and saves you time. Why would you neglect learning it? It makes no sense.

 

You're not suppose to memorize code. That is pointless and a waste of brain cells. You are suppose to understand the principles, concepts and ideas behind what the code is saying. Treat programming like a story and you will say "Hey this code was well-written and I actually got something out of it!" Programming is not a memory game.

Edited by warnexus
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I once started iterating over this algorithm:

 

1) create what you want

2) if 1) fails, learn how to solve the problem

3) go back to 1)

 

Still working on it though, so don't know where it'll lead you!

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In the end, all depends on you.

I like and do it  following way:
Got a image of what i want my game should be, start putting peace by peace until the block is whole. If i cant make a piece learn how to make it then continue. But planing is crucial, because making just random classes and not at least thinking how everything will connect may cause a sphaghety code witch is a pain to work with even when you know what is where. That being said, a thinking of 4hours witch is :( may save like 2hours of rewriting the code witch is actually :) since during thinking you will probably get a clear image of what should be tweaked, what shouldn't even be made and what may be missing.

Good luck!

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I am learning game programming now. When I started a few days ago I made sure I knew atleast the basics of C++ programming. Now I am trying to make a pong clone and later I will try harder stuff and make my own game!

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