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  How did you start?  (Read 9012 times)
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Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Posted 2006-07-30 01:39:43 »


I was wondering how all you pros started programming java? How simple did you start. Like what were your first games like? How fast did you learn, and how good are you now?

I was wondering what is a good starting point, yet I find games like pong too boring. At worst, I was thinking a 2d platform like game, like how mario works, but id be much different, and making sprites for a game like that is way too difficult. Id much perfer to work on my 2d TBS game, yet its way too complex. So help.

Offline woogley
« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-07-30 02:47:29 »

this isn't a joke.. i was bored one summer. and I started learning html.. and got to the applet tag, and I was determiend to make use of the applet tag. and so I did.

my first game was... i made breakout like 5 times, then snake. then a bunch of random tests, and so on and so forth.. now i start proejcts that take forever and that I keep under wraps.. but I did finish two websites ( and the mario contest thing)

oh, I made pong once or twice too. Smiley
Offline Death33284

Junior Devvie

« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-07-30 06:19:14 »

I'm no where near a pro, but I can tell you how I have been starting

I found pong to be a great start, it introduced me to basic 2d drawing, user input, and many other things.  It really helps me just to mess around with code in my free time as well as in the java class I am taking in high school (starting again in september). I've worked on a space invaders type game, a platformer type game called NinjaMan, and a crazy ball game.  I really haven't finished completely any of these but I have found each of them to be great for learning new things.

I would say just go with whatever you feel like doing and try to learn from it.

By the way... are you DarkMortar from interlopers?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-07-30 06:33:49 »


I recognized your name too, but there are many deaths, and i forgot your number reference LOL. Yo waz up dood  Grin Tongue

Offline bauerr

Junior Devvie

Java!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-07-31 05:56:28 »

I'm not a pro - still a learner. I started with a snake clon

I started working  a new company and knowing java would have been an advantage so I started learning during lunch break. I have programmed before so it wasn't too difficult.  Grin
Offline SmittyTheSmit

Senior Newbie

« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-08-01 10:22:16 »

I started with no real programming knowledge and absolutely no java knowledge . I decided that I wanted to do something in 3D and started trolling around on the net. discovered the nehe tutorials and then realised that openGL was the thing that would inspire me. Made a random language selection and chose Java, so hunted for java 3D tutorials. Found and went through all the tutorials there. I realised that the best tutorials and help I could find were all using LWJGL . Since then I`ve been sat in the LWJGL IRC chatroom almost nonstop and have learnt tons of stuff (most of which is more about the weirdo`s in there than the language Wink  <joke> ).

From there I realised that it should be "possible" for me to make a 3D OpenGL game by myself so started looking for a game idea that wouldn`t be too difficult but would give me a little feeling of achievement (pong would not make me feel at all good with myself). The result of about a months work was my first game "Spacman". I am still a noob but am now having fun with finishing off my second game. Every step of the way I have learnt new stuff and am now at the point where I think I need to take a new direction to keep myself inspired. Am still looking for the new direction Smiley

you can look at my futile attempts at
(oh yes, it`s like God himself gave me a leg up, thanks Kev).
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja

Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-08-01 14:55:25 »

When I started java I hadn't programmed in years. Before that my last programming experience was on MSX and Atari ST computers (Z80 asm, 68k asm, C and MSX Basic and GFA Basic) but even that was very rusty.
I wanted to pick up programming again and it seemed to make sense to combine my obsolete programming skills with a new programming environment, so I started creating a Z80 emulator. I tried it in a few different languages (C/C++, Delphi, VB) and ended up with java because I just liked it the most. It ended up as a huge project which I still maintain on an on/off basis. While programming I learned myself more about OOP by reading books and tutorials on the internet.

Later I toyed around with some games, my first game being a simple 3D-ish 'zooming sprite' shoot-em-up game called 'Duke Rogers' (inspired by old sega arcades like Buck Rogers and Galaxy Force II) using java2d. Later I converted the same idea to OpenGL using LWJGL (and renamed it 'Cosmic Trip') which made the whole thing look a lot better, although the same simple gameplay remained.
Later a 3D first-person break out game. My latest game was a trail blazer clone ('Hyper Blazer'), but with much faster game play and more variety. My games are still essentially very simple old-school games, for the simple reason I'm doing this alone so I need to keep things simple. Oh, and because I like old-school games Smiley

Offline nonnus29

Senior Devvie

Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco

« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-08-01 16:21:54 »

I started with c-64 basic many years ago.  After that I was horrified of programming for many years.  Then I decided to get back into coding when the internet started to not suck so bad.  For some reason I though applet games were cool, so started with java to make applets.  I actually tried to follow the 'standard path' for learning game developement ie making games of increasing difficulty:  I started with tetris, then asteroids, a sidescrolling jump n run, and a couple of software 3d demos.

