Absolute Beginner

Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008.03
Post: #1
I am an absolute beginner with game development. I know enough C++ to get by (still need to learn about classes, structures, and get a better understanding of pointers) and I want to learn how to make games. I don't know how to build GUI's or anything fancy like that. Mainly how to make programs for the OS X Terminal.

I have read the sticky (located here) and I'm still pretty lost. I'm pretty slow, so please excuse my stupidity. Is there some tutorial anywhere on how to create games for absolute beginners? I know you guys get this question all the time (I used the search, but every result was someone calling the person asking the question an idiot and pointing them to the same sticky thread), but can some one help me out. While I am slow, I'm not lazy and I actually did search around before posting.

Thanks
- dq9 (my real internet name)

P.S. I know I won't be able to do anything before I learn about Classes, Structures, and Pointers. They are on my to-do list.
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Member
Posts: 53
Joined: 2007.08
Post: #2
That post provides a pretty good overview of the different things to consider. Anything specific you are still lost about?

When you figure out what kind of game you would like to make (of course, you should always start small) you need to think about what you need your game to do. Does it need to display a window? Then you should look into Cocoa, SDL, etc. Does it need graphics? Sounds? Text? Those are the kinds of things that sticky you linked too was trying to get you to think about. As you start to answer those questions certain libraries/tools/languages will begin to seem like better fits than others. If you have questions (such as, 'I want to load and render sprites and I don't care about cross-platform compatability, any recommendations?') you should ask them. Happy coding Smile
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2008.03
Post: #3
I am thinking of starting with a simple pong game. Any tutorials on how to do so?
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Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
Tried Google?

Really, if you wanna find something, do a search!

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Moderator
Posts: 370
Joined: 2006.08
Post: #5
I'd actually recommend starting off with just text, although you may jump directly into pong if you would like, since that's certainly doable for a first project. Still, building a small text rpg or something would probably be easier, and you might actually learn more from it Wink
As Terrydil said, the best way to learn is to just jump in, then ask questions when you find yourself stuck. (this is another reason why you might want to start out with a text game, since it'll let you learn a bit more about programming in general, without getting lost in the graphics side of things.

Just my two cents Smile
-wyrmmage

Worlds at War (Current Project) - http://www.awkward-games.com/forum/
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Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008.03
Post: #6
Thanks for all the advice so far. Where can I go to find a tutorial on how to create a text based game? I would search Google right now, but I actually have to go to class, music theory and sight singing so I can't bring my computer Sad. When I get back I probably won't have much time either. Any help is and will be appreciated.
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Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #7
I've found that I learn much more when I work things out from myself than when I follow a tutorial. Just break down what you want to do into small logical steps that lead up to the result, and work them out sequentially. It takes a little bit longer, but the wealth of knowledge and experience that results is well worth it.

For example, creating a text-based game for the first time might have a sequence of steps like this:
  • Write and compile a program that prints "Hello, world!" to the console.
  • Modify this program to take a user-entered string of text, and print it back out.
  • Modify this program to print out a prompt that presents the user with multiple choices, and print out different strings based on the text they enter.
  • Modify this program to keep some internal state information, and present the user with different prompts and possible actions based on actions they've previously taken.
...Et voila, you have a quick-and-dirty text-based game.

Ask for help if you get completely stuck, of course. Just keep in mind that it's much easier to answer a question like "how can I implement a variable-sized array in C?" than a question like "how can I write a text-based game?". Questions that are as specific as possible are more likely to be answered in a helpful manner (and answered at all, really).
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Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008.03
Post: #8
ThemsAllTook Wrote:I've found that I learn much more when I work things out from myself than when I follow a tutorial. Just break down what you want to do into small logical steps that lead up to the result, and work them out sequentially. It takes a little bit longer, but the wealth of knowledge and experience that results is well worth it.

