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# Ambition, starting from ZERO

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Hey what's up?

So I'm literally starting from nothing when it comes to programming. I look at all the technical language, even the titles of the forum posts on this site and it's all egyptian as far as I'm concerned. My point is, I don't know anything about programming right now.

What I really want to do, specifically as my first long-term project, is re-design an existing game. I'd like to take, say, a playstation game, and re-work it, add new assets, and change alot of the game so it's still basically the same game, just a whole lot better.

What do I need to do to start working on this? I have no idea what programming language to learn, what programs I'll need to buy, but I'd like to hear from someone who's started from where I am in the past.

Thanks alot!

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What I really want to do, specifically as my first long-term project, is re-design an existing game. I'd like to take, say, a playstation game, and re-work it, add new assets, and change alot of the game so it's still basically the same game, just a whole lot better.

In no way do you want this to be your first project. Untimely you will find out and fast that it is a ton of work that you will not be able to handle.

as for steps

1 Choose a language to learn. C++, Java. There are more but honestly just pick one and stick to it.

2. Learn it! Most important. There are many resources online to learn the basics of a language and best of all they are all FREE!

3. Start small. build your skills with smaller games like Pong, Tetris ect.. you will learn a lot making clones of the simple stuff.

Yes there are many more points to hit but as they say you must crawl before you run. Keep at it and you will get there someday.

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You have to learn a language first.  It can be C++.  Java.  C#.

Then as the poster above says... you start small with easy games like pong etc...  then you slowly push out from there.

It takes some patience.

Good luck!

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Yeah... reworking a playstation game.... unfortunately not really feasible for ya at this point

Maybe reworking a NES game would be a more do-able option - though still a lot of work to get you there

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The way I was introduced to programming simple games was using Flash and Actionscript. Relatively easy to learn, and you can build simple, cool games pretty quickly.

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As the posters above have stated, crawl before you can walk
Start small and grow bigger.

Of course, you should aim high and have big dreams.

But since you are new to programming you really should start small.

This is how i started learning programming.

I had heard and read that the most popular language at the time for game development for the bigger games was C++.

So i decided that was the language for me.

Like loads of people my first idée for a project was a massive game, in this case a fps.

But as i started up Visual Studio 2008 (program used to compile (build) C++ applications) for the first time i quickly realized, this is gonna be hard.

I took to google, and started searching for "how to get started with Visual Studio 2008 C++".
To my disappointment all tutorials on beginning with C++ was introductions to variables, functions and classes. I was expecting more in the terms of "how to make a rocket launcher" and such cool things

And that was when i realized that okey, i can have a dream project. It can be this massive fps game, but it will have to wait until i have acquired the knowledge to make such a game.

So, it dosnt really mater if you are going to use an existing game engine or if you are going to start from scratch.
Knowing the basics of your language of choice is invaluable, you wont be able to go far without knowing how the simple stuff really works.

So, i would recommend starting really simple.
Lets say you chose C++.

If you are on windows you can download Visual Stuido 2012 (scroll down until you find Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop)

Then to get you started go through the tutorials on this site (or any other beginner site that you feel comfortable with)
http://www.cprogramming.com/tutorial.html

When you have done the basics at least once, try to make a text based game.
When you have experimented with text based games for a while i would recommend two things.

- Try to find out how to make a window and how to add buttons to this window.

- Try using a existing game engine

At this point, when your are giving these a try you will understand that no matter witch one of these you chose, its gonna require alot of work and alot of reading to understand how things work. But im certain that when you get to this point you will know what you need to do in order to move forward. It sorta comes just by itself.
For me it was, "how do i draw something on the screen", "how do i move towards a point", "how do i receive input from the keyboard" etc etc. You get the point

This is what worked for me, im not saying you should follow this to 100%, but it might be worth a try.

And also, be patient, learning programming will take time, dont give up if you get stuck. Take a break, ask questions and keep pushing forward.

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As most have already said, you need to learn a programming language first, and that will take time. The language doesn't really matter in the beginning, but you should pick something with a fairly wide community, and a lot of really helpful resources.

I think Python is a language that fits into that category. You can start with the official tutorial here: http://docs.python.org/3.3/tutorial/

And then, when you have a good grounding, you can give my video tutorial series a try:

I try my best to show how one can develop a simple memory match game, from scratch (more or less).

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I wouldn't directly start off with making a game without any knowlege. Even pong can be quite hard if you don't know anything at all. And just following tutorials isn't going to get you very far (talking from own experience here). I first tried to do it with that approach but it went horribly wrong. I was frustrated because i didn't understand everything and lots of things went wrong without me knowing why. I would start by learning the basics of any language you prefer. I would recommend something with a rather simple syntax like python to start with. That way you don't have to focus on correct syntax and learning the syntax so much and focus more on how to approach certain problems. Also i recommend you start by programming small algorithms like a sorting algorithm or some text processing algorithm. You can find some good and challenging problems at the Project Euler site. This way you can advance bit by bit and go from small problems to big problems and also start programming/modding a few simple games. This also has the benefit that you'll be satisfied and feel good when you finished a problem. (At least for me it's like that.) Otherwise if you took on too much work/a problem thats just too big for you to handle you'll get frustrated and depending on how eager you are you'll just give up and that's not what you want, right?

Long story short: You can do it! But take it bit by bit so you dont get frustrated and give up!

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If you don't have any experience at all with programming, you will have a bumpy start, unless you catch up quickly.

For one, there are many things that need to make sense to you before you can "do stuff"

Concepts if you will, that enable you to "logically" and creatively create something from nothing..

The act of adding something onto itself, using something abstract called a variable

i = i + 1;

The act of performing a common task time and again, with well-defined, but varying results (functions)

int main(void)
{
return int();
}

class AbstractConcept;
typedef hey_t (*here)(wha_t amifor);

Maybe, when making games you will be "working" on a framework that is your own, if you care enough about that kind of stuff

inline friend vec3 pow(const vec3& v1, double e)
{
return vec3(v1).pow(e);
}


And finally, you can't get away from other peoples APIs and libraries, since they have a ton of stuff ready-made, enabling you to not have to reinvent the wheel (although i discourage this for beginners)


#include <GL/gl3.h>
#include <GL/glfw3.h>

void main(void)
{
glfwInit();
// put here a function that magically makes everything just work, indirectly performing a gazillion things
// like a well oiled machinery
// it's an art, that takes years and years of practice
glfwTerminate();
}

Programming is computer science, creativity and ingenuity in one box. Probably the most underrated type of workmanship there is..

Start slowly, and think big, just like has been said before..

It will pay off in the end, if you truly want to go this route, which of course, we all will help you with.

Just make sure you "enable" that never-give-up attitude, and maintain it..

Edited by Kaptein

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