General Discussions

How long programing – manic_gamer

manic_gamer

Member

Posts: 30
From: Portland Maine USA
Registered: 09-01-2006
Im like 28 years old and just starting to learn programing, it seems like most people started when they where 12 or 13 but what hope is there for someone of my age to learn a programing language (Right now im learning python thanks to cpufreak's advice.) and then to do something useful with it in a game design way. I know it all depense on how much time I focus on it and how good I am at learning, but just a general idea.

My first game I realy want to design is a game like chess. its not chess but its similar. its 2d and theres eather net working or designing game AI. or both

Anyway Id appreciate any advice or tips. thanks

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1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lordís work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
Well I would avoid making muliplayer games for now, I have been programming for about 2 or 3 years now and I still feel like I dont have enough experience. But that's just me.

Age doesn't matter at all, I know guy who is in his 60's making games. The only thing it would effect is your experience and also when people are younger their mind takes things in easier, so that's why some people learn 2nd languages when they were 5. Most of gaming's programming leaders started in their colleg age.

If you have a passion for making games but not nessicarily programming the love of programming will come. But long as you got that passion to make games, it will keep you coming.

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steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by manic_gamer:
Im like 28 years old ...

Well, I'm 27 and although I did a little programming when I was younger, I only got serious about programming a couple years ago. I knew a little C and a little Java, but I decided that I wanted to program games professionally. No offense to the Python, Java, C#, DarkBasic, Blitz Basic, or Torque Script crowds, but 95% of commercial games are written in C++. Every game programmer position I've ever seen in a classified or craigslist, lists C++ as the primary required skill. So, I picked up a book on C++ and started making games with SDL in C++. I learned enough in a year to get a (non-game) regular software job even though my University degree is English.

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buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
i started when i was like, 11, and im... 14. but my first language that i actually learned, and stuck with, was C++, and i started learning that when I was 13. i still have a lot of stuff to learn about C++.

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ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
I started around the age of... 10, i think... maybe 9. haha. my dad was working on his phD in comp sci, so naturally, he wanted to see if his son liked coding. couldn't get it that young, but I started to pick it up at around 11, 12. visual basic, ftw. lol.
first langauge I was started on was QBasic. man, what memories. me and my little computer game programming book. I wonder where it is? it was cool.

anyhow, I hit a dark spot... and now I'm in college, it's rejuvenating.

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
my brother is 8 and i tried to get him started on QBASIC or BYOND. Im not good enough of a teacher tho lol. if he had a book... he could probably get it.

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luke

Member

Posts: 311
From: I use your computer as my second Linux box
Registered: 10-30-2005
I started when I was about 13... four years ago now. I began on the TI83+ and I've almost completely tought myself everything that I know (reading lots of it)

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If you can see Chuck Norris, He can see You.
If you Can't see Chuck Norris, you may be seconds away from death.

Lazarus

Member

Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Well, when I was around 12 my brother got these really old NEC laptops that ran Dos(not very well). He sold one to me(and we all got in big trouble with Dad) and I found QBASIC on it, got a couple programming books at the library and that was fun for a while. Then I sold that laptop to my younger brother(and we all got in big trouble with Dad), and bought the new er one from my brother(and we all got in big trouble...), and loaded Liberty BASIC and a whole bunch of other computer languages on it, played around with them for a long time.
Then when I was about 13-1/2 I got serious about programming, got pretty good at LB(although I never did get very good with sprites), kept trying to learn C++, kept quitting too.
Then I found this language called Euphoria(language, not drug). I learned that quite well and programmed some good stuff with it.
Then I bought another newer laptop from my brother(and we got in big trouble with Dad), kept programming with it.
Then about 6 months ago I got a brand new desktop, but with Dad's consent(or guess what would've happened?). Great computer, I love Compaqs. But now that I had a great computer, I started playing a ton of games instead...
Still program occasionally with Eu, but I've slacked off for a while now because I really hate being known as the computer guy, or as my Dad and Mom constantly say: "Yeah, he justs sits in his corner on that computer all day playing games"...

But anyway, yeah programming is fun. Unless you have to use ASM :O.

Lazarus

manic_gamer

Member

Posts: 30
From: Portland Maine USA
Registered: 09-01-2006
Thanks for all the replies. it is encouraging to know that about half of you guys started out later in life.. and yes I do have a passion for game making and It gets stronger as I persue it..
Thanks for the advice on the no multi-player. (Why though?)

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1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lordís work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
cuz its hard!! lol. multiplayer is a feature most people don't approach for a long time. its better to work your way up. on your first game, you wanna keep it simple.

