Easy platform for computer board game

Nibbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 2010.01
Post: #1
Hi everyone. I am a newbie in programming. I have basically zero programming experience. I would like to get started in programming. The first significant project I have in mind is a turn-based board game, and I am wondering what language would be best suited for this task.

Here's the general concept of the game. The board consists of maybe 20 spaces that are in a square, sort of like the Monopoly layout, except that you can move in either direction. You roll a 6-sided die, and get to choose which way to go. Once you land on the square, you will have en encounter - it might be an enemy you have to fight to gain experience, it might be an item you get to pick up, a unique event that affects your character, etc. Your character will have stats, say, Strength, Intelligence, Stamina, etc., and those will be modified as you play the game.

I don't envision the game having any complicated animation - maybe a die rolling or something like that, but basically it would just be an electronic boardgame so I don't need anything beyond a couple of simple animations.

Does anybody have any suggestions on where to start? I have the book "Programming in Objective-C" by Steven G. Kochan (it appears to be the first edition). I am programming on a MacBook.

I'd eventually like to get involved in iPhone programming, but I don't have an iPhone yet and in any event I figure I should learn more fundamentals before turning to the iPhone.

Thanks for any suggestions or insight you can offer.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #2
We recently had a somewhat lengthy discussion about approaches that newbies could take to game dev on the Mac and iPhone which you might be interested in reading.
Quote this message in a reply
Nibbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 2010.01
Post: #3
Thanks, I did notice that thread, and it contains some helpful information. My main interest is computerized board games, and I guess I am wondering if that would influence whether I should start out by learning C versus Objective-C (or something else).

From the posts I have seen, it looks like I can't really go wrong starting out by learning C (I am thinking the Apress book "Learn C on the Mac" may be a good starting point), because that will provide a solid foundation in the event that I want to turn to iPhone programming sometime in the future.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #4
I'll summarize that part of that other thread for you:

- If you really really want to get to iPhone, you'll want to learn C first.
- Yes, that "Learn C on the Mac" book has been very popular to learn C with.
- If you want to learn Objective-C you'll need to learn C first anyway, since Objective-C is built right on top of C.
- If you don't have to get to iPhone right away, there are much easier ways to get into game programming on the Mac, like Python/PyGame.

I would add, if you would like to do some 3D board games, do be sure to check out http://unity3d.com/ for a phenomenal, FREE, game engine.

Quote:My main interest is computerized board games, and I guess I am wondering if that would influence whether I should start out by learning C versus Objective-C (or something else).

I can't think of how focusing on board games might influence the approach, one way or another. Game programming is just hard to learn, no matter which route you take, no matter what game you make. Just making Tic-Tac-Toe is a lot harder than you think. The language itself doesn't really mean much in terms of difficulty or advantage in an overall sense.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 749
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #5
I think before learning a language one must learn the basic concepts of programming, and apply them with some exercises / experimenting / making stuff / having fun.

You're not going to have any fun with C or obj C for a few months at least.

Try a beginner's tool like http://processing.org/ it's well maintained and powerful and perfect for beginners.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 281
Joined: 2009.04
Post: #6
I would try FutureBASIC. The syntax is similar to BASIC (very easy) but can be expanded further. The only thing is there's:

a) not much online forums
and b) the graphics are slow, but for a board game this shouldn't matter.

Apart from these things, it does compile into standalone .apps and is simple(ish).

~ Bring a Pen ~
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 254
Joined: 2005.10
Post: #7
If you are just focusing on simple 2D board games, I should think that learning Objective-C and the Cocoa frameworks would be a good place to start. Not only will you be able to write basic applications, but you should be able to leverage the same technology to build a board game app. (Plus you can stay away from stuff like OpenGL.)
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply