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PwnageSoldier

I'm focusing on gaining a job as game programmer. Any helpful sugg

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PwnageSoldier

Right now I'm 14 and in Grade 9. I am very talented with computer technology, and science, however I'm going to learn to pick up calculus and physics skills. Any helpful suggestions from fellow programmers or just people in general?

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uNi

Keep studying and start completing projects to include in a portofolio.

 

Also don't start by trying to create a gta clone by yourself.

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epoxi

Start by coding simple games like tic tac toe. Focus on making the code tidy, easy to understand, well-commented and efficient.

 

Anything you add to your portfolio should be of a professional standard, it should look and feel like something an official publisher made (even if it's only a simple project).

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K^2

In terms of coursework, keep pushing math. There is only so much comp-sci that you can usually take in HS, but options in mathematics tend to be numerous. Calculus is a must, but don't ignore trig, analytical geometry, and even statistics. You'll really appreciate it later. If you have opportunity to take a proper course in linear algebra or differential equations, take it. Otherwise, these might have to wait until university.

 

In general, science at high-school level is almost useless for game development. Absolutely take physics, but the rest is honestly up to you. If you'll want to be an engine programmer, you might also pick up a course in classical mechanics once in university. But if you go into just about any other branch, you might make better use of math and comp-sci courses.

 

Mostly, at high-school level, you are trying to build a very solid foundation. At the same time, programming does require a ton of experience. So the more you write, the better you will be, and it's never too early to try and make something. However, try to balance trying to build things completely from scratch with trying to improve on something already written by others. To the later end, best practice is probably modding, especially for something like Source. That will expose you to some good practices in programming as well.

 

Speaking of which, I'm not on board with absolutely everything on it, but Google Style Guide is a good starting point for keeping your code tidy.

 

P.S. I probably should have brought it up from the start, but if you want to be a successful game programmer, you must be a C++ expert. The rest depends on exactly what you want to do in game development, but C++ is vital in absolutely every branch of programming.

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PwnageSoldier

Keep studying and start completing projects to include in a portofolio.

Also don't start by trying to create a gta clone by yourself.

Yeah I saw people doing this. At this stage, it's kind of idiotic because you'll procrastinate.

Start by coding simple games like tic tac toe. Focus on making the code tidy, easy to understand, well-commented and efficient.

 

Anything you add to your portfolio should be of a professional standard, it should look and feel like something an official publisher made (even if it's only a simple project).

Thanks for the ideas. Simple games should be simple since I got a headstart in computer language.

Portfolios always have to be professional. It's only way to get a job nowadays.

 

In terms of coursework, keep pushing math. There is only so much comp-sci that you can usually take in HS, but options in mathematics tend to be numerous. Calculus is a must, but don't ignore trig, analytical geometry, and even statistics. You'll really appreciate it later. If you have opportunity to take a proper course in linear algebra or differential equations, take it. Otherwise, these might have to wait until university.

 

In general, science at high-school level is almost useless for game development. Absolutely take physics, but the rest is honestly up to you. If you'll want to be an engine programmer, you might also pick up a course in classical mechanics once in university. But if you go into just about any other branch, you might make better use of math and comp-sci courses.

 

Mostly, at high-school level, you are trying to build a very solid foundation. At the same time, programming does require a ton of experience. So the more you write, the better you will be, and it's never too early to try and make something. However, try to balance trying to build things completely from scratch with trying to improve on something already written by others. To the later end, best practice is probably modding, especially for something like Source. That will expose you to some good practices in programming as well.

 

Speaking of which, I'm not on board with absolutely everything on it, but Google Style Guide is a good starting point for keeping your code tidy.

 

P.S. I probably should have brought it up from the start, but if you want to be a successful game programmer, you must be a C++ expert. The rest depends on exactly what you want to do in game development, but C++ is vital in absolutely every branch of programming.

