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 Post subject: I need a suggestion.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:11 pm 
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I want to program simple arcade games. What language do you guys suggest????? And how do i go about learning it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:35 pm 
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What OS do you want to code them for? How simple do you mean? 2D?

I strongly suggest learning basic programming skills first, and then moving on to specific areas ... if you try to learn how to program games without learning how to program, you'll keep running into things you don't know or don't understand.

So ... how to learn to program. You could go to school, but that is expensive in both time and money, and the piece of paper you get at the end is useful only for getting a job.

I suggest buying Deitel and Deitel's "C++: How to Program." It is very well written, accessible to even beginners, teaches you a very useful language, is based on Object-Oriented Programming techniques, and is quite thorough. It also has lots of exercises in each chapter to test yourself and your learning, AND a project that spans the whole book and gradually teaches you the basics of software engineering. Wooo .. quite a book, huh? :) No, my name is not Deitel. I just like the text. ;)

You can buy the newest edition from Amazon.com in both new and used formats, or you can find it in just about any university (college for you americans) bookstore.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:37 pm 
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you'll want to learn and use c++. ontop of that you're going to have to learn either directx or opengl graphics apis.

I'll be straight and tell you game programming isn't exactly the easiest thing to do. It's a lot of hard work and for someone such as yourself who obviously doesn't have any coding experience it's going to seem daunting.

First off get yourself a good c++ book. stay away from anything that has the words "dummy", "idiot", "week", "days" or "hours" in the title. I suggest the deitel c++ book. It's the same book many college programming classes use so you know it's worth it.

second grab a copy of andre lamothe's tricks of the windows game programming gurus. OK, honestly the book is not that great IMO but it does get your plenty of code examples with directx and doing video games. Just don't belive it's actually the tricks that windows game programming gurus actually use! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:38 pm 
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/me points at Dex ... haha! I got the Deitel plug in first. :P

Seriously .. I love that book. I actually had to buy a second one 'cause the first was falling apart. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:52 pm 
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LOL! I have the 3rd edition and it was used when I got it. I'd like to get around to buying a new 4th edition copy sometime.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:24 pm 
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I have the 3rd as well, and I still have my (very battered) 2nd edition.

:lol: I make it sound as though these are collector's items or something. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:48 pm 
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Do any of have html goodies, i love that book also :P


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:18 pm 
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Can't say I've read that one, gamerfreak ... a general web publishing text I'm guessing? :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:11 am 
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First, gaming. If you're going to be a game programmer, you need to be a programmer first. Game programming is a subset of programming. www.gamasutra.com is an excellent resource for information on the game industry. Sign up and spend plenty of time there. You should also obtain UT2004 the dvd edition and watch all of the video training manuals. Good stuff. Real good stuff.

BTW, despite what these 'get a game design degree in two years' schools would have you believe - game companies are NOT hiring these people. Gamasutra had a survey a while back and game companies are only hiring these people if they already have a college degree in compsci or art AND one of these degrees. Don't waste your time and money. Besides, if you really love programming, you'll probably come to realize that the thought of working for a game company is a lot cooler than actually working at one. Again, see gamasutra.

Languages.... games are written in several languages. Based on a game related report I did last semester, I would say C++, Java, and Python are the three to know right now. C++ is the most commonly used for traditional pc and console games. You must know C++ to get a game programming job at most studios. Java is becoming popular. Why? Besides the somewhat obvious online places like http://games.yahoo.com - there are MMP's, j2me and dirty java. MMP's have are very much like any other enterprise system. You have users, authentacation, security, connectons to a database, network components, etc. Java solves this problem well. A sort of CPP client, Java server system. Dirty Java is also becoming popular - google it. J2ME is now the most commonly used language for cell phones and pda's, which is a huge and very fast growing market. Everyone has a cell phone - and games for them are going to grow, grow, grow. Finally, Python. Python has sort of quietly become the scripting language for game engines. Don't worry if you don't know what that means - just log it away in the back of your head somewhere and spend some time with Python. Great language, nuff said.

