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# Im being haunted by my dreams!

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I want to start by offering no knowledge toward where beginner should or shouldn't start, this is strictly a selfish thread that some may find of use later on.

My names Stan, I am a technician that works on arcades/pinballs/jukeboxes junk like that. I have some experience programming in C++ from 2 classes i took in college.(i never finished my degree). I bought some books that i thought would put me in the right direction.But I cant seem to sit and want to start, because i feel so overwhelmed with the magnitude of what my ideas require of me. The books are as follows, "Swords & Circuitry" by N&J Hallford... "Focus on SDL" by pazera... AI techniques for game programming" by Buckland.... Data structures for game programmers by Penton.  Now once again I cant seem to have a good idea of where to plant my foot before i swing hard at my dreams!

In my computer programming course i remember very simple code like integers and basic structure of how code can work, inputs outputs. However!!! my teacher couldnt tell me much about how to actually display visuals and control the visuals that you see, So i got frustrated left school (ITT tech) and joined the military, spent 4 years then got out.. So since highschool for the last 10 years i haven't been able to stop thinking about making my own game! I need to do this!! I would seriously appreciate someone with some experience telling me exactly what i should focus on to start that will be rewarding and strictly profitable for my future developments. (I suck at being in a classroom because most of the crap people teach is kind of interesting but not interesting enough to work countless hours for something i'm going to forget because its not practical!)

So, long story short. honestly im a hard worker im just feeling overwhelmed by the journey of my goal! and i would seriously appreciate the people who actually can help and that choose to help me. Please help a poor soul find his way!

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"So what type of game are you looking to make, exactly?"

If you can recall SNES, Chrono trigger, Zelda, Sword of mana, ! (id like my first game to be 2d)

(the reason why i bought focus on SDL)

AND note: I am very interested in building my own game "engine", so that i can make things exactly as i wish to the fullness, freedom, and speed i desire!

I really appreciate anyones advice. Thank you for the support!

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Take a look at some game engines, there whole purpose of game engines is to simplify the process of making games.

Start with a simple 2D engine and make your game, after you gain more confidence with programming you can start editing the engine and finally make your own engine.

In the end you may decide to stick with a gaming engine, most of them are good and only need a few things tweaked.

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There are several levels of complexity, at least these:

1. Using an existing engine and scripting,

2. using an existing engine and programming,

3. using existing libraries to build a game,

4. using existing libraries to write an own engine and a game on top of that,

5. writing an own engine from scratch and a game on top of that.

An engine is commonly understood as a piece of software that can be used to build more than a single game without rewriting major parts of the engine. With this in mind, it should be clear that writing an engine cannot be done without knowledge of what games of the targeted genres need in common (I don't mean ideas here but concrete functionality on code level). Furthermore, the abstractions needed to write an engine introduce another layer of complexity in both thinking / planning and coding. With that in mind the bullets 4. and 5. should be dropped for a beginner. If programming is an option and affordable engines are actually too inflexible, then bullet 3. is the way to go. The complexity is still not to be sneezed.

Because of learning and looking how others have done things, it would be helpful to actually grep some free / cheap existing engine and try out things. Engines prescribe an architecture on the game, for 2D e.g. the famous event driven model. Seeing such things at work helps to grasp an overview, and to identify actual weaknesses w.r.t. the own needs. Further it is later a first step in breaking things down.

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I dislike C++ it's old and complicated, and nobody likes a show off : "OoOo, my game engine has 4 1/2 million lines of code!" blah blah blah...

Java is pretty prominent. I have played around with android quite abit. Java seems abit more kinder then C++ - dealing with memory handling and litterally a million and one gottcha's if far from fun.

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