Relentless238

Complete Beginner Programmer... where to start

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Relentless238    113
Hey game dev community. My name is Connor(Relentless), and I recently got interested in the career of game development. I'm 16 years old right now and am thinking about my future career and this is what I chose. I am an avid gamer and creative person so I think I would enjoy this a lot.

I understand that game development is a long and tedious job but I want to do it. So I was wondering where do I need to start? I'm completely new to programming and haven't written a string of code in my life. I tried to look up what to do on google but there are so many options I thought id come here before I start anything. So where do I start, what langauge,etc?

Thanks - Relentless

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BHXSpecter    3119

Depends on what part of the industry you want. Programming? C, C++, C#, Java, Python, Lua, etc. Designing the game? GameMaker or Unity, among others. Game development is kind of a umbrella phrase as it generically covers design, programming, art, music, etc. What part of game development are you interested in? 

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Rifts605    240

Just as BHXSpecter stated, it depends on which area of the industry you are planning to join. And, although I am young like you(only 14), and very much still a novice, I have did my research.

 

If you plan to join the industry as a game programmer, you should learn C++. This is the language that a large majority of the AAA game development companies use. You can pick up a book about it from your local bookstore. Some good books, or at least from what I've heard, are C++ Primer, Beginning C++ Through Game Programming(the book I decided to get), C++ for Dummies, and Programming: Principles and Practice using C++(created by the maker of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup). Or, if for some reason you can't pick up a book from the store, you could go to websites such as cplusplus.com, cprogramming.com, or learncpp.com, which are all websites that I have found helpful. But wherever you get your information from, make sure that it is a reliable source. If you can't do this, then exchange it for quantity; if many sources are saying it is very likely to be true.

 

By talking about C++ so exclusively, I don't mean to put down other languages, but just to say that it is the most used in the game industry.

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Relentless238    113

Depends on what part of the industry you want. Programming? C, C++, C#, Java, Python, Lua, etc. Designing the game? GameMaker or Unity, among others. Game development is kind of a umbrella phrase as it generically covers design, programming, art, music, etc. What part of game development are you interested in?


Yes I am interesed in programming. I'm just confused on where I start with it.

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Relentless238    113

Just as BHXSpecter stated, it depends on which area of the industry you are planning to join. And, although I am young like you(only 14), and very much still a novice, I have did my research.
 
If you plan to join the industry as a game programmer, you should learn C++. This is the language that a large majority of the AAA game development companies use. You can pick up a book about it from your local bookstore. Some good books, or at least from what I've heard, are C++ Primer, Beginning C++ Through Game Programming(the book I decided to get), C++ for Dummies, and Programming: Principles and Practice using C++(created by the maker of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup). Or, if for some reason you can't pick up a book from the store, you could go to websites such as cplusplus.com, cprogramming.com, or learncpp.com, which are all websites that I have found helpful. But wherever you get your information from, make sure that it is a reliable source. If you can't do this, then exchange it for quantity; if many sources are saying it is very likely to be true.
 
By talking about C++ so exclusively, I don't mean to put down other languages, but just to say that it is the most used in the game industry.


So C++ would be a good place to start then?

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beakr    136

Essentials & Fundamentals (useful links are after, this section teaches you how to learn programming)

 

I'm a teenager, and I started making games by learning to program with Ruby. While Ruby isn't popular for games, it is a very simple language to learn and I made silly little text games where you would solve mysteries, kill cows using text (ohmy.png ), etc. I learned it with an insanely good book that pretty much teaches you everything about programming called Learn to Program by Chris Pine (you don't know how much I owe this guy for writing this).

 

After learning a simple language and making text games, little programs that ask for your name, etc, you should probably learn C. C is much harder to program in, but once you learn its basics you can learn C++. C++ is what you want for games. Once you learn some C++, you can get into making graphics, playing sound, all the stuff you need to write games.

 

Programming might seem a bit scary to begin with, but it is very easy once you understand the main concepts. You might think that game programming is scary because its all math too, but complex math isn't necessary for simple games.

 

Please note:

I would recommend making little 2D games before going into 3D games. 3D games are more complex and require more knowledge of programming and math to create. If you want to design 3D games, make sure you know your programming fairly well and some geometry.

 

Links (this is how you will learn programming)

 

CodeAcademy is really good for beginners!

Programming resources: Learn to Program, Learn C, Learn C++ an Hour Each Day

Math: http://khanacademy.org

Edited by beakr

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Godmil    748

Jumping straight into c++ can be a little scary. If you want a nice introduction to programming check out the JavaScript section of Codecademy.com

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beakr    136

Jumping straight into c++ can be a little scary. If you want a nice introduction to programming check out the JavaScript section of Codecademy.com

 

Definitely, you want to start with a simple language before something like C or C++.

