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New to Coding - Strategy Game

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Hello! Let me begin by saying that I am a complete novice when it comes to coding. I have a good handle on symbolic logic, but that seems to only be tangentially related to actual coding. However, I am eager to learn as I have, due to my upcoming three month sabbatical, been elected by my friends to learn how to code a strategy game that we've been working on for a few months. The main question that I have is this, what sort of language should I set myself to learn in order to successfully code this game?

 

Onto what I understand are the essentials. 

 

First of all, we want this to be a strictly online game played in browser. Some of us have tablets as our main computing devices, others have Macs, others Windows, etc. We figured that a browser-based game would off the greatest accessibility.

 

Second, to go along with the online theme, this will be strictly humans vs. humans; no AI teams will be included. What AI there will be will follow very simple rules involving movement only.

 

Third, the game is fairly similar to a more advanced Masters of Orion. At the moment, we're playing it via Dropbox utilizing a hex-based board. It will be more advanced in that technology will progress in a different manner and units are more customizable.

 

So, any ideas about what language I should look into using? Do you need more information?

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You should probably use an engine and learn whichever language it uses, then write some very simple game on it (tic tac toe, pong, snake or tetris are good ones to begin).

I would also implement a simple CHAT, as network programming is a complete different universe.

 

One problem is that there aren't many free engines that create a browser game (and some use flash, so I believe it wouldn't run on IOS), so maybe multiple native versions is also a good bet. You can take a look here for a list of game engines:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines

 

The ones I heard of:

- Unity3d is a very popular engine that will create a browser version, but I am not sure if it flash based. IOS and Android are premium features. Uses javascript, C# or

- There is a 2d game engine called nplay that will export to browsers, I believe it uses HTML 5, but I am not sure. Uses Java.

- Orx is a 2d engine that is fairly portable (can`t be used for browser, but can for windows, linux, android and ios). Uses C, but has support for C++.

- OpenSceneGraph is a 3d graphics engine that is very used by the CG research community, said to be very simple to use and compile for multiple platfoms. Uses C++.

- Kivy is a very simple UI framework that can be used to create simple games. Is is multiple platform and uses Python.

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I'm not sure I understand... are you saying that you want to learn to program in 3 months, or that you want to learn to program and build the game in 3 months??

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For a browser based game, I'd suggest coding with Javascript/HTML5. There is a very strong course on Udacty (which is also free), that can teach you most of the stuff you'll need to know code-wise.

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Hello! Let me begin by saying that I am a complete novice when it comes to coding. I have a good handle on symbolic logic, but that seems to only be tangentially related to actual coding. However, I am eager to learn as I have, due to my upcoming three month sabbatical, been elected by my friends to learn how to code a strategy game that we've been working on for a few months. The main question that I have is this, what sort of language should I set myself to learn in order to successfully code this game?

 

Onto what I understand are the essentials. 

 

First of all, we want this to be a strictly online game played in browser. Some of us have tablets as our main computing devices, others have Macs, others Windows, etc. We figured that a browser-based game would off the greatest accessibility.

 

Second, to go along with the online theme, this will be strictly humans vs. humans; no AI teams will be included. What AI there will be will follow very simple rules involving movement only.

 

Third, the game is fairly similar to a more advanced Masters of Orion. At the moment, we're playing it via Dropbox utilizing a hex-based board. It will be more advanced in that technology will progress in a different manner and units are more customizable.

 

So, any ideas about what language I should look into using? Do you need more information?

As others said, learn HTML5/JavaScript.

- For graphics, have a look at `canvas`: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/HTML/Canvas

- For sound, have a look at `audio`: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/HTML/Using_HTML5_audio_and_video

- For the multiplayer aspect, you'll probably need to learn about WebSockets: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/WebSockets

- For an example of a multiplayer browser game, have a look at "BrowserQuest": https://hacks.mozilla.org/2012/03/browserquest/, http://http://browserquest.mozilla.org/

  - BrowserQuest uses all of the above technology.

- With all of that, you can code the game yourself. You may also be able to build off of existing game engines/libs. Here's a list of JavaScript game engines: https://gist.github.com/bebraw/768272

 

I'm giving you a bunch of Mozilla links, but all of this stuff will work in most browsers. In fact, I've personally found `canvas` to perform slightly better in Chrome than in Firefox.

 

I think 3 months is ambitious if you're new to coding, but you should at least be able to turn out some sort of prototype. It will be a good learning experience. Be prepared to throws your prototype away and start again. Write as much code as you can, and don't worry if the code you write is crap. That's how you will learn.

 

Hope that helps.

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