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#1 KBoogle  Icon User is offline

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Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

I don't know where else to post this question, so please bare with me.

My goal is to be able to create small games on my own at home, during spare time between work and family duties. I am not able to take any kind of normal course in a college or university due to time constraints (I'm employed full time), so I figured that my best chance would be to structure my own education by learning from a series of books. These books, however, are not in particular about game programming. They are just about programming, and here is where I'm a little doubtful that I'm on the right track. What I am learning from these books (let's take Accelerated C++ as an example), will it be useful for me to solve game-related problems if I try to create a game? Or am I learning things that I'll never need?

For instance, if say I want to create a game using Unreal, or maybe Unity, or some other engine/development tool... Unreal3 uses some kind of other language for it's scripts. In fact they have a visual scripting tool they call Kismet for that (I've created some custom maps for UT3 using Unreal3). How would learning to program in C++ help me create a game in Unreal, or Unity (which again has it's own language)? Should I stop what I'm doing and start learning these tools instead? And not just Unreal, of course, but display and sound libraries like SDL or DirectX or OpenGL?

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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

I would figure you would want a foundation in general computer programming in so you have the concepts and can not be tied down to just one platform or one language. It is akin to learning general grammar instead of learning how to work through just *a* book.

so no, it is not a waste of time.
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#3 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

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I am not able to take any kind of normal course in a college or university due to time constraints (I'm employed full time), so I figured that my best chance would be to structure my own education by learning from a series of books.
It's worth noting that programming has to be learned by oneself anyway. Universities would be useful for computer science, and maybe the environment and assistance in programming. But the actual hard work of learning to program is up to the individual.

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These books, however, are not in particular about game programming. They are just about programming, and here is where I'm a little doubtful that I'm on the right track.
Game programming is programming. Games are just the type of application you're creating.

There's no shortcut to being a games programmer. You have to learn to program.

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For instance, if say I want to create a game using Unreal, or maybe Unity, or some other engine/development tool... Unreal3 uses some kind of other language for it's scripts. In fact they have a visual scripting tool they call Kismet for that (I've created some custom maps for UT3 using Unreal3). How would learning to program in C++
Learning to program generally will help you because it's programming in the end.

The C++ specifics won't. So if you're trying to get started with Unreal, just get started with Unreal, and not C++.
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#4 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

If you're using Unreal, why you don't just concentrate on learning what you need? There are plenty of resources for beginning UnrealScript. A previous knowledge of any programming language or programming concepts is always helpful when starting a new language, so teaching yourself C++ (or any mainstream languages) is going to help, but if you want to utilize your time as best as possible, just learn UnrealScript.

OpenGL on the other hand, requires an advanced knowledge of C++ and the API itself to do anything useful. I don't recommend using it solely to build a game. It's quite primitive, dealing mostly with vectors, shaders, etc., and requires a lot of programming to do a little bit of stuff. If anything, find a toolkit that sits atop it and use that.

This post has been edited by blackcompe: 24 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

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#5 htoruen  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

View PostKBoogle, on 24 December 2012 - 04:22 PM, said:

Should I stop what I'm doing and start learning these tools instead? And not just Unreal, of course, but display and sound libraries like SDL or DirectX or OpenGL?

I would recommend WebGL through three.js for someone who just wants to make simple games as a hobby.

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WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a Javascript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics[2] within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. WebGL is integrated completely into all the web standards of the browser allowing GPU accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects as part of the web page canvas. WebGL elements can be mixed with other HTML elements and composited with other parts of the page or page background.[3] WebGL programs consist of control code written in Javascript and shader code that is executed on a computer's Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). WebGL is designed and maintained by the non-profit Khronos Group.[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebGL


Three.js is an api to WebGL which is very easy to use.

check out some three.js examples here
http://mrdoob.github.com/three.js/
http://www.aerotwist.com/

It's nice because people can play your game right from your web site; makes it easy to get people to check it out.

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 26 December 2012 - 09:00 PM
Reason for edit:: Removed duplicate posts

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#6 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:58 AM

If all you want to do is make a game, use a game maker tool such as game maker or RPG maker, etc. If you want to learn and do game "development" from the ground up then you need to learn programming at a more fundamental level such as C++, C# etc.

I would recommend you take the middle road, learn C# and the XNA framework if you want to learn game development from the ground up. If all you want to do is "make a game" then learn a game maker tool.

If you are conflicted and want to do both-- try a game maker tool with nice scripting language support. For example, Love 2D, Corona SDK, Unity3d, etc.
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#7 alicemenezes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I wasting time learning things I don't need?

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:23 AM

How do you create games..?? It involves programming too right? But before you go for any niche kind of programming it is better to learn any of the mainstream languages one of which is C++ or java or .Net etc. But knowing one of these is important. So all in all I'd say no, you are not wasting your time.
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