Am I in the right place for a beginner?

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 01, 2012 at 08:08 animation c++ c#

Firstly hello everyone, I’m new to this site and just finished reading http://devmaster.net…ere-do-i-start/ by starstutter. I found the thread very interesting and informative. I am a new programmer for the most part, I would just say new. I have learned about 80% of a book “Creating a NNP (Can’t say the M word) with java” or something to that sort, I can’t remember been years since I had the book. Anyways, I have started started learning and working with Unity3d engine learning with JavaScript for now but eventually C# as well. I have begun to learn the essentials to the the beginners and soon the intermediate tutorials, and I have on order the new Dev book for it. My question is, I’m not jumping into this for the sake of making a $4mill+ NNP (that M word again) I simply want to work with this long term and maybe eventually one day work with a team, and or for a company. (NNP (*M word) or not).

Is this the right start for me? I have time, no rush date, no current innovative idea, well I do alot of them but thats not why I’m doing this, and I’m moderate in animation and graphics I do for visual effects and cinematography, so I already no most of the animation side of it. Would it be a legitimate start to learn from scratch from Unity3d, as well as learning Javascript and C# along with it? Main reason I went with Unity3d engine is because on the forums I have been researching it pretty much came down to it, that Unity3d was the best engine for beginners and professionalism alike, at least the best for being in the same package, with and interface that I love by the way. So I guess as side from my rambling, would that be a good way to start? Like I am? Or do I need to start with something smaller? Reason I ask is because on the thread linked about it stated that, One should lower there expectations and learn smaller first, *Tetris, Mario, and Pong” But I’m not going into this to create this groundbreaking next gen game idea I have. Should I still learn from those games as a beginner? Or, Is what I am doing alright?

Also off question, sorta. Would it be a better idea also to start learning C++ for this kind of thing? I keep researching it, and I’m pretty sure C++ is the way to go but with all the retarded debates and stuff it’s just so hard to tell which is best for which, everyone has different veiws, Could someone maybe point me to a list, what what kinda of known *as in C/C++/VB/FB/Java* languages are best for what type of games so that way I can kind of decide whats best for what myself?
Thanks Everyone, and sorry if my questions are a little weird or hard to understand I never really asked anyone this stuff, so it’s a little hard to go about, without sounding like one of those “I just got a great Idea for an MMO, can someone point me to a program that creates them? I NEED TO MAKE IT FAST TO, AND TELL ME HOW PLEASE!!!!” kinda guys…

*Edit* Should I still learn from those games as a beginner? Dumb question of course it would be helpful experience to learn those, what I meant was I feel moderately comfortable doing what I am right now, without learning them. Would it still be a good idea to learn them?

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fireside 141 Feb 01, 2012 at 18:30

*Edit* Should I still learn from those games as a beginner? Dumb question of course it would be helpful experience to learn those, what I meant was I feel moderately comfortable doing what I am right now, without learning them. Would it still be a good idea to learn them?

I think you should just stick with what you are doing as far as Unity. It’s good to start with smaller games because you do things like menu, levels, sound, some type of finish, and you are more able to gauge a project that you are capable of completing. There are some programmers that really never finish a project because they keep starting something too large. No one starts off writing a novel. They write a short story. They get feed back. They learn from it, and they write another. Eventually they are good enough to write a novel. Games are worse than that though. There are very few that can write certain types of games without having at least a small team. I know quite a few people that tried writing rpg’s as individuals and none of them ever finished. There’s a Unity rpg in the projects list called Frontier something that the author just gave up on after a couple year’s work. If you are an indy or even in a small team, really, you should be writing smaller games. The ones that don’t learn that carry on for a few years and then usually just give up. I think it’s possible to do a type of rpg if you reuse a lot of resources, but the people I know didn’t do that. That’s why it’s important to start with smaller games that re-use resources and yet keep adding things to keep the game fresh.

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 01, 2012 at 21:34

@fireside

I think it’s possible to do a type of rpg if you reuse a lot of resources, but the people I know didn’t do that. That’s why it’s important to start with smaller games that re-use resources and yet keep adding things to keep the game fresh.

Firstly fireside, Thank you very much for your helpful comment, but I have a question. By reusing resources do you mean, using the same, but sometimes changing up the code/ adding textures/ adding animations and terrains or items/ to keep it fresh (over time of course)? I think I know what you meant by it, but since I didn’t fully understand it I had to ask.

Also I have used Blender since 2.37a, so I’m very familiar with it, But the very newest on 2.61 I have not I installed it and released it was going to take more time to learn the interface than I care to put into ATM. Have you used 2.61 at all?

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fireside 141 Feb 01, 2012 at 21:57

Yeah, you need to reuse resources. Not just artwork, but even code. The key is to make slight modifications through the game that make it interesting in later play. That’s where the old rpg’s used mapped dungeon walls, etc. If they are somewhat stylized, the player will accept it and you can change textures, etc. You will find almost any smaller game using this technique in different ways so it pays to play some indy games and watch what they are doing. There’s no set way or anything, just your own limitations of what one person or a small group can do.

