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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Hey - maybe I'll make a thing-making program which I can then use to make the thing I want to make
    Ha! I've embarked on at least three such ill-fated ventures that I can remember. I should make a program to help me make all these thing-making programs.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnerMcCaffrey View Post
    So is it best to choose between... I don't know... Python, Java, Lua, and Ruby?
    I love Lua. I think it is a beautiful, beautiful thing (for reasons I can go into, if you're curious). So yes, choose Lua. (With the caveat that you're probably not going to be making an entire game, entirely in Lua, unless it's all-text or maybe an ASCII roguelike.)

  3. #83
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    I want to learn something that's simple to start with (relatively speaking - I'm not completely new to programming) but could still prove useful down the road for scripting game engines or development tools. So is it best to choose between... I don't know... Python, Java, Lua, and Ruby?
    If you want to learn programming - go for Ruby + GOSU library.
    http://www.libgosu.org/
    It's very straightforward and you can make some quick prototypes with it. And Ruby is probably the most newbie-friendly language.
    Oh, and GOSU have C++ version, so if you would want eventually learn this language you will not have to learn new library/framework from scratch.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnerMcCaffrey View Post
    Can I piggyback on your thread, JimDigritz? I've been pondering similar things lately, with the knowledge that eventually I'll want/need to be programming things myself. Is it throwing a lit match into the barn if I ask opinions on what language it's best to start learning?

    As a youngin I mucked about quite a bit in BASICA, and I've done some Perl and PHP as a grup, but obviously I'm not going to make a game in any of those (even though I remember cobbling together what I now realize was a simple BASICA "engine" that let you draw a top-down ASCII map then move a little smiley face around in it.)
    Here is what I have to say about this:


    PHP is perfectly fine if you want to make some sort of strategy game where players choose where to attack from combo box, and they have a poorly draw map made with the GD library.

    I say is a option for strategy games that are not UI heavy, and can use normal HTML widgets.


    PHP is ok.

    ----

    Perhaps BASIC* is not a option, but I would not completelly ignore it. Some of the MakeAGame apps that theres around have a basic inspired syntax. You may want one of these!.

    BASIC is ok. Some GameMaker thing is ok.


    ----

    I can't recomend python because I think using whitespace for flow is a awnful design decision. Also why seems to exist really nice libraries to make python games, theres not much games made with that.. this means something.

    Python, Ruby, ... are ok.

    ----

    ActionScript and Flash is probably where you can make a game with the better visuals. It don't seems making a game with AS and Flash will be much harder than with other options, specially if theres a big community and tutorials.

    Flash is a interesting option.

    ----

    If you want to make a 3D game, then I don't know what to tell you, and you has ben wasting my time.

    3D make any game much harder, withouth adding all that much. Very rarelly (but it happends!) a single person can make anything remotelly worthwhile in 3D.

    3D can be achieved by some GameMaker thing that have it everything implemented in the core, so you are using a heavy framework that do almost everything for you. Or you can get a already made 3D game/engine and mod your game into it. Theres a lot of open source engines for this.

    ----

    Sometimes Indies or OpenSource guys release a nice 2D library. It could be a interesting option to check these.

  5. #85
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    Y'know, once you know the concepts of programming - you can use any language you like, really.

    The complicated part is choosing the right language and tools to make the thing you want to make and have it work where and how you want it to work.

    People have bent almost every language ever made into a tool to make almost anything else. PHP originally stood for "Personal Home Page" but was mangled into "PHP: Hypertext PreProcessor" as it's use expanded. It's purpose was website scripting tho - that you can make a game with it is down to people wanting to make stuff to do anything, regardless of it's practicality ;0

    Lua is also a scripting language - you'll mostly encounter it in things like WoW Macros and Mods but yes, you can make more with it than just that.

    Ruby is a dynamic language - meaning it can modify itself because it's not pre-compiled - again it's original is in web application development but people like to fill gaps so you can make a Minecraft clone with it ;0

    They are all quite specialist things tho - no-one should be looking at that lot to make their first game IMO

    That you can do a thing does not mean that you should - nor does it make it the best place to start doing it ;0

  6. #86
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    Nah.

    Choosing the right language is easy. Just use what you know how to use.

    Is everything else after that that is hard.

  7. #87
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    I agree and disagree with Tei.

