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billHerring

Over stepped at the start

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Ok, so this is the most noobish of all noob posts.  I'm trying to acquire all of the programs and tools I'll need to even begin to learn how to do this stuff, and I went a little crazy and just started downloading everything I saw mentioned in any of the tutorials I read and/or watched.  Now, I have utterly confused myself and cluttered my PC with tons of stuff I have a feeling I'll never use.

 

So anyways, I go to the Programs and Features in control panel to wipe the slate clean and I just see so much stuff, and I'm not sure what to uninstall and what to keep.

 

I attached an image of my programs and features.  I honestly have no idea how I have so much C++ stuff from those date ranges.  It would be nice to know what I could uninstall and purge with confidence.

 

I can't imagine this is the type of post you guys like to see around here, but I don't know the first thing and going through this stuff is enlightening to say the least.  I'm 34, and having to ask for help on a level this early on in my struggle to grasp the basic concepts of making a program, it's a bit embarrassing.  I just want to make sure I am starting with a solid foundation, so I don't learn bad habits, or take half measures because I'm missing something or using dated tools and processes.  

Edited by billHerring

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Well for starters both XNA and Silverlight are outdated. Not that you can't use them if you want to, but the support has been cut, and the communities are moving elsewhere.

 

But what is it you want to make? it is hard to give you any advice on what you need, without knowing what you want to do with the tools, or your current skill level.

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As VildNinja suggests we need more information for an actual determination, but since this is in For Beginners we can make some guesses.

 

 

 

Cut the duplicates generally, but only if you really aren't using it.

 

Assuming you actually need SQL tools you don't need four versions of them; pick one version, probably the 2016 x64 version, and dump the earlier editions and 2016 32-bit version.  If you aren't using SQL databases for anything, dump all of them.

 

Duplicates for the redistributable runtimes aren't a big concern, lots of programs rely on those and they exist as independent versions for good reasons.  If you're using software that uses them, keep them.  If you aren't using programs that have them they won't seriously harm your computer apart from taking up a bit of space.  For example, with 4.6 and 4.6.1 and 4.6.2, x32 and x64 versions, if you have programs that need them then keep them, but if you installed them unnecessarily they aren't a problem. Remove them if you want and reinstall if you actually need them.

 

The compact edition versions should probably be removed unless you plan on targeting windows mobile. Again, they don't particularly hurt anything other than taking up space on your system.

 

The IIS stuff and web deploy stuff should probably be dumped unless you're building a web program that relies on IIS for the web server rather than the more standard (and free) Apache.  Running the servers will have a small impact as it takes CPU and memory.

 

I didn't notice it but it may be there, if you've got SQL Server running on the machine that will also take some memory and CPU as it runs, kill it off if you don't need it.

 

Several of them like Gtk#, OpenAL, and Silverlight only makes sense if you are developing with it or it is required for something you use.

 

If you don't remember what you actually need for the machine, and if it isn't a big issue for you, you might just consider wiping the box and re-installing. Removal of development tools can leave traces behind or have subtle issues based on the order you installed the earlier tools.  If the box is only used for software development and isn't your regular home machine, it may be worth the 2-4 hours of effort to reset everything and try again.

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What I would truly love to make is a JRPG or something akin to Darkest Dungeon. However, I have no skills or understanding beyond a semester of C++ at a community college, so I know that the Dream is secondary to the Acquisition of Talent and Ability.  I didn't learn much beyond the fact that i really enjoyed it, and the concepts aren't lost on me, just haven't learned anything on the level that allows me to work on my own, let alone start anything worth pursuing.

 

This machine is my only home computer.  Is it safe to uninstall the items I listed here and simply reacquire the things that are relevant?  I am unable to ascertain whether the items i listed are necessary for the computer or other programs, or if it's all optional stuff specifically for the development of programs.

 

I really don't want to be one of these losers with grandiose visions and no appreciation for the work involved.  But as it stands, a lot of the terminology used here in this thread went over my head, if that helps pinpoint my level of knowledge.

 

But as far as what I want to accomplish right now, I'd like to make something with C++ that isn't just a console program with text.  I'm beyond the whole 'choose your own adventure' deal.

 

More than anything I would like to have the minimal tools necessary to paste in example code from a game similar to the one I'd like to make (any jrpg would do) so I could mess around with it and see what works and how it works.

 

 


Also, thank you so much for the replies, and taking my concern seriously.  I feel inadequate in my ability to even reply to your questions, and it makes me feel like a lost cause, but I am very grateful!

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If you want to make 3D games and want to use your own game engine, search for how to write Directx/OpenGL code. There will be tutorials for both API to get you familiar with their functions, and some tutorials will teach you some advanced stuffs. The tutorials online lets you know how to translate,rotate and scale vertex, and different coordinate systems and so on. This is the graphic part of the game. What you see on a screen is a series of still images that computers calculate in a very short amount of time so the images update quickly and make you think you're viewing animations(and the difference between images is small, so it appears continuous). But set up a simple game engine, you need to be familiar with one of the API, understand shader programs, have frameworks for processing your windows, sounds, keyboard/mouse handling and so on. For OpenGL, it's a graphic API. It doesn't handle anything beyond that. You look for other library that matches the type of things you need to. For example, GLFW will handle window and keyboard events. Everything is drawn on a window, and window on it's own usually handles messages(input from keyboard). So that's what window is for.

 

You can make 2D games using the those APIs. Everything happens in Caresian coordinate system. To make pure 2d games only two axises are involved, because everything is on a plane.

 

If you don't want your own engine, then search game engines. There are engines specifically for making 2D games.

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Honestly, if you just want to get started making your game, I would recommend you to go for tools designed for game development, rather than regular application development. Not saying that doing everything from scratch is a bad idea. Learning how things work is never a bad idea. But you should consider looking into tools such as RPG Maker, GameMaker (which is on sale today at humble bundle) or Unity. for Unity you will also be using Visual Studio to code c#, plus once you've made a 2D game in Unity, it should be fairly simple to switch to 3D development.

 

My personal selection of tools I use on a daily basis as a game programmer is: Unity, Visual Studio 2015, Sublime Text, Blender and Photoshop. The last two are mainly for mockups. My point being that a lot of development tools comes as finished packages, where you pretty much only need to run a single installer to get started. Then you can add more when you know what you want to use.

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