I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

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#1 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:13 AM

So. I want to make games. Just for myself. Just for fun. Small 2D games.

My problem:

I start questioning my decisions, and then I can't focus.

Let me explain,

When I started programming, I started with C++. That was 6 years ago, and I had no idea what a variable was. I gave up, and continued playing videogames. Then I tried to get into Java, made a Hello World, and gave up again. After having been at a little independent company, with a programmer, that recommended C#, I tried to get into that, but failed. World of Warcraft then stole 3000 hours of my life, and made my grades considerably lower, than they would have been. I started at a CS course, that taught Java, learned a ton, then I moved away, and dropped out of my class. Then I moved back in with my parents, and I started programming in C# again, then Python, then C++, then Java, Then Javascript, then ActionScript, then I enrolled in a new course in Web Development, and was taught HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. So right now I am at a point where I have NO idea what to do.

A lot of you wonderful regulars, gave me a lot of help, when I was messing around with C#, but I ran into some problems about writing in a language, when I actually don't like Windows 8, and the direction that Microsoft is moving Windows in. I thought about XNA, but I read in here, and on other sites, that it is pretty much dead.

I found FlashPunk, which is an ActionScript engine, and had a little fun in that, but I feel like the problem solving is a bit above my level. I am constantly googling everything, and I feel like, I'm not programming, but just finding solutions that will work, till I forget how to do it again.

I don't want to write my own engine. I know syntax fundamentals, and after a lot of help, with design, from the Klingon whom name I cannot write, I improved those skills a little bit too. I need some guidance to what language I should use, because I simply can't decide myself.

I apologise if this is written in the wrong part of the forum, and that if I seem hopeless. I really do want to program, I just feel like I am slower at learning than anyone else around me.

Oh, and I have been programming small things in my spare time, to get a hang of it, but I should do more.


Thanks a lot in advance, and have a nice weekend,
Arceopteryx

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#2 Michael26  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:05 AM

It's nice to let off some steam one in a while(i guess this post was all about that)
As for myself i wish i started programming earlier in my life, my first encounter was in high school senior year(It was Pascal and wee bit of C) then later i found Java and C#, SQL, UML.
So yeah
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#3 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:06 AM

I started in highschool with a language called BASIC----look it up and you will see how old I am
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#4 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:12 AM

Michael26 Yeah it is some steam that is being let out.

DarenR Heh 1964. My 51 year old dad, told me that he tried messing with BASIC on his ZX Spectrum, when he was young.

I think it is rather nice to hear when you started programming and which language. I like stories! :-)
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

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View PostArceopteryx, on 07 December 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:

I know syntax fundamentals

The problem is that you don't seem to have the dedication required. No one seems to grasp this at first, but game development is bar none, the most difficult programming experience. It requires advanced understandings of languages & graphics.

View PostArceopteryx, on 07 December 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:

I need some guidance to what language I should use, because I simply can't decide myself.

There is part of your problem. There isn't a magical language that one can use to suddenly be able to develop games. You need to pick a language that you understand well enough.

Not to be too harsh, but I don't think you'll ever get there.

I've had a car since high school that I've been tinkering with here & there. Eventually I just paid someone else to finish fixing it. A man has got to know his limits. If you don't have the disciplined to finish classes, or learn a language on your own, well, sorry but you don't have what it takes. It's difficult. Very difficult. & asking for language preference after six years kind of shows that you don't have an independent mindset. Developers write games in any of those languages you mentioned, & more.
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#6 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:29 AM

no2pencil I have been toying around with that thought myself.

I've really been wanting to write C#, since I think it is a fun language. The problem I encounter though, is that I like linux, and I don't like Windows 8. My laptop and desktop have partitions with Ubuntu.

I dropped out of the class, because I moved in with two "mates" that later got declared mentally ill, by my county. Also i've enrolled on a new CS course, since that is what I want to do.

However I do agree on the independent mindset, and I don't really know my limits yet.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:16 AM

Quote

I've really been wanting to write C#, since I think it is a fun language. The problem I encounter though, is that I like linux, and I don't like Windows 8. My laptop and desktop have partitions with Ubuntu.


You can write C# on linux - look up mono. Not very common, but you can do it. I've toyed with this, it's on the list of things to really try, which means I might look at this in the next year.

It sounds to me like you've acquired a lot of knowledge about programming, but you haven't done a lot of actual programming. What you need is problems that grab hold of your mind and demand that you solve them. Unfortunately, none of us can provide that. We can throw ideas at you, but you have to get stuck on one of them.
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#8 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:45 AM

Doesn't sound like you completely wasted the last few years. Oh you certainly could have done more, and you're lacking the full motivation needed, but it wasn't all for naught.

Keep on going.

As for making games.

Flash/Actionscript3 - you brought this up, and yes it doesn't have a 'game engine' built into. But what it has does pretty much everything you need for a simple 2d game (3d, not so much, it does 3d, but the physics and raycasting involved isn't well supported). Because this language is SO easy to learn, I'd shoot with it. I started in C++, C#, and Java as well trying to make games, and came to AS3 and had my self a real job in a matter of months of starting with it (maybe not a great job, but still a real job). The language was so easy to use that I quickly learned a LOT and now have moved on to 15+ other languages and expanded my knowledge further.

That and you can slap together small games like tetris and pong with little to no time.



Unity3d - if you want to do 3d games or 2.5d games, this engine is actually really good. For scripting you can use C#, boo, or unityscript (a flavour of ecmascript similar to AS3). The community for this is very active and very helpful.



HTML5/javascript - there's actually several small 2d gameengines created and still being created using HTML5/javascript. Theyr'e interesting and pretty powerful considering they run in browsers. Just go google for them, you can slap together games super fast with some of them with their simple designed IDEs. Only downside to several of them is that they hide a lot of the background stuff from you and limit what you can actually do, this way the things you can do are very easy to create.



C#/XNA - it's not dead. Visual Studio 2012 actually came with a bunch of new tools for it. MS just isn't really pushing it as the professional level, and it's staying primarily indie/hobbyist grade stuff. But it's POWERFUL and very nitty-gritty. You'll have some of the hardest time starting here, only harder would be going with things like C++.




Do note - there are several big game engines out there (primarily 3d) that you can get your hands on that use their own custom scripting language. The engine itself tends to be written in C++, but they don't give you access to that (especially with the free licenses like UnrealDevKit). Instead they give you access to their scripting language... which is the same language used by everyone else to make games as the front end scripting part is made easy to work with for the scenario scripters who are less concerned about how the physics work, and more concerned about scripting up an action scene between to entities in game.



Keep at it...

I'd also like to point out. MAKING GAMES and PLAYING GAMES are two different things all together. Like just because you like playing them does NOT mean you'll like making them. I [try] to make games, I have several friends who also do, a few even work for big companies like Activision/VV, Bethesda, 2KGames... we like playing games, but more importantly we LOVE building things. We're the kids who played with legos, erector sets, chemsitry sets, etc when we were 6 and 7 years old. We got our hands on boot-legs of 3d studio max and maya when we were 13 and 14 years old and started playing with them. When I played Sonic the Hedgehog as a kid I used to sit 3 inches from the screen banging on the start button trying to watch the animations in slow-mo to see how it is they accomplished it, and I devised it to be what turned out to be correct (sprite-sheets).

We like to investigate systems, make systems, and break systems. We spend our days trying to figure out what we and others enjoy about games, and how to exploit that. More than we think about playing games. I play a new game every week at minimum... but never beat them. I sit down and play probably 4 or 5 hours and then never look at it again unless I feel there's maybe a gameplay element I missed and need to revisit to understand. I play only to see what others are doing in the game industry. If you get lost in WoW but don't care to know WHY people get lost in WoW... well you might not like making games.




Good luck.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 07 December 2012 - 07:45 AM

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#9 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

jon.kiparsky Alright, thank you Jon, i'll look that up. I'll then soak my head, and come up with some problems that needs solving!
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

I started with BASIC in high school and I was born WAY after 1964. Just sayin'.

Ok, maybe not WAY after, but quite a few years after. Damned kids!

As for the OP, I bounced around a bit, too... BASIC in high school... then took C++ in college... didn't understand it, left college... moved in with one of my former SO's, discovered the magic that is the internet... started looking at website source code... taught myself HTML by reverse engineering it... went back to school... took VB, C++ and COBOL... was asked by a friend to build a website, only knew how to write very basic HTML and only using frames... another friend jumped in and wrote a single page to replace the garbage I had posted. She used this thing called CSS. I was absolutely mesmerized by what she was able to accomplish. I tore her code apart and started hitting W3Schools, teaching myself how to do what she had done. I then worked on rebuilding the site myself - using my new found knowledge. A few months later, another friend asked me to help with a site for an online store. In PHP. I started consuming every PHP resource I could find... which led to MySQL databases... and on and on and on... I fell in love with web development.

But I think that's the key. You have to fall in love with coding or you'll never be content in it. Don't get me wrong, there are days I want to throw in the towel and go work as a Walmart greeter, but those are usually days that are heavily laden with data entry or graphic design. When I get to write actual code, I remember why I do what I do and I remember why I love my job.

No one here can tell you how to "get into" coding. Either you have a passion for it or you don't. It really doesn't run much deeper than that.
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#11 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

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Nothing is more satisfying then when you finish a project and you can say-- hey I made that---
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#12 Arceopteryx  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:59 AM

lordofduct
BenignDesign

Thank you for the responses. I'm humbled that you took the time to write them. As for a response form my side:

I've been tinkering, since I learned to crawl. Learning how systems work etc. I've spent more time opening toys and playing with the electric guts, than actually playing with the toys. Slowly progressing and chipping away small parts of the problem, feels amazing. I love the feeling I get, when I finish something. I'm just, so very slow.

I had a set called "Edison Jr." which was physics and electronic circuits. Man I played a lot with that.

Again, thank you for a butt-load of motivation. I'll get some ideas, and start there!

PS. Thank you to everyone that has responded, I really appreciate it. Wish I could +1 more.
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#13 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:02 AM

Arceopteryx,

I am a very slow programmer myself. I will make something and hate it and start all over. I will also just stare at a screen thinking to myself wtf, how am I going to do this? Then my mind goes blank--- I get the shit done and all of the sudden I am like , "how the "f" did I do this lol.
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#14 xclite  Icon User is online

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:08 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 07 December 2012 - 09:16 AM, said:

It sounds to me like you've acquired a lot of knowledge about programming, but you haven't done a lot of actual programming.

I do this. Basically, at some point, you need to start building things. Reading about and exploring programming will keep you at the adept level forever - you have to get your hands dirty to build any real confidence.
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#15 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: I've wasted a couple of years on nothing

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:08 AM

View PostDarenR, on 07 December 2012 - 10:02 AM, said:

I will also just stare at a screen thinking to myself wtf, how am I going to do this? Then my mind goes blank--- I get the shit done and all of the sudden I am like , "how the "f" did I do this lol.

I used to have a commute to a job that was similar to the above statement.
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