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kenman

Member

Posts: 518
From: Janesville WI
Registered: 08-31-2006
Started programming when I was 12 or so, I believe the machine was called a PET (a 2KB or 4KB machine made by commodore - the really cool ones were upgraded to 16KB). These were green screen monsters probably clocked at 1 or 2 cycles per minutes (not really that slow, but could be timed with a calendar). They could be programmed in basic by hand each time you turned the machine on, or in machine code. No Mouse, just a keyboard. No disk drive, no hard disk. I remember my brothers first computer that was 1/4 KB of memory.

My first game was a text based real time football game, where you had to select plays before a timer ran out, and based on the AI defense or offense, random yardage was created. I remember this was about 400-500 lines of code that had to be typed in. In its age was pretty fun. This was the age of saving to cassette tapes (anyone remember those?)

Over all have been programming for about 25 years or so off and on.

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
multiplayer involving multiple machines is hard. lots of complexities. I highly recommend against it. muliplayer on the same machine, now that's the easiest. no need for AI. my suggestion, start simple.
begin with maybe a 2 player tic tac toe game. they're quick and easy, last one took me around an hour, although the first one I did took me considerably more. if you want to make AI, it can be a chore, tho. quite complicating, but a great way to learn the Game Theory, tho. turn your desktop into the DeepBlue of TicTacToe, an undefeatable leviathon of crosses and noughts.

just remember, if you want to be a good writer, read many books. if you want to be a good game developer... play many games. well, okay, I guess the real one is just program alot.

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
whoa! your first game? sweet. lol, 1/4 of a kb. look at how far computers have come.

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Lava
Member

Posts: 1905
From:
Registered: 01-26-2005
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
Well, I'm 27 and although I did a little programming when I was younger, I only got serious about programming a couple years ago. I knew a little C and a little Java, but I decided that I wanted to program games professionally. No offense to the Python, Java, C#, DarkBasic, Blitz Basic, or Torque Script crowds, but 95% of commercial games are written in C++. Every game programmer position I've ever seen in a classified or craigslist, lists C++ as the primary required skill. So, I picked up a book on C++ and started making games with SDL in C++. I learned enough in a year to get a (non-game) regular software job even though my University degree is English.



Yes, and I think everyone knows this, why else would everyone who uses BlitzBasic for 6 months want to switch to C++? Haha, but yeah just look at all of the job listings for any big game company, in the programming section, it is required to know C\C++. But you can get your game published under GarageGames, Blitz company (I'm pretty sure you can), and lots of other companies regardless of coding language.

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manic_gamer

Member

Posts: 30
From: Portland Maine USA
Registered: 09-01-2006
I remember when I was like 7 or 8 i had a tandy 800 and did some programing on that.. but that was like program 100 lines to make a colored rainbow on the screen. I didnt realy program though I just copied samples from a book

But. mayby ill shoot for making single player games for awhile.. course right now im only a couple weeks into learning python so.. Im not even thinking of game design right now..

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1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lordís work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
I started programming when Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" came out. For whatever reason, I always relate the two. I think it was a Sharp calculator which also had BASIC. All you could see was a single line of text at a time. I can't remember what I programmed with it.

I think over the recent years, many of the younger crowd started out doing web pages, learning HTML, javascript, etc. Then moved to things like PHP, ASP, etc. You may not find as many who actually started out with C, C++, Java, or C#.

TwoBrothersSoftware

Member

Posts: 141
From: Janesville, Wi USA`
Registered: 08-05-2006
quote:
Originally posted by buddboy:
whoa! your first game? sweet. lol, 1/4 of a kb. look at how far computers have come.


When it had a 1/4 I wrote a random number generator - that basically counted while you had a key pressed - but it was way to fast to it to appear anything else but random.

I added a sound chip to it and in 1/4 k wrote what was techncially an interpreted language for the chip (had 1 k by then) (age 17)

First game - text adventure on the radio shack coco - had 16 k of ram

I have programmed in (at least a little)
1802 addemble
6502 assmebly
commodore basic
amiga basic
C on the Amiga
E on the Amiga
Dos Basic
386 assembly
then I got into a write pen and paper rpg kick
then just a hint of java
python
and now C with SDL or allegro

This machine I am on now
has 1600 x as many Mhz as that first CPU
6 million times as much ram
and while it did not have a hard drive - I currently have 8,000 times as much storage as my first hard drive

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
I'm curious if anyone here started coding with Cobol or FORTRAN.

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

dartsman

Member

Posts: 484
From: Queensland, Australia
Registered: 03-16-2006
I started out with game makers about 6-7 years ago (klik and play, some other cheeze ones too), and then read an article in a magazine which said to learn C++ if you want to program games. So I went and got a C++ book (5 years ago). I read that and had no idea, so I moved to C to learn programming concepts. From C I moved into Pascal and then mixed some Pascal with Asm (x86) to do some cheeze 2D games. I learnt some VB and made some tools for those early games ('array picture maker' + 'level creator' for a 2D side scroller).

