Newbie here... I just completed my first project. It is a Tetris knockoff. Why Tetris? I lurked this board for a while and found a few articles... "Direct X-tacy" - Andre Lamothe "How do I make games?" A pathe to development - Geoff Howland ''A path'' was great and I took it to heart. If your new - read them both.
As a defence, however, I do know how to program. Somewhat. There are just things that make SO little sense that you just don''t know enough to know what questions to ask, so you end up asking stupid questions. Many times I have gotten the RTFM answer from questions about DX. Well, I have to say that the SDK sucks. Yes, it does answer almost all questions, but often so archaiclly that they are useless to me. So I ask a question. RTFM is an acceptable answer - but please - maybe section references or something?
There are several aspects of programming that I just can''t fathom. Pointers to pointers is one? Why would you need that? But I do know that this an inapropriate place for those questions.
In closing, I am an absolute newbie in this. I am trying my hardest to learn but the curve is steep and there is almost TO much info to absorb at a time. If I ask a question that appears stupid to you, it is only because I HAVE searched for an answer and failed or found an answer that I was incapable of using. Have patience please. Thou art probably greater than me.
I think we should just ignore the questions we don''t want to answer, and don''t flame the newbies. I see more and more that "respected" programmers flame and dishearten newbies only because they ask questions.
Also gamedev staff should ask itself why there are so many newbie postings. Allow them a better way to seek their answer on gamedev, and the newbies postings will decrease greatly.
I despise the idea of a newbies only section, because the next step would be to not allow newbies in the other forums.
Also, some posts recently have been moderated by various moderators and in at least 30% of the cases, the moderator was overreacting.
1) Make the "New? Start Here" graphic red or flash. I never seen this link until it was mentioned in this thread and I went looking for it. It blends in too well with the rest of the site design. If is was flashy it might catch more newbie''s attention.
2) Tutorials (or links) on engines. It does seem as though most newbies are less interested in coding an engine than using one to realize their game. If information on using scripting engines were available maybe there would be fewer questions like ''could someone just give me the code for a 3D isometric engine?''
3) Be specific when directing someone to documentation or a web page. If you''re going to take the time to reply to a post you might as well give them explicit directions where they can find information. I''m sure those who are serious simply could not locate the information on their own. Don''t get me wrong, I do agree that too many newbies are posting questions. I''m still learning myself but I find that I can answer most questions posted. This does not justify flaming someone. Remember, you don''t have to reply to every question posted.
4) A newbie forum will not work. How many of you would regularly scan the newbie forum? If no one would respond to posted questions they would eventually post the this forum ''... but no one would respond to my questions.''
I apologize if any of this is repeated from other posts. This seems to be a hot topic.