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Do not know were to start! - dogone - Sep 11, 2008 04:45 PM

brody brody brody

Do not know were to start! - kodex - Sep 11, 2008 05:16 PM


First off welcome to iDevGames you will find this site a extremely valuable resource on your way to creating games.

First off you are already on a better path then 99% of people trying to get into game development. You understand that you need to start small and you are willing to work for it, these are rare qualities.

The first game I ever made was a console based game of pong, It took a couple of months of tinkering but it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever written and it taught me how much you could do with so little. This was more then 10 years ago and I still remember working on it very vividly.

You are starting to learn at the right time, you can begin programming for the Macintosh for free these days. You will need to head over to and sign up for a free account. Once you get that all setup then download a copy of Xcode. Xcode is your compiler and it is where you will write, test and run your code from.

It sounds like you don't have much of a programming background as of yet, which is ok. You will most likely want to pick up a couple of books on the subject. If you can't afford any books yet then there are plenty of free resources we can point you to online in the mean time.

If you provide us with any background you have in programming we can point you on the right path. Stick around and you will learn a lot and be on your way to a real game soon.

Do not know were to start! - dogone - Sep 11, 2008 08:26 PM

I don't want to break my buget but books or cheap applications are not a problem. But , what kind of books.

Do not know were to start! - stevejohnson - Sep 11, 2008 08:37 PM

I suggest this book about Python. It is geared toward total beginners. When you're finished, you should be able to write a text adventure. Then you can learn Pyglet, the game programming library.

I also suggest looking at Processing, another environment geared toward non-programmers. You can read my tutorial for it - I would be happy to answer questions.

If you want to play around with graphics and user input, go with Processing. If you want to learn how to program from scratch and end up a better programmer, go with the book. I think that you can start learning pyglet when you have finished about half of the book.

Do not know were to start! - dogone - Sep 11, 2008 08:51 PM

Thank you! I would definitely go with the "python" book if that will make me a better programmer.

Do not know were to start! - AnotherJake - Sep 11, 2008 09:44 PM

Python is great, but you'll still want to learn C someday...

BTW, A+ first post Brody! Grin I'd add more but kodex already covered the good stuff.

Do not know were to start! - stevejohnson - Sep 11, 2008 09:50 PM

C for game programming for a new programmer who has never touched code before? Hmm.

I never needed C at all until I had to learn it for a class. I knew enough other languages that it wasn't a problem.

Do not know were to start! - AnotherJake - Sep 11, 2008 09:55 PM

diordna Wrote:C for game programming for a new programmer who has never touched code before? Hmm.

I'm not trying to imply that one must learn C out of the gate, that's just where the road leads to.

[edit] I started on BASIC like 25 years ago. I'm still a dopey hack, but the one choke point that still seems to be pretty solid after all these years is C (even though it wasn't commonly available on PC's back then). All the "minor" languages funnel into C and fan out from there into other monstrosities. Just like all roads lead to Rome, all roads lead to C. You can call it how you like it, but that's my take.

Do not know were to start! - Najdorf - Sep 11, 2008 10:32 PM

I recommend you start out soft, the beginning is the hardest part and it's very easy to get frustrated.

Processing looks just great to start out with. Read some programming introduction then check out the examples and try to understand them. Download is just 50 MB, works out of the box.

Also don't rush on books, there is a lot of free goodness on the internet and a book alone won't make you a better programmer.

Do not know were to start! - stevejohnson - Sep 12, 2008 05:57 AM

Najdorf Wrote:Also don't rush on books, there is a lot of free goodness on the internet and a book alone won't make you a better programmer.

This book is really, really good, and relatively cheap for a CS book. Python is a great language for beginners, but the online tutorials are not for the uninitiated. In this case, I actually do think that this book will make him a better programmer than running around Google trying to piece things together.

The only thing it doesn't teach is static typing, because Python doesn't have that, but it's an easy concept to pick up later.

Do not know were to start! - _ibd_ - Sep 12, 2008 07:52 AM

I don't want to throw in another alternative to create confusion, but I think most of the BASIC languages are pretty good at teaching the basics with little needed to get started. Maybe try BlitzMax (which is not free) or TNT basic.

Do not know were to start! - dogone - Sep 12, 2008 08:26 AM

Now I am just confused! What am supposed to start with?

Do not know were to start! - ThemsAllTook - Sep 12, 2008 09:06 AM

There's a vast array of choices, and unfortunately we can't narrow them down much for you. You'll pretty much have to either take a look at a bunch of possible starting points and figure out which one looks best to you, or simply pick one and start coding. The latter is probably the way to go, since you can get started right away, and you can always migrate to another environment when you reach the limits of the first one you chose. Many of the programming concepts you'll learn are universally applicable, so beyond a certain level, the starting point you choose doesn't make much difference.

Do not know were to start! - TomorrowPlusX - Sep 12, 2008 11:35 AM

I'm glad you're willing to start small, as you said with something like Pong or Tetris. That's good... a lot of folks come in here wanting to make WoW, and have never written a line of code in their lives.

Here's what I would do:

1) Buy an intro book on Python. The O'Reilly books are excellent. Go through it, page by page, running all the examples, and experimenting. Don't skip anything, and don't feel bad about reading a chapter twice. Don't cut and paste the example code, type it yourself.

Doing this will get your feet wet, and teach you a lot about the basics of programming.

2) Get the PyGame library. PyGame makes it easy to draw on the screen and respond to keyboard/joystick events. Do every tutorial you can find. Again, no cheating. Type every line yourself, and for each of those lines, ask yourself "Why did the author write this line, and what's it doing?".

3) At this point, you ought to be able to write Pong. So, write pong! You'll enjoy it, I guarantee it.

4) Sky's the limit. Knock youself out.

As a backstory, the first game I ever wrote was during college -- it was Pong, and I wrote it in C and assembler on a p75. I had been joking about how simple the old games were and a friend called me out and said "If it's so simple, why don't you prove it?" So I wrote Pong right there in front of him, in about 45 minutes. Most of which was the dos-mode asm stuff to set the VGA graphics mode and capture mouse events. I later turned it into a breakout game... that was fun.

So you know: you kids these days have it easy. If there were an old-man-shaking-his-cane emoticon I'd be dropping it in right about now.

Do not know were to start! - kodex - Sep 12, 2008 02:40 PM


One of the key questions that you haven't yet answered is what is your current knowledge of computer programming? Have you worked with HTML or PHP, do you know a little C, ect.