From VB I stepped into C++ (about 2-3 years ago) and learnt OpenGL. OpenGL's great for doing graphics and isn't really that hard to learn (in comparison to DirectX). I made some cheeze 2D games with C++/OpenGL and some tools as well (level editors in C++/OpenGL), including a 'Game in 24 Hours'. At school we had to get the TI-83+ (Luke, seems we have something in common), to which I learnt how to code in BASIC language, I also messed a bit with assembler for the TI-83+, but prefered C++ coding.

Then I went to uni to do a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment: Major in Games Programming. I learnt DirectX coding at uni and use that to this day. ATM I'm a lab supervisor (night tutor) at the uni I studied at.

Programming is definately about how much time you spend on it. Some people get an edge by being more 'logical' thinkers, but there also has to be a creative element. I spent a lot of time coding while at school and the TI-83+ helped me waste a lot time in classes hehe. I used to ask the Maths teacher if they could teach me some extra stuff such as 'Projectile Motion' (which btw is a heck of a lot easier now then how they suggested it... pos += vel ). I haven't really been a 'good' person with maths or physics but found it a lot easier to visualise through the use of programming.

You should start out with the standard list of games/apps to make. Do a simple text based guessing game. Then move into text based tic-tac-toe (2 or 1 player). Then once your comfortable with game logic start messing with graphics. I guess however it's a lot easier to do 2D or 3D games now, but still, think off the required assets. Text-based is great, cause it's only down to the coding and the game design.

Good links:
http://www.gamedev.net/reference/start_here/

Highly recommended:
http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article892.asp

Good Sites:
http://www.gamedev.net/
http://www.gametutorials.com/main.asp - Used to be cool, I chatted to DigiBen via email when I was first starting out, although I was young and had stupid questions (which aren't really that stupid) he would help me to try and grasp certain aspects.
http://www.christiancoders.com - didn't know about this one until a couple of months ago...
http://www.projectnresource.com - the forums are good there for asking C/C++ questions, I should know, I'm an admin :P hehe (shameless plug)
http://www.programmersheaven.com - not related to CCN, lol, but an awesome forum, was my first link to the outside world of programming.

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Programmer - Team KAIZEN

manic_gamer

Member

Posts: 30
From: Portland Maine USA
Registered: 09-01-2006
Well.. seems like alot of people recomend starting out small.. so I just want ot throw this idea out. ever sence I was little I always wanted to create board games.. I was just wondering how hard do you think programing board games would be. is it a good early goal for a new programer.

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1 Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lordís work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

steve_ancell

Member

Posts: 37
From: Brighton, East Sussex, Southern England, United Kingdom.
Registered: 09-16-2006
I started on the Amstrad CPC464 waaaay back in 1985 when I was about 11 y/o. First I used Locomotive BASIC, and then Z-80 assembly language.

A couple of years later I bought a Commodore Amiga 500, and I started to learn 68000 assembly on that.

I had a huge gap in my computing hobby 1991-2000, then I got my first PC. I tried learning C/C++ until I came across a free copy of BlitzBASIC in a PC-Plus mag, and took to this like a duck to water. A couple of years ago I purchased Blitz3D, and I have been using this to this ever since.

About a year ago I purchased Visual Basic.net, Visual C++.net, DarkBASIC, and DarkBASIC Pro. I hope to get around to learning these packages some day soon.

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Wow! This has been a really fascinating read. Neat to hear everyone's background.

Arch, I didn't start with Fortran, but I had to take 2 quarters of it in college.

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
I started by learning C++ from a book about 8 years ago. My first game was text based and I was able to make my first 2D graphics based football game after reading game programming book and using the engine (direct-x, direct draw, input, sound) that game with it.

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Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

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Realm Master

Member

Posts: 1971
From: USA
Registered: 05-15-2005
Im 14, and Been programming for a bout two years now, though I'm still really bad at it...

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yeah, im a little crazy

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SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
quote:
Originally posted by manic_gamer:
I was just wondering how hard do you think programing board games would be. is it a good early goal for a new programer.

Unless you've already had some programming experience, and understand 2D or 3D graphics, something like this may be a bit lofty. You need to first decide whether or not programming is actually for you. Something you will enjoy.

I suggest starting off even easier by making a MasterMind (assuming you know what MasterMind is) game. Probably because this is what I did when learning BASIC and then Pascal and it also introduces you to the logic involved when programming.

1) Write a text/DOS based version using numbers instead of colors. User inputs a string of 5 digits and the computer tells how many are right/wrong/etc. Difficulty levels can define the range of possible numbers. 0 - 4, 0 - 6, 0 - 9, etc.

2) Now write a UI version. Maybe make it text also, just so you can familiarize yourself with UI components. The user will input guesses in a TextBox and press a Guess button. The comptuer will write to some type of Static control.

