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  1. #1
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    Unhappy I'm a beginner. Please help?

    Hi, all

    I am COMPLETELY new to computer programming. I would like to learn it because I am interested in a career in the gaming industry making games, doing game design, and programming them. My question is... Where do I start? What should I do? I got a program called Unity because I was told that it is pretty good... But i seriously have NO IDEA what so ever of what to do... If someone could guide me that would be GREAT!

  • #2
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Are you talking about this:
    http://unity3d.com/
    ???

    That has essentially nothing to do with JavaScript, the subject/topic of this forum.

    Granted, the programming principles involved are much the same. But the language used in that engine seems to be one of their own devising. (Though it bears a close resemblance to Microsoft's J#, it seems to me. Might even be J#, since it seems to be able to interact seamlessly with MS's C# language.)

    Anyway, you seem to be attempting to fly before you have learned to crawl. Or even before you have learned what means of locomotion you are going to use.

    Writing a good graphically oriented game, even with the help of an engine such as Unity, is something that is probably appropriate to tackle after a year or two (or more, depending on how fast you learn) of learning the principles of programming.

    JavaScript is primarily used as a programming language for browsers. That is, for interacting with the kinds of elements that a Web Browser provides to users. And in general that means you are limited to whatever kinds of "objects" the Web Browser provides for you. Among other things, it means you won't be using 3D graphics, for the most part.

    Google around. Find some tutorials that you can begin to understand. Try doing some simple things to get started. If you decide to start with web browser-based code, then think more about simple 2D games to begin with.

    How about this: THINK how you would implement a game of TicTacToe. It's hard to imagine a much simpler graphical game, right? And yet just think about how you would build enough intelligence into your program that it will never lose a game. (100% of all TicTacToe games *SHOULD* end in a tie if the players don't make mistakes.)

    For example, if the human player takes the center square with his "X", where will you place your first "O"? And then what will you do if the human player puts his next "X" ... well, any place remaining on the board. You have to tell the computer how to respond to every possible move.

    In short, you must first learn to thing STRICTLY logically and then you must learn how to translate you logical view of the game (or any other programming situation) into the computer language you will be using.

    Did I mention that there are HUNDREDS of computer langyages? That's the bad news. The good news is that in reality there are only maybe a dozen or two that are in common enough use that you need to worry about them. (Here's a daunting thought for you: To create a fairly common e-commerce web site, you need to be fluent in 5 computer languages: HTML, CSS [technically not a language, but it will feel like one when you are learning it], JavaScript, SQL, and then one server-side language which might be PHP, Java, VB, C#, or a handful of others.)
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

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    nachosun (11-20-2012)

  • #3
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    Yea, thats the program that I got. I guess I should wait until I have more experience before I use it. It sounds like there is a lot to learn about this. Thanks so much for the help! I guess I should go look around Google on how I should go about making some basic 2D games.

  • #4
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    If you take my advice about putting yourself in the computer's spot and then DESCRIBING all the things that you-as-the-computer should do, you'll begin to get a feell for it.

    Did you, for example, look at that tutorial on the Unity3d site, where they showed how to use the system to create a race car game? Did you notice all the things the computer has to respond to? Meaning all the things that you are the programmer has to tell the computer HOW to respond? Such things as "figure out the friction of the 4 tires" and how that affects the car's stability (presumably when making a turn).

    Compared to that, describing the actions that the computer must make in a game of TicTacToe after it plays the center square and the human plays one of the corners is...well, maybe not child's play, but certainly a couple of orders of magnitude less complex.

    Another piece of advice I have often give people: Write out, IN ENGLISH, the *complete* instructions of how to play the game and win. Give those instructions to a friend and tell him/her than he/she must do only and exactly what is in the instructions. If ever there comes a point in the game where he/she can't find what to do in the instructions, then he/she should say "CRASH!" and terminate the game. JUST AS THE COMPUTER would do if the instructions were in computer language!

    When you have successfully created such a complete set of instructions (and I'd be very very surprised if you got it 100% right in the first three or four tries!) *THEN* you will understand the task of the programmer. And then, at least in theory, all you would need to learn is how to convert your English language (or whatever human language you prefer, of course) to computer language. Way more than half the battle is done.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
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    My teacher tell me that the game fill in C, example Call of Duty
    and for started used a C and don't C#, because it is as if you started to learn drive a car with automatic gear, and after you change and learn manual gear, it's more difficult, if you start from the hard, when learning well, the street it's all downhill
    Or I'm wrong?