For example, creating a text-based game for the first time might have a sequence of steps like this:
  • Write and compile a program that prints "Hello, world!" to the console.
  • Modify this program to take a user-entered string of text, and print it back out.
  • Modify this program to print out a prompt that presents the user with multiple choices, and print out different strings based on the text they enter.
  • Modify this program to keep some internal state information, and present the user with different prompts and possible actions based on actions they've previously taken.
...Et voila, you have a quick-and-dirty text-based game.

Ask for help if you get completely stuck, of course. Just keep in mind that it's much easier to answer a question like "how can I implement a variable-sized array in C?" than a question like "how can I write a text-based game?". Questions that are as specific as possible are more likely to be answered in a helpful manner (and answered at all, really).

I see. Thanks for the advice. I do have a question. If I were to make a text based game similar to HicQuest (If you're not familiar with it, it's a text based RPG where you go out to get a bac level of 100%.) how would I implement a fighting system, based on your weapon and the strength of your enemy and that gives you a random amount of money, that ranges from enemy to enemy, if you win the fight.
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Moderator
Posts: 370
Joined: 2006.08
Post: #9
that's another thing you're going to have to figure out for yourself (and doing it yourself will lend a uniqueness to your system, most likely Wink). Here's some more specific steps as to how I would go about making a text-based rpg for the first time: (and I have experience here....this was, in fact, my first project, and I've coached a few friends through making their own also Smile).
First, ask the player for the username, and then give them a greeting back, using their username. This forces you (the coder) to learn how to use input and output of strings, in case you don't already know how.
Now come up with a way for the user to move. I usually tell people to just read in a character that's either 'n', 's', 'w', or 'e' to represent the cardinal directions. This makes you figure out how to read in a single character, do some error checking, and it also illustrates how input is related to output in games. Spend some time with your movement system....making things like walls and trigger points will help you get the feel for how to go about making a game, and it'll also give you a lot of practice relating the things you've been learning about in your programming book to how things are done in a game.
After you've worked on something small (it doesn't have to be movement), then develop a system for combat. It's your first project...don't bother with planning ahead too much. After you've written quite a bit of code, you may notice that you've structured your entire game rather badly...don't hesitate to scrap everything and start over; that's what first projects are for Wink Just make sure you keep your previous code around somewhere...you never know when it'll be useful Sneaky

-wyrmmage

--EDIT--
Just wanted to say congrats on your remarkably well-thought out and intelligently written posts...you're on the right track, just keep going Smile

Worlds at War (Current Project) - http://www.awkward-games.com/forum/
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Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008.03
Post: #10
I am actually a moderator over at another site so I know exactly how to ask a "good question."

And thank you for your help and advise. If I need anything else I will ask for more help.

EDIT: I actually need help on an entirely different subject. When I go to start Terminal (OS X Leopard 10.5.2) it just crashes right away. I have no idea why this is happening. Is there a place where I can go to download Terminal and reinstall? I have yet to search Google, thanks a lot homework, so my answer could be right under my nose. If you guys have any input I would appreciate it.
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Member
Posts: 53
Joined: 2007.08
Post: #11
Does anything show up in the console when the terminal fails?
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Moderator
Posts: 1,560
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Post: #12
Strange, I haven't heard of that happening. If you look in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter, you should have a file called Terminal.crash.log, which contains (among a bunch of other data) a section that looks something like this:
Code:
Exception:  EXC_BAD_ACCESS (0x0001)
Codes:      KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS (0x0001) at 0x2f6a6f76

Thread 0 Crashed:
0   ...le.monitorPanels.VGADisplay     0x15dac18e ds_DisposeTimings + 92
1   ...le.monitorPanels.VGADisplay     0x15dac232 ds_MarkSafeTimings + 70
2   ...le.monitorPanels.VGADisplay     0x15da90d9 SetSafeOnlyState + 51
3   ...le.monitorPanels.VGADisplay     0x15da5301 0x15da4000 + 4865
4   com.apple.preference.displays      0x15d6c67d 0x15d6a000 + 9853
5   com.apple.preference.displays      0x15d6bb27 0x15d6a000 + 6951
6   com.apple.preference.displays      0x15d6b8e9 0x15d6a000 + 6377
7   com.apple.preference.displays      0x15d6e596 0x15d6a000 + 17814
8   com.apple.preference.displays      0x15d6e4e4 0x15d6a000 + 17636
...
This will sometimes give you some insight into the problem, though it's generally more useful for applications you wrote than for Apple-provided apps. If you paste that section here in a [code] block, there's some possibility we'll be able to figure out what's going on.

