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Ah Jim Gor

What type of Language that i should learn, for a real new beginner?

7 posts in this topic

Dear Zeus and gods, 

 

I am a brand new beginner to programming which have zero knowledge, and lately i have start a new topic to asking how should i start. Please refer to http://www.gamedev.net/topic/647165-how-to-develop-a-very-basic-game-i-dont-have-any-programming-knowledge-and-background/page-2#entry5090336. I receive lot's and lot's of comment and advice, and i really appreciate it, but when i want to real start, suddenly i feel stuck.

 

There is so many programming language out there, which one that i should learn first, as a beginner? When i go to CS50, they taught C, but i go to Coursera, i found a course taught Python, and i do believe there is lots of people out there teaching different language. So, here comes the question, 

 

 

As a beginner, which language that i should learn first?

 

Thank You,

Cronus

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It doesn't really matter what language it is that you learn.

Sure many will point you towards building yourself up from easier languages to more difficult languages, such as starting out on python and working through things like C# or Java and up to more lower level programming languages like C or C++. Look for the qualities in the language that you desire. C and C++ are probably one of the best things to use for game programming, but they are indeed a bit more difficult to learn than say C# or Java.

In the end you'll acquire two skills, one of them being language dependent, and the other being language independent. Why not choose the most useful language to your "cause" and stick with it building up both of your skills in tandom?

If your getting stuck and are attempting to find the grand language that will teach you everything, well, you won't find it. You'll need to bite down hard through the errors that occur and persist even after a week of the same error. I remember the first time I encountered a bug on my part, a pointer pointing to random memory. Took me nearly two weeks to fix( I'm hopeless ). The second time I messed up and caused it, took me no longer than a few seconds to identify, and a few minutes to fix it.

 

 

Dear Iron Man, 

 

Thank you for your advice, in that case i shall proceed to CS50. 

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It doesn't really matter what language it is that you learn.

Sure many will point you towards building yourself up from easier languages to more difficult languages, such as starting out on python and working through things like C# or Java and up to more lower level programming languages like C or C++. Look for the qualities in the language that you desire. C and C++ are probably one of the best things to use for game programming, but they are indeed a bit more difficult to learn than say C# or Java.


This isn't really true if you factor in efficiency.  I am not talking code proficiency, but learning proficiency.  In this case some languages are certainly better than others when just starting out.  Languages are invented for different things.  BASIC was invented as an introductory language ( the B in BASIC literally stands for Beginner ), C++ was invented to deal with code complexity in large scale C programs. PASCAL was invented to teach good structured programming practices ( or at least so far as Niklaus Worth found them ). 

 

When just starting out the user not only has to deal with learning basic universal programming concepts ( program flow, variables, conditionals, etc... ) while at the same time learning the language syntax.  On top of that they often need to deal with a compiler in many cases ( or an interpreter in others ), often an IDE as well, and in some cases ( thankfully increasingly rare ) a linker as well.  IMHO, backed by many teaching professionals, the more of these things you remove from the equation the easier it will be to learn.

 

There are some areas that are a bit iffy in that regard though.  For example, an IDE, while adding a layer of complexity, also hides a layer of complexity.  So starting with an IDE or not can go both ways.

 

If the browser wasn't such a horrible programming environment and the language didn't have so many warts, I would probably recommend JavaScript as a starting language.  Its got a very tight feedback loop ( code something, see what it does ), reams of supporting materials, lots of good libraries, etc.  Maybe when JavaScript 6 becomes the norm, it will be much improved.  The nice thing about JavaScript is, its used, A LOT.  It's basically one of the few languages every single programmer should know.

 

Otherwise I would probably suggest going with one of the Lua libraries.  You can get a decent IDE/Editor in the form of Zerobrane and the LOVE library is probably one of the most accesible game libraries in existence.  The advantage is, Lua is very commonly used in the game industry, so its not exactly a wasted space on your CV.

 

The nice thing about these two languages is they dont have a compile or link phase.  Write code, then run it.  Modify something and continue.  That is very very very handy when just learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Now at the end of the day what Panda said is completely true.  The most important thing you can do is pick ONE thing and stick with it.

 

But, some languages very much are better for starting out than others.  Me personally, I suppose I recommend you start with Lua or JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

/ My only caveat with Lua is they chose to start counting from 1, unlike basically (pun not intended) every other programming language other than BASIC.  This is a shame and a bad decision IMHO.

Edited by Serapth
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If you wanted to start with JavaScript or python I'd recommend doing the short interactive courses at codecademy. They are lots of bite sized lessons that really make those languages quick and easy to learn. I burned through them in a few weeks before trying C++ and I felt the foundation they give was extremely useful.
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It doesn't really matter what language it is that you learn.

Sure many will point you towards building yourself up from easier languages to more difficult languages, such as starting out on python and working through things like C# or Java and up to more lower level programming languages like C or C++. Look for the qualities in the language that you desire. C and C++ are probably one of the best things to use for game programming, but they are indeed a bit more difficult to learn than say C# or Java.


This isn't really true if you factor in efficiency.  I am not talking code proficiency, but learning proficiency.  In this case some languages are certainly better than others when just starting out.  Languages are invented for different things.  BASIC was invented as an introductory language ( the B in BASIC literally stands for Beginner ), C++ was invented to deal with code complexity in large scale C programs. PASCAL was invented to teach good structured programming practices ( or at least so far as Niklaus Worth found them ). 

