Game Programming and Development Tools

I'm new to programming and in need of help learning – JonFireblade

JonFireblade

Junior Member

Posts: 5
From:
Registered: 02-13-2007
Hi, As the title says I brand new to programming, never had any experience. After talking to a few people (HanClinto, MackXX, and some others) they suggested that I try and put together a working demo of my game that I'm trying very hard to get off the ground. Being that I'm kind of a 'do it yourself' type of person, I find myself in need of help getting information on learning how to program for my video game. Basicly I need help finding out what programs I'll need to get, I need to learn programming languages like C and C++, and anything else I might need. Really I'm starting from the ground up and I'm going to need some help finding out how to do it. I don't have a big cash supply so anything useful and free is good.
Please is anyone can help please post back. Thanks.
spade89

Member

Posts: 561
From: houston,tx
Registered: 11-28-2006
fyi: you don't need money to learn any language or use it(to a certain extent), there are lots of open-source software out there, and free tutorials and ebooks.
here are a couple of good links:
http://www.cprogramming.com
http://www.planetsourcecode.com
http://www.cpp-home.com
http://www.cppreference.com/
http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/
www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt/C++/
http://www.glenmccl.com/tutor.htm
http://www.edm2.com/0507/introcpp1.html

and for game related c++ tutorials:
http://www.codebeach.com/index.asp?tabID=2&categoryID=3&subcategoryID=11


and more and more, hanclinto told me some of the links but i really recommend the cprogramming.com tutorials.
http://www.eastcoastgames.com/c/introc.html
http://www.gillius.org/tutorial.htm

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Matthew(22:36-40)"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Whose Son Is the Christ

buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
well, Dev-C++ is a good IDE (haha) for beginners to use, that and perhaps a good engine, or you could use SDL, maybe some graphics programs like GIMP, at http://gimp.org , and Wings3D for 3D modeling (unless you already have experience/programs for/in those areas). and like spade said, you can find great ebooks/tutorials for free, and all those programs I listed are free as well. I believe they're all open source, too. hope this helps you to get started on your game, can't wait to see it when it's done.

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that post was really cool ^
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[|=D) <---|| me

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Well, they've pretty much said all of my thoughts. Couple of additions.

Curious why C++? I'd like to add Blender to the list of 3d Modellers for Animations.

I currently use Wings for Modelling, and Blender for Animation.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
I would like to ask how far are you planning to go with this? Are you thinking about a career, or just hobby coding?

A lot of people just want to jump right in and make a 3D masterpiece. If you find yourself wanting the same, may I suggest following...

The HanClinto Prerequisites of Game Coding:
(They really needed an official title)
1) If you haven't created a single player game, you're not allowed to create a multiplayer game.
2) If you haven't created a 2d game, you're not allowed to create a 3d game.
3) If you haven't created a functional game, you're not allowed to create a game with a plot/story. Focus on making *just a simple game*, then build from there.
4) You are not allowed to create any kind of game engine until you have created something playable in a an existing framework.

On a similar note, downloading a suite of tools for modeling, coding, level design, etc., is like saving up all you milk money to buy lights, movie cameras, and microphones with the hopes of making a movie like "The Lord of the Rings"... It doesn't matter how much equipment you have, you need experience, you need a vision of where you want to go, and you need patience to get there.

Just my 2 worth.

EDIT: I'm starting game coding as a hobby and I've chosen java as my starting point with the GTGE game library using the easyeclipse IDE.

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Sam Washburn

[This message has been edited by samw3 (edited February 16, 2007).]

Calin

Member

Posts: 358
From: Moldova
Registered: 12-04-2006
That's a nice list Sam posted, however I personally believe 3D graphics isn't too complicated.
JonFireblade

Junior Member

Posts: 5
From:
Registered: 02-13-2007
"I would like to ask how far are you planning to go with this? Are you thinking about a career, or just hobby coding?
A lot of people just want to jump right in and make a 3D masterpiece. If you find yourself wanting the same, may I suggest following..."

Well in terms of a career, I am planning on getting into the gaming industry for a job. At the moment I'm just a highschool student, and really I'd like to get the drop on things by getting as much knowledge as I can about coding, graphics, ect. The reasons are A) I want to at least have a general knowledge of what I'm doing even before I hit college.and also so that I can find out for sure what I enjoy or dont enjoy. Reason B) Is that I've been working on a project for about 4-5 years and its just time I think I start doing something about turning my ideas into realility. I've been working on alot of concept art over the last couple years, and the story line has come along ways. Really the only thing I need to do is get enough knoledge and programs to sit down at my computer and just MAKE IT. And at this point I'm not looking to make a whole game, but I would like to get a working demo of it.