Console.app might give you a shorter and more informative message when it crashes (as said above). Those are usually the two best first places to check when an application is crashing for an unknown reason.
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Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008.03
Post: #13
I am on a school computer right now, but as soon as I get home I will take a look for that stuff.

What happens when I start it up is the blue dot starts to blink on and off, I turned off the bounceing dock icons, and once it seems like Terminal is going to start it just crashes. I took a look at the report it sends to Apple, but I didn't see anything I could make sense of. It was also 3 in the morning and I was tired as anything so I'll take a look once again and I'll post it here.

Thanks for helping me out!
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2008.03
Post: #14
Here is the crash log:

Code:
Process:         Terminal [16659]
Path:            /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app/Contents/MacOS/Terminal
Identifier:      com.apple.Terminal
Version:         2.0.1 (240)
Build Info:      Terminal-2400000~1
Code Type:       X86 (Native)
Parent Process:  launchd [68]

Date/Time:       2008-03-24 23:23:27.595 -0400
OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.5.2 (9C31)
Report Version:  6

Exception Type:  EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000020
Crashed Thread:  0

Thread 0 Crashed:
0   libobjc.A.dylib                   0x95ce66e8 objc_msgSend + 24
1   com.blacktree.visor               0x0072f336 -[VisorController controller] + 41
2   com.blacktree.visor               0x0072e57f -[VisorController init] + 762
3   com.blacktree.visor               0x0072e1a2 +[VisorController sharedInstance] + 64
4   com.blacktree.visor               0x0072e27d +[VisorController install] + 201
5   net.culater.SIMBL                 0x000ef31b +[SIMBL loadBundle:] + 605
6   net.culater.SIMBL                 0x000eebca +[SIMBL loadBundleAtPath:] + 269
7   net.culater.SIMBL                 0x000eea80 +[SIMBL installPlugins:] + 332
8   com.apple.Foundation              0x91df6bda _nsnote_callback + 106
9   com.apple.CoreFoundation          0x954f19da __CFXNotificationPost + 362
10  com.apple.CoreFoundation          0x954f1cb3 _CFXNotificationPostNotification + 179
11  com.apple.Foundation              0x91df3fd0 -[NSNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:userInfo:] + 128
12  com.apple.Foundation              0x91dfd668 -[NSNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:] + 56
13  com.apple.AppKit                  0x93dbe377 -[NSApplication finishLaunching] + 515
14  com.apple.Terminal                0x00002e2c 0x1000 + 7724
15  com.apple.AppKit                  0x93dbddfd -[NSApplication run] + 83
16  com.apple.AppKit                  0x93d8b30a NSApplicationMain + 574
17  com.apple.Terminal                0x0004102e 0x1000 + 262190

Thread 0 crashed with X86 Thread State (32-bit):
  eax: 0xa07e30a0  ebx: 0x0072f79a  ecx: 0x95ce76cc  edx: 0x00000000
  edi: 0x0016c8e0  esi: 0x00114770  ebp: 0xbffff458  esp: 0xbffff338
   ss: 0x0000001f  efl: 0x00010286  eip: 0x95ce66e8   cs: 0x00000017
   ds: 0x0000001f   es: 0x0000001f   fs: 0x00000000   gs: 0x00000037
  cr2: 0x00000020

