Beginning development

Hawksun
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Post: #1
Good day to the community!

I am a high school student and i would like to begin to develop games and maybe even work in this domain later.(yeah, we all have that dream i know.)

The fact is that i need to begin somewhere, so i would like to know what tools and tutorials i could use to begin simple game development.

Thanks.
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Member
Posts: 196
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
Well if you want to program in 3-D and 2-D (which in my opinion is easier to learn and more useful for gaming) try OpenGL http://www.opengl.org & http://nehe.gamedev.net/ (NeHe) for some great tutorials. If you're programming in Mac OS X and you just want to use 2-D try Quartz. Quartzeroids is a good game with source code which you can find at http://www.versiontracker.com. The way I learned programming was going to my local book store and reading up on whatever programming language I wanted to learn. What OS are you going to be programming in?

Iceman
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Pazolli
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Post: #3
Don't forget The Inkubator Project and Hooptie (SourceForge/[url='http://64.246.17.165/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=17']forum[/url]). We aim to cater for beginners and if someone has an idea on how to improve our game, they're welcome to implement, asking us for any help they like. Joining is also simply a matter of saying "Hi" in our forums.

Enjoy.
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Jeff Binder
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Post: #4
OpenGL is not a programming language, and you're going to need to know a language in which to use it. So if you don't know any programming languages, you'll have to start by learning one.

If you've got absolutely no programming experience, try a simple language like Python. It's a very clean language, and mor well-suited to game development than most other similar languages. You can even use OpenGL with it.

Eventually you'll end up learning C. The standard book on C is The C Programming Language (aka K&R). It's a great book, but it's not really for people new to programming. So if you already know another language, it's a good choice, but it's not aimed at people who are new to programming. I don't know off hand of any good beginner's book about C. Perhaps someone else can help on that one.

Exactly what tools you'll be using these languages in depends on whether you're using OS 9 or X, and if X, whether you like the terminal.
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Feanor
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Post: #5
The challenge of learning programming is that you not only learn the language, you have to learn the development tools and the library code that lets you do interesting things ASAP. I started programming in CodeWarrior and MetroWerks has some good intro courses on codewarrioru.com (I think that's the address).

I'm tempted to recommend trying a simple Cocoa tutorial, but Project Builder is very complicated to a newbie, what with build settings and multiple files and such. Cocoa itself, while designed for simplicity, depends upon a lot of abstractions which might just be confusing.

I think I would be inclined to push you towards straight ANSI C, which is how I started without too much trouble. Working with simple text input and output is nice and comforting and lets you pay attention to the programming language. You can do simple C command-line programs in Project Builder and don't need to use the Terminal -- PB has a console built in. CodeWarrior uses a console facility built in (SIOUX it used to be called) to pop up a simple text window.

C is challenging because you are responsible for your own memory management, but not until later you get into pointers. If you want to program for a living, understanding computer memory and being able to manage it properly is essential. Learning the hardware and software guts at the same time is a valuable approach.

FÎanor
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Apprentice
Posts: 14
Joined: 2008.10
Post: #6
If you're doing OS X programming, I'd learn either C or Java first, and then move on to Cocoa. Dave Mark did a couple of really good "Learn Programming on the Macintosh" type books.

I found the C book on Amazon, they say they've only got one left in stock:
Learn C on the Macintosh

There's also a Java book, but it's about $15 more:
Learn Java on the Macintosh

If you're using OS X, you don't even need to worry about using the software they include, you can just write the code in BBEdit, and then compile it using Terminal. If you need help doing this, just ask anybody on the board.

