5 Replies - 1955 Views - Last Post: 02 March 2013 - 07:06 AM

#1 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Where Do I Start?

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:04 PM

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time and viewing my thread. Okay well I have been "programming" for roughly three years, that's considered reading code and writing basic code. I have taken a long break from coding because I just felt I wasn't good at it, or cut out for it, even though I want to go to college for Computer Science. I have mostly only written code in Java, and Javascript, but let's put that aside and say I was just starting. Where should I start? I am decent at math, like not bad, nor great. I'm currently 16 years old and in High School. I guess what I am cutting down to is, what language should I start programming in? Like I am fine with programming anything, but Game Development really interests me. If I haven't attached more information for you to answer this question I am sorry but please post below what else I should add, and/or some advice. I really appreciate it, thanks.

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Replies To: Where Do I Start?

#2 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where Do I Start?

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:15 PM

I'm a 17-year-old, and I've been programming for about two years. If you're going to school for computer science, get started with Java. It's a very straightforward, fast, versatile, easy language, and it's the lingua franca for many computer science schools. Since you want to develop games, I would recommend learning Javascript so you can make HTML5 games. Javascript (not Java) is probably a bad first language, though, as it's a tough language to use properly. (It's easier to write good C++, I think.) But it's super easy if you don't care about writing "good" code, so you can put out some games without messing around with Java game libraries.

In short, teach yourself Java. And once you think you have a grasp of the language (and basic OOP), make some HTML5 games with Javascript. And then you might want to try some web development, so learn PHP & MySQL.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions - I'm new enough to remember how I learned (to some extent) but at the same time experienced enough to do some cool things with code.
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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where Do I Start?

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

Quote

I have mostly only written code in Java, and Javascript, but let's put that aside and say I was just starting.

Let's not! You've been programming in Java. Keep at it. If you feel you aren't good at it, you need more practice. My thread Geting Better at Programming in Java should get you going in the right direction.

With Game Programming, start small. Rock Paper Scissors and Blackjack are two good starting games. When you hit Graphics programming, Pong is a good starting point.

We also have some good resource threads you should check out:
New to DIC and Game Programming
The First Language Conundrum
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#4 Magiculs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where Do I Start?

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:44 PM

Thank you both for the lengthy replies, I appreciate it. I suppose I will continue on working in Java, and try to follow guides and such. I am a bit rusty, and I'm confused because I am using the Ubuntu OS now.

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 01 March 2013 - 10:48 PM
Reason for edit:: No need to quote every post!

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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where Do I Start?

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:58 PM

First, write a lot of java. Start small, as mac suggests, and be patient with yourself. It's really easy to get big ideas and want to implement them now, but this is likely to frustrate you if you don't know how to make small things yet. One rule of thumb is that good programming is easy and obvious: you know you've written something good when it does something you want and it's really clear what it does and why. Some ways to accomplish this include using good names for all of the entities in your programs (classes, objects, variables, and methods), making your methods short and single-purposed, and continually simplifying as you go. It's much better to have many short methods than one big one.

Learn to use some tools to make your life easier. A version control repository is a great way to allow yourself to experiment, since it allows you to easily roll back and try again if something doesn't work out. Look into subversion and git which are the most popular systems, and consider setting up a repository on your development machine to get used to working that way.
Since I only program from the command line, I make a lot of use of ant, which is a build tool for java. When you start working on bigger programs, it'll be very useful to you. Unit testing might be a little tricky to get into from where you are, but read up on "test-driven development" and "junit" and if you feel inspired, try folding those ideas into your programming now. It's never too early to start making good habits.


When you've got a sense of programming in java, you'll want to pick up a new language, and you'll want to keep learning new languages as long as you're programming, but wait until you can write something non-trivial in java first.

If you want ideas, there's an old book called "BASIC Computer Games" that has lots of well-defined small games - there's also BASIC code for them, but writing them in Java will be quite different. Some of the games are more difficult than others, so think about the implementation before you start building it. If you don't have a clear idea of what you're going to write, think about it some more or try a different program and come back to that one later.
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#6 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where Do I Start?

Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:06 AM

There are 100 other threads here for "where do I start"
This dead horse doesn't need to be beaten any further.
Read some of the several articles from people that asked the same question last week, or the week before or the week before.
There are dozens of good responses in there that apply to you.
Don't ask everyone to keep repeating themselves just because you don't want to read back a few threads.

Here's one of them just for reference
http://www.dreaminco...indpost=1806171

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 02 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

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