Binary Images:
    0x1000 -    0x6cffa  com.apple.Terminal 2.0.1 (240) <9f567d70ae67e758223539ff6d3aba35> /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app/Contents/MacOS/Terminal
   0xe8000 -    0xe8fff +com.growl.GrowlSafariLoader 1.0 (1.0) /Library/InputManagers/GrowlSafari/GrowlSafariLoader.bundle/Contents/MacOS/GrowlSafariLoader
   0xed000 -    0xeffff +net.culater.SIMBL 0.8 (8) /Library/InputManagers/SIMBL/SIMBL.bundle/Contents/MacOS/SIMBL
  0x72d000 -   0x736ff7 +com.blacktree.visor ??? (1.2) /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/Visor.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Visor
0x15012000 - 0x15100fef  com.apple.RawCamera.bundle 2.0.2 (2.0.2) /System/Library/CoreServices/RawCamera.bundle/Contents/MacOS/RawCamera
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0x92c64000 - 0x92f6cfff  com.apple.HIToolbox 1.5.2 (???) <7449d6f2da33ded6936243a92e307459> /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/HIToolbox.framework/Versions/A/HIToolbox
0x93d84000 - 0x93d84ffd  com.apple.vecLib 3.4.2 (vecLib 3.4.2) /System/Library/Frameworks/vecLib.framework/Versions/A/vecLib
0x93d85000 - 0x94582fef  com.apple.AppKit 6.5.2 (949.26) <bc4593edd8a224409fb6953a354505a0> /System/Library/Frameworks/AppKit.framework/Versions/C/AppKit
0x94583000 - 0x9458affe  libbsm.dylib ??? (???) <d25c63378a5029648ffd4b4669be31bf> /usr/lib/libbsm.dylib
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0x948bf000 - 0x948eeff7  libncurses.5.4.dylib ??? (???) <3b2ac2ca8190942b6b81d2a7012ea859> /usr/lib/libncurses.5.4.dylib
0x9492c000 - 0x94df8ffe  libGLProgrammability.dylib ??? (???) <e8bc0af671427cf2b6279a035805a086> /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGLProgrammability.dylib
0x94df9000 - 0x95209fef  libBLAS.dylib ??? (???) /System/Library/Frameworks/Accelerate.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/vecLib.framework/Versions/A/libBLAS.dylib
0x9520a000 - 0x95217fe7  com.apple.opengl 1.5.5 (1.5.5) <aa08b52d2a84b44dc6ee5d544a53fe8a> /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/OpenGL
0x95218000 - 0x95247fe3  com.apple.AE 402.2 (402.2) <e01596187e91af5d48653920017b8c8e> /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/AE.framework/Versions/A/AE
0x95248000 - 0x952effeb  com.apple.QD 3.11.52 (???) <c72bd7bd2ce12694c3640a731d1ad878> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/QD.framework/Versions/A/QD
0x952f0000 - 0x95340ff7  com.apple.HIServices 1.7.0 (???) <f7e78891a6d08265c83dca8e378be1ea> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/HIServices.framework/Versions/A/HIServices
0x953fb000 - 0x95472fe3  com.apple.CFNetwork 221.5 (221.5) <5474cdd7d2a8b2e8059de249c702df9e> /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CFNetwork.framework/Versions/A/CFNetwork
0x95473000 - 0x95475fff  com.apple.securityhi 3.0 (30817) <2b2854123fed609d1820d2779e2e0963> /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/SecurityHI.framework/Versions/A/SecurityHI
0x95483000 - 0x9548aff7  libCGATS.A.dylib ??? (???) <9b29a5500efe01cc3adea67bbc42568e> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libCGATS.A.dylib
0x9549d000 - 0x9549dff8  com.apple.ApplicationServices 34 (34) <8f910fa65f01d401ad8d04cc933cf887> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/ApplicationServices
0x9549e000 - 0x955d0fef  com.apple.CoreFoundation 6.5.1 (476.10) <d5bed2688a5eea11a6dc3a3c5c17030e> /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreFoundation.framework/Versions/A/CoreFoundation
0x95658000 - 0x9565dfff  com.apple.CommonPanels 1.2.4 (85) <ea0665f57cd267609466ed8b2b20e893> /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CommonPanels.framework/Versions/A/CommonPanels
