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I am becoming a game coder and i need to to know what kind of programs in school i should take. I am not sure exactly i am just working on simple codes now i want to know how to increase my education in this field. Any suggestions for me?

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Last Post by naina_gill
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Hi,

I'm no gamer, yet, but from my online research, I found there are two ways, OpenGL and the general graphics way. openGL, you include the gl header files and in graphics there is apparently a graphics header. Search the web for Lode's Computer Graphics tutorial, a great source of information.

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The exact "tools" you learn in school are utterly irrelevant for getting a job as a programmer.

A green as grass junior grasshopper programmer like you'll be is expected to know exactly NOTHING of value when starting his first job, except knowing how to keep his mouth shut and do as its (you're not a human being yet) told while keeping its ears open to soak up whatever it's being taught by its masters.

And do not expect to land that "game programmer" job right out of school. That's an advanced field.
At most you'll land a job doing other things at a game development shop and work your way up.
Also remember that the vast majority of "game programmers" suffer from extreme burnout and mental problems within a few years, at 35 most are either raving mad and incapable of any work or have left the business for other jobs.
Some even end up dead from being severely overworked, 20+ hour workdays are the norm in many game shops especially near release deadlines.

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Get this book. C++ for dummies version 5 with free compiler.
http://www.bookpool.com/sm/0764568523

Its cheap, and its best starter book there is. You start from scratch, no knowlege exept a few little HTML things like <color="red">Hello world!</color> . By the end, you should be able to make at least SOMETHING useful outta it. From there, take school classes or something, or get a more advanced C++ book.

After you can make a Chess game, you are ready to make an online game (with a few artists, other coders, etc depending on what game.)

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Start really simple. Learn the basics/intermediate stuff in C++ ... should know classes, file i/o, a working knowledge of STL and a bit of Win32 programming and you are good to go.

When I started I knew C++ and no game programming, but I was able to do a full game in about 2 weeks, with code cobbled from various sources to get a screen to draw on.

If you can find a way to draw on the screen you are half way there as a beginner.

I would suggest GLUT to get you started. GLUT simplifies the init for OpenGL ... so you can get opengl started without any win32 api coding.


http://www.lighthouse3d.com/opengl/glut/index.php?1

Oh and hang out a bit at sites like gamedev.net and devmaster.net

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and don't buy any book calling itself "for dummies".
If you really are a dummy they're far too complex for you, if not they don't give you nearly enough information.

And as to free compilers, there are many of them. Microsoft, Codegear, Intel (for some operating systems), and of course various open source offerings.

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Yes... all these things are very true. C/C++ is the basis of EVERYTHING you're going to want to do. There might be some scripting languages along the way (LUA comes to mind), but the basics are always in C/C++. Learn everything you can about everything, because it's all important when it comes to games. Learn graphics and audio API's (duh), but also learn all you can about data management, including databases (especially if you want to be involved in an MMO some day). Learn everything you can about geometry and trig, basic newtonian physics, and stuff of that nature.

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My point was that there is no magical "gamecoder" profession, per se. The reality of writing games is the same reality that "normal" software engineers live in. Game code is no different than any other software code... it just happens to end up being a game.

Writing games is probably the most multi-disciplined you get as far as software development. You need to know it all... graphics, sound, data management... not to mention story telling and content creation. And that goes for any game, from World of Warcraft all the way down to Pong.

So learn your fundimentals. That's the kind of answer you're always going to get when it comes to the question of "How do I write games?" It's like asking somebody how to write Shakespeare when you don't even know the alphabet.

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and don't buy any book calling itself "for dummies".

I don't know about that.... The first real language I learned was C++ and it was from a "for dummies" book.

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I don't know about that.... The first real language I learned was C++ and it was from a "for dummies" book.

in that case you didn't learn it properly. You learned a few tricks maybe, but nothing in depth and no proper introduction in the philosophy behind the language, paradigms, etc. etc.

Syntax is easy to learn, but it's not programming.

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in that case you didn't learn it properly. You learned a few tricks maybe, but nothing in depth and no proper introduction in the philosophy behind the language, paradigms, etc. etc.

Syntax is easy to learn, but it's not programming.