 

Yeah, I heard that math is very important, especially calculus. I'm going to study it very well, and of course, I'll take courses and train to become a C++ expert. Good ideas, I'll use these. Thanks.

Also, since you seem to be pretty knowledgeable on a lot of stuff, does my grammar need improving?

Edited by PwnageSoldier

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epoxi

I agree 100% with K^2 about taking Physics. Although you might not use Physics in day-to-day life depending on your career, it gives you a great insight into how the world works and how to apply mathematics to problems. Being able to design a solution around a real life situation is pretty much the most important aspect of software development (in my opinion).

 

P.S. Your grammar is fine, especially for a 14 year old.

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K^2

Yeah, I heard that math is very important, especially calculus. I'm going to study it very well, and of course, I'll take courses and train to become a C++ expert.

Just to be clear, very few things you'll learn in calculus will be directly useful. It's all the applications. Some might be covered in the class, some you'll run across yourself. But to really make full use of calculus, you'll need a numerical methods course. I've never seen one offered at a high school level, so that's another thing to look forward to in university. But again, you need that base, so HS calculus is still important.

 

Also, keep in mind that programming languages evolve. Unfortunately, a lot of high school programming classes (also books, online tutorials) are still based around C++98 or C++03 standard. Industry standard is C++11 or C++14. C++17 has been finalized, and C++20 already has some outlines. By the time you'll get into the industry, it's the later that will be relevant. So if you have an opportunity to use newer features, do so. Even if just for practice.

 

Again, Google's style guide is a good entry point for all of that. It's not bleeding edge by any measure, but it's relatively current. And once you have a bit of experience with the language, you can just start reading docs as they are released. It's just going to be a lot easier to keep up as you go along than to try to catch up later.

 

And your grammar's fine. If you mean in terms of what you need for work as a developer, you just need to be able to write commit and code comments without serious mistakes. You definitely meet the bar there with room to spare. Spelling is actually more important. Auto-complete features of modern IDEs help a lot, but there are few things as infuriating as editing someone else's code when that person misspelled a variable name.

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bananaking13

One language I very highly recommend learning is GML (Game Maker Language). Incredibly easy to use and master. Also it's specifically made for making games so you should find it easy.

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K^2

If you want to be a game developer, GML is absolutely useless. The only good use for Game Maker is if you don't want to spend the time learning to program properly, but have a desire to make a simple game. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you have a long term goal of making proper games, this just isn't going to help you.

 

If you know you want to be a game programmer, you are better off learning to program in C# and making simple games in Unity for practice. These skills will transfer directly into working in real game development environment, and C++ and C# have enough similarities to make skills in these languages cross-transferable.

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trip

Just tossing this out there because I'm a fan of Visual Studio. Not to mention a big fan of XNA libraries. Almost everything I write game wise these days is with C# and XNA.

 

So that just leads me to what I want to pass along:

Visual Studio 2017 now has integrated Unity. I only touched it but it's there.

https://www.visualstudio.com/

 

And if you want to check out some easy XNA tutorials:

http://www.xnadevelopment.com/

Edited by trip

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K^2

XNA is out of date, so far as industry is concerned. It's still useful for some indy projects, but even then I'd recommend sticking with Unity most of the time.

 

And yeah, if you're using Unity, you definitely should be using MSVS as your IDE and debugger.

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trip

XNA is old by now but it is a great tool for learning how to code games by hand. A great way to learn C#(c in general)...OOP.

 

In 1979 I wanted to become a video game programmer(thanks to Space Invaders). I'm not a video game programmer by trade but all of my years of writing little games taught me enough programming skills to have a rewarding career that involves a lot of programming.

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K^2

No argument there. But for somebody who's now going to school and wants to learn programming with a goal of becoming a game programmer, XNA is going to be a waste of time. For learning C# and working with tools, Unity is almost as good and is a better starting point. And by just learning C# and Unity you can already get a job. XNA exists in that intermediate layer between "ready to fly" engines like Unity and writing everything from scratch in C/C++ using DirectX/OpenGL/Vulkan, which used to be very efficient for smaller teams, but as the gap between tools like Unity and libraries like PhysX and DirectX has gotten smaller, the market niche for using something like XNA simply evaporated.