jestermax

Member

Posts: 1064
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 06-21-2006
hey that sounds like me! i got into programming because i had a TON of ideas, concept art, etc. Myself, i got into programming halfway through highschool and i've been doing it since (went to college for 3 years and i'm continuing on for another 2 years in university). Even if you don't do it professionally, do it for yourself .
dartsman

Member

Posts: 484
From: Queensland, Australia
Registered: 03-16-2006
jon awesome name

Just a little bit about me. I'm Jon and I'm 20 years old. I started learning to program after reading an article in a magazine (nearly 6 years ago, when I was 15). From there I started using some game makers but quickly moved to C/C++. I studied games programming (degree) at university, and 4 months ago landed a job as a Junior Programmer at Auran.

I'd totally recommend getting into programming (C/C++). Download Visual C++ Express and get a beginners book in C++. You need to spend the time learning the language, but still have some fun by working on very simple games such as text-based guessing game and other similar games. C++ can be a pain sometimes (time it takes to do something useful, and the learning time), but is a requirement for the industry.

Anywho, good luck on your journey I'll be a crazy ride... and one which you will never stop learning new things...

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www.auran.com

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
As for a C++ compiler/IDE I'd personally suggest Dev C++, but I'm not much of an expert.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

[This message has been edited by Mene-Mene (edited February 20, 2007).]

TwoBrothersSoftware

Member

Posts: 141
From: Janesville, Wi USA`
Registered: 08-05-2006
quote:
Originally posted by Mene-Mene:
As for a C++ compiler I'd personally suggest Dev C++, but I'm not much of an expert.



Another advante of Dev C++ is code ports pretty easily over to linux - have found a couple of minor issue. If releasing in linux (or even Mac) interests you.

JonFireblade

Junior Member

Posts: 5
From:
Registered: 02-13-2007
You see I'm more into the artistic side of game creation: Art work,story line, concept. That type of thing, so you see I'm trying to learn this out of nessecity, not entirly because I want to. But I'm willing to learn. Programming probably won't be my main focus in terms of a career but being able to do it on some scale would be nice.
jestermax

Member

Posts: 1064
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 06-21-2006
in that case, i wouldn't try to hurt yourself with C/C++; i you want to spend more time programming then debugging/chasing memory leaks...personally, i love java for 2D stuff (with the GTGE library) but that might not be your cup of tea either... when i started out, it was with Visual Basic so maybe something like that could be best, or whatever BlitzBasic versions are out now.
My 2 cents anyways.
samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
I would suggest ponying-up and buying a prebuilt game engine. I know there are a lot of free ones out there, but as a general rule, the higher the price, the less experience you need to learn it. And besides, it seems like you heart is at game design more than programming. Coders love to code. As you experiment, you may find that desire increasing.

As for game design. Have you tried pen and paper? That is a great way to get your game design ideas rolling. Maybe try building an rpg battle system, or an puzzle game with just pen and paper. It will give you a good idea of the processes behind game development. Can you imagine how much thought went into building a game like monopoly? or inventing the rules of chess?

Or maybe if you enjoy writing game stories, write one first as a "choose your own adventure". It doesn't have to be complex, just make the decisions branch a lot. That will give you an idea of how complex designing game stories is.

Programming is only a part of making a video game, and I am convinced with more and more game engines coming out, that it is becoming a smaller and smaller part of game development. Art is huge, level design is huge, and game design(making it fun) is crucial. Once you get all that you could hand the (detailed)spec to a coder who could crank it out for you.

So, be encouraged, you are actually coming to the game dev table with more that say me, who has 20+ years of programming experience. Game programming is and probably will always be just a hobby for me because my art skills are limited to 16x24 pixel 2D sprites.

So, if you sense God leading you in this direction, jump on where your skills are strongest and enjoy the ride. Oh, on that note, its really good to be a team player to start with, not only do you learn the ropes faster, but you also have a chance to see a project succeed sooner.

Perhaps you could join the blossoming pyweek contest group. I believe they still have an opening for an artist.

God bless!

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Sam Washburn

gaurdianAQ

Member

Posts: 106
From:
Registered: 01-15-2007
ok here comes a newbs advice ok maybe I am not a total newb but i am still new I have been learning to program for about a year and this is on and off and I am learning on my own now what I reccomend is that you see if you can talk to your computer teacher and see if you can get your self a copy of turing it is 10 dollars and is more powerful and a bit harder than basic but easier than C. now you should add me to your msn then we can chat more. I can introduce you to the basic topics. I reccomend reading game maker for teens but i could probably teach you myself. my e-mail is evanth@sympatico.ca. now my teacher says that you could write anything in turing even an operating system.... but its not meant for that but it is great for making basic games. here is the same program written in both C and turing it outputs the text hello world to the screen

Turing:

put "hello world"

ummmmm ok I can't remember how to write the whole thing in C but it is a lot harder
gaurdianAQ

Member

Posts: 106
From:
Registered: 01-15-2007
actually if you want you could team up with me and I could do the programming and you could do the art work
Xian_Lee

Member

Posts: 345
From:
Registered: 03-15-2006
Honestly, in your case, I'd recommend the Torque Engines. They're fairly easy to get something up and running, and has a lot of customization potential. A lot of people on these boards love the Torque engines, and for good reason.

