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Aaron Preston

I need help with learning game development

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I apologize for this question if it's too bold, but I feel as if this is the best place to ask my question.

 

I'm new here, and I'm 15 years old. I want to become an indie dev, however I don't know where to start. I want to learn C++, I know a little JavaScript (enough to make rock, paper scissors), but that's basically it. What now?

 

I've tried learning C++ but I'm not getting it. The only way I learned some JavaScript is through a site called Codecademy.com; However they offer no C++ lessons at the moment. My only option is YouTube videos, which all of those expect me to know too much when I'm just wanting to learn.

 

As for game developing, I have some friends who can animate and code with me, but I need some advice to get started. I don't even know what engines to look for using in a game, let alone learning to code C++. Could someone help?

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We get such questions a lot and that is why we have a sticky post which you should read if you haven't already: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/641721-new-to-the-forums-start-here/

 

Then perhaps move on to here: http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/business/breaking-into-the-industry/getting-started-introduction-to-game-development-for-beginners-r2984

 

Followed by these 2 articles: http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx and http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/game-programming/your-first-step-to-game-development-starts-here-r2976

 

Edit: Don't be overwhelmed by the amount of links. The information is packed very tight on those articles and they will give you a good idea of which direction you should do next smile.png

Edited by ShadowFlar3

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AaronPreston, let me tell you a secret to learning superfast. Assuming that you've found a good enough teacher, just trust them and follow them without question, and don't think too much about whether you understand it or not. At this point, you don't even know enough about the subject to know what questions are useful to ask or even why. But as you spend time coding and just doing stuff over time, your subconscious will gradually pick up on the logic of it and you'll come back to previously written code and go all "oh so THAT's why we wrote that, ok now I get it".

 

The biggest mistake that students do, across all disciplines, is that they insist on learning everything about the stuff as they're learning it. They ask redundant questions, assume fallacies and do all manners of mistakes because they suffer from what is called the Dunnig-Kruger effect. In other words, "I know a little, therefore I know what's best for me and nobody is gonna tell me otherwise".

 

Don't think (I know it sounds horrible, because people often mistake this for being a mindless sheep for the authorities - insert "Illuminati conspiracy", if you wish hehe), but let your subconscious do that work in the background. It's astronomically more powerful than your conscious. In fact, your subconscious dictates the kind of consciousness you can even have, to begin with. People often think of thinking in wrong ways. Thoughts (referring to those mind's-eye conscious images, words, sounds or feelings that pop up in your head) are exclusively meant for (1) reflection and testing hypotheses by creating a mental image of its possibility and actuality space and (2) fantasizing about stuff for fun.

 

If you only understood half of what I just said, then that's ok. You'll get it eventually. smile.png

Edited by Malabyte

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Grab free Unity3d (www.unity3d.com), and start in unityscript / js (move to c# when you feel more confident).  Hang around the unity forums and use their questions and answers to answer your initial questions, and start following devs on twitter. :)

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AaronPreston, let me tell you a secret to learning superfast. Assuming that you've found a good enough teacher, just trust them and follow them without question, and don't think too much about whether you understand it or not. At this point, you don't even know enough about the subject to know what questions are useful to ask or even why. But as you spend time coding and just doing stuff over time, your subconscious will gradually pick up on the logic of it and you'll come back to previously written code and go all "oh so THAT's why we wrote that, ok now I get it".

 

The biggest mistake that students do, across all disciplines, is that they insist on learning everything about the stuff as they're learning it. They ask redundant questions, assume fallacies and do all manners of mistakes because they suffer from what is called the Dunnig-Kruger effect. In other words, "I know a little, therefore I know what's best for me and nobody is gonna tell me otherwise".

 

Don't think (I know it sounds horrible, because people often mistake this for being a mindless sheep for the authorities - insert "Illuminati conspiracy", if you wish hehe), but let your subconscious do that work in the background. It's astronomically more powerful than your conscious. In fact, your subconscious dictates the kind of consciousness you can even have, to begin with. People often think of thinking in wrong ways. Thoughts (referring to those mind's-eye conscious images, words, sounds or feelings that pop up in your head) are exclusively meant for (1) reflection and testing hypotheses by creating a mental image of its possibility and actuality space and (2) fantasizing about stuff for fun.

