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I feel like a complete and utter idiot. Please help!

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Hi!

So.. uh. I have really taken an interest into trying to create video games but.. eh.. I don't even know how to make a ball roll from one side of the screen to the other. I don't even know why i'm trying or even posting this. I doubt anyone will respond anyways. I've tried to watch tutorials but I can't understand them. I even managed to mess up literally copying what someone else had posted for a tutorial. I don't know what to do anymore. All I wanted to do was make SOMETHING. I might just be an impatient piece of crap though. I know that even making the simplest of games can take hundreds of hours to create. I just wish I could do something. Making anything do anything would be amazing. I'm probably not cut out to do this. If anyone could help that would be really nice.

Sincerely:

The impatient piece of crap

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um.  Well first I'll say hello. :) 
Maybe don't be so self defeating, bad way to start out :|

If you want a way to learn is to break someone else's code.  Just so happens I have a tower defence game I made for a challenge written entirely in javascript.

 

Feel free to download the project and tinker away.

If you'd like to tinker with something much shorter
you can tinker with this 

It's a good way to learn.   comment a line out or delete a line and see what breaks! :)  You might even find things to add yourself.

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Hello, and welcome! :)

 

Getting started can be hard, especially if you have problems with impatience or controlling your expectations. It takes time and effort to get even the basic things working, and although development is very rewarding there is also lots of frustration along the way.

 

When you were following a tutorial, were you programming "from scratch", or using an engine?  If you're having trouble being impatient while you're getting started, it might be beneficial to try a simple engine or tool that gives fast results with less work. You can make some great games in these tools and potentially even find some commercial success, and the skills you learn will transfer if you want to move on to something a bit more complex at a later stage.

 

Some good recommendations might be Construct, Game Maker, or Stencyl.

 

Try not to be so hard on yourself, everyone struggles at some stage, and everyone gets frustrated. You can do this if you put in the time and effort! :)

EDIT: I should say, if you wanted to keep working through that tutorial you were doing, the community could also help you to trouble-shoot and get it working. :)

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Hi and welcome.

First of all, don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody said game development (or any type of dev) is easy. Programming is not for everyone, keep that in mind. That's just the way it is. You need the patience of a saint, and you need to love it. Of course you won't know that until you try it for a time.

If you decide you just can't get into programming you'll need to look into non- or lite-programming game making tools. @jbadams mentioned some above. Another is Godot with VisualScript.

If you do think you want to get into programming, e.g. C#, C++, etc. then learn that first, at least to a decent level. Some will say you can learn programming in the process of making a game. Some can, some can't. Don't bite off more than you can chew. It's a long, long road ahead. Can you handle that?

Anyway there are too many unknowns here. What exactly are you using to make your game? Share what you've done.

Edited by duke_meister

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I had this same problem.  I have wanted to make games since I was a kid and we put RM2k on the school computer and have attempted to get into making my own game for the better part of a decade.  Every unsuccessful attempt I've had I tried to work my way through tutorials and pick up things that way, I was able to work through them but then retaining the information and using it later on projects I had going while watching the tutorials was a problem, I just wasn't fully comprehending the intricacies of programming and would make mistakes that in hindsight should have been obvious but would go over my head, things like bracket and semicolon placement or missing a single parenthese, but I would overthink it and second guess the logic I learned and pretty much unlearn things if that makes any sense.

The past few months I have switched it up and just been finding fully completed sample projects in GMS and Unity they finding the bits and pieces I want to learn and taking them apart and really getting to know them.  Once I know how they work I use what I learned in a game I'm making that I'm slowly incorporating everything in and I am about 70% done with my first game and have gotten to the point where the coding is more or less done and just needs to be cleaned up and put into a more readable and efficient format but it works and I feel like I understand coding logic a lot better now and could make a simple game on my own without references or pasta.  I think the big difference here is learning the nuts and bolts of it before learning good form and coding practice, which is important but useless if you don't have the base skill to apply it to.  Lots of tutorials on youtube are made by really knowledgeable people but they either jump right into best coding practices or they show you an example of a simplified one then say "but that's not how we're going to do it" then go back and have you erase what you just learned only to do it again a different way and that always threw me off and took the wind out of my sails while also making it hard to pick up a 20 part 45 minute each tutorial series.  Looking at multiple versions of finished things like platformer and ARPG codes for commonly used engines and seeing common practices and how they work and having the ability to see what happens when I change bits and pieces is something that can be picked up and left off at any time and it feels like there is a lot more potential to learn because it's not a blank slate dependent on what someone is instructing me to write at the pace of molasses.

If your goal is to learn coding this is what has helped me understand it.  If your goal is to make good games there is more than enough modular assets available on any of the major engine's storefronts, think of it as small scale outsourcing or better yet think of hiring a coder like hiring a landscaper, the guy with the botany degree and a team of people that does custom work will cost more than the kid with the mower that goes over every lawn the same way.  Asset store code is that quick mow, you can still make the yard look good and that is an integral part of it but you will have to put in some work to make the yard your own.  Of course give credit if you use anything but the end goal here is to make something fun that resonates with people, whether or not you coded every detail from scratch will not make it any more fun.  Yes, a basic understanding of coding will allow you to implement what you and grant you the freedom of not just having to work with set templates and no you shouldn't just asset flip and call yourself a dev but there is no shame in saving time.

Anyway, maybe try out reverse engineering a template or completed tutorial and working at your own pace, keep up at it and good luck to you.

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17 minutes ago, Gnollrunner said:

You can still write "console" programs on your PC and I don't think that's a bad way to learn.

My thoughts exactly. In fact I'd argue that's how any game should initially be coded and tested. You should be able to write your main code (e.g. class model, tests) that way then plug it in to your game/graphics engine. Guaranteed you'll have a better architecture and you'll be able to plug it into any game engine*. I did this recently, started a game prototype in Unity then moved it all to Godot with minimal effort.

*that supports the language

Edited by duke_meister
Changed the quote

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52 minutes ago, Gnollrunner said:

I heard this complaint far less frequently when I started programming 35+ years ago. I think this is because we started at the bottom. I mean you literally started with "Hello World!". Any graphics done was with text characters, and if you were intrepid, you picked up the terminal manual and learned "ESC" sequences and learned simple graphics and games that way.

The thing is every line you put down you knew exactly what it was for. You can still write "console" programs on your PC and I don't think that's a bad way to learn.

Exactly this.

I mainly code in C++ and DirectX now, but with any new engine I try, I start out as simple as I can and work from there.

There is a steep learning curve with whatever language or engine you use. Don't start out making World of Warcraft. Start out by getting something on the screen. Then make it move. Then add user input. And so on. They knowledge will accumulate, but it takes time.

I started C++ in 2005 and I still consider myself a beginner at it.

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