What language should you choose to learn first? Hard to say. C++ is the hardest to master, but it is also the prefered game language. Java is very much like C++ in syntax (in fact, if you know one then you can basically read the other) and is the easiest path to creating a gui. Python is an incredibly well thought out language. An excellent starting language. So which to choose? All three are excellent 'first choices'. You'll have to decide. It certainly wouldn't hurt to know all three. Each has a place. Google 'thinking in python' ... and download it, along with thinking in java and thinking in c++ - read a few chapters of each and pick one.


Some 'different' comments on C++
------------------------------------------

Alright, don't listen to these guys, they should be ashamed (see below). Oh, and BTW, Deitel books SUCK! Ok, they're not quite that bad, but I think there are better alternatives. Why? Because they never cover WHY is why. They only tell you how and never explain in depth 'why' you want to do something (w/ the exception of the SE sections at the end of some chapters, but why the hell are they putting SE in a programming language book anyways?!). Also, they're damn near useless as a reference - little code examples are spread out all over the damn place - "now was that in chap 4, 8, or 18". Why does this index look like a rainbow?! PITA! They do have some good examples, but I really beleive there are better alternatives. Some of the GUI examples are good. A copy this code affair.

An excellent free resource on CPP is Thinking in C++ -- google it. Unlike the Deitel books, Bruce explains how and WHY you should do things. It isn't all pretty, 256 colors, just a good no nonsense programming book with plenty of code examples. Do yourself a big favor and dl the free copy. If you like it, you can buy the print edition at most bookstores (or order it online).

If Eckel is a little too advanced for you.... I'm not sure how old you are, level of computer experience, etc. Let me know and I'll find my original CPP book. It covers everything in detail at a pretty slow pace and each chapter has a project that is analyzed and explained. Good stuff.

Now for the bible.... and Dex and Jip should be ashamed for not mentioning it. If you're going to program in CPP, you MUST have this book by this man. All other CPP books, tutorials, and materials (w/ the notable exception of the 'Effective' book) pale in comparison. Seriously. It is absolutely the best CPP book on the planet. Hell, it might even be the best book on the planet. Own it, sleep with it, memorize it - don't let anyone else read it - they're only going to try and steal it!

Since money is an object, I would do this - download the thinking in cpp and when you're done with that book - get the bible. All you need to cover the C++ language. Also, spend a fair amount of time at Bjarne's website. Real good stuff there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:10 am 
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Bah....get halflife and run worldcraft/Hammer editor, or DL the Call of Duty editor utilities and make us some more maps!

But if ya want to start programming at the roots level, try out old Qbasic or Stamp stuff and see if this is even something that is interesting. If you like it, basic stamps are still widely used in the industry in little micro-processing units. Once you get the hang of it, you can load "Logo" and move a little turtle around and start your game coding career as well:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 3:37 am 
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Chumly wrote:
Bah....get halflife and run worldcraft/Hammer editor, or DL the Call of Duty editor utilities and make us some more maps!

But if ya want to start programming at the roots level, try out old Qbasic or Stamp stuff and see if this is even something that is interesting. If you like it, basic stamps are still widely used in the industry in little micro-processing units. Once you get the hang of it, you can load "Logo" and move a little turtle around and start your game coding career as well:D

Worst advice ever.... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:27 am 
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thanks alot for you ansewers but i just wanted to do it as a hobby. Lol they really helped though. I bought at cheap luttle book by Mike Mcgrath called " C++ programing in easy steps" its probebly junk though. In the post wayy up html goodies was mensioned. Yeah it is a web desighning standards books and its the best one out there. Most of the material in the book can be found on www.htmlgoodies.com Its a really great book if you are starting out html and even if you know it its a great refence.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:45 am 
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gamerfreak wrote:
thanks alot for you ansewers but i just wanted to do it as a hobby. Lol they really helped though. I bought at cheap luttle book by Mike Mcgrath called " C++ programing in easy steps" its probebly junk though. In the post wayy up html goodies was mensioned. Yeah it is a web desighning standards books and its the best one out there. Most of the material in the book can be found on www.htmlgoodies.com Its a really great book if you are starting out html and even if you know it its a great refence.


If its just a hobby I would start with Python and then Java.

"Python Programming: For the absolute beginner" Premier press by Micheal Dawson.

