14 Replies - 1796 Views - Last Post: 25 April 2010 - 05:59 PM Rate Topic: -----

#1 cplusplus2392  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 30-March 10

How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:31 PM

Ok so i'm currently a high school senior. i want to be a game programmer when i graduate college. my only problem is that i am not sure what kinds of software i should try starting out in or ones that i should avoid. i have much experience in making video games with Adobe Flash, my last one being for a FBLA competition which i won first in the state with and waiting for the national conference to see how i stacked up against other state winners. i really would like to take my game programming knowledge much further than just flash so i can make something that is more likely to be played on an actual console. thanks for any and all help. :D

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

#2 kowwok  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 21
  • View blog
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 20-November 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:13 AM

Follow SixofEleven's blog. Nuff' said.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 NeoTifa  Icon User is online

  • Whorediot
  • member icon





Reputation: 2774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 15,875
  • Joined: 24-September 08

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:37 AM

Experiment with anything and everything. That's all college is about anyways.... ;)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 Fib  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 161
  • View blog
  • Posts: 554
  • Joined: 12-March 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 22 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

Hi cplusplus2392,

That is great that you are so young and already making games in Flash! I'm probably not much older than you, but I'm just saying it's a great thing!

Flash is a great way to make games, and there has been TONS of really fun Flash games. But if you want to expand your horizons, I would suggest you learn C# and the XNA framework. Both of which you can get for free from Microsoft. With XNA you can actually create games that can be played on the XBox 360 through XBox Live Arcade. If you want to make games for PS3 or Wii, sadly you are going to have to actually get a job at Sony or Nintendo. So if you want to make games for actual consoles, XNA is your best bet.

Another option is to use C++ and Direct X or OpenGL. You would not be able to make any games for consoles, but you can make PC games which is still awesome. For C++ you can get Visual C++ Express for free(Microsoft), and you can also download both Direct X(Microsoft) and OpenGL libraries for free. If you don't want to use Visual C++, then you can use CodeBlocks(free) which is also really good.

I hope that helps!

This post has been edited by Fib: 22 April 2010 - 12:25 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#5 cplusplus2392  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 30-March 10

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

yes thank you for the help. i am currently in a C++ online class so that i can learn some more due to when i was researching game programming jobs most companies require a very strong knowledge of it. but just because i am starting to learn doesn't help me with the game programming lol. my teacher knows nothing of making games, that i know of anyway, and all we do is assignments for his class. i really would like to be able to make console games and pc games both as a beginner. i get CGW magazine monthly or how ever often it comes, and there are always ads for some new programming software stuff out for games and the likes. my only problem is that they are way to far out of my price range(which currently is anything free) but i think i will try out the XNA and see what i can do with these program. if you have any other ideas or suggestions you can email me at dylanhghs@aol.com
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 Fib  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 161
  • View blog
  • Posts: 554
  • Joined: 12-March 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:23 AM

You really can't just start making games with C++ if you don't have a deep understanding of C++. I shouldn't say can't, but it's very hard. Creating games is a very specialized area of computer science, and will require that you know A LOT about C++. Any library like XNA(this is in C# though), Direct X or OpenGL uses lots and lots of pointers, classes, structs and other advanced C++ topics.

I would suggest that you take a few C++ classes, and read through some C++ books and tutorials. You should also do a lot of C++ exercises as your learning, like most books have, or make up your own small projects to test your C++ knowledge. If you don't apply your C++ knowledge step by step as you learn it, then it will be hard to retain the information. Once you feel that you have a good understanding of C++ (don't forget to learn about pointers, classes, OOP, data structures, ect), then you should be able to tackle game programming much much easier. It also helps to get a book on game programming, like this one.

Or you can use a program that does mostly everything for you, like Game Maker. Where mostly everything is a drag and drop interface.

These are just my suggestions. But I've gone down this road before and everything I've mentioned I've done myself. I'm sure your probably very eager to get started making these games, i know i was, but it will be a lot easier if you learn more about game programming first before you jump into it.

I hope that helps!

This post has been edited by Fib: 23 April 2010 - 09:28 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 cplusplus2392  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 30-March 10

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:32 AM

you are very helpful to my ideas of what to do but the drag and drop isn't really what im looking for. i want something where i have to write the codes for everything i need. and i am going to be downloading everything i need for the XNA so i can get started in that.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 Penzyak  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 22-April 10

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:37 AM

You might find it helpful to go to amazon.com and search for the topics you're interested in, like "XNA" or "Game Programming".
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Fib  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 161
  • View blog
  • Posts: 554
  • Joined: 12-March 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:48 AM

Good luck with XNA.

If you need some help here is a beginner's guide to XNA, which has like 1000 pages of tutorials. Pretty good stuff.

