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JaLue2002

Taking the First Step

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First time poster. New at this whole programming thing and every journey begins with a single step so here is the first step.

A little about me. I am someone whose mind is always creating ideas but they usually just end up as a very well thought out wish. With that being said, I've always had an interest in computer programming and website design which leads me to my concern.

I have an idea for an online tycoon game. It is text based. Basically, players can sign up and then they can run their own Movie Studio and/or TV network. They can then create their own movies and release them in different ways (theaters, Straight to DVD, etc.) Their would be different options that the players can select and each choice has an effect on cost and quality of their films. Also a box office system and other random happenings. I know that a database is going to be needed to consist of all the data (genres, talent, etc.)

I know I am far away from being able to create this and I don't know if anyone will ever play it or not. But I want to do it more or less to prove that I can. But I want it to be functional. I am perfectly fine taking the time to learn the things I need to learn but I have a couple questions.

1)Is it possible to do this?

2)What do I need to learn to make it happen?

3)Where do I start?

Thanks for any responses you provide.

 

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1) Yes.

2) It all depends on how much you know already.  If that isn't at least a little bit of entry level programming, then you will not get very far towards your goal until that has happened.  If that is the case, check out c# and Unity.

3) There are TONS of tutorials for the Unity game engine, and some of those start out so basic they don't even require any scripting.  I recommend you start there if you are totally new to programming yet want to get your feet wet anyhow.

Unity is FREE(for individuals) so don't think you need to buy a bunch of software either.

YouTube, search "unity beginner tutorial", this will be the fastest way you will be able to get your feet wet and actually FEEL like you are doing something towards making an actual game.  You can try the pure code route, but unless you really really really love code, go with an engine like Unity to start out.

 

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Welcome!

2 hours ago, JaLue2002 said:

1)Is it possible to do this?

Absolutely. :) 

2 hours ago, JaLue2002 said:

2)What do I need to learn to make it happen?

If you only want it to be 'text' based and maybe a few images, you could look into just making this using HTML/CSS/Javascript with PHP for the database ('online part').

This will help you two fold - game development and web site development as you have an interest in both. :) 

I would recommend starting here to learn HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, and PHP with SQL: https://www.w3schools.com/

My suggestion is to incorporate Bootstrap so your layouts are fluid and dynamic: https://getbootstrap.com/

For the Database side of things you can use mysql with phpmyadmin. Many web hosting sites will have this as a standard feature, otherwise you can setup your own. I would suggest setting up a local version anyhow for testing and development.

WAMP is something you'll want for this as it contains everything you need to start! http://www.wampserver.com/en/

When using Javascript I would recommend jQuery which is a Javascript library and all that info can be found on w3schools which I linked at the top.

If you need some more help let me know! :) 

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If you aren't afraid of a few involved setup steps, @Rutin's recommendation is really quite a good place to start too.

And probably a little more appropriate for a text game.

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Thanks for all the advice (And by no means stop). I have been watching tutorials online but I needed a direction as to which areas to focus on because their are alot of options. 

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1 minute ago, JaLue2002 said:

Thanks for all the advice (And by no means stop). I have been watching tutorials online but I needed a direction as to which areas to focus on because their are alot of options. 

The most important step is just to pick something and start. It doesn't matter if it's the 'web' approach, Unity, GameMaker, or any other one. I find a lot of new people get lost in all the options available and this can come with a major down side... people can sometimes jump around too much, or always second guess what the "best" tool is. At the end of the day only results matter regardless of the tool used. :) Pick the tool you'll stick with and adapt as you grow because Game Development in itself is very diverse with endless options.

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1) Pick the language you want to work in.  Choose one with a lot of current tutorials.  And one that makes some kind of sense to you without spending hours studying it.  Then stick with it until you have it DOWN.  The lessons you learn well with one language will transfer to almost any other with a little effort and study.

2) Choose the kind of environment you want to work in.  Do you prefer working with a simple text editor and a command line(great for web development)?  Or do you want a full blown IDE like Visual Studio AND/OR a game engine like Unity or GameMaker/etc... 

If I had to go about learning programming today the sheer number of options would make me rage quit..  ;)

Start with those two aspects, and find your comfort zone.

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I did think of another question regarding my game. Due to the nature of it, their is going to be alot of conditional things (production cost being effected by specific choices and so on). Plus I want the box office to be recalculated automatically every week. Is this able to be done through SQL or do I need to add algorithms in addition?

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I would handle most of that kind of stuff as part of the main game loop logic.  If you are creating a web type game, then your "main game loop" will probably be some kind of server side system that at least runs your periodic "conditionals".  This can be as simple as a scheduled script that executes the SQL statements daily or weekly or whatever, or a full blown server side game loop script/program, written in whatever language that you like, that runs continuously to keep the game state constantly updated(aka: a game Server). 

If you're just asking about doing the actual math inside the SQL statements that interact with the database, well that's entirely up to your comfort level with SQL, it's a very powerful language on its own.  However, the point in your code where the conditional methods/SQL statements are initiated would probably be best in some kind of main game loop.

If you are really clever with SQL, then you could theoretically even build stored procedures to do all the math and conditional work and have those scheduled inside the SQL server, without even writing a "game server".  But that's not entry level SQL stuff. ;)

Edited by Septopus

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When I say it's not entry level, I'm not saying it's super complex either..  There are some really useful things a SQL server can do if you want to explore that route.  Look into Triggers, and Stored Procedures if you are curious about some of the more "intelligent" things almost any flavor of SQL server can do.

Edited by Septopus

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