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Austin Whitelaw

How to actually learn game development?

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When I was younger I wanted to make games. I am currently 21 years old and I have become a generally very lazy person. I spend hours upon hours on the computer each day, and I've always been interested in programming, but I just play lots of games and watch videos, etc. Every once in a while I will get into a programming language and I will work with it for a few days or like a couple weeks or such. I just can't ever get the hang of it.


I always just find myself stuck not really knowing what to do. And sure there are many tutorials for everything online, but even if I follow tutorials, I just feel like I am copying text(not literally copying, but retyping what someone else provided) and I am not actually gaining much knowledge. All my life people keep asking what I want to do, who I want to be. I was never really sure, I never knew what I wanted. I am in community college and eventually a university, but I chose computer science as my degree simply because I know computers. I am on it all the time. I literally had no clue what I wanted to do so that is what I chose.


I've toyed with the idea of game development for years, but as I mentioned, I never got deep into it. It wasn't until just the other day I was playing a game and people were talking about how they are adding this and that, and such. And it just really got me thinking about how I wish I could be the one doing that. I wish I could have a creation.

So let me tell you about what I have tried:


C++ (tried Allegro, SDL, SFML, OpenGL)




Objective-C(iPhone development)


Basically I started my programming with C++ which was probably bad but I went through a lot of tutorials and learned a good amount of stuff, but I didn't know how to make it into anything. Of course I knew that for games you needed a graphics lib so I eventually found SDL, tried that, went onto Allegro, SFML, and even looked at OpenGL although I think that is way too advanced for beginning.


Then I tried diving into Python. My brother recommended it to me since it was an easy language. I was able to learn the basic way the language works. I went through most of the tutorials in the Learn Python the Hard Way series. Again, I had all this information but I didn't know how to make it into anything. I could divide some numbers or make a program that did some complex equations or whatever. That is boring.


I did some Java in High School but I pretty much forgot it all at this point.


Oh and for iPhone development I paid like $20 a month at teamtreehouse and they have good quality content, all videos that guide you through. But even after making a couple apps(again, I was just copying what I was told) I was left wondering how to create anything. Eventually I guess I just stopped doing it like everything else(this was more like within the past 6 months or so).


From time to time I will go back to C++ and try again, like I did today, but I am still lost. And since I have a little bit of memory of how the language works, I don't even know where to go because most tutorials are for people with 0 experience and it gets pretty annoying seeing all these operands and crap that are so basic.


I don't know, maybe I just am not putting in the effort. But that is with anything, I never really put in effort, and then I just go play games or whatever. That's why within the past few years all I have done is failed a couple classes and lose my job and just sit here depressed. All I am left with is very small knowledge of different languages and a couple C++ libraries. And then I go on youtube and see a 15 year old who makes a game that looks amazing. Why couldn't I be doing that at 15? 6 years further in life but still 10 steps behind.


Sorry for the long post but I just really don't know what to do.

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What I've taken from this is that I have a serious issue and I need to get help.


No, but seriously, all I said was I had became depressed. I didn't expect that to be the focus. Actually I was very depressed back in high school, and I sort of came out of it, but I guess you could say I still experience it at times.


Problem is I hate talking about it because there isn't much to talk about.


But you are right JTippetts, nobody is gonna do it for me and no tutorial is gonna be the golden key. I think I just need to devote more time to it. Also, the eating/exercising thing would probably help. Actually I eat generally healthy now because I had been working at Whole Foods but I don't really exercise much and I don't get a lot of sleep either.


I don't know, I just don't get anything done anymore.

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I cannot help you with the programming, I am a good example of someone who can never stick at it long enough to do well, but regarding your general outlook etc I HIGHLY suggest you get this book or get from a library, seriously it helped me loads smile.png http://www.amazon.com/Chimp-Paradox-Management-Confidence-Happiness/dp/039916359X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421274241&sr=8-1&keywords=monkey+paradox

I never believed in this "hippy, tree hugging positive stuff" but I read this and it changed my way of thinking.  I try to re-read it about once every 4 months.

Edited by Saint Retro

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I'd do this for a week, and then stop and pause and look at what I'm doing with my life and conclude that it's being wasted. I'm wasting time. And then I'd get disappointed in myself and want to do something better with my life. That's a fleeting feeling though, and soon I'd dive right back into the games and videos. It's all I did. Anybody would eventually get depressed if they just did that and only that (money is irrelevant here).


Off of the OP's topic for one second.  How do you make money to survive by playing games and watching youtube?  That doesn't sound bad to me.  Sounds like heaven.

Edited by Glass_Knife

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