    Anyway, yes, first learn to program, you will never find exactly what you need anytime soon, it's a useful skill as well for future projects or to rapidly prototype something to test a mechanic.
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  8. #88
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    To emphasise my point - the hard part isn't "learning programming" - it's choosing the right combination of tools to get your idea into reality on the devices you want. You can probably do what you want using any combination but some will be a LOT easier than others.

    Indeed - most choices will be dead-ends in many ways, so you need to know a lot before you even start - basically...

  9. #89
    eve online is written in stackless python; and im pretty sure all CS degrees at MIT start with python these days. its simple yet versatile and powerful. just dont get into any lazy habits because they will not fly in c++.

  10. #90
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    If I've learned anything in 34 years of being a programmer - it's that anything taught in a school/college/university is always the wrong place to start...

    Unis are generally staffed by people who either failed to succeed in "the real world" or burned-out - their approach to things is never really the one you want to follow because it's the path which led them there in the first place.

    When I was a Graduate Mentor, the things people would tell me they'd spend months and months working-on were never less than

    a - pointless
    b - pointless

    Worse still - they came to me with a skillset I could barely make use of

    Let's not talk of Universities eh?

  11. #91
    ill agree that i learn more each and every year than i did in all my years at university combined.
    however, this is because ive continually refined my scope and personal development skills, whereas the range of subjects that i was taught during my years in school was quite broad, and provided me with an opportunity to really discover my foci.

    youre also disregarding all the r&d and open source contributions from the collegiate world.
    many of history's greatest achievements were by and due to people with many years of schooling under their belts, as well as made at university campuses.

    a massive percentage of the colleges out there certainly are "would you like fries with that" degree establishments.
    however if theres any software engineering curriculum worth looking at its MIT's.

    i am perfectly happy with not discussing universities.
    my first programming experience was in basic at the age of 8, i was comfortable with c before i got to college (which was the first language i was taught), and now im familiar with at least 10, most of them self-taught. i have not been coding for 34 years (in fact now my focus is more user experience design) and i did not go to MIT, but i do also believe that python is the best language to begin with, because although its simple its still versatile and powerful (especially in the 'nix environment that appears to be the wave of the future), and if you can figure out python you can figure out any language. c++ is the most valuable one to learn though.

  12. #92
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    In fairness to MIT - they're aiming to shape the people who make the NEXT lot of stuff - not people who'll work with the current stuff ;0

    That and being more about who you meet than what you learn of course (as with any decent school) - but basically, look at what other game developers are using and not at what students are using is my message - because they are going to be your support group ;0

    End of the day - if you've never made a game before and aren't already a programmer (in which case you'll have some idea what you want to do anyway) then you probably want to start with a game-making tool - something like Unity, GameMaker, ClickTeam - because you'll actually get something made that way - you'll learn stuff which is valuable - even if the end result isn't Halo...

    Another tip would be a bit 'Bob Ross' - he used to say "we don't make mistakes - we have happy accidents" and we can extrapolate that to the 10,000,000 problems you're going to face by saying "every one of those will be a learning experience".

    You're only allowed to get annoyed when things don't work for the SECOND time (and I'm talking to you Google - today, I'm talking to YOU)
    Last edited by trjp; 02-08-2014 at 11:15 PM.

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    That and being more about who you meet than what you learn of course (as with any decent school) - but basically, look at what other game developers are using and not at what students are using is my message - because they are going to be your support group ;0
    seems like everyone is using unity these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    End of the day - if you've never made a game before and aren't already a programmer (in which case you'll have some idea what you want to do anyway) then you probably want to start with a game-making tool - something like Unity, GameMaker, ClickTeam - because you'll actually get something made that way - you'll learn stuff which is valuable - even if the end result isn't Halo...
    GunnerMcCaffrey appeared to be asking specifically about programming to me, but i agree that if one has a good idea of what they want to make then there is probably a good tool for it. different tools for different jobs.
    i suggested starting with modding (the type of game you want to make).

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    You're only allowed to get annoyed when things don't work for the SECOND time (and I'm talking to you Google - today, I'm talking to YOU)
    i am also not a fan of everything google.
    Last edited by cardinaldirection; 03-08-2014 at 12:25 AM.