So what is programming? Why was the way I learned it improper? What's an example of something you doubt I learned from the book?

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The exact "tools" you learn in school are utterly irrelevant for getting a job as a programmer.

A green as grass junior grasshopper programmer like you'll be is expected to know exactly NOTHING of value when starting his first job, except knowing how to keep his mouth shut and do as its (you're not a human being yet) told while keeping its ears open to soak up whatever it's being taught by its masters.

And do not expect to land that "game programmer" job right out of school. That's an advanced field.
At most you'll land a job doing other things at a game development shop and work your way up.
Also remember that the vast majority of "game programmers" suffer from extreme burnout and mental problems within a few years, at 35 most are either raving mad and incapable of any work or have left the business for other jobs.
Some even end up dead from being severely overworked, 20+ hour workdays are the norm in many game shops especially near release deadlines.

Gosh...thats horrible. Poor chaps they give joy to gamers and themself live a tough life.

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So what is programming? Why was the way I learned it improper? What's an example of something you doubt I learned from the book?

Hey ....Chill CoolGamer.. You just plan a little on what sort of graphics project you are going to start working and then just continue with it. If what ever u planned you are doing it almost smoothly with less hurdles that means your learning was not improper. And if you find that you just cannot continue with this project means your learning was proper.

Well thats a good test. :) And something creating , challenging and progressive too.

All the best!

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Looking at myself, a person who 'enjoys game programming'; I don't have an issue with 20+ hour days, intensive work, stress and/or overwork. I enjoy being constantly occupied with something, and am absolutely bored unless I'm working on something. In a way, I play a game that's more fun than anything I could possibly make or release in development itself.

And, I started off raving mad, so it's not like I'm losing anything.

Don't feel sorry for people who have this mindset, I feel sorry for people who don't ^_-

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Looking at myself, a person who 'enjoys game programming'; I don't have an issue with 20+ hour days, intensive work, stress and/or overwork. I enjoy being constantly occupied with something, and am absolutely bored unless I'm working on something. In a way, I play a game that's more fun than anything I could possibly make or release in development itself.

And, I started off raving mad, so it's not like I'm losing anything.

Don't feel sorry for people who have this mindset, I feel sorry for people who don't ^_-

:) nice to hear, that even after 20+ working, games programming is enjoyable thing.

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he's still young. When he gets older and needs more than 30 minutes of sleep a week he'll think differently ;)

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he's still young. When he gets older and needs more than 30 minutes of sleep a week he'll think differently ;)

gosh...Jwenting ...May be with time as also get perfection and be able to work more in less time and hence start getting more time to sleep, what he require! :)

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If all the people who program games hate it, why do they stay there? I mean games still come out - there have to be some people who don't leave for different jobs (or die).

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If all the people who program games hate it, why do they stay there? I mean games still come out - there have to be some people who don't leave for different jobs (or die).

well well may be poor chaps just dont know anything else except games development and hence dont leave it for their bread.

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As long as the number of people lured into the industry by the idea of fame and fortune is enough to make up for the people leaving it for normal work weeks, life outside the office, and preventing burnout at 30 there will continue to be enough people to churn out games.

And yes, then there are the people who don't know anything else and can't adept to other work.

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As long as the number of people lured into the industry by the idea of fame and fortune is enough to make up for the people leaving it for normal work weeks, life outside the office, and preventing burnout at 30 there will continue to be enough people to churn out games.

And yes, then there are the people who don't know anything else and can't adept to other work.

Just curious - were you actually a game programmer somewhere? Or do you know people that have been and then left? Or do you have another source?

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Just curious - were you actually a game programmer somewhere? Or do you know people that have been and then left? Or do you have another source?

eheheheh I guess he is a games programmer currently and observing the industry.

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Just curious - were you actually a game programmer somewhere? Or do you know people that have been and then left? Or do you have another source?

There is plenty of info available out on the net about the working conditions associated with professional games development. Search around a bit and you will find more than enough to give you an idea of the stress levels involved. This should get you started: http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/

I'm sure there are great places to work developing games and I'm sure there are people who absolutely love doing it, but it's generally known for high pressure, stress, and burnout as jwenting said.