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cube2222    203

Actually, I started with C when I was 10. And it wasn't really hard to get started. Also, for c++ I recommend c++ primer, also, for programming, it's good to be good at maths, and for game programming, it's also good to be good at physics.

Edited by cube2222

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InferiorOlive    1065

Since a lot of people are suggesting books and tutorials, I just want to add that reading these and following the examples alone isn't going to make you a good programmer. Becoming a good programmer takes a lot of practice, and at some point, you're going to have to program something you've never programmed before. It's a good idea to get familiar with using what you know on your own, without a guide.

 

I'd also like to suggest that graphics are pretty, but not always necessary. When you're learning something new (and want to try to utilize it in a new way), it can often be beneficial to make the simplest program possible that allows you to test what you're working on. Text-based applications/games can allow you to test a lot of logical or systematic strategies without requiring that your graphics and physics be working, and that simpler environment can let you focus on the one or two areas you're really working on.

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Nathan2222_old    395
For maths and physics, go to khan academy. For c++ programming buy books or you can download the programming principles and practice using c++ pdf and the cplusplus pdf (i'm learning c++ too)

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BHXSpecter    3119

C++ is for game programming, if you are interested in commercial game development. Otherwise, Java, Ruby, and Python all have game development libraries you can use. Graphics, are only important if you strive to make it appealing to others playing it other than yourself. Otherwise, programmer graphics are perfectly fine if you are the only intended player. 

 

It depends on what your interests are and what your ultimate goal is in game development. If you want to work for a professional company or start your own development studio then you should strive to be as commercial grade as possible (and I don't mean size of game) by having the best possible graphics, sound, music, controls, etc. If you are just wanting to do it as a hobby, just have fun and make your graphics or find a friend to make them. 

 

All that said, C++ Primer (not to be confused with C++ Primer Plus), Accelerated C++, anything by Bjarne Stroustrup (as he is the creator of C++), Beginning Game Programming Through C++, or web sites like cplusplus.com or learncpp.com and above all else, ASK QUESTIONS!! You can't get good at programming if you don't ask questions to understand what confuses you. Like the school rule says, "There are no dumb questions."

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Relentless238    113
Thanks for all the replied guys! I'm definately going to stick with this community! I think I'm going to start to learn a simple language first, Python is in mind, and later on move to C/C++. Thanks for all the help guys! I wrote down the names of all the books said in this topic and saved all website links.

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beakr    136

Thanks for all the replied guys! I'm definately going to stick with this community! I think I'm going to start to learn a simple language first, Python is in mind, and later on move to C/C++. Thanks for all the help guys! I wrote down the names of all the books said in this topic and saved all website links.

 

Python is really nice and there's some good game libraries you can use. Once you know Python you will later be able to understand C++ very well.

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Rifts605    240

Just as BHXSpecter stated, it depends on which area of the industry you are planning to join. And, although I am young like you(only 14), and very much still a novice, I have did my research.

 
If you plan to join the industry as a game programmer, you should learn C++. This is the language that a large majority of the AAA game development companies use. You can pick up a book about it from your local bookstore. Some good books, or at least from what I've heard, are C++ Primer, Beginning C++ Through Game Programming(the book I decided to get), C++ for Dummies, and Programming: Principles and Practice using C++(created by the maker of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup). Or, if for some reason you can't pick up a book from the store, you could go to websites such as cplusplus.com, cprogramming.com, or learncpp.com, which are all websites that I have found helpful. But wherever you get your information from, make sure that it is a reliable source. If you can't do this, then exchange it for quantity; if many sources are saying it is very likely to be true.
 
By talking about C++ so exclusively, I don't mean to put down other languages, but just to say that it is the most used in the game industry.


So C++ would be a good place to start then?

Yes, in my personal opinion, C++ would be a good place to start if you like to just jump head first into the deep-end of things like me. I started with Python, but switched to C++ within weeks, after realizing that it is the most widely used in the game development industry.
Despite all of this, C++ is the hardest language to learn, as I'm sure many others would agree. But, if you are looking for a challenge, C++ is definitely the language to go with.

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Rifts605    240

Essentials & Fundamentals (useful links are after, this section teaches you how to learn programming)
 
I'm a teenager, and I started making games by learning to program with Ruby. While Ruby isn't popular for games, it is a very simple language to learn and I made silly little text games where you would solve mysteries, kill cows using text (:o ), etc. I learned it with an insanely good book that pretty much teaches you everything about programming called Learn to Program by Chris Pine (you don't know how much I owe this guy for writing this).
 
