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Brian Morales

Study path for Game programming

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The way you get better at making games, is by making games. I'm not being a smartass here, it's actually the truth. :)

This isn't quite what you're asking for, but if you already know how to program then this article is a really good roadmap on expanding your skillset. http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/game-programming/your-first-step-to-game-development-starts-here-r2976 

A lot of GameDevelopment (and development in general) is being able to research what you don't know. If you've never done any collision, then searching for examples/tutorials of that should point you in the right direction. If you don't understand what the heck they're talking about then you search for the topic that confused you. Keep doing that until you build up your knowledge enough to tackle the problem.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "Pffft, these games are too simple. I could knock any one of those out in like a weekend." Then prove it. Install Unity and Visual Studio and code up Pong. You'll be surprised at what you learn. Heck, I've been a developer for over 20 years now. I took the GameDev Missile Command challenge and learned a few things in the process. Here's my journal entry about it: 


- Eck

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Couldn't have said what @Eck said any better.

Game programming is weird, because it's still computer programming, just with some extra art parts that are specific to game development.  Like, binary search in games is the same as binary search in regular computer science; but level design only lives in game development.

So.. "how to learn game development" is an art in itself.  Like @Eck said, knowing how to find what you're looking for is a valuable skill.  And I second the idea of starting off by making games.  Try to make Pong or Breakout.  Start with single-player, and code up the game loop, user input, collision, etc. (I recommend using programmer art to begin with).  The nice thing about smallish projects like Pong/Breakout is you can make them as AAA as you'd like.  Pong can be in 3D with network multiplayer, and fancy physics and/or visual effects.. Make whatever you want to learn.

But start small and, along the way, research whatever you don't know.

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