0x9565e000 - 0x95665fe9  libgcc_s.1.dylib ??? (???) <f53c808e87d1184c0f9df63aef53ce0b> /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib
0x95666000 - 0x95693feb  libvDSP.dylib ??? (???) <b232c018ddd040ec4e2c2af632dd497f> /System/Library/Frameworks/Accelerate.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/vecLib.framework/Versions/A/libvDSP.dylib
0x95697000 - 0x956d8fe7  libRIP.A.dylib ??? (???) <9d42e83d860433f9126c4871d1fe0ce8> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libRIP.A.dylib
0x95bf0000 - 0x95bfbfe7  libCSync.A.dylib ??? (???) <df82fc093e498a9eb5490761cb292218> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libCSync.A.dylib
0x95bfc000 - 0x95c0cffc  com.apple.LangAnalysis 1.6.4 (1.6.4) <cbeb17ab39f28351fe2ab5b82bf465bc> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LangAnalysis.framework/Versions/A/LangAnalysis
0x95c17000 - 0x95c17ffb  com.apple.installserver.framework 1.0 (8) /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/InstallServer.framework/Versions/A/InstallServer
0x95c18000 - 0x95c1cfff  libGIF.dylib ??? (???) <d4234e6f5e5f530bdafb969157f1f17b> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libGIF.dylib
0x95c1d000 - 0x95ccfffb  libcrypto.0.9.7.dylib ??? (???) <330b0e48e67faffc8c22dfc069ca7a47> /usr/lib/libcrypto.0.9.7.dylib
0x95cd0000 - 0x95cd1ffc  libffi.dylib ??? (???) <a3b573eb950ca583290f7b2b4c486d09> /usr/lib/libffi.dylib
0x95cd2000 - 0x95db1fff  libobjc.A.dylib ??? (???) <a53206274b6c2d42691f677863f379ae> /usr/lib/libobjc.A.dylib
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0x95e05000 - 0x95e98fff  com.apple.ink.framework 101.3 (86) <bf3fa8927b4b8baae92381a976fd2079> /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/Ink.framework/Versions/A/Ink
0x9604d000 - 0x96061ff3  com.apple.ImageCapture 4.0 (5.0.0) /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ImageCapture.framework/Versions/A/ImageCapture
0x96062000 - 0x96420fea  libLAPACK.dylib ??? (???) /System/Library/Frameworks/Accelerate.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/vecLib.framework/Versions/A/libLAPACK.dylib
0x96559000 - 0x96609fff  edu.mit.Kerberos 6.0.12 (6.0.12) <9e98dfb4cde8b0510fdd972dc9fa1dc9> /System/Library/Frameworks/Kerberos.framework/Versions/A/Kerberos
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0x9662f000 - 0x96639feb  com.apple.audio.SoundManager 3.9.2 (3.9.2) <0f2ba6e891d3761212cf5a5e6134d683> /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CarbonSound.framework/Versions/A/CarbonSound
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0x96a28000 - 0x96a28ffa  com.apple.CoreServices 32 (32) <2fcc8f3bd5bbfc000b476cad8e6a3dd2> /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/CoreServices
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0xffff0000 - 0xffff1780  libSystem.B.dylib ??? (???) /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
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Moderator
Posts: 452
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #15
"Visor provides a systemwide terminal window accessible via a hotkey, much like the consoles found in games such as Quake. "

Sounds like this product is causing a problem. Update it or remove it.

You'll probably wnt to delete:
/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/Visor.bundle

Maybe the whole SIMBL thing is a problem as well. Considering that SIMBL says:

v0.8.2 - released 2006-10-17 - Leopard compatible

and you are running Mac OS X 10.5.2... I would not be surprised if there were problems.
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