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Hello everyone!

 

First post on this site, really excited to join the community! I am currently a sophomore college student working towards my computer science degree at a four year college. Over the past few semester I've taken  a bunch of coding and data structure classes that have allowed my to dip my feet into a few different aspects of coding. Sadly nothing I have worked on so far has really peaked my interest. Being a long time gamer, I figured I'd give game creation a try. My school doesn't offer any game design/development classes, so this is something I have to starting looking into on my own. 

 

My question is where should I start? I've learned a handful of languages(C++, Java, Javascript, HTML, CSS, Scala), but I'm not sure if any of those are good starting points. I'd like to stay more on the coding side of game development, but playing around with tools like Unity seems like fun too. Also any book recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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I know it may seem boring now, but once you have your CS degree you will be armed with enough programming skill to confidently write your own games and be able to enjoy coding on your own terms.

 

Saying that, if you know Java or C++ well enough to display 2D images, load in data from files and obtain keyboard input...why not write an old-school games like Thunderforce or Adventure of Zelda in your free time?

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On the Book side of things, Search Amazon of Barnes and Noble for Game Programming Books,  Narrow your search to Books Only.

There are many good books out there, Covering Several languages so Keep your Eye on that.  There is also alot of free or trial version languages and SDKs available so you can test-drive many off them before you buy.

I Would Start with Game Programming : All - In -One or Game:Programming for Teens < Do Not let the Title Fool You.  It is a good book to Start with

 

Now here is the Kick-in-the-seat-of-your-Pant!!  General Programming and Game Programming are NOT The same animal.  From the same Family, but one is a Cat while the other is a Lion.  For General Programming, you have to understand the Language you are using and and be able to assemble lines of code in and organized manner to produce the desired results the end user wants. Here the end user tells you want they want. ( Use a Fast-Food menu keyboard for example - I want to Eat <in> = Fast Food <out>

 

With Game Programming Not only do you need the above, But know you need to know how a game is supposed to work, Why it is fun to play, Graphics, and you have to Guess at what the end-user wants to get out of your game.  The Obvious answer is Fun.


why not write an old-school games like Thunderforce or Adventure of Zelda in your free time?

I would not start anywhere near this type of game.  While it may seam simple and easy to an experienced Game Programmer, it Could frustrate the beginner by the length of programming involved.   Tic-Tac-Toe Could Take well over 100 lines of code depending on language and SDK

  Keep your first game simple, Try Text only.  or a word game like hangman,  do a TV game show in text like Wheel -Of-Fortune.  A Board Game like Monopoly, depending on set-up uses Over 50 Different Graphic Images.

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I would not start anywhere near this type of game. While it may seam simple and easy to an experienced Game Programmer, it Could frustrate the beginner by the length of programming involved. Tic-Tac-Toe Could Take well over 100 lines of code depending on language and SDK

Keep your first game simple, Try Text only. or a word game like hangman, do a TV game show in text like Wheel -Of-Fortune. A Board Game like Monopoly, depending on set-up uses Over 50 Different Graphic Images.

 

I do agree with you that a first game should be kept as simple as possible(even shake your hand on that one), but in this instance its difficult to tell how far along our friend is.  If they are taking a good course then they may have already written a few simple games and may possess the skills necessary for such a project.

 

Maybe they can ellaborate further on the progress they have made, so we can advise them better?

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