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Guidance for my son...

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Hi everyone. I am coming here for a bit of guidance. My son is 10 years old and is very logically inclined. He wants to be a programmer and make games. So far he has spent a lot of time making things on Roblox and has delved a little into the scripting there but not much. He has also made some games with RPG Maker. He downloaded the Unreal engine and went through some tutorials but he needed a bit more instruction there and I wasn't sure if that was any place to start.

So basically, If you had a child who wanted to focus on learning how to program games, what path would you suggest? I'm looking for a generalized path through this as well as specific instruction books/programs. He is homeschooled, if that influences your advice. Any map at all through this maze would be super appreciated.

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As for a career path to be a game programmer, anything your son learns pre university is a bonus.

 

A bachelor's degree in computer science (or equivalent) is the common way to go. You will learn the basics, fundamentals, theory, and even some specialized topics in a proper CS degree.

 

This is obviously something for your son to decide much later on though.

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I'd second Unity 3D, given it's fairly easy to learn and also used quite widely in the industry!

 

If that's too big a jump, I'd definitely say do as much as possible on RPG maker (that's what I was doing about a decade ago). And if you want to move that into 3D without any programming, try 3DRad (www.3drad.com). That's a great place to start because you can accomplish quite a lot without any code. When you're familiar with it's general workings, there's a 'script' object (in a C-like language) that you can use to start getting more advanced.

Edited by gchewood

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Thanks guys, that is super helpful. Going to check out Unity and see what some good courses are for general programming knowledge. Once again, I do appreciate it.

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By the way, my son is 12, not 10. I know how old he is I promise :) Not sure how I got that typed in wrong. Anyway, just saying that in case it changes anything.

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By the way, my son is 12, not 10. I know how old he is I promise smile.png

 

That's what they all say.... that's what they all say... hah

 

No worries my friend. I'm 15 and also want to take up a career in game development/ game programming. I just started learning how to code 3 weeks ago. I've accomplished a simple text game about escaping a spaceship. It was difficult but once you get it and see all your hard work payed off. It's marvelous.

 

I'm learning the C# programming language so I bought a "for Dummies" book. 

 

The best advice I can give for you and your son is it depends on his learning style and how he wants to go about it.

 

Also programming does require some wicked math knowledge so, he should get good in math if he isn't already. Although most of it is theoretical and probability. A computer science major in college often has you taking "2" math courses usually Calculus.

 

As stated earlier the more knowledge pre- college the better really. Good luck to your son and may his programming dreams come true :D 

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I started doing some simple programming when I was around 12, mostly programming TI calcualtors. As I got older I got into more complicated stuff and was doing what some would concider college level stuff when I was still in high school. I didn't think of it as college level at the time, I just enjoyed doing it and wanted to develop my skills further. What I did wasn't all that well done but it challeged me and it worked. The point is don't hold back because something is not "fit" for his age, rather allow him tackle challenging projects based on his current skill level. Those are some of my thoughts.

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JavaScript is a nice language for starting on and it is also used in Unity, so could have immediate gameprogmming use. You and your son should check out Codecademy, it's got a nice bite size course on JavaScript that will teach you everything you need to know very quickly.

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