 

If you only understood half of what I just said, then that's ok. You'll get it eventually. smile.png

 

Yeah, to understand what you said, I have to understand my understanding ;-)

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Yeah, to understand what you said, I have to understand my understanding ;-)

 

Well, "thinking about what you're doing" is often seen as a virtue. But the best approach to learning is often to emphasize on action and let your brain configure itself to it, subconsciously. To know when to reflect and think about something, and when to just apply and act. I guess I used a bit too many words to explain it, though. rolleyes.gif

Edited by Malabyte

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Well, if you would like to be an indie dev at the moment, I would advice you to pick up an engine instead of learning c++. Because those engines are actually thousends of human work hours, it's a good idea to use them... The 2 most popular, and propably best engines (one of them for sure) are Unity and UDK (Unreal Engine 3). A short explanatation about both:

Unity:

Easier but is harder to do complicated things.

- Not that good graphics

+ You can choose between 3 languages to code in it (!!!)

+ You can release comercial games with the free version

- The free version is a little bit limited

UDK:

Harder to pick up but the complicated things are easier

+ Got the award "Best engine of 2013"

Only one language, but totally game making oriented

- Free version allows you to release only uncomerciall games

+ Commercial license costs only 99 $

+ In the noncommercial version you have all the same tools the AAA studios use.

+ Awesome graphics

+ In short next gen engine ue4 will be released

Both are awesome engines, but I prefer using UDK, as I said, it's better to choose an existing engine if you want to be an indie def.

Also, both engines have an awesome active community, so you have a place to ask questions.

Edited by cube2222

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If you want to make games, then maybe you don't necessarily need to use C++? If your goal is learning programming rather than making games, then my advice is counter to all that above - forget youtube (you crazy kids - video is a terrible method of communicating this stuff!) or twitter or blindly following some holy coding guru. Old fashioned formal education is the way to go in my opinion, or get a (decent) book out of the library. Or Bruce Eckel's 'Thinking in C++' is good and free to download:

 

http://www.mindviewinc.com/Books/downloads.html

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If you want to make games, then maybe you don't necessarily need to use C++? If your goal is learning programming rather than making games, then my advice is counter to all that above - forget youtube (you crazy kids - video is a terrible method of communicating this stuff!) or twitter or blindly following some holy coding guru. Old fashioned formal education is the way to go in my opinion, or get a (decent) book out of the library. Or Bruce Eckel's 'Thinking in C++' is good and free to download:

 

http://www.mindviewinc.com/Books/downloads.html

 

Old fashioned formal education also consist of following "holy coding gurus". They're called teachers, it's their job to be a guru to lean on.

 

If you think youtube is bad, then you haven't been looking at the right videos. thenewboston is one of the better channels out there, and with regards to computer science, there's top universities in the world that provide video lectures and talks on a wide range of topics. Check out Stanford University, UNSW and many others. Don't judge the entire industry of videomaking on what you've seen in one amateur series on Youtube (or, let's face it, several, cause I do get where you're coming from). Ultimately though, the best way to learn is to actually just start coding and producing stuff.

 

After watching TheCherno's video series up to his 28th video or so (which imo was a really bad one in an otherwise decent series), I learned more about Java in 3 days than what I've learned in 2 weeks earlier. So your statement is simply not true, not to mention that videos and visual presentation, provided that they are actually good, is proven scientifically to be one of the best ways to teach stuff. Not to mention the fact that different people learn things in different ways - Visually, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetically.

 

Books are generally best for reference, not as a big method of teaching. Why do you think teachers combine book-reading with a classroom and a school board? They want the students to not only memorize it, but to understand it as well. Besides, even the best books are those with visual examples that motivate the reader to actually pay attention, as well.

 

Additionally, even within formal education there's good and bad schools. And some local schools are absolutely horrendous, teaching you creationism, astrology and other proven nonsense that has absolutely no relevance in the real world of causal facts.

Edited by Malabyte

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