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First of all, games programming is an obsession or disease, if you ask me.

During production of each game there are "crunch time" periods where the team must finish a specific set of features by a set date. During crunch time, it`s normal to require 6 days per week and 12-16 hrs a day. Sometimes it lasts just 4 weeks, but more common are 3-6 months-long crunch periods.
Of course, it doesn`t happen just once per year, but at least 2-3 times. That`s the reason why some people, who`ve had their share of these stressfull periods, just plain quit, even though they don`t have any other job found yet. They simply can`t go on.

It`s possible, if you`re 25 and stupid. If you live in your parent`s basement. But if you`ve got a wife and kids, kids might not notice they have a father, since you leave early morning while they sleep and come back late evening when they already sleep. Seeing a father 4 days out of 31 (on Sundays) doesn`t really create an emotional tie, at all.

Considering, that these days the games are written by teams of 100-200 people, what are the chances that some junior coder gets a chance to code something big and relevant ? Neagtive. There are lots of non-junior coders lurking by and awaiting for the first senior coder to drop dead and fight for a chance to replace him (only to follow his footsteps few months/years later).

If that sounds like an ideal life to you, by all means, go on and pursue your dream.
But you have been warned...

Oh, and I forgot the added "bonus" of low wages. Realistically, even if they doubled the salary of the average senior games coder, I wouldn`t go there. Compared to the cushy 9-5 job that I have as a lead programmer, I`d start thinking about it, if they tripled the salary. But, to go there work for just a double the salary of a senior games coder, I`d have to be mad. And those, who do it for just the single salary ? Oh, poor guys ... See ? I told ya - it`s a disease and it should be cured...

But since there are always 100:1 CV`s for each advertised position for a games coder, no wonder there is no problem in replacing the dead/fallen-off guys.

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First of all, games programming is an obsession or disease, if you ask me.

During production of each game there are "crunch time" periods where the team must finish a specific set of features by a set date. During crunch time, it`s normal to require 6 days per week and 12-16 hrs a day. Sometimes it lasts just 4 weeks, but more common are 3-6 months-long crunch periods.
Of course, it doesn`t happen just once per year, but at least 2-3 times. That`s the reason why some people, who`ve had their share of these stressfull periods, just plain quit, even though they don`t have any other job found yet. They simply can`t go on.

It`s possible, if you`re 25 and stupid. If you live in your parent`s basement. But if you`ve got a wife and kids, kids might not notice they have a father, since you leave early morning while they sleep and come back late evening when they already sleep. Seeing a father 4 days out of 31 (on Sundays) doesn`t really create an emotional tie, at all.

Considering, that these days the games are written by teams of 100-200 people, what are the chances that some junior coder gets a chance to code something big and relevant ? Neagtive. There are lots of non-junior coders lurking by and awaiting for the first senior coder to drop dead and fight for a chance to replace him (only to follow his footsteps few months/years later).

If that sounds like an ideal life to you, by all means, go on and pursue your dream.
But you have been warned...

Oh, and I forgot the added "bonus" of low wages. Realistically, even if they doubled the salary of the average senior games coder, I wouldn`t go there. Compared to the cushy 9-5 job that I have as a lead programmer, I`d start thinking about it, if they tripled the salary. But, to go there work for just a double the salary of a senior games coder, I`d have to be mad. And those, who do it for just the single salary ? Oh, poor guys ... See ? I told ya - it`s a disease and it should be cured...

But since there are always 100:1 CV`s for each advertised position for a games coder, no wonder there is no problem in replacing the dead/fallen-off guys.

hmmmm Thanks Buddy...
I will not ever dream to be a games programmer in some company. :)
But still I have some space for 3ds in my heart and I have decided I will continue learning slowly slowly in 3ds, may be some day I will be able to make something cool!

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Of course. Do it as a hobby. However, doing it as a hobby and as a daily job are two VERY different things.

If you want to create games, you don`t have to recreate whole engine from scratch. Just use some well-known free alternative (Ogre/...) and concentrate your efforts on gameplay. It`s gonna take at least one year to accomplish anything partially meaningful, but if you really want it, it shouldn`t be an issue.

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