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GameDev.net community,

 

I apologize for my lack of knowledge, but my expertise extends mostly into some sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, therefore excluding computer). I'm trying to get into the computer jargon, but I'm not sure how to start. I've read too much about the "languages," but I don't really know what a "language" is. Is anyone able to give me an example? What distinguishes languages from one another? How does one learn them if they've never even seen them before?

 

Thanks for the consideration and help.

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Alberth,

 

You are AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much for the informative explanation, examples, and link(s) to help me further! I'll be sure to check out Python.org. I was looking at programming for games though, yes, so do you have any advice for how I should familiarize myself there? I'd still check out Python-- I mean, I'm still checking out Python as I post. :) 

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I was looking at programming for games though, yes, so do you have any advice for how I should familiarize myself there?
Read the FAQ, and read the article, one of the questions is "what programming language do you know or use", which you already have an answer to, other ideas are still relevant. Programming is not something you learn in a week, so even if the topics discussed there are not immediately useful, it's good to read it, for background information.

It's a large new world, it'll take time to settle :)

 

As for actual programming, first do the Python tutorial, at least up to statements and functions. Classes are useful too, if you can manage. Do the exercises. Nothing works better in learning than experiencing it yourself. Don't be afraid to extend an exercise if you see an opportunity, trying to make modifications is an important skill too. Then, try to make a game like the article suggests.

The reason why I suggest to first learn Python as language before trying to apply it for making a game, is because making a game is complicated, even something seemingly trivial like tic-tac-toe or hangman needs a lot of details to explain to a computer. By knowing Python at least somewhat before handling the complexity of a game program, you make it easier for yourself, you can focus on that one problem, instead of having to do both Python learning and game programming at the same time.

That said, don't worry, there are plenty of problems left that you will bump into. you will get into trouble so ask for pointers when you get stuck. Also, if you want feedback on something, ask.

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As for actual programming, first do the Python tutorial, at least up to statements and functions. Classes are useful too, if you can manage. Do the exercises. Nothing works better in learning than experiencing it yourself. Don't be afraid to extend an exercise if you see an opportunity, trying to make modifications is an important skill too. Then, try to make a game like the article suggests.

Thank you so much, again! I've been reading everything, and I read mostly about Python. Is this the tutorial you're talking about, and by go up to statements and functions, do you mean where it says the glossary, etc below in the tutorial?
https://docs.python.org/3.6/tutorial/index.html

Why at least to statements and functions? Is everything past that "not important," not currently useful, not something to learn then but later on, etc?

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Posted (edited)

docs.python.org  tutorial isn't really intended for new programmers, it's aimed at people that can already program, and does a tour through the entire language in a few hours.

You likely need a lower pace,

https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide

in particular

https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers

looks more like your kind of needs.

ie assuming you never programmed before :)

 

 

Why at least to statements and functions? Is everything past that "not important," not currently useful, not something to learn then but later on, etc?

It's more that less is not enough.

"a = 1" is a statement (control flow they call it in the tutorial you linked), and "print" is a function, although making your own functions is at least as useful as knowing how to use the standard existing ones.

Besides reading, do practice. When you read something it soon seems simple and easy, while if you actually have to do it, you'll find the easy things are less easy than expected. It's almost impossible to practice too little.

Edited by Alberth

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not currently useful, not something to learn then but later on

 

When you are a kid and learning how to glue paper together, you were probably told not to use too much glue because it makes the paper wrinkle.  You likely didn't understand anything about how paper is bound together and how it stretches and breaks down when the glue wets it, all you needed to know was that it wrinkled with too much glue.

 

If you've ever grown plants from seeds, you were probably first told that you needed to keep the seeds damp because that's how they'll grow, not to let them drown with too much water or dry out completely.  You probably didn't understand anything about the germination process, and probably didn't start to wonder about how seeds could grow under far less ideal conditions, but that didn't matter.  All that matters is you follow the instructions and the seed grows.

 

 

When you first learn to program and are following tutorials, you will need to do things at first that you haven't been taught.  After you learn more you will learn the details, but at that point it is more like the details above.  You're still learning and eventually you'll learn the details.  Just trust that the people teaching you are giving you enough to learn the basics first.

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