After learn one of these, get Aaron Hillegass's book to learn Cococa/Objective C:
[url="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201726831/qid=1023538127/sr=1-1/mikebrinkman-20"]Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
[/url]

Unfortunately, none of these books will teach you game programming. But once you learn one of these languages, you'll be able to post questions asking "how would I do this in Objective C?" and you will probably get an answer.
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #7
There might be an answer for this question in our FAQ.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Member
Posts: 196
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #8
Quote:Originally posted by Feanor

I'm tempted to recommend trying a simple Cocoa tutorial, but Project Builder is very complicated to a newbie, what with build settings and multiple files and such. Cocoa itself, while designed for simplicity, depends upon a lot of abstractions which might just be confusing.

FÎanor

Yeah I remember trying the curency converter tutorial when I knew nothing about programming and I got something like 36 errors and 60 warnings Rolleyes . ANSI C is a great idea especially since you can use GLUT (part of OpenGL just in another framework) and convert it easily to other platforms.

Iceman
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WFleming
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Post: #9
If you are just beginning on the mac I would highly suggest reading Tricks Of the Mac Game Programming Gurus. Last I checked amazon.com had used copies from as low as $5.

My only warning with this book is that it is terribly out of date. However if you don't have much game programming experience there are enough concepts in here to get you started (like how to do very basic AI, very basic pathfinding, collision handling, game physics). Plus most chapters have interesting interviews with game developers.

You will definately need more than just this book, but for there's enough in there to justify spending five bones on it.
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Lemming
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Post: #10
A little tip about the Dave Mark books:

Get the cheaper one. They both contain nearly the same text, slightly modified to allow for differences in syntax. I got them both for free back when I first bought CodeWarrior 5, on the reference CD. They're a decent learning tool, but they're freakishly similar.
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Hawksun
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Post: #11
Well actually i would like to develop for OS 9 in 2-D, i'm not quite ready to transition to X right now. I would mostly like to develop Role-playing games, RTS games and city simulation games, at least for now. Thanks a lot!Smile
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WFleming
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Post: #12
Quote:Originally posted by Hawksun
Well actually i would like to develop for OS 9 in 2-D, i'm not quite ready to transition to X right now. I would mostly like to develop Role-playing games, RTS games and city simulation games, at least for now. Thanks a lot!Smile

You might want to check out SpriteWorld. Definately a good starting place for someone with little experience and wanting to make 2D games on the mac.
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Member
Posts: 201
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #13
Hey, I'm a high school student too. I had no money when I was first learning to program (come to think of it, I STILL don't), so I couldn't buy any books. I looked for a solution online. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I decided to look for C first, and then C++. It actually probably would have been a better idea just to skip to C++. Since you are developing for OS 9, this may be the best route for you as well. If you skip to OS X and use the Cocoa framework, you may want to read up on regular C first and then Objective C instead.

Here's a good link to learn C++:
http://library.cs.tuiasi.ro/programming/...pp/toc.htm

After C++, you would probably want to go with some Classic or Carbon programming. I personally would recommend Carbon, as it would allow your applications to run in OS X as well. Both are about the same.

Here is the best online Carbon resource I could find.
http://www.mactech.com/macintosh-c/

Unfortunately, neither of the above resources contain any helpful tutorials that lead you through the making of an application. I think Apple has created some good tutorials on their web site now (not sure for Carbon though).

Hope this helps.
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Feanor
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Post: #14
I'll agree with that as long as it's a really good C++ book. I've got C++ Primer Plus and it's excellent. A book like that will take you through all of the stuff you learn in a C course/book, but will use a C++ angle. Used carefully, C++ is a fine language, but there's a lot of junk in there.
As you're looking around online, concentrate on the core syntax of the langauge like types, pointers, control structures, ascii text, and the like, as well as basic I/O. Avoid anything to do with template functions or that sort of thing for a while.

Programming is all about learning interfaces. The language is the interface to the compiler (which you use because assembler is so hard to write and takes so long). Then you've got all the libraries and toolkits to learn.
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Hawksun
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Post: #15
Wow! I didn't think i could get this much answers! Thanks to all! I am now confronted with a big problem: the tools. Since i hardly have any cash for big spendings, i need your help to find free tools to develop games. Thanks.
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