I’ve programmed a little before. I understand some basic stuff. What computer programming language do I use? Where do I learn how? Any good books on this? And if it matters, I’m using a mac.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE:?
“You’re too young”, “You have to get a game engine blah blah”, “You need to go to college for…”. These people are just distractions. And don’t worry about game engines, YOU DON’T NEED ONE.
Also, my art isn’t that good either. Don’t expect your first game to look like Mass Effect (or even make money)
I am also 14 and I’ve been programming since I was maybe 11. So let’s get started!
1. Choosing a Language:
So what have you programmed in? You do not have to use a specific language you know. C++ is the industry standard, but do NOT feel like you have to use it. It is very low-level and a bit more complex than other languages out there. I personally have been using Java and I really like it. Keep in mind though that you do not have to write in one language. I currently know about 5 languages. I however am not going to stop at 5, I will keep learning.
The reason you want to know more than one language is because most languages do not run on every platform. To help you choose the right language, ask yourself which platform you are going for.
If you want to make a web game, you want to go with ActionScript3.
If you want to go for the XBOX, you need to learn C#.
If you would like to make iPhone apps, go for Objective-C. (since you are on a Mac, it will make things easier)
If you want to make Android apps, learn Java. Also note that Java works on all major desktop OSs, and it is easy to use, which is why I recommend it.
Finally, C++. If you give it enough time, you can get C++ to run on just about anything. And plus it is very powerful…and hard to use. I would recommend learning something like Java first to make it easier. There are a lot of compilers for C++, but I prefer to use the compiler that comes with CodeBlocks (GCC).
I am not really sure what you use for PlayStation (though C++ probably would run on it), but I do know that if you want to work on Nintendo systems, well, I hope you have a spare $10,000 laying around.
There are many, many languages out there, but those are just a few.
After you chose a language, get a book on it. You could read an online tutorial, but books have better quality IMO.
2. Getting Started:
With making games, there isn’t really a specific way of doing things, but to help you get started, I would recomended remaking simple games such as pong, pac man, space invaders, etc. As for the internals of a game, it should look like this:
1. Update all game objects
2. Render all objects
3. If the game isn’t closing, repeat
When I say update, I mean things like responding to input, shoot bullets, etc. I would recommend you research: game loops, collision detection, and game structure. Bottom line is, research as much as possible.
3. Other Skills:
You will have to know math. Trust me, you use it all the time. You will need to know at least addition/subtraction, division/multiplication, and very basic geometry. Later on you may want basic trigonometry.
4. More on C++:
I would just like to quickly say that I do not recommend that it be the first language to learn. But when you do finally learn it, you will need to know that C++ is kind of useless by itself, you will have to get something like SFML, or some other graphics library to do anything with it. Otherwise you won’t be able to get keyboard input, draw graphics to the screen, etc.
5. Closing thoughts:
My last bit of advice is to research as much as possible. The more you know, the better.?I obviously haven’t covered everything, because there is much to learn. But I hope I at least answered some of your questions. A few more tips: You will run into problems, so I recomended you look at the following two sites: stackoverflow.com – this site has an answer for pretty much anything that is programming related. And also: gamedev.stackexchange.com (owned be the same people) – this site has answers for pretty much anything specific to game development.
Another place that will teach you many things: YouTube. I do not mean just from tutorials, but also from seeing how other people do things.
And one very very last thing: ludumdare.com – this site has taught me soooo much. You have to make a game in 48 hours, then submit it this site. It is a lot of fun, and teaches you a lot. (you may even find one of my games there 🙂
Simple games can be done simply, with any language, but when you start talking about needing an artist, it sounds like you are talking about something complex, so maybe you are overreaching.
However, if the game is like a children’s book — there is one drawing per page, no animation — the artwork can just give a flavor of the scene without being complicated. The actual game play would be text only. Maybe that’s where you should start.
I wrote a text-based game that started like this:
You are in a light-wood paneled den. A sofa is on the south wall. A
coffee table is in front of the sofa. A bookcase is on
the west part of the north wall. A door into the dining room is on
the north part of the west wall. A desk with a computer is on the
south side of the west wall.
A doorway into the kitchen is on the east side of the north
wall. A framed abstract poster is on the south wall above the sofa.
The east wall has windows and a glass doorway which look onto the
You need to start by getting a GAME engine, I assume you wouldnt beable to code your own. Id go with Cryengine or Torque3D. Maybe even 001Engine if you like the old style rpgs
Also a few more things. Id say get a PC. Not mac. and You cannot sell the games with those engines unless you buy a licensed copy or you will be sued. (basically all engines)
Also 14 is not too young. Many people start stuff at 14 and by the time they are 20 they have over 1 million dollars. Don’t give up.
If you need help im learning feel free to email me.
As I work towards completing my own game, I