  • #6
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    I would check with the various game companies.

    I would bet that not many games today are still being written using C.

    "Call of Duty" is an older game, so not surprising it was written in C.

    But I would bet that most games today are written in C++ or other more high level languages than old-fashioned C.

    It won't HURT to learn C first, since it is the basis of so many other similar languages: C++, C#, and even PHP and Java to some degree. But I think you can expect that to compete in the MODERN world you will want to learn at least one and probably two or three more modern langauges. Personally, I'd start with Java unless you have some reason to go to C++ or C# or some other language first.

    The principles are all the same. It's just the details that are different.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

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  • #7
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    Wow, old pendant you have been VERY helpful thank you very much! Your last post reminds me of a question I have. If my long term goal with programming is to program video games, then should I learn C++ before Javascript? (I have already started learning Javascript) or should I just keep moving with that? And, do you think it would be necessary to learn C at all since it is pretty old?

    Oh, and I have one more completely unrelated question... Am I a little late learning about all this? I am 16 years old and I feel like a lot of people my age can already make all kinds of games and I'm still a newbie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Pedant View Post
    I would check with the various game companies.

    I would bet that not many games today are still being written using C.

    "Call of Duty" is an older game, so not surprising it was written in C.

    But I would bet that most games today are written in C++ or other more high level languages than old-fashioned C.

    It won't HURT to learn C first, since it is the basis of so many other similar languages: C++, C#, and even PHP and Java to some degree. But I think you can expect that to compete in the MODERN world you will want to learn at least one and probably two or three more modern langauges. Personally, I'd start with Java unless you have some reason to go to C++ or C# or some other language first.

    The principles are all the same. It's just the details that are different.
    But you pedant!!! How many languages do you know?

  • #9
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=nachosun;1294298]Wow, old pendant you have been VERY helpful thank you very much! Your last post reminds me of a question I have. If my long term goal with programming is to program video games, then should I learn C++ before Javascript? (I have already started learning Javascript) or should I just keep moving with that? And, do you think it would be necessary to learn C at all since it is pretty old?[/qupte]

    If you are in the middle of learning JS, then I would stick with it for now.

    It's a much easier language to learn than C++, in my opinion, and it's not like (as I said) "The principles are all the same. It's just the details that are different."

    Oh, and I have one more completely unrelated question... Am I a little late learning about all this? I am 16 years old and I feel like a lot of people my age can already make all kinds of games and I'm still a newbie.
    Likely they are making JS games, not C++ games. And there is nothing wrong with that. Just that, by and large, JS games are not commercially salable. (And please don't hit me over the head with the exceptions, which I know exist.)
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
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    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

  • #10
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triko View Post
    But you pedant!!! How many languages do you know?
    Depends on whether I get to include assembly (machine) languages or not.

    If not...hmmm...in *rough* order that I learned them:

    Fortran II
    BASIC (primitive version, on timeshared system)
    PL/1
    COBOL (but never learned it very well)
    Fortran IV
    Algol (never learned it well)
    EDS BASIC (included database operations for first time)
    ECLIPSE BASIC (included modules, et al., for first time)
    Forth
    C (learned it by writing a compiler for it...talk about total immersion)
    ATPL
    Pascal
    C++
    OQL
    Java
    Visual C++ (not that different from original C++, but had peculiarities)
    JavaScript
    VBScript
    SQL (3 different flavors)
    VB.NET
    C#

    If we include various machine assembly languages...I dunno...another dozen or so?
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

  • #11
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    So is there a specific order of languages I should learn after JS? And do I need to learn as many as you know and the same ones?

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachosun View Post
    So is there a specific order of languages I should learn after JS? And do I need to learn as many as you know and the same ones?
    There is no specific order - once you know one language of a particular type then learning other languages of that type is relatively simple compared to learning the first one. You learn languages as you need them. After JavaScript you might look at a server side language to go with it - which will then depend on what languages your web hosting supports.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.


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