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Brian Ko

Advices for a brand new face

3 posts in this topic

Hi guys! I am a student in his Freshman year in high school. I'd just like to put it out there that I'm extremely serious about coding and computer science. 

 

I already learned HTML (and CSS) and Javascript. I decided that first I'd explore the website-related language and go into the software making languages. I'd love to learn to make games and I would love to have some help. Here are some of my questions:

 

1. What programming lang should I learn first? I don't care about the whole 'it's too hard for beginners' or 'you should start small and go big' so please give the most efficient and useful program lang.

 

2.I've been looking around and saw lots of IDE, compilers, APIs, library. Do I need these to make games with a program lang? What do I need to make a website-based game and a game that is software-based.

 

3.How should I begin making graphics for games?

 

4.Also, any general tips that you can give me would be greatly appreciated! smile.png  

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2.I've been looking around and saw lots of IDE, compilers, APIs, library. Do I need these to make games with a program lang? What do I need to make a website-based game and a game that is software-based.

 

First of all, you can write your code for any language in notepad or any simple text editor. An IDE makes this process simpler and more enjoyable. After you have written your code, it needs to be compiled. Languages like C++ and VB compile right into an EXE. You can use a command line compiler or the one built into your IDE. Some languages are compiled but not into an EXE, instead they turn into byte code which is emulated by a virtual machine. Java does this. And finally, languages that are not compiled at all but instead are emulated in "real time" by a web browser. Javascript and other web scripting languages do this.

 

Which tools should you use?

This really depends on which languages you choose to work with. You can find tons of threads on this forum about the pros and cons of each language.

If you choose C++, C#, or VB, please use Visual Studio Express. It's free. It's awesome. This is were you will write all of your code and compile it.

If you choose Java, eclipse is the most powerful, but I found NetBeans to be easier to use. That's just my opinion.

Since you already know JavaScript, go ahead with that. While notepad can get the job done, try notepad++ for free or UltraEdit(which is about 60 bucks).

 

Or go to a bookstore, I mean physically go, and look at what books are available.

Books are a great resource, you can learn a lot from them but the most important part of learning is doing.

Unless you live in Ithaca NY and they replaced the book store with a sumo wrestling store. I'm really angry.

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1. What programming lang should I learn first? I don't care about the whole 'it's too hard for beginners' or 'you should start small and go big' so please give the most efficient and useful program lang.

 

If you don't mind the difficulty of the programming language and want to go for the most efficient and useful language, then the clear choice is C++. It is powerful, flexible, fast, and efficient - but even more important than that, it also has a lot of momentum behind it. C++ is essentially the industry standard for game development, and for that reason there are loads of resources for it. It is easy to find documentation, tutorials, books, and all kinds of information on C++ and more specifically using C++ for game development. Here are just a couple resources: http://www.cplusplus.com/, and http://www.learncpp.com/

 

2.I've been looking around and saw lots of IDE, compilers, APIs, library. Do I need these to make games with a program lang? What do I need to make a website-based game and a game that is software-based.

 

Think of an IDE as a Word program - but for coding. While it's not entirely needed, it provides a bunch of useful features that make software development much easier. A compiler is necessary - it turns the code you've written into a format the computer can understand. Most IDEs come with a compiler. As has been mentioned before, Visual Studio Express is a great choice of IDE for C++ on a Windows computer.

APIs are essentially a layer of code between the hardware of the machine and your own code. APIs allow access to things like video, sound, and input (such as the keyboard and mouse), among other things. Popular choices for APIs around here are SDL and SFML. APIs are in fact libraries, but there are extension libraries to add functionality. These libraries are not necessary, but there are at least a few you'll inevitably end up using.

 

3.How should I begin making graphics for games?

 

Start with 2D graphics. It is easy to implement and both SDL and SFML come with support for 2D graphics.

 

4.Also, any general tips that you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

 

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Start with making simple games like tic-tac-toe before moving onto things like Tetris, and later side-scrolling platformers. After that you may consider developing a 3D game.

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