Needless to say all my games sucked, but it was alot of fun.  Nowadays, I'm more interested in learning about languages and compilers than game programming.  I have noticed most other areas of software development are easy compared to games.  Compilers can be complex, but nothing like a 3d networked game with non trivial physics.
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 319
Projects: 25
Exp: 22 years

Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer

« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-08-01 16:48:14 »

I was lucky (?), when I was 5 or 6 my Dad decided that I should learn how to make the computer (ZX81 and Nascom) do stuff. I went through the normal 8bit, 16bit, PC steps (zx81, speccy, commodore, st and amiga, then Amstrad 8086). Always been interesting in making games really - other stuff pays the bill though.

I went through the phase of trying to implement the latest greatest tech (through Wolf, Doom then Quake) in C and C++. Got obsessed with network gaming in the form of MUDs for a few years at university in the wonderful of K&R C. Did some raytracing academic work there also, had a look at AI in the form of intelligent network agents.

Finally, about 6-7 years ago decided it was time to use this new fangled language that I'd learnt to write a chat system (Java) in games. Never really looked back. Never produced so many games, tech demos and interesting little applications.

Now I'm more interested in game mechanics, psychology and polish/detail than the techy geekastry - I just like making games that are fun these days. Oh, and writing the odd tutorial.

EDIT: Oh, you can find a list of the projects I've started/finished at and Most recently my game is Tiltilation

Offline endolf

JGO Coder

Medals: 7
Exp: 15 years

Current project release date: sometime in 3003

« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-08-01 17:09:19 »

Well, a long time ago, in a galaxy right close to here .... Wink

When I was a kid, my dad got made redundant from a hydrolic engineering position and ended up writing some software on our family BBC to control robots (industrial, not toy ones), but he let me lose on the done software with a miniture version of the robot moving wooden blocks around. I guess he needed a free tester Smiley. Anyway, that was it, I was hooked. I slowly learned some BBC basic (I would have been about 5 or 6 i think).

Eventually we got a PC, but I didn't have any idea that there was any basic environment on there, and it was a long time before I did any more programming. It was in Pascal, and it wasn't games.

When I went to Uni I learned some C in my spare time, then ended up doing network programming working on talker/mud type things with Kev. Been working on games ever since. Done Java since about a year after I left uni. Must be 6 years or so now.


Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder

Exp: 12 years

Where's the Kaboom?

« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-08-04 00:42:35 »

I started on the Commodore Pet in BASIC in grade 5... got a C64 a year and a half later and programmed it in BASIC and later 6510 assembler constantly.  I upgraded to Amiga 2000 and learned 68000 assembler and K&R C.  I wrote some BBS software in BASIC on the C64 and Amiga, played around with fancy paralax side scrollering on the Amiga, pac man in 6510 assembler on the C64.. upgraded to Amiga 3000 in first year of university... learned some C++ left university and was forced to program on Windows/Intel - that as a shock because Windows and Intel both sucked so severely compared to what I was used to.  I programmed C++ in the video industry (for the company that invented the harddisk-based video player/recorded) up until the end of 2002.  I started playing around with Java for a year before that - right when Java 1.2 came out.  Then I switched Jobs to follow some of the dudes that split off from the first company I was working for to work where I am now doing Java programming for video encoding software.  The software is split Java/native so the Java side does all the UI and most of the program logic, but the native code interacts with video codecs and custom video processing hardware and capture boards.  We make a lot of stuff that encodes for iTune videos, DVDs, and even internet porn! (When the company was starting out they just had to sell to someone! But man those first bug reports were "interesting".) Now we have big customers like Sony and Warner, NBC, guys doing effects for Lord of the Rings movies etc...
Games are just a spare time hobby thing.  It helps me keep up to date with high performance stuff - the games have always pushed the industry forward.  Back in the Amiga days PC users went around saying "what do you need sound for?" - seriously. Roll Eyes

Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Devvie

ooh ooh eee eeee

« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-08-04 01:17:50 »

Got a Commodore Vic 20 (hand me down from my brother) and started typing in code from Byte magazine. Got a Commodore 64 (hand me down from my brother) and continued typing in code from Byte magazine. However, at this point I started trying out my hand with Zork style games in BASIC. I then got an IBM clone (286 16MHz) and continue with BASIC (GW-BASIC and then Q-BASIC). Started fooling around with C with my new 486 while going to the university. During my degree did lots of C/C++ on Slackware Linux (CS program used that exclusively). I then graduated and got a job working on a combat simulator and worked with Java for the first time. Did that for a couple years, then started working on Weather applications for a few more years. During this time, started getting interested in graphics (I was responsible for the graphics in the simulator), and started fooling around with OpenGL. Started jME and it gained a bit of popularity and the eye of NCsoft. Got hired by them and have been working on MMOs since (all 6 months Wink ).

