Hello All:

I used to be an avid gamer (since I was 7 or 8 years old until recently, and I am now 24). I played anything but my greatest love was turn-based strategy. Games just weren't doing it for me any more - I felt like I could "see the man behind the curtain" and the experience became dry and uninteresting.

Then I had an epiphany: I can really UNDERSTAND the man behind the curtain, give LIFE to the man behind the curtain, by creating my own games.

I have no prior experience with programming, but I am a self-teacher who has an excellent command of logic, a perfectionist attitude and a drive to succeed.

I am choosing Python as my first language because it is a newer, powerful language that is suited to many things, including gaming.

My current progression of projects, selected to baptize me into the world of game creation (specifically, turn based strategy games), is:

- various word/text games of my own devise
- videogame music quiz of my own devise (I make my own music, have done so for a game developer and love videogame sounds in general)
- tic tac toe
- checkers
- chess
- a turned based soccer game of my own devise

I will supplement this with reading code of open source games. I have a particular interest in learning to program excellent AI.

My questions are:

1. What online community should I join that, based on the above, I will fit in with the most and get the most out of? (I already joined a real-life Python group and am going to my first meet-up soon! Exciting.)
2. Do you have any recommendations for open-source games to look at / think about contributing to?
3. Further to 2 above, how advanced should I be before I start looking at/contributing to open-source stuff?
4. Should I eschew books/courses in favor of reading free-stuff on the web, asking questions in forums and reading/understanding good code?
5. Do you have any random bits of wisdom/things to think about? Is there anything in my current post that seems way "off"?

Thanks very much for your help and advice.

One further thing: My educational background is in Economics/Philosophy, but my interests and hobbies are all over the place and I am prepared to dive into math if I have to (my current familiarity spans to college-level calculus).


Hello Ryan!

I think the the hardest thing in game development is to have a clear vision and the ability to implement. A vision requires fantasy, the implementation requires discipline. That means the two aspects are mutually exclusive in most people.

For python strategy games, I recommend:

Both are relatively simple, but are fun to play, if you are into strategy....

You can find lots of people to implement, if you have a clear vision. You have the advantage coming from a less technical background...

Thanks, slate. I will check those two games out.

I like your point about fantasy/implementation. I know I have the fantasy part down - in my work as the musician for another game developer I had crystal clear ideas about how I wanted my music implemented, but my suggestions weren't followed. I want to have both sides, and I think with hard work and dedication I can pull it off. Regardless, I will start down this path, and I know I will gain some great skills/experience.

1. Stay here at DaniWeb! As you can see, we have a huge amount of dedicated members who love to contribute.
2. Have a look at sourceforge
3. You should have a decent understanding of Python and should be able to complete the task you sign up for. It really depends what the team lead is asking for.
4. I don't know if books are a good idea or not. I only used the official documentation for python when I was learning, and then just practise practise practise...
5. Just stick at it :)

Thanks for the link, ultimatebuster.

Thanks, SgtMe. I don't think books would be that much of a help to me. Like you, the first thing I am doing is working through all the official documentation, then I will practice practice practice.

As when I was learning guitar, at first I couldn't play two notes of a scale without messing up. Boy, those were some painful months. But "sticking at it" seems to be the key to gaining competency/expertise in anything.

Lol sorry for the self promotion but I do own that project.

So if you want to contribute, I would love to have you on board ;p

No problem. Well, if there is something you think a pure beginner could do...I'm all for the challenge.

Life is too short! I want to dive in.

Lol since you have no previous knowledge in programming. I strongly recommend Think Python 2nd Edition, which is a continuation of the first edition, introducing several new concept along with the original introductory stuff. IT's also free @ http://openbookproject.net/thinkcs/python/english2e/

After that book (At least TRY all the exercises. Some are very difficult), you should be a semi-professional programmer in python.

I'm looking @ that book now (I read the first edition, so I'm just looking at the stuff that's not covered in the original book, like chapter 8, which is actually, coincidentally, creating a video game.)

Also I have written something about it too. http://thekks.net/?s=text+game

As to 2D/3D programming, I'm trying to get into it myself, with Panda3D

Great, ultimatebuster! I read the Forward to Think Python 2nd Edition and I really like the author's writing style. Bonus points for "free".

Between the official Python documentation, Think Python 2nd Edition, the links to the other sites provided here and my own little projects, I think I have quite a bit to get me going.

Thank you everyone. I think I've gotten about as much as I can process right now as far as answers go, so I will mark this thread as "answered". It was great to get some positive replies.

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