 

But that, in itself, wouldn't make it a bad learning tool. What makes it a waste of time to learn now is that because it lost the market, it lost support. Which means that by using XNA you are locking yourself into old technology and old paradigms. No games are actually built the way you'd build an XNA game anymore. XNA was made in the days of single-threaded engines with simple physics, direct rendering, etc.

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PwnageSoldier

Your grammar is fine, especially for a 14 year old.

Thanks! I played ROBLOX when I was waaay younger (6) and learned off of other people speaking. First I started as "hey guys whats up?" then went to "Caps Are Fun! Grammar!" then to Proper English. Also, as impossible as this sounds, I started typing and writing this way since I was 8.

 

I know this is bragging rights but I fixed a computer and wiped a virus off the hard drive when I was 6. It wasn't perfect, but it ran great.

Edited by PwnageSoldier

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helresa

One thing is that based on both my step sons that have worked in the games industry is to haventure a portfolio of games and things that you have written. And yes learn to code I would say something like c# as that is a good building block and the skills are transferable to other more tool specific languages. Learn how to use tools like unity and take a look at Amazon lumberyard (it's free)..

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cleomaster

Start by studying gaming concept. Don't waste your time by making games on the game engines available right now like Unreal and Unity rather you should first make simple games and make complex games completely on your own without using any engines or scripting in those engines. I suggest that if your trying to dive yourself into gaming industries you should start with C++. It has a strong memory management capability and the ability to access core graphics element on the system. Master yourself in this language and then you will be able to be in a good and confident position to start your own projects and better career opportunity in the future. Best of luck!

 

Plus I have an advice for you if you're really up to game development. Don't ever skip your geometry classes from now on :D

Edited by cleomaster

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K^2

Don't waste your time by making games on the game engines available right now like Unreal and Unity

That is not a good advice. While foundations are very important, it's also important to see how big projects are built. Writing scripts for Unity and Unreal is a very good way to pick up some of the better practices of object oriented design and game engine design in general. You certainly shouldn't be learning programming by just working with pre-made engines. But not touching them at all will result in much slower progress and a lot of bad habits picked up along the way.

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cleomaster

Actually that's my point of view when I was studying game programming. I started out with the engines first, but I never really knew how everything worked and it all seemed magical to me. Having a bit of raw knowledge of engines before using them and game concepts makes it less "magical" but I can't say much about your experience. I was definitely 3 years old when you joined this forums so that makes you the guru. I am not lying lol.

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K^2

I definitely don't think you should start with engines. You should have at least a few months programming experience. Preferably, a year of C++ courses. But you shouldn't wait to try using engines until you fully understand how to write your own. By that point, you've probably picked up a few bad habits that will make going forward slower. A good balance is somewhere in the middle.

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Inttelix

C# and C++. Learn everything you can buy books do whatever. Programming is all about C# and C++.

 

I am an electronics technician but where I work if I dont learn how to program I will be left without a job. These script languages are the way to go.

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ghost of delete key

So you want to design games... awesome!

I'd say, learn logic, and learn coordination skills... learning a computer code language is the easy part... learning how to use those skills to implement a vision, or coordinating a team of creators is the hard part.

I've always worked mostly in hardware, not software, but in any production scenario, the principles are all the same. I've never worked for anyone who was such a maven that they created the product and the process all from the-ground-up themselves (and I've worked for Garrett Brown and Kurt Stahl!), but they all had one thing in common; they had a great idea, and the knowhow to make it happen. That includes at least general knowledge of the required aspects, and a bent for leadership.

If you just want to be part of a team, great, find what it is you love and are good at, and work it to the bone... be a part of what it is you like. The "wider" your prospects, the more you will depend on that leadership and directive quality.

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