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 02, 2012 at 01:13

That is what I figured you meant, but I had to make sure. It definitely sounds like a good piece of advice I can see were it would be good for learning and be beneficially easier process for being new. I have play a few Indy games actually and I can see what you mean by that, I can see why It would be a better route for being able to complete a project. Thanks again good sir/mam sir I’m assuming. Very helpful advice!!

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alphadog 101 Feb 02, 2012 at 14:35

@Robert J. King

would that be a good way to start? Like I am? Or do I need to start with something smaller?

Yes, it is a good way to start.

There is no “bad” way to start, but what most seasoned devs are trying to say is that a lot of your first attempts will be mostly throw-aways due to inexperience and evolving understanding and style. If you start with an MMO, first it takes a long time to get to a finish product, which will likely be crap to throw-away when you get there. (Unless you have a ton of coding experience in complex, client-server systems already.) So, start small, esp. if you have the luxury of time. Do a simple 2D or 3D game first. Screw up on a small Mario clone, or a demo, or a 3D game that involves colliding cubes.
@Robert J. King

Also off question, sorta. Would it be a better idea also to start learning C++ for this kind of thing?

To start, not really… but we’re splitting hairs again. In a few years, to be a flexible dev and to maximize your own potential, you should know more than one language anyways. And, it also greatly depends on the kind of games you want to make. There’s lots of indie studios that are making casual games that don’t use C++.
@Robert J. King

Could someone maybe point me to a list, what what kinda of known *as in C/C++/VB/FB/Java* languages are best for what type of games so that way I can kind of decide whats best for what myself?

  1. Games that push the hardware envelope: ASM/C/C++
  2. Games that don’t: any language is fine
    @Robert J. King

Should I still learn from those games as a beginner? Dumb question of course it would be helpful experience to learn those, what I meant was I feel moderately comfortable doing what I am right now, without learning them. Would it still be a good idea to learn them?

When is learning a bad thing? ;)

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 02, 2012 at 23:19

Thank you alphadog, I will do that just that starting with the small stuff first, I’m in no way shape or from trying an MMO, as a first project or even a project by myself for that matter, I have spent to much time researching and learning about the workforce time and money behind one, I would love to maybe direct one, one day or even work with a company.

I understand your valid point about learning the C++ language as well for potential and flexibly, and will definitely take that into consideration.

  1. Games that push the hardware envelope: ASM/C/C++
  2. Games that don’t: any language is fine

Thanks for this, that helped allot, it’s what I was looking for, I do have one question, though might be a dumb one, but when you say C/C++ do you mean C#? I’m wonder because on the dev forums I see allot of that for object oriented game talk. But actually C and C# are different, that’s why I’m double checking to make sure I got it down, you mean C by C# right?

and yes that whole last part of your statement was true and a dumb question all together on my part learning something new is never a bad thing. lol

Thanks again alphadog.

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Reedbeta 167 Feb 03, 2012 at 00:08

No, by C/C++ I’m pretty sure he means C/C++, not C#. :)

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 03, 2012 at 00:58

@Reedbeta

No, by C/C++ I’m pretty sure he means C/C++, not C#. :)

Ok, I’m learning C# and Java but in the past I have worked with java a bit not to much. So while designing a game would that mean C/C++ work together because C isn’t object oriented is it? C is procedural. So that kinda throws me for a loop, C# isn’t a hardware pushing code for game design? Thanks sorry sorry again but it just kind of confused me. Never mind I just researched that C++ originally was designed as an extension of C.

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Reedbeta 167 Feb 03, 2012 at 01:31

C vs C++ is largely a matter of taste. Some people don’t like using C++’s extra features (e.g. classes and objects) and prefer just sticking to C.

In any case, C# is closer to Java than to C or C++. C# is executed on a virtual machine, like Java. It’s reasonably fast but it’s not a language for pushing the hardware envelope because there’s an extra layer between you and the machine. C and C++ are more “close to the metal”.

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Robert_J__King 101 Feb 03, 2012 at 02:20

Ok, that makes allot more sense thank you Reedbeta. So it would be wise to stick with Java/C# for now as a beginner and move to C and or C++ later on down the line. Because I almost feel since C++ would be the better way to go, it’s just judging from what I understand Java/C# are more beginner friendly for learning. Now that I understand that…. Thanks again and I appreciate the responses.

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alphadog 101 Feb 09, 2012 at 18:54

Reedbeta is right. I did mean C/C++, and not C#/C++. As he says, some languages are compiled and closer to the metal. You would want to know and use those kinds of languages if you wanted to, for example, build the next CryEngine v16.

And, IMO, closer to the metal does not mean more complicated. In fact, C# used to be “beginner-friendly”, but the language in its current state is filled with tons of features and capabilities which will be daunting to any n00b.

Any language worth knowing is rife with its own complexities. You need to pick a language based on the work you are going to do with it. I think people here know my love for analogies: a carpenter learns the tools needed for his specialty, not learns a specialty based on the easy tools. :)