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder

Exp: 12 years

Where's the Kaboom?

« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-08-10 13:36:33 »

...Started jME and it gained a bit of popularity and the eye of NCsoft. Got hired by them and have been working on MMOs since (all 6 months Wink ).

Tell them a Java version of Guild Wars would be nice.. I want to play on my Mac Smiley.

Offline lordanki

Junior Newbie

« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-10-05 11:04:04 »

Well, my sophomore year in HS (I'm now  a Junior in HS  Tongue) I decided I wanted to take Computer Science. Went through that and towards the end of the year I made a pong clone although it was really crappy. Only one key could be pressed down at a time so you and your opponent would have to alternate button smashing. (I relaly should go and fix that when I grab the code from my teacher again) and this year I am in Comp Sci AP and I am beginning another clone of an old school aracde game. I'm thinking either Space Invaders or Breakout.
Offline OverKill

Junior Devvie

Java games rock!

« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-10-05 11:48:07 »

Started out young on a Commodore 128 and then migrated to the pc. Really got back into programming mid 20ies and then started a programming career. First two jobs was regular software development. About the same time I took up a little game programming and opengl. Then landed a job as a mobile game developer which I held for 4 years until last month. Now back doing 'normal' mobile development. In my free time I dabble around with different tecs, usually having something to do with gaming. Currently I am working on a multiplayer action game (no, no fps or mmo). Since I am working alone, progress is a little slow.

The little suggestion I will give you is to try and try again. Just programm. Don't be afraid to over- or undershoot. Developing a simple pong game can be just as important as writing something complex. f.i. you will be more likely to finish the pong game and thus will see the importance of polishing your game. On the other hand the complex game will require you to attack stuff that might be out of your knowlage scope.
Offline ENC

Junior Devvie

« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-10-08 01:46:00 »

I am not a pro but I can say I took it step by step.. like starting from a console based programme with most of the biz logic inside.. then i slowly improved the programme with graphics and sound...

I developed my first game with the concept of space invaders... my style.. ^^

Offline pepijnve

Junior Devvie

Java games rock!

« Reply #16 - Posted 2006-10-11 09:07:51 »

I'm not a game developer, but I do consider myself a 'pro', in the sense that my day job consists of developing software. I started tinkering with computers back in the 80s on a C64. Back then I mainly copied basic and mlx listings out of Compute magazine and prayed everything would work. About 19 years later I got a masters degree in science. During my studies I learned a bunch of programming languages of which one was Java. I also learned a lot of applied and abstract mathematics, which I feel certainly helped me learn to reason about abstract concepts. I can't say my university courses taught me great programming skills, but it defintely gave me a good foundation to build on. I think having some knowledge of hardware architecture, compilers, different programming language styles (declarative vs imperative), ... all help you be a better developer. Having at least some understanding of what actually happens below the Java layer gives you a better understanding of what you're actually asking the machine to do when you write a program (see this article for an example of why this matters). Learning different programming languages and styles can help you to think outside of the Java box and come up with solutions you otherwise might not think of (cfr. intro to FP).
After university I started working for a small GIS startup (about 10 people when I started). I had taken a course on computer graphics, which basically made me the only candidate to start working on the 3d part of our api. I knew the basics of OpenGL when I started that, but basically learned as I went along. I also studied and ported a bunch of opengl tutorials in my spare time to learn about and understand more advanced OpenGL techniques. Five years later I'm still working for the same company (40+ people now and profitable Smiley) on our 3d api and custom software projects built on top of it.
Offline ENC

Junior Devvie

« Reply #17 - Posted 2006-10-18 01:48:30 »

I'm not a game developer, but I do consider myself a 'pro', ... Five years later I'm still working for the same company (40+ people now and profitable Smiley) on our 3d api and custom software projects built on top of it.

WOW! You got to teach me what you know one day!  Grin
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder

Got any cats?

« Reply #18 - Posted 2006-10-18 15:12:03 »

Started on  an HP programmable desktop calculator the size of a desktop.

Eventually moved UP to a 15cps  time sharing terminal.

In general, start simple, learn as you go.   If yo uwant to be a professional coder then studya s much math as possible in school and then got to a 4yr college with a good CS program.,

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!
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