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Nolerhn

I've picked a programming language....now what?

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I've been a long time gamer for 2 decades now, and I've long dreamed of making my own games one day, and I've finally decided to take the plunge and start learning. I've read several articles around here on this site, and one thing most people seem to agree on is to just pick a language.

 

What I decided to go with is Python and Eclipse with the PyDev plugin which I learned of from this article: http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx

 

That took me a long while to choose, but, now that I've chosen *something*, where do I go from here? The only programming expereince I have is from nearly 10 years ago when I had a friend that showed me a few things in VB where I took a flag I drew in microsoft paint and animated it along an XY axis. So basically, I'm starting from scratch. I know it's going to take a lot of work, effort, and patience on my part, but what I need now is a little bit of direction.

 

I've got ideas, but like anyone I've got to learn basics first. Any insight on how to help me  break into this world would be greatly appreciated!

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I've been a long time gamer for 2 decades now, and I've long dreamed of making my own games one day, and I've finally decided to take the plunge and start learning. I've read several articles around here on this site, and one thing most people seem to agree on is to just pick a language.

 

What I decided to go with is Python and Eclipse with the PyDev plugin which I learned of from this article: http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx

 

That took me a long while to choose, but, now that I've chosen *something*, where do I go from here? The only programming expereince I have is from nearly 10 years ago when I had a friend that showed me a few things in VB where I took a flag I drew in microsoft paint and animated it along an XY axis. So basically, I'm starting from scratch. I know it's going to take a lot of work, effort, and patience on my part, but what I need now is a little bit of direction.

 

I've got ideas, but like anyone I've got to learn basics first. Any insight on how to help me  break into this world would be greatly appreciated!

 

Set up your coding environment (such thing is often unpleasant for me), then take a python/pydev tutorial 

and go on with that (this can be more pleasant and good experience)

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Your path is one that will be littered with misteps and faulters, but the reward will make it all worth it. I too have just recently seriously delved into the world of game development, but atleast I carry with me the capacity and mentality of a programmer so here is my two cents.

Python is a great language to start off with. It's one thing to learn a language, but it's another to build up the programming and problem solving mentality you will need and this skill is not bound by any language. Once your accustomed to Python it can be a great thing to make tests of ideas and short little demos, but I advise you also consider other languages down the road. Java can be a good place to start doing some serious development. Personally my only venture with java was plugin development for Minecraft. I managed to craft my own little game in a game haha. Ultimately, depending on the types of games you wish to create, you want to aim for C or C++ for true platform game development since these languages are the fastest and you'll want that for the awesome games you'll be pumping out ;)

Also don't be afraid to ask questions or look through lots of tutorials. It seems every step forward you make in programming you have to read about a dozen tutorials to even grasp the basic understanding. It's especially worse when you get mixed up with old and outdated methods and have to relearn something you've held tight to you for months or even years. It's an arduous task and can be quite frustrating especially as you delve into the deeper matters of it.

Work with friends! Honestly, I get bored of anything I do related to programming because I have no one to do it with. I'm sure many face this problem, and you may as well too.

Work slow and at your pace! Too many people aim for the biggest thing possible and sadly deter themselves completely. I too am at fault of this and I still do it from time to time, but i've managed to hold on but god does it suck! I just want to make my AAA title game!

Be a mentor! What? A mentor? As a beginner? Well once you start figuring things out, try cruising around the beginners sections and offer advice or even solutions to the ailments of other noobies. Not only will this help them, but it will help you reinforce your understanding of something. Plenty of times I'll know enough of a subject to implement it, but in the moment of explaining it to say a friend or my hopelessly confused cousin I can truly understand exactly what is happening and why. This makes branching off this subject and understanding more complex implementations of it so much easier. But be wary of giving false information aswell. You're still new and learning.

 

Short term goals, not long term goals for now. I think this help because it feels rewarding to complete a goal you set for yourself and long term goals can at times seem very far away and be discouraging if your not meeting them in a timely manner. Having one overall long term goal with lots of short term goals to getting that long term goal is actually very good and helps you manage yourself.

Back onto tutorials. Look for one established source for tutorials. Trying to connect different tutorials by different people can be confusing especially if you don't understand it yet. There's plenty for game development.

One of the most important parts of programming is the ability to take a concept and implement it. This will take some time, but I'll give you a little goal you can do perhaps in the future as you get settled in with Python. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maze_generation_algorithm and look at the concept behind a "Recursive Division Method" of maze generation and try to implement it. If you can do this, that is when you'll know your on the right track of understanding programming and problem solving and that jazz!

Good luck friend.

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Be a mentor! What? A mentor? As a beginner? Well once you start figuring things out, try cruising around the beginners sections and offer advice or even solutions to the ailments of other noobies.

 

+1.

I can't tell you how much I have learned just from roaming around game dev and answering questions. Trying to answer questions can get your mind thinking, and you may realize some things about the path that you are personally taking.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. After spending a few hours looking through some tutorials Python seems strangely familar to what I learned in VB 10 years ago. I don't know if all languages are like that, but for now, it seems Python was a good choice for me to start with.

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Be a mentor! What? A mentor? As a beginner? Well once you start figuring things out, try cruising around the beginners sections and offer advice or even solutions to the ailments of other noobies.

 

+1.

I can't tell you how much I have learned just from roaming around game dev and answering questions. Trying to answer questions can get your mind thinking, and you may realize some things about the path that you are personally taking.

 

 

Not to mention how much you learn when your advice gets torn apart by those with more experience.

Taking criticism can be difficult and people on the internet can sometimes be a bit blunt but it is still beneficial. I've had tons of my "helpful"(I honestly meant for them to be helpful atleast) posts in the beginners section torn apart during my years here and my rating has taken a few dives because of me handing out advice that was just plain stupid, don't be discouraged if that happens to you, you'll learn alot from it and negative feedback is often more valuable than positive feedback when your goal is to improve yourself.

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