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Old 07-15-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
Hazard117
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Hello,
I'm a 16 year old who is going into my Junior year in High School. Ever since I can remember, I've been playing video games. I'm very passionate about them and how they work. For years now, I've been searching through the range of game oriented jobs. I've decided to be a Game Programmer (haven't got specific yet). I am great at Math and I'm very good at problem-solving. Great with working Independently and working with Teams/Groups. My dream job would be to work as a Game Programmer for Bungie (not just because of Halo by the way).

So far, I've been saving up my money and have taken the C# Beginners course at a website I've found (link: http://www.expertrating.com/certific...duction-to.asp ). I've just enrolled into the Intermediate class as well. So far (even though I haven't gone to far and know that C++ is usually used) I haven't done anything related to games (like what happens if a person does this...) but have worked with variables, arrays, GUI, loops and other basic C# tools. I've also been using a compiler that came with my PC and have been running my simple programs with the "Command Prompt".

I was wandering if I'm on a good track thus far. I haven't used any compilers that have been mentioned in the threads I've looked at. Also haven't been working with images (like for asteroids or pong). I know I'm going to learn how to program in college but thought it was best to get a head start.

A few questions I have are...

1.) Am i on the right track?

2.) Is there a website that teaches you how to write games in say C#, C++, Java, that would help be become a better programmer?

Any other advice for what i should do to prep and better my chances to become a successful Game Programmer would be appreciated.


Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:11 AM   #2
Claxon
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1) Yes you are - it's good to get used to the basics of programming before trying to jump right into a game. After all games are the extreme versions of programming, you need sound, physics, collision detection, event management, graphical rendering, input handling and user interface design all in a single program, that has to run smoothly in real time. Not something you want to jump straight into.

2) There are lots of websites with learning resources for game programming. Since you are learning C# right now, I recommend you look at Microsoft XNA. That is their game creation library that is programmed in C# ( http://creators.xna.com ). There you will find a quickstart guide for setting up XNA and a number of tutorials & resources to help you do cool things. XNA can create some pretty impressive games, but I recomend that you start with something simple like Pong or Space Invaders.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
Hazard117
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Ok thanks...

Say if i didn't have experience in programming. Colleges teach you from the start right?

I'm just wandering because if i may have not learned something important, I'd become lost.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
Claxon
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Yes they should do. They will probably expect that you have some programming knowledge (if it's a programming course) but they will want to make sure that you do everything properly without bad habbits, so they will start with the basics.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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OK, that's reassuring, thanks.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:21 AM   #6
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Indeed, you're off to a great start! My recommendation would be to get a good book or two on C++ programming and then a couple on game development. As Claxon said, learn your programming basics first (variables, arrays, sorting, searching) and follow up with more complex concepts (linked lists, dynamic memory allocation, binary trees, object inheritance, etc.). I've read that the book Thinking in C++ is a good reference, and I tend to prefer books over web-based learning because I believe they're more complete.
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