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Asking for advice to start Game Development

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Hi there ! I'm a guy with passion for Computer Science & Video Games , and I would like to start Game Development. However , I'm not entirely sure how to start off ! The thing is : I have been programming with C++ for about 2-3 years now , and I'd say I have a good knowledge on C++ (not so much on Object-oriented programming , more on algorithms. but I'll learn new stuff very fast in c++)

So I am here to ask for an advice : How should I start learning Game Development ? Should I start working with Object-Oriented C++ and make my game by programming (with no engine) , Should I start learning how to use engines such as Unity/UDK and leave the programming for later , Should I start making 2D games first , instead of going directly to 3D ?

What advice could you give me to help me start Game Development ?

 

Thank you , I appreciate it ! biggrin.png

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How should I start learning Game Development ? Should I start working with Object-Oriented C++ and


Moving you to the For Beginners forum. Please read the FAQ there. Good luck!
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If you want to make 3D games, just dive into that. If you don't care all that much, go 2D -- there are a billion fewer things to know. You can get going much faster with 2D games.

 

I know *many* people here will disagree with this, but yes, leave whatever "programming" you need to learn until you hit the point where you need it. While there is (in most cases) a need for programming while making a game, coding is a subset of game development.

 

No, do not start making a game from scratch -- use an existing engine or framework. Unless the act of programming is what floats your boat and not actually making a game. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you want to actually get a game finished so you and others can play it, starting from scratch is a waste of time.

 

If you've been programming for 3 years you know as much programming as you need to do game development. Diving into an engine or framework that exploits that knowledge will give you a big head start.

 

Good luck! 

 

 Jay

 

PS - Even though my statements above were made as fact, they're opinion.

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I think it would be a good decision to start with a 2D game development library that supports C++. Several examples that pop into mind are SDL and SFML. If you are willing to entirely skip 2D game development, which I do NOT recommend(so many new things to learn, and you might not even know the basics of 2D game programming, so 3D game programming would just be a painful experience for you), you can use OpenGL.

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If you use UDK or Unity you'll still be programming. Just because it's an engine doesn't mean you won't be programming. Both of those still require heavy programming to make anything worth while.

 

I would ask, do you want to learn 3D or do you want to make games? Because with today's engines you don't have to learn all the details of what goes into doing 3D. You can just jump in and learn what's required. I use an engine called Leadwerks which is C++ but I don't do any 3D math at all. It's entity based which is the way I'd go with any engine as it's much easier to work with. Jumping into OpenGL or DX more means you want to learn the low level details of a 3D game, which is fine if that's your main goal. Some people just want to make games and you can do that without knowing all the low level details of what goes into the math of 3D programming.

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I think it would be a good decision to start with a 2D game development library that supports C++. Several examples that pop into mind are SDL and SFML. If you are willing to entirely skip 2D game development, which I do NOT recommend(so many new things to learn, and you might not even know the basics of 2D game programming, so 3D game programming would just be a painful experience for you), you can use OpenGL.

 

Echoing SFML here, used it for 18 months and it's fantastic for worming your way into games programming!

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Are you getting an education in software development?  If not, do that if you plan on actually working as a game developer.  Even if you just want to go indie and don't expect to make a living off it, a proper education is extremely valuable.  In the 2-ish years I knew I wanted to program games before I actually started school for it, I was a little all over the place and didn't know how to use source control, or 3D modeling tools, or Direct3D/OpenGL, or winsock, or even the Win32 API.  A real education will teach you how to write and utilize design docs, work on a team, meet TRC compliance, use source control (useful regardless if working on a team or solo), and get you free access to a wide range of software tools (IDE's like Visual Studio, modeling tools like Maya or 3DS Max, etc.) that you would otherwise have to pay a small fortune for.  Having knowlegeable instructors readily available to answer your questions quickly and accurately will also speed up your learning process.

 

If you flat out insist on doing this without an education, then there are a few must-have books.  If you're still relatively new at C++, then buy SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days (5th edition, not the newer ones as the authors are terrible).  It covers pretty much everything you need to know about C++, falling short on the STL.  For that, buy The C++ Standard Library, 2nd edtiion to complete your knowledge.  For the math you need to know to program real games, I recommend 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development, 2nd edition.  To learn to work with the Win32 API to make simple Windowed applications, I haven't found any good books but MSDN can answer almost all of your questions.  You can start off in 2D if you want, but I found it easier to just learn in 3D and mimic 2D using quads when needed.  DirectX9 is the easiest way to learn 3D graphics (quick initialization, supported on more hardware, easier to use than D3D11, and DX extensions make it easier to start off with than OpenGL).  To learn DirectX9, I recommend Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Directx 9.0c, A Shader Approach.  To make large-scale games, you'll need a solid understanding of OOP and design patterns.  For that I recommend Game Engine Architecture, API Design for C++, and Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture.  To take advantage of C++11 multithreading features, I recommend C++ Concurrency in Action.  For game network programming, I haven't found one particularly great book, so I would recommend at least taking a class for network programming for that.  For the physics and collision detection needed in games, I recommend Game Physics Engine Development and Real-Time Collision Detection.

 

If you take the advice of others here and use someone else's engine, you'll do a lot of scripting, but you won't learn much about actual game development.  At best you'll learn how to script in some simple game mechanics, but you won't know jack about rendering, networking, input, audio, or any other core game technology.  If you just want to dabble and churn out a bunch of super simple games that you probably won't own enough rights to for substantial profit, then go for that.  Otherwise, I highly recommend pursuing a real education.

 

 

 

-A Game Developer

Edited by Uberwulu
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When I was first starting out many years ago, I started simple with 2D.  Learn to render images, move them around, control them via keyboard and mouse etc.  Once you have the basics then try to add some simple AI logic to your game to make it challenging to play.

 

After you have mastered these basic concepts then you can start getting into 3D and working with models and other assets like lights, textures, sound, music etc.

 

There are a lot of things that you need to be able to handle to get a decent looking game out the door.  For example have a look at my free game Ghost Toast (http://www.marekknows.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=531)  Making the game logic and code for the game took very little time as compared to generating all the sound, music, textures, models, animations etc.  

 

So it really depends on what you want to do in the end.  If you want to only focus on one aspect of game development then do that, but if you are going to do everything, then be ready to put in many days of work!

 

Good luck,

Marek

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Thanks everyone for their feedback ! I gathered my thoughts well , and I think I'm going to start using Unity to get more into 3D development , since there is a lot of documentation and tutorials out there for Unity which are going to help me learn faster. I actually found an E-Book that seems fairly easy to me on their forums : http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/103421-Unity-Lesson-1-Draft

 

I browsed a couple of pages and found it easy to understand and I think it will suit me the best. Personally , I would've loved to work with the UDK because it has amazing Graphics,Lighting,Shadows,etc.. but there's little documentation on that engine and it's a bit harder for me to start there. For Unity , it's much easier. There's a lot of tutorials out there , and the UI seems fairly simple.

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