Game Programming and Development Tools

Help! Need Programming Advice! – riflefire


Posts: 57
Registered: 08-25-2003
This is to all programmers:

I have a group of very young people who are just getting into game development coding. At least one of these youngsters are very bright and can read several years ahead of the current grade level. Now my question for you all is as follows:

As i understand it, some of these youngsters are probably about to get visual studio 2005 standard edition and therefore which of the following .NET 2005 languages in VS 2005 standard edition should these kids tackle first? C#, C++, Visual Basic, M$ Java, etc.

As i understand it, vs studio 2005 standard is just put in the disks and install. I do realize that the express editions are more geared to beginners but this is a case where i think these youngsters have limited online time available and downloading the software piece by piece and getting it all installed may take more time than is currently available. So, it would be good to recommend a route that would keep it as easy as possible for these youngsters to get up and running.

Also, please give me some good CURRENT .net 2005 beginners book recommendations so that I can recommend a good book on the language you recommend? (Eg: book titles or links to some?)

Many thanks and God Jehovah bless you all.

[This message has been edited by riflefire (edited October 23, 2007).]



Posts: 561
From: houston,tx
Registered: 11-28-2006
i would recommend visual basic first (basic in "visual basic" means beginners all purpose symbolic instruction code) so vb is meant for beginners.

i would recommend that this youngster starts with learning html then javascript/vbscript and then move on to vb.

if he can do vb well i would recommend he starts tackling c++/java and c#.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.



Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
How young are these alleged Youngsters?

Anyhow, I would suggest NOT starting with html on the count that's radically different than c styled programming languages which they'll need to know for game dev.

Java is a great beginning language and I personally began with Visual Basic (also a good choice)
I started my little bro (late elementary school) on Game Maker, on the count that it'll teach him some OOP skills and get him comfortable in an IDE environment, along with light coding.




Posts: 671
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
I think starting off with one of the Basic languages would be the easiest. Arch brought up a good point though...GameMaker is awesome and easy to use and can slowly introduce them to coding (in a javascript/VBscript kind of way).


Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
I started with a BASIC variant and the moved to C and then to the more modern languages like C# and Java.

I don't know who is teaching the kids, but the important thing to remember when teaching someone completely new to programming is the concepts of specification (breaking the problem down) and program flow (branches, loops, subroutines). It would be great for them to start in two languages; maybe VB and C#. This would show that an algorithm is not the code, but rather the code describes the algorithm, and show that syntax varies but algorithms are relatively consistent.

Also, having some examples to type in is a great way to first start. I did my first programming on a computer without any permanent storage(no disk drives, harddrive, etc.) Each time my dad turned off my computer, because he thought I was wasting electricity, I would have to type it all back in. Not only did that help my code-typing, it also helped me get a firmer grasp of the language. I also type in numerous code listings from those old-time computer magazines. So maybe skip the cut-n-paste and print out the code and type it in and have them see what it does.

I was 10 when I started programming.

God Bless!

Sam Washburn

Check out my CCN SpeedGame 2 Blog



Posts: 60
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 11-26-2001
Personally, I started out with Pascal, then moved to C, and ended up in Visual Basic. Of course, I've learned other things along the way, such as PHP and HTML, but I don't think those are good places to start for learning programming.

My suggestion would be that if they seem to grasp it (so some trial would be required), start them with C#, or better yet, C++. The latter might be the best choice because it will force them to learn more about Windows API programming. I love VB (6, not .Net, which I haven't used), but I'm glad I learned C++ first, because it's allowed me to do things in VB that most VB developers can't do and wouldn't want to learn how to do.

Truth be told, though, the language isn't as important as the concepts. I've worked with too many developers over the years that will never be good at any language they try, because they don't get the fundamentals of programming. I mean let's face it - a for loop is a for loop, no matter whether it's in C or BASIC or Pascal. If they can understand the logic behind programming, they should excel in whatever language they choose, and they should be able to pick up most languages fairly quickly. Learning a language should be more about syntax than technique.

Eric Pankoke


Posts: 75
Registered: 07-12-2004
If you want something with a smaller download footprint try SharpDevelop the setup is 8.1 MB(30-40MB installed) and handles VB.NET and C# but I will warn you the debugger isn't very good. But can't say too much about this as this is free open source software.
The interface is similar to Visual studio's, the biggest differences I think are the way you switch between form view and code view(tabs at the bottom of the main window) and you have to press Ctrl + I to get it to format the code like visual studio does automatically.

Since I still haven't completed a game I should probably leave language recommendation to others for now.



Posts: 29
From: Canada
Registered: 10-16-2007
I personally started with python in grade 9 using only the python help file for the first while and then moving on to looking at online tutorials

I think that the language you should choose should depend on the age

for example, I have also done some vb in grade 9 and found it to be insanely easy (even though I was new to programming altogether)
yet for game making, I used a program that allowed scripts with a visual layout for all the game graphics. the name of this program was RPG Toolkit and I had made very simple games within hours of installing it. Though RPG Toolkit isn't something I would consider today for any serious games that I would want to make, I recommend it as a place to start for new, young(grade 9 or lower) programmers as it requires some (minimal) scripting. (

I did not find vb particularly appealing for game development as a new programmer(neither do I today...) but it could be a "next step" if you would like something more challenging than RPG toolkit while still having semi-good visual support.(highschool level)

Python is probably one of the easiest real programming languages out there to learn but using it for game development does include adding a new package such as pygame(, This would be a good place to start for highschool-level students. It is a heavily OOP based high level language. (easy to learn and much faster at creating programs than something like Java or C)

Though C/C#/C++ are much tougher to learn than python, they are still very valuable to know when working in game programming and therefor would be a must-know in order to build full scale games. Though I currently use python for making 3d videogames, the modules that interface with the hardware (OpenGL (pyopengl) and SDL (pygame)) are written in C. In order to create advances python programs based on these libraries, I first had to learn how these libraries worked(this meant reading up on some C code)
I don't really recommend C as a first language, but perhaps as a second language, after they learn about basic programming/game desing and after they can handle the syntax.

so depending on what they are capable of/willing to try, there are many ways to go about learning game programming.

Heart of a Warrior



Posts: 141
From: Janesville, Wi USA`
Registered: 08-05-2006
Between python and visual basic - I would recomend - pythons interactive mode, along with pygame alows you to teach things as they key commands in.