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Netheous

I am all prepared to get into game development, how do I start then?

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This is my first post and I would like to say hello forums.

 

I have plenty of questions releated to game development, industry and getting 'seriously' into it.

I don't like writting essays and lenghty posts so I'll just put it into quick, easy to understand list..

 

First of all, I would like to mention these facts:

- I have 6 years of experience with Lua, I can do basically anything in Lua and that's where most of my programming experience comes from, in addition that's where my pocket money comes from.

- I have played with C++ at school and rarely at home, never got outside the black console box.

- I know other languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP (basics), SQL - and even though most of these are minor languages, I think it's worth mentioning.

- I own a very mobile laptop (an ultrabook) that I bought especially for programming/learning.

 

Okay, now that I've shared a little bit about myself, let's head on to the questions.

 

1) Knowing my past experience with C++, should I (and why/what engine):

a) work on a game engine for 2D game like Towns or Gnomoria as a learning process

b) use a premade, free for commercial use engine to create a 2D game (like the two mentioned above)

2) I am a pragmatic, I learn quickly by practicing but I suck at theory (which means I also suck at maths), will it be an issue for me?

3) I don't have modelling, graphical design and sound creation skills, are they required for succesful development?

4) I always feel an urge to plan everything (like planning my code) and if my code doesn't look perfect I just HAVE TO re-do it and that's why I can't focus on big projects, how can I stop that feeling or start planning my code effectively to prevent it?

5) What IDEs should I look into (please base the answer on your previous answer to question 1.)

 

Thanks in advance! I'll be glad to provide any more info or answer your questions if you need more details.

Edited by Netheous

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#1 - Considering your level of experience as far as I can tell from your post you might want to solidify your coding a bit prior to start working on a game(engine), though you can pour these 2 together. Personally I'm getting deeper into C# by working on my private little game project.

 

On the point of either using or making an engine, that depends on how deep you want to go and how much time and effort you want to spend on it. Writing an engine from the ground up is rather tedious (depending on what you want your engine to be able to do of course) even when using frameworks.

 

#2 Programming, especially at the beginner stage is mostly trial and error and really learning by doing, but ofc you need theory too.

 

#3 There are free models, textures and sounds on the internet, and maybe you know someone who can make such stuff for you for a beer or a few bucks. I'm also a crap modeller and even less of a texturer.

 

#4 No clue here.

 

#5 I don't know may IDEs. In university I work(ed) mainly with Bloodshed-Dev++/CodeBlocks and Visual Studio 2013

I think of it mainly as a personal preference, but I like VS most

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Make a game?

My personal experience is to say that you should make simple games and work your way up, even games you have no real interest in making. If you want to take your coding seriously then nothing will test your abilities more than that. So many people try to start with moderately complex games and they never really go anywhere.

There's a big difference between making a little 3d tech demo where you can walk around vs making a complete and polished 2d game that uses dozens of different integral concepts to good effect, and they'll make your later stuff that much better.

2) I am a pragmatic, I learn quickly by practicing but I suck at theory (which means I also suck at maths), will it be an issue for me?

You don't have to be a math wizard to make games, more knowledge of math can certainly help though, the main thing you need math for is figuring out how to implement certain algorithms. Practical experience is best for coding, although lots of theory to help give you ideas and new ways to implement things will help you more quickly learn what works best and what the pitfalls of different techniques are.

3) I don't have modelling, graphical design and sound creation skills, are they required for succesful development?

Depends what you want to make. Having those skills is not required but the visuals of your game are going to have a low bar. If you're making a commercial game or something you'll probably want to invest time in finding free resources and learning to tweak them, or get a partner. One thing to point out is that art is a -big- part of games, expect to spend lots of time making or finding programmer art just to test things(look, feel, dimensions, collision, etc.) It's almost impossible to test things in a game without visual reference.

4) I always feel an urge to plan everything (like planning my code) and if my code doesn't look perfect I just HAVE TO re-do it and that's why I can't focus on big projects, how can I stop that feeling or start planning my code effectively to prevent it?