 

When just starting out the user not only has to deal with learning basic universal programming concepts ( program flow, variables, conditionals, etc... ) while at the same time learning the language syntax.  On top of that they often need to deal with a compiler in many cases ( or an interpreter in others ), often an IDE as well, and in some cases ( thankfully increasingly rare ) a linker as well.  IMHO, backed by many teaching professionals, the more of these things you remove from the equation the easier it will be to learn.

 

There are some areas that are a bit iffy in that regard though.  For example, an IDE, while adding a layer of complexity, also hides a layer of complexity.  So starting with an IDE or not can go both ways.

 

If the browser wasn't such a horrible programming environment and the language didn't have so many warts, I would probably recommend JavaScript as a starting language.  Its got a very tight feedback loop ( code something, see what it does ), reams of supporting materials, lots of good libraries, etc.  Maybe when JavaScript 6 becomes the norm, it will be much improved.  The nice thing about JavaScript is, its used, A LOT.  It's basically one of the few languages every single programmer should know.

 

Otherwise I would probably suggest going with one of the Lua libraries.  You can get a decent IDE/Editor in the form of Zerobrane and the LOVE library is probably one of the most accesible game libraries in existence.  The advantage is, Lua is very commonly used in the game industry, so its not exactly a wasted space on your CV.

 

The nice thing about these two languages is they dont have a compile or link phase.  Write code, then run it.  Modify something and continue.  That is very very very handy when just learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Now at the end of the day what Panda said is completely true.  The most important thing you can do is pick ONE thing and stick with it.

 

But, some languages very much are better for starting out than others.  Me personally, I suppose I recommend you start with Lua or JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

/ My only caveat with Lua is they chose to start counting from 1, unlike basically (pun not intended) every other programming language other than BASIC.  This is a shame and a bad decision IMHO.

 

 

Good answer imo (but I am afraid the asker do not want to learn but he prefer to fool around, lookin at his behavior and answers) 

 

 

As to javascript python and lua, I think javascript is much simpler, you just need a seconds to run something, (as speaking about 2d games), no need to instal anything, no need to chose library, also syntax is quite nice and language is quite handy and library is quite usefull (do not know which one is better when it comes to large source projects) 

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I'm currently taking the coursera course on Python, theres also an open course there, I believe it is Comp 101 and uses Java, which I plan to do afterwards for fun. I also used CodeAcademy and will go back to it after this course is finished. I don't think you could go wrong with either language, but after a lot of reading, and looking for resources, plus the fact that theres the Coursera courses & Code Academy, I decided to start with Python. I will probably start learning basic Java after I finish those, and go from there.

The University I plan on attending also uses Java & Python for their intro courses, so I figured I'd get a jump on that.

Main reason I choose Python over Java, other than the active Coursera course, was the Monty Python references :P

Just some advice from another beginner, good luck.

Edited by FreshnessFactor
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Hi,

 

Here is my view for the absolute newbie to programming:

 

1) Choose a language with auto-memory management as standard, which in my opinion is wise for a first time beginner, since you should only be practicing high level coding for a while.

 

2)  Pick one of the more common languages because they have up to date support and plenty of information or help is available for them. Examples are Java, Python, Lua, C#, Pearl, Ruby, and Visual Basic.

 

3) If your long term goals are to use a game engine, then select one now and begin to learn the native language for it over the next several months or more before you even touch the game engine.  One way of choosing a game engine is to look at the games made with engines and compare with your own goals, for example searching for Torque 3D Game in the YouTube search box. Another good way is to go to the community forums about the game engines and see what is submitted there for review.

 

Most game engines have the added advantages of a large community knowledge base and excellent direct support.

 

List of Game Engines

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

 

 

4)  Before you make any games, learn the basics of your language of choice by following tutorials or courses on making simple console type applications (not to be confused with console games).  Some examples of these types of programs are:  Simple Data Base, Letter Display Application, Auto-update Index, Simple File Handling Interface,  Alphabetical Indexer, and so forth.  The list of simple applications is enormous, so do a little research on what to make.  Don't just copy the tutorials but understand each line of coding before moving to the next. About 3 to 5 of these should be enough to get you started.

 

5) Create a few simple games next, such as crossword puzzle, Tic-Tac-Toe, Question and Answer Game.    These can be made as console applications, but some game engines have a good 2D potential which could be used to make these.

 

6) After several months or more, then focus on making simple 2D games with the game engine.

 

7)  An alternative to the game engine is to learn to make vector graphics 2D games which target a specific Runtime Environment.  This allows you to avoid OpenGL and Direct3D APIs for a year or two in order to build a solid foundation in coding and not develop bad habits as readily.  Some game developers really enjoy the vector programming and can even sometimes earn a living doing this, so don't underestimate the value of this.  Some popular games have been console types.

 

8)  The 3D game development genre would be next after 1-2 years with the above foundational knowledge.

 

 

Last couple pieces of advice are to choose rewarding and self-feeding paths of learning which let you see tangible results on a regular basis and also keep things within your abilities.

 

 

Clinton

Edited by 3Ddreamer
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