After learning a simple language and making text games, little programs that ask for your name, etc, you should probably learn C. C is much harder to program in, but once you learn its basics you can learn C++. C++ is what you want for games. Once you learn some C++, you can get into making graphics, playing sound, all the stuff you need to write games.
 
Programming might seem a bit scary to begin with, but it is very easy once you understand the main concepts. You might think that game programming is scary because its all math too, but complex math isn't necessary for simple games.
 
Please note:
I would recommend making little 2D games before going into 3D games. 3D games are more complex and require more knowledge of programming and math to create. If you want to design 3D games, make sure you know your programming fairly well and some geometry.
 
Links (this is how you will learn programming)
 
CodeAcademy is really good for beginners!
Programming resources: Learn to Program, Learn C, Learn C++ an Hour Each Day
Math: http://khanacademy.org


Yeah, just as he said, CodeAcademy is a great website to learn from. Surprised that I forgot to mention it.
One downside is that, I don't believe it offers courses on C++.

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Essentials & Fundamentals (useful links are after, this section teaches you how to learn programming)
 
I'm a teenager, and I started making games by learning to program with Ruby. While Ruby isn't popular for games, it is a very simple language to learn and I made silly little text games where you would solve mysteries, kill cows using text (ohmy.png ), etc. I learned it with an insanely good book that pretty much teaches you everything about programming called Learn to Program by Chris Pine (you don't know how much I owe this guy for writing this).
 
After learning a simple language and making text games, little programs that ask for your name, etc, you should probably learn C. C is much harder to program in, but once you learn its basics you can learn C++. C++ is what you want for games. Once you learn some C++, you can get into making graphics, playing sound, all the stuff you need to write games.
 
Programming might seem a bit scary to begin with, but it is very easy once you understand the main concepts. You might think that game programming is scary because its all math too, but complex math isn't necessary for simple games.
 
Please note:
I would recommend making little 2D games before going into 3D games. 3D games are more complex and require more knowledge of programming and math to create. If you want to design 3D games, make sure you know your programming fairly well and some geometry.
 
Links (this is how you will learn programming)
 
CodeAcademy is really good for beginners!
Programming resources: Learn to Program, Learn C, Learn C++ an Hour Each Day
Math: http://khanacademy.org


Yeah, just as he said, CodeAcademy is a great website to learn from. Surprised that I forgot to mention it.
One downside is that, I don't believe it offers courses on C++.

 

CodeAcademy does not offer courses for C++ I just looked. It appears most of the courses they offer are for web-based programming languages.

Edited by Silent The Gray

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ISDCaptain01    1496
These are the books I suggest

Beginning c++ through game programming by Michael Dawson
Game Programming All in One 3rd edition by Jonathan Harbour

With these two, you'll be up and running in no time

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Neccarus    109

I highly recommend picking up Python and using the Pygame library. http://programarcadegames.com/index.php?lang=en there's a great guide for getting started. Once you start to feel comfortable with Python, you can start trying other scripting languages and eventually move onto Java/C++ when you feel more confident. Picking up all the nuances of C++ from the get go is very interesting and I found Python helped me ease my way into programming.

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Thomas Wiborg    1573

Well,

Why dont you start with something simple as people have been refering to. Maybe C# combined with XNA. Its alot easier to start with a managed language, get comfortable with it and maybe try C++ later if you want to try an unmanaged language which most of the Game Industry uses.

But know that, games like Bloodline Champions, Terraria etc have been made with C# XNA. Nothing there stops you from

making great games with managed language.

 

Most elite programmers also have more than one language under theire belt. Over time learning different language is great to become even better!

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7uOhFTrrq0

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1_wxM_ku_Q

Edited by Thomas Wiborg

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BHXSpecter    3119

I completely agree with Thomas Wiborg. I've been programming for 19 years and to this day I don't even call myself an expert of any language. Rather I say I'm a student of many and master of none. In the 19 years I've been doing this, I have messed with a lot of languages (not all of them are programming languages) Assembler, BASIC, C, C++, C#, D, J, Haskell, Earlang, Scheme, PHP, HTML, MySQL, CSS, Javascript, Java, Ruby, Perl, XML, etc. The key thing is to never stop learning (which is why I don't claim to be an expert because I truly believe I can always learn new things in all the languages) and to always have fun doing it.

Edited by BHXSpecter

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Relentless238    113
Thanks for the loads of feedback guys. I am currently learning Python from Codecademy and once done will read more about it and try out my skills. I know that it takes a lot of time but I can't wait. Thanks again for all the feedback.

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