3) Now expand the UI version to use visuals. Create little colored circles or squares (red, green, blue, yellow, black, white, etc.) to indicate the playing piece. The user can drag a piece into a slot. Make it just like the real game.

HeardTheWord

Member

Posts: 224
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: 08-16-2004
quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:
I'm curious if anyone here started coding with Cobol or FORTRAN.


Heh, I code in COBOL for a living... In my opinion that language is good for one thing, spaghetti code. Although, it truly is an entry point into enterprise applications, along with Java, so if you have any intent in doing any large business programming (financial applications) it would probably be a good idea to learn COBOL.

Anyway, back on subject. I started programming when I was 15, about 6 years ago. The first language I wanted to learn was C and it probably took about 2 years to get a good grasp on the concepts. In the midst of learning C I also picked up assembler on my TI calculator (but only made 2 programs with it...). Lately I've been enjoying python for web development and helping out with Bible Dave, this community's on-going game project.

As I stated earlier I mainly program in COBOL at work. If you have the opportunity, I really suggest getting a programming job. The experience of writing coding requirements, maintaining a deadline, and collaborating with other programmers is just as important as learning a new language. If you are still in highschool, I highly recommend getting involved in a game project with other team members. This will actually build your skills faster because you have an opportunity to learn from other programmers.

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by manic_gamer:
I was just wondering how hard do you think programing board games would be. is it a good early goal for a new programer.

The worst thing you could do is take on too big of a project. That's just discouraging. Start small, very small. There's no shame in Hello World, or Guess What Number. As long as you pick projects that are within your scope and ability, you can work your way up to whatever level of programming you want.

Rome wasn't built in a day, unless Rome is the name of a game, and by built I mean compiled and linked.

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Cohort X

Member

Posts: 126
From: The Great Pacific Northwest
Registered: 09-16-2006
I'm 24 and I'm learning C++ starting today. I did a little work in some propriatary limited mutilated version of C called Matlab for a class or three in college, but there was nothing really usefullway I got out of that except maybe a basic understanding of coding and a hatred for syntax.

Despite steve's warning of taking on too big a project that's exactly what I plan to do. I know the standard method for learning something like this is to work slowly and build up a toolbox of usefull coding tricks until you can pil them all together into some cool projects, But I've never been able to learn well that way. I'm a reverse engineer in my heart so I like to start with the goal and then work my way into getting it to work. There could be disaterous results but we won't know until we try. Hopefully if all goes according to plan I'll end up with a mish mash of a game that works something like a combination of Sentinal and Lazer chess in a crazy 3d world.

CoolJ

Member

Posts: 354
From: ny
Registered: 07-11-2004
LOL! Im surprised at how many people got their early programming experience on a calculator! I have to add that some of my first complete games were written during pre-cal/trig class in high school on a TI-81. Regretfully I didn't learn trig very well, but I sure had a fun time! Lets see, the games were:
blackjack
horserace
a 2 level dungeon game
and a random spiral galaxy generator
whhooooo! so cool!
dartsman

Member

Posts: 484
From: Queensland, Australia
Registered: 03-16-2006
yeah, I didn't actually start out on the calculator, but boy did that make grade 11 and 12 (australian end of high school, before uni) a bit more fun, especially in exams.

I never cheated, unlike some grrr... there was this one guy who used to say he put stuff in his calculator like formulas and the like, I hated it cause he didn't really know what he was doing. If it was me I would have made it display the working out... what a noob :P haha

I used to write simple little games after exams so that I wouldn't get too bored... lol

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Programmer - Team KAIZEN

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
I started coding around the time i started using linux. I was probably 8 or 9. I started programming shell scripts and played around with BASIC a little as well. I got really into security and network stuff in my early teens and then picked up coding again at the age of 15. I started using Python and have used that for 7 years now. I'm at University and have been using a lot of Assembly, C++ and C over the past year. I'm doing a Game Development Degree which is going great, but has meant that I have migrating a lot over to Windows XP which has been relatively smooth. My primary box is still Slackware and my secondary runs FreeBSD, but coursework requires me too get pretty familiar with XP.

I don't matter how old you are when you start. My programming heroes are Bill Gosper and Richard Greenblatt.
Greenblatt had never touched a computer before and told the technician that during the weekend he would learn to use PDP-7 and write a FORTRAN compiler for it. The technician laughed, until he saw the finished product on his desk on Monday. Thats 3 days work. I laugh when people label themselves hackers, pull off a feat like this and you can most certaintly call yourself a hacker :P

ahem...

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Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
How long? Off and on for about 25 years.
CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
Started programming when I was 12. I played with computers since I was about 6. My first language was QBASIC, second Python, and I'm currently working on C and Ruby.

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All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2