By the time you finish the book you have programmed "Asteroids" and have the skill to do much more. Its also a great kick start into OOP.

Manta (Manta is a noob as well at programming - be advised)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:37 am 
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Gadget wrote:
Oh, and BTW, Deitel books SUCK!


:shock:

/me faints in horror.

Gadget wrote:
Ok, they're not quite that bad, but I think there are better alternatives. Why? Because they never cover WHY is why. They only tell you how and never explain in depth 'why' you want to do something (w/ the exception of the SE sections at the end of some chapters, but why the hell are they putting SE in a programming language book anyways?!).


:lol: Oddly, the 'why' is exactly why I recommended that text. I thought they explained OOP and generally programming principles quite well. Now, as a caveat, I'd like to say that I was already a solid java OOP programmer before picking up the text, so I might be overestimating its ability to teach.

Gadget wrote:
Also, they're damn near useless as a reference - little code examples are spread out all over the damn place - "now was that in chap 4, 8, or 18".


He didn't ask for a reference ... he wanted to learn to program. Reference books generally don't teach shit. :)

Gadget wrote:
An excellent free resource on CPP is Thinking in C++ -- google it. Unlike the Deitel books, Bruce explains how and WHY you should do things. It isn't all pretty, 256 colors, just a good no nonsense programming book with plenty of code examples.


I'm going to have to give that one a look.

Gadget wrote:
Now for the bible.... and Dex and Jip should be ashamed for not mentioning it. If you're going to program in CPP, you MUST have this book by this man. All other CPP books, tutorials, and materials (w/ the notable exception of the 'Effective' book) pale in comparison. Seriously. It is absolutely the best CPP book on the planet. Hell, it might even be the best book on the planet. Own it, sleep with it, memorize it - don't let anyone else read it - they're only going to try and steal it!


/me hugs his text. I didn't mention that text because I thought, given the level of gamerfreak's questions in his posts, that that text may as well be written in Sanskrit. :P

Gadget wrote:
Since money is an object, I would do this - download the thinking in cpp and when you're done with that book - get the bible. All you need to cover the C++ language. Also, spend a fair amount of time at Bjarne's website. Real good stuff there.


That's a pretty good plan.

Hey ... should we start charging tuition for our services in here? ;) :D


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 Post subject: Re: I need a suggestion.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:04 pm 
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gamerfreak wrote:
I want to program simple arcade games. What language do you guys suggest????? And how do i go about learning it.


What kind of "simple arcade games" are you looking to do? 2D or 3D? The best language for game programming is C/C++, and you can literally build an entire game without ever having to spend a dime. You can use freeware tools like:

GCC compiler
OpenGL
MinGW C++ IDE

Anyhow, C++ is the best tool for the job since the OpenGL framework is built with C in mind. You can write OpenGL code in Java, but you'd have to wrap the C functions in Java objects, which is arduous and NOT fun (I've done it and gave up). Anyhow, you can create games in OpenGL, and it doesn't have to be first person shooter type games either. If you're looking towards 2D game design, I can't help you there, I don't know much about that stuff. :(

Anyhow, C++ is not an easy language to learn, the Deitel books are really good, however, once you graduate from those books, it's nice to have a handy reference around:

http://shop.osborne.com/cgi-bin/osborne/0072226803.html

I lived off of that book in my second semester C++ programming. It's a bit terse to read, but once you get the style of his writings, his stuff is easy to read. I'm currently using his C# Complete Reference as my study guide. If you're having trouble, you can always post here at Programmer's Paradise, I know Dude-X is a C++ guy so you can bug him :D.

Anyhow, good luck. If you're leaning towards 3D game design, you're going to need a strong background in Linear Algebra and analytic Geometry, and yes, there are books out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:12 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:

He didn't ask for a reference ... he wanted to learn to program. Reference books generally don't teach shit.


Indeed. But I've had my share of staring at C++ code 8 to 10 hours a day. By now, reading Reference books to learn a language has almost become, natural. In fact, I'm learning C# through a reference book! :D

[quote="Jipstyle"I'm going to have to give that one a look. [/quote]

The Bruce Eckel book is simply amazing. I read it sometime ago, but I never finished it due to time constraints (took one too many classes at the same time). But from my readings, he assumes you know the language, so if you don't know C++ that book won't teach you syntax. But it does present OOP in light of C++.