  14. #94
    It's sounding like, of the non-C languages, Python and Java inspire the fewest derogatory comments. And the idea of whitespace as a logic tool in Python actually sounds kind of appealing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    End of the day - if you've never made a game before and aren't already a programmer (in which case you'll have some idea what you want to do anyway) then you probably want to start with a game-making tool - something like Unity, GameMaker, ClickTeam - because you'll actually get something made that way - you'll learn stuff which is valuable - even if the end result isn't Halo...
    Yeah, most important to me is to start prototyping and experimenting... and I've played around a bit with Game Maker already... but knowing myself, there'll come a point where I want to pop the hood and get my hands on the code anyway, so I figure why not get a head start on that and learn a programming language as a bonus. Or the other way around? Whatever.

    Are there game tools that let you do this with pre-existing languages? Someone had mentioned one that uses Lua (can't remember which one at the moment).

  15. #95
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    There are many layers between a game coder and the 'code' of their game - you have to decide how deep you want to go, really.

    Game Maker abstracts almost everything which is going-on but it makes quick-and-easy games (relatively speaking) and everything you create (logic, art, sounds etc.) can always be reused elsewhere.

    Unity abstracts less - you're not even tied to using it's IDE/UI and scripting languages, as you can target it's "engine" using almost anything you like - but there's the small matter of it's cost and the complexities of setting it all up to consider.

    Lower-level tools still hide a lot of their workings too - I developed some Android Apps using AndEngine - AndEngine was developed atop libgdx - which in-turn abstracts the workings of Open/GL, Box2D and some other stuff against Java but I could have just written Java - or indeed just written whatever code (likely C or C++) Java is written in - how deep do you want to go?

    You have to find a thing you're happy to compromise on but I strongly suggest you choose something which uses a proper OO language like C++, C# or Java because once you speak one of those, scripting languages like like Ruby, Luz and PHP will come easily if you need them.

    Python is an oddity - it's very flexible but it's VERY different to other languages - learn it by all means but expect to be frustrated by other languages thereafter! I've only used it "in anger" once, to hack a cash register for sales data - that's the sort of thing it does REALLY well ;0

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by cardinaldirection View Post
    eve online is written in stackless python; and im pretty sure all CS degrees at MIT start with python these days. its simple yet versatile and powerful. just dont get into any lazy habits because they will not fly in c++.
    EVE being written in stackless python is one of its biggest shortcomings today... I wouldn't exactly call that a shining endorsement of the language in game development.

    The vast majority of games dev is done in C++ and Lua. With Unity, you see C# gain a bit, and honestly it's probably the language I'd recommend - it's similar to Java and C++ (so you can migrate to either if you wish easily) but without the idiosyncracies of either. It's not perfect (no language is), but I find it clean and flexible.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnerMcCaffrey View Post
    Are there game tools that let you do this with pre-existing languages? Someone had mentioned one that uses Lua (can't remember which one at the moment).
    You might be referring to my mention of ToME, which is both a free, "donation please" roguelike, and a 2D engine written in C++ and Lua. Last time I looked, all of the C source was available on github (ie open source for playing with, not necessarily for commercial re-release). Since Lua is basically an interpreted language, all of the Lua is included with the game itself in a bunch of text files.

    It is not the simplest possible code base for learning the ropes, but neither is it Quake 3 (which is another reasonable option for learning game programming).

  18. #98
    This is all extremely helpful. Thanks all.

    It's dawning on me that my real first question is probably to myself: what kind of game-like project thing inspires me the most? then figure it out from there. Maybe I make a weird little point and click with AGS. Maybe I learn machine code and start living in an abandoned belltower.

    Seems RimWorld is coded in "Unity and C#?" Guess I'm not totally clear on the usual working relationships between languages and engines. To the researchamatrix.

  19. #99
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    Yes, unity is a framework that allows you to program much of the logic inside of it, they use a C# version for that called Mono. You can also use Javascript and some other language for it that I forgot about.

    Concerning the Python debate, I've done a lot of programming with Python for Battlefield 2, much of the gameplay logic is/can be scripted in python for it. I quite like using it, but I suppose it's just as with any language, use a proper tool for the proper job.
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  20. #100
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    OK, it's week since this thread started. JimDigritz, did you already started working on this game? I'm not even talking about programming. Did you wrote some basic pitch (it's very helpful) where you described details of mechanics or made some concept art etc.?
    This is probably the best advice in gamemaking - just do it instead of thinking about it.

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