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gprogrammer122

Where to Start

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I am looking to get into game programming using java. I read the book "Introduction to Programming Using Java" by David J. Eck and now have a basic understanding of Java. I now want to get into game programming. But where to start? I reckon that I need to read a book specified for game programming, and if so which book(A free ebook)? Any pointers on where to start are helpful, thanks.

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You don't necessarily need a book to learn game programming in Java. When I started out learning game programming in Java, I just struggled with implementing the features. I think that should be the goal you should have. You will learn a lot more about how to research when you get stuck and improve your problem solving ability. I never used a book for game programming.

Basic features to get started is set up the graphics canvas in order
To get an image to show up on the screen and then get it to move in different direction. It will teach you so much about 2d graphics coordinate system.
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Basic features to get started is set up the graphics canvas in order
To get an image to show up on the screen and then get it to move in different direction. It will teach you so much about 2d graphics coordinate system.

Then the problem occurs, where do i learn how to do this?

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I would definitely echo warnexus, getting your feet wet is the most important part.  Once you've figured out how to get graphics on the screen and get basic input, for me it was a pretty logical progression.  Find a tutorial that will teach you how to load an image and get keyboard/mouse input.

 

For a tutorial on loading images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJxA_sO0sdM,

 

After you know how to get an image on the screen and move it around with the keys, then set up a program with the following format:

function main()
{
    init()
    while(isRunning == true)
    {
        get_input()
        loop()
        render()
        }
   cleanup()
}

This is just pseudo code, and you'll have to write each of those methods yourself.  Init will handle all of the initialization stuff (set up the game, set any variables/instantiate any objects you'll need), get_input will get user input, loop will handle any AI/processing of the input, and then render will write it all to the screen.  Cleanup, as the name suggests, will clean everything up.  

 

Make a really simple game that follows this format.  It could be something as simple as a little sprite that runs around the screen and collects objects.  But after you've finished that, you'll have figured out:

-event handling

-collision detection

-sprite loading

-keyboard input

 

which are all very important concepts in games.

 

From there make something more complex, maybe add enemies to avoid.  Just keep adding complexity, and before long you'll realize that you have a pretty good grasp on how games work.  Oh, and when you get stuck on a specific problem (like, how does keyboard input work in Java using module x) google is your best friend.  If you're starting out with something, chances are someone has already run into the same issue and made a post about it on stackoverflow.

 

 

Now that I've said that, I'll just put in a shameless plug for learning python and go on a bit of a tangent.  It's definitely not the most powerful tool for creating games, but it's simple, and in my opinion, a simpler language is better for learning to program games as complexities of the language won't get in the way (I first learned to make games on a TI-83 calculator...doesn't get much simpler than that).  Python makes everything easier, and it comes with a built in module for creating "quick and dirty" windows that would be a good way to learn the basics of game logic, etc. without needing to learn a super complex API.  There's even great documentation for the GUI module (called Tkinter) over at effbot (http://effbot.org/tkinterbook/).

Edited by schiem
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Basic features to get started is set up the graphics canvas in order
To get an image to show up on the screen and then get it to move in different direction. It will teach you so much about 2d graphics coordinate system.

Then the problem occurs, where do i learn how to do this?
http://www.cokeandcode.com/info/tut2d.html

This is one of the many useful examples that I used and rate as useful to me.

A deep understanding of Java is required to understand the codebase. If you don't understand, ask us and pick our brains. Your goal at the moment is to set up the graphic canvas by following the code example. Learn a bit everyday from the codebase and eventually you will understand a lot about it. You should question every code in the code example.
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IMHO, if you're new to programming in general, don't flat out start with games.

 

Start with typical console (as in, only text in screen, not a PS4 :P) programs like, print to screen, keyboard input, open a file, write a file, create a file, loops, functions, etc.

 

Then you can move to bigger concepts in object oriented programming (which is what Java aims for), like encapsulation, visibility, what is a class, what is an instance of that class, what is the behavior of an object, what is its state, composition, inheritance, and so on.

 

(I'd go as far as to recommend starting with a non-managed language like C or a Pascal variant, but that's besides the point).

 

Just learn the craft first, then worry about what you'll make with your newfound knowledge :)

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