If you've got time to kill, and are interested in building from scratch, I'd recommend C++. I'm pretty new to C++, but I'm really liking it. It's easy to get toolkits that allow for developing graphical games (like the Simple DirectMedia Library that I've been using - some details are available in the weekly updates thread), and classes (the biggest reason to use C++ over C) are helpful for game development. Honestly, it is a challenging language, but it's probably my favorite. There's just too much potential to ignore, and it's widespread uses make it valuable for more than just game development.

It's not so difficult to code in C/C++, however. Example, to display a line of text on the command line, you would use this code: printf("hello, world");
You would need more structure to turn that into an application, but it's not that terrible.

But, raving about C++ aside, I highly recommend Torque. I'm a huge fan of the Torque Game Builder (for 2D games), and find it very powerful. It's worth checking out. The Torque Game Engine (and Advanced version) are also quite good for the those who think in the third dimension.

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"To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands." - Sun Tzu.

"He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out." - Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
If we're talking differant languages I'd recommend any of the Blitz Series, they're REALLY simple, easier than some games I've played. They also can do quite a good bit.

Xian: I'm not trying to be rude, but I think I would love the Torque engines too IF you could send me $150 for them. Blitz isn't much better I know, but it does have nice demos. I was Unimpressed with the Torque demos, TGB shut me off immediately with these words, "30 day trial". TGE lasted longer, but once I downloaded it, I realized it wasn't a demo but a feature presentation.

Make no mistake, they look wonderful, I just haven't $150. I'm "saving up" for a $58 item, and I know that's going to take a while seeing as I've got a $2.50 income weekly. I am a pretty good saver though, just wish I had some investments that were smaller scale so my money would move faster.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

Xian_Lee

Member

Posts: 345
From:
Registered: 03-15-2006
quote:
Originally posted by Mene-Mene:

Xian: I'm not trying to be rude, but I think I would love the Torque engines too IF you could send me $150 for them. Blitz isn't much better I know, but it does have nice demos. I was Unimpressed with the Torque demos, TGB shut me off immediately with these words, "30 day trial". TGE lasted longer, but once I downloaded it, I realized it wasn't a demo but a feature presentation.


You're right about there being an investment cost for the Torque tools. All the same, they're fairly cheap when you take into consideration the quality of what you're getting. All the same, I do understand the idea of cost being a put-off. Honestly, I've only worked with the demos because I thought my money would be better invested in other tools. The quality is great, but it does come at a cost.

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"To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands." - Sun Tzu.

"He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out." - Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
What demos? I only see a 30 day trial for TGB, and no demo for TGE.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Open up the indie licensing page (granted, that one is a click or two buried) and then the big red "download demo" button.

The indie licensing page isn't the easiest to find, and it's not always the most obvious that that's what one should click on in order to find a demo download link.

--clint

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Thats what I had downloaded before, and all I saw was a presentation of the features. Perhaps its because I've never had an engine before that I'm missing a important detail.

When I think of engine I guess I think of something like GM.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto
"Of course, prayer requires that you actually take the time to listen for His answer..." - I'msold4Christ
"I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

[This message has been edited by Mene-Mene (edited March 09, 2007).]

Matt Langley
Member

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
I would definitely third Torque engines... of course I'm a bit biased, though before I worked at GarageGames (and yes even after) I used multiple pieces of tech and engines. I would highly recommend starting off with TGB (Torque Game Builder). With a 30 day trial that means you get to try the entire engine (plus all the docs) for a full 30 days before you have to drop any money at all. I personally like this vs. releasing a trimmed down version for free. In the end you'll experience more and have access to more because of it.

If you have any Torque questions I'd be more than happy to answer them

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Matthew Langley
Lead Documentation Engineer
GarageGames

evdude

Member

Posts: 135
From: Earth Orbit
Registered: 03-14-2007
If you don't want to pay money for a game engine, I'd suggest using Python(at )www.python.org) to Program with.It's open source, and has a ton of free module's for most every thing!

ps: if you want to see what python can do check out CPUfreak's bible dave

[This message has been edited by evdude (edited March 14, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by evdude (edited March 14, 2007).]