This post has been edited by Fib: 23 April 2010 - 09:48 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 cplusplus2392  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 30-March 10

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 01:36 PM

well thank you everyone ill make sure to look into those and get me some games made :D
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

  • using Caffeine;
  • member icon

Reputation: 945
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6,342
  • Joined: 18-October 08

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 23 April 2010 - 05:23 PM

I would also suggest reading the linked topic below. It will give you advice on starting with game development. I'm also going to move this to the game programming forum as it is more about game programming than games.

http://www.dreaminco...velopment-tips/
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 ikofthetoids  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 39
  • Joined: 18-December 08

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:44 AM

Try making XNA games. they're written in a language called C# which is fairly similar to ActionsScript. The best part is, you can make games for windows, zune, or xbox 360. just download microsoft's C# IDE from here and then download the XNA extensions from here. Make sure you download it in that order. here's a good tutorial to get started: http://www.riemers.net/
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 reaper4334  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 16
  • View blog
  • Posts: 107
  • Joined: 01-November 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:36 PM

View PostFib, on 23 April 2010 - 08:48 AM, said:

If you need some help here is a beginner's guide to XNA, which has like 1000 pages of tutorials. Pretty good stuff.


I've just read the first 25 pages of that tutorial and so far it seems to be an absolute goldmine. Everything is well described and taken slowly but with things emphasised that need to be, allowing for the reader to skim through if they don't want to read all the information.
I recommend this tutorial :D

[edit] fixed quote

This post has been edited by reaper4334: 25 April 2010 - 02:37 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 25 April 2010 - 03:51 PM

You're obviously working hard, and have gotten some pointers here, but just to point out a few things to be aware of.

Quote

my only problem is that i am not sure what kinds of software i should try starting out in or ones that i should avoid.
Since you are a senior, you will start at your university soon enough. Your choice of languages is going to be heavily influenced by what your university teaches. I would take that into consideration. If your university teaches Scheme in the introductory CS courses, for example, that might be the language you want to go with. I'm assuming of course that you intend to take computer science as a major.

Quote

i am currently in a C++ online class so that i can learn some more due to when i was researching game programming jobs most companies require a very strong knowledge of it.
It's true that in the industry C++ knowledge is often a requirement. You don't necessarily have to be a guru, but, competence is not only valued, but at a number of companies, required. That said, It's about five years away before you get a job. So you don't have to rush quite yet. It's also prudent not to rush. C++ is a language that is effectively an experts only language. Writing good code requires a lot of knowledge about the language itself, which distracts from learning computer science and software development principles. Guess which is really important to learn.

Quote

i really would like to be able to make console games and pc games both as a beginner.
You can't actually start making console games like a professional until you work for a company. The thing is, the SDKs for consoles is controlled by the companies. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, etc. It's not just a matter of acquiring money. They ensure that only companies they approve of get the software and licenses to use them. Which basically means you are a company of experienced developers, money, ability to release polished game, etc.. And then you get the privilege of paying big money to acquire licenses.

So....not open to you. No reason to be disappointed though. The same development principles come into play on the PC. A good programmer on the console is also a good programmer on the PC. You basically can't be looking for books or tutorials on "how do I program on console". You've got four years to get this level of experience. That's not much time.

You're interested in XNA. XNA is a framework, with the API available in C#. So the smart thing to do would be to get experience with C# first, and have written several text based games in C# by itself. Once you're comfortable, you can add in XNA, and increase the complexity of what you are doing.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#15 cplusplus2392  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 30-March 10

Re: How to start as a Video Game Programmer

Posted 25 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

View PostOler1s, on 25 April 2010 - 02:51 PM, said:

You're obviously working hard, and have gotten some pointers here, but just to point out a few things to be aware of.

Quote

my only problem is that i am not sure what kinds of software i should try starting out in or ones that i should avoid.
Since you are a senior, you will start at your university soon enough. Your choice of languages is going to be heavily influenced by what your university teaches. I would take that into consideration. If your university teaches Scheme in the introductory CS courses, for example, that might be the language you want to go with. I'm assuming of course that you intend to take computer science as a major.

Quote

i am currently in a C++ online class so that i can learn some more due to when i was researching game programming jobs most companies require a very strong knowledge of it.
It's true that in the industry C++ knowledge is often a requirement. You don't necessarily have to be a guru, but, competence is not only valued, but at a number of companies, required. That said, It's about five years away before you get a job. So you don't have to rush quite yet. It's also prudent not to rush. C++ is a language that is effectively an experts only language. Writing good code requires a lot of knowledge about the language itself, which distracts from learning computer science and software development principles. Guess which is really important to learn.

Quote

i really would like to be able to make console games and pc games both as a beginner.
You can't actually start making console games like a professional until you work for a company. The thing is, the SDKs for consoles is controlled by the companies. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, etc. It's not just a matter of acquiring money. They ensure that only companies they approve of get the software and licenses to use them. Which basically means you are a company of experienced developers, money, ability to release polished game, etc.. And then you get the privilege of paying big money to acquire licenses.

So....not open to you. No reason to be disappointed though. The same development principles come into play on the PC. A good programmer on the console is also a good programmer on the PC. You basically can't be looking for books or tutorials on "how do I program on console". You've got four years to get this level of experience. That's not much time.

You're interested in XNA. XNA is a framework, with the API available in C#. So the smart thing to do would be to get experience with C# first, and have written several text based games in C# by itself. Once you're comfortable, you can add in XNA, and increase the complexity of what you are doing.


thank you very much you have helped me out alot and opened my eyes to the fact that although i do have alot to learn i have time.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1