I'm just like you, best thing I can say is to make small projects and try to force yourself to finish them, you learn a lot from finishing a project and can more easily see how pieces need to come together and how you can write them better as a whole. Just keep telling yourself you'll be a better coder by finishing projects rather than restarting constantly.

5) What IDEs should I look into (please base the answer on your previous answer to question 1.)

For C++? Visual studio.

Visual studio.

Then some more visual studio. Edited by Satharis

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Holy crap, that's a lot of helpful info on everything.

When I hear Visual Studio I always get confused... Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual... what? I feel like there are 6 different programs and I don't know which one to grab.

I would be more than grateful if I've received a direct link to the software.

 

Also, I am waiting for other replies aswell :)

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Visual Basic, Visual C# and Visual C++ are the Express Editions. They only support the respective programming language in their name, are generally limited in their functionality and not allowed for use in commercial projects

 

then there are the regular (paid) editions: Professional, Premium and Ultimate, increasing in functionality in this order.

 

And the newest and probably most interesting Edition is the Community Edition, which is basically a free version of VS Professional that can also be used for commercial projects up to a certain extend. It is also intended to replace the Express Editions in the future, so you probably fare best with this one. 

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They only support the respective programming language in their name,

That used to be true, as of.. think its 2013, maybe 2012, either way they changed it. One install for all three languages.

are generally limited in their functionality and not allowed for use in commercial projects

They are almost completely fully featured, there are only a few things that you can't do with express that you can with the paid versions. Also I don't know where you read that but as far as I know you can use them for commercial projects just fine.

As for the OP, I highly recommend Visual studio 2013 express edition(desktop, since I doubt you want to write those silly windows store apps.)

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As for the OP, I highly recommend Visual studio 2013 express edition(desktop, since I doubt you want to write those silly windows store apps.)

 

 

 

I see, then I guess I'll get myself VS 2013 :P

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Another update: The Express editions have been superseded* by the Community edition (as of earlier this month).


* Unless you are using the Express editions in large commercial teams due to its unrestrictive license...

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They only support the respective programming language in their name,

That used to be true, as of.. think its 2013, maybe 2012, either way they changed it. One install for all three languages.

are generally limited in their functionality and not allowed for use in commercial projects

They are almost completely fully featured, there are only a few things that you can't do with express that you can with the paid versions. Also I don't know where you read that but as far as I know you can use them for commercial projects just fine.

As for the OP, I highly recommend Visual studio 2013 express edition(desktop, since I doubt you want to write those silly windows store apps.)

 

 

In regards to your suggestion that store apps are silly, I don't think this is good advice at all to give someone starting today. They will take what you are saying to heart, and it's bad information to be bandying around. WinRT, with which store apps are built with is being lined up as the successor to Win32. As of next year, with the coming of Windows 10, WinRT apps will have equal billing on the desktop by the expansion of their windowing options, ie non-docked / snapped & desktop integration. WinRT is not a silly little toy cooked up to appease the mobile crowd only. Yes, it targets mobile very well, but the WinRT / XAML stack and the language projections provide a powerful system that will be just as effective for desktop application in the next generation of Windows. Arguably, it will be preferable to using traditional technologies as it is fleshed out.

I have worked with WinRT a little, and I completely believe that there will come a time, when it doesn't make sense to use Win32 and the traditional desktop model any more.

And with the availability of Community Edition, I would choose that over express from now on.

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In regards to your suggestion that store apps are silly, I don't think this is good advice at all to give someone starting today.

Well not to be a jerk but quite frankly I strongly disagree with you there, and wording your statements like "it is bad information" and implying it is an amazing invention is just as opinionated as saying not to use it.

Except in my case even if I did like windows store apps I would not tell someone just starting out to develop them, needless complication and a whole lot less information available, So I feel what I said is perfectly fine. Edited by Satharis

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