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Evan Gordon

tips for beggining to make video games? have programming knowlege

11 posts in this topic

Okay so here is the deal. I've been programming since i guess august of last year, I started with online java tutorials. Those helped lead me into my first course at college, I took into to programming from my university, we learned c++ which i understand is decent for games. however i still feel very limited in my abilities. for the past few days I've been doing codecademy.com's javascript course, I'm almost finished, and I'm thinking about doing their python course. I've researched around, and i really still feel very unsure of how to make anything more than a text based adventure game. 

 

I don't have over the top expectations, i know that these things take time however I want to be able to do something! is saw this game the other day and would at least like to be able to do something similar. 

 

to sum up, here's my questions.

  1. should i learn a new language? or continue with c++, javascript or python?
  2. which language would be preferable?
  3. are there any resources you can reccomend that would be of help to me?

thank you all for your time! Sorry if any of my questions are really obvious.

 

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If you know Java and C++ then you already know enough to start making a game.  You don't need to go and learn another language (although it won't do you any harm).

If you know C++ then have a look at doing an SDL or SMFL tutorial. 

You really just need to bite the bullet and give it a go.

SDL? SMFL? im sorry im not quite sure what those are or what they entail

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To elaborate slightly, C++ does not have a built-in capability to display graphics, so you need a library or API to handle those tasks as well as other things like input handling.

 

SDL and SFML are both popular libraries that meet these needs.  You can learn more on the official websites (linked above) and you can find some learning resources from SFML HERE, or a popular set of SDL tutorials HERE.

 

Similarly, if you wanted to use Python you might use the popular PyGame library, or if you wanted to use JavaScript you might consider MelonJS, JawsJS or LimeJS.

 

 

Any of those options are fine for starting out in game development, and any of them will allow you to progress through to making games of similar quality to the example you linked to.  I'd agree with the suggestion above that you just pick one, jump in and give it a go.

 

 

Hope that helps! smile.png

hey thanks a lot, i think i have enough information now to get myself going :)

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Start with Pong. Once you're done make Tetris. After this turn them into UberPong and UberTetris by adding some new features. Just run your favorite editor, c++ compiler (perfectly fine for games) and get a graphics library (SDL, SFML, Allegro,... doesn't matter that much for this purpose, really). There are good tutorials for all of these libs accessible via their websites.

 

After this you should have a good understanding about how graphical games work.

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should i learn a new language? or continue with c++, javascript or python?
which language would be preferable?
are there any resources you can reccomend that would be of help to me?


Learn computer science. The languages is a medium, and it's good to learn how each of them work, but to get an idea of what to do with them, you need to start learning about the art of programming itself. You need to exercise the parts of your brain that will take your game idea and break it into pieces and find or come up with algorithms for all those various parts.

At some point, if you're to become a good programmer, you need to be able to recognize what sort of problems can be mapped onto a graph, what would use a stack, when should you put data into a hashtable or tree instead of an array, and so forth. These skills are transferable to any language, and once you have them, they're never going to become obsolete. I admit, this is a long-term strategy - I don't think you'll start out directly applying computer science theory to anything you'll consider useful - but if you don't want to feel limited as a programmer and gain confidence that you can go beyond text adventures, I believe taking a traditional computer science education seriously will have the most benefit.
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should i learn a new language? or continue with c++, javascript or python?
which language would be preferable?
are there any resources you can reccomend that would be of help to me?


Learn computer science. The languages is a medium, and it's good to learn how each of them work, but to get an idea of what to do with them, you need to start learning about the art of programming itself. You need to exercise the parts of your brain that will take your game idea and break it into pieces and find or come up with algorithms for all those various parts.

At some point, if you're to become a good programmer, you need to be able to recognize what sort of problems can be mapped onto a graph, what would use a stack, when should you put data into a hashtable or tree instead of an array, and so forth. These skills are transferable to any language, and once you have them, they're never going to become obsolete. I admit, this is a long-term strategy - I don't think you'll start out directly applying computer science theory to anything you'll consider useful - but if you don't want to feel limited as a programmer and gain confidence that you can go beyond text adventures, I believe taking a traditional computer science education seriously will have the most benefit.

 

Thank you for your advice, it's much appreciated. and i am taking traditional education, the reason why im asking for help in this manner is due to the fact that i feel, powerless? not sure if thats the word i want, but i want to learn new tools that i can play around and experiment with, sure i can complete my school assignments and read in a binary file, but thats nothing ill do during my free time! i want to code, but i need something that i can and want to play around with in order to exersize my programming muscles as it were. i do want to "Learn computer science" but i dont see how without trial and error. sure ill so some stupid crap along the way, but i figure ill learn computer science skills better if i have errors in my past experiences to reference off of.

 

if you have any suggestions on how else i could develop those skills im all ears, im not egotistical enough to not listen to reason, i just see no other way to keep my education developing.

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A willingness to make mistakes and go through a process of trial and error is actually a really good approach to this.  You're at the start of what will be a long and difficult journey if you stick with it, and it's unavoidable that you will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but it's also very rewarding.  I'm reminded of a relevant blog entry one of our moderators posted a couple of years ago: "become a good programmer in six really hard steps" -- note however that I don't recommend rushing towards steps five and six, they're things that can wait until you're more experienced than you are now.

 

It sounds like you're on the right track, keep at it! cool.png

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A willingness to make mistakes and go through a process of trial and error is actually a really good approach to this.  You're at the start of what will be a long and difficult journey if you stick with it, and it's unavoidable that you will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but it's also very rewarding.  I'm reminded of a relevant blog entry one of our moderators posted a couple of years ago: "become a good programmer in six really hard steps" -- note however that I don't recommend rushing towards steps five and six, they're things that can wait until you're more experienced than you are now.

 

It sounds like you're on the right track, keep at it! cool.png

Wow that article was great, ill definitely be sharing that with any friends of mine who are thinking about going through this process.

I did Look around on forums and such and it seemed like, although the lazy foo tutorial for SDL is amazing, that SFML will end up being easier for me to work with, though it does seem to be to a small extend based upon personal preference.

Thanks again for the advice! time to get Coding!

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