[quote="Jipstyle"]
Hey ... should we start charging tuition for our services in here? ;) :D[/quote]

Then we won't have too many members in Programmer's Paradise :( that or they'll start going to Infinite Loops in Delphi Forums. We don't want that, do we now? :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:03 pm 
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I suggest previewing before posting. This way you can see that you forgot a bracket before posting in BBCode. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:51 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Gadget wrote:
Oh, and BTW, Deitel books SUCK!


:shock:

/me faints in horror.

Gadget wrote:
Ok, they're not quite that bad, but I think there are better alternatives. Why? Because they never cover WHY is why. They only tell you how and never explain in depth 'why' you want to do something (w/ the exception of the SE sections at the end of some chapters, but why the hell are they putting SE in a programming language book anyways?!).


:lol: Oddly, the 'why' is exactly why I recommended that text. I thought they explained OOP and generally programming principles quite well. Now, as a caveat, I'd like to say that I was already a solid java OOP programmer before picking up the text, so I might be overestimating its ability to teach.

Gadget wrote:
Also, they're damn near useless as a reference - little code examples are spread out all over the damn place - "now was that in chap 4, 8, or 18".


He didn't ask for a reference ... he wanted to learn to program. Reference books generally don't teach shit. :)

In genereal, that is true. However, the really good books do both well, and you don't end up looking through three books to try and figure something out.

Jumping up to the Deitel and 'why' comments. OK - so I open up the Deitel Java book for an explaination of say 'anonymous inner classes' which is something that many people are not going to be all that familiar with. Index says.... 479, 483, 637, 648, and 735. Great. Heading over to 479... ok, nice, they've boldened Anonymous Inner Classes and offer a short explaination of what an anonymous inner class is then talk about their code example and then say they'll discuss it in more detail in a chapters 13 and 14. Overall, not bad - they just defered the explaination until much later and don't really talk a whole lot about why someone or something would find an anoninner class useful. In TIJ, there are three pages in the index. If I turn to the first one in it, I get two full pages of innerclass examples and explainations that is part of a chapter on interfaces and inner classes.

Thinking back a bit - I did like the Deitel books explainations on OOP, comp, inh, poly and abstraction. Not that it was better than TIJ, or any other books explaination for that matter, but they did cover it well. I don't like the way they organize everything. Without having read the 'effective java' book, I would be ok with recommending that someone purchase both the TIJ and Deitel Java books. Read TIJ first though - you might decide that Deitel is not necessary. And if you're going to get heavy into gui's, you're probably better off picking up a dedicated Swing book instead of the Deitel book.


Jipstyle wrote:
/me hugs his text. I didn't mention that text because I thought, given the level of gamerfreak's questions in his posts, that that text may as well be written in Sanskrit. :P

True. The bible does make a pretty starting textbook IF you have a tutor that is willing to help you along the way. Some questions that are outside the scope of the book will inevitably creep up.


Jipstyle wrote:
Hey ... should we start charging tuition for our services in here? ;) :D

Yes. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:52 pm 
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MantaBase wrote:
gamerfreak wrote:
thanks alot for you ansewers but i just wanted to do it as a hobby. Lol they really helped though. I bought at cheap luttle book by Mike Mcgrath called " C++ programing in easy steps" its probebly junk though. In the post wayy up html goodies was mensioned. Yeah it is a web desighning standards books and its the best one out there. Most of the material in the book can be found on www.htmlgoodies.com Its a really great book if you are starting out html and even if you know it its a great refence.


If its just a hobby I would start with Python and then Java.

"Python Programming: For the absolute beginner" Premier press by Micheal Dawson.

By the time you finish the book you have programmed "Asteroids" and have the skill to do much more. Its also a great kick start into OOP.

Manta (Manta is a noob as well at programming - be advised)

Nice.... I'll try and find that one at borders today. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 3:40 pm 
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I would say to try english. I hate when I get a game only to find that all the dialogue is in japanese. Try a dictionary to learn it.


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