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  A message to those aspiring game developers  (Read 1518 times)
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Offline Troubleshoots

JGO Knight

Medals: 36
Exp: 7-9 months

Damn maths.

« Posted 2014-01-28 13:25:56 »

Most people think that it would be "cool" to be a successful game developer, myself included. Just 7 months ago, I curiously searched how to learn to develop games. I looked up several programming languages that I'd heard off: C, C++, Java, C#. I decided that I'd choose Java; I liked the way that the syntax looked consistent and clean, and that it has its own official tutorials. As expected, I spent a couple of days learning about variables, arrays and loops and decided that I was ready to make games. NO! NO! NO! I was copying code from videos, learning nothing in the process. Fortunately, after a week I realised that I needed to spend more time learning, so I spent the next two months creating really basic programs. I then decided to re-enter the realms of game development and that's where the journey truly started.

Life story aside, let me get to the point. It was all fun and games for me *pun unintended*, however recently I've noticed a lot of people joining this forum, asking for help with really basic things such as debugging stack traces, asking about control flow, etc. I've also noticed people who quite blatantly copy and paste snippets of code and then ask why they're getting an error, or why their code "isn't working". The fact is that if you do this, you have no chance of getting in to the games industry. Learning how to code is like learning how to read - you have to practice and study. You aren't going to learn anything by copy and pasting something, or by asking someone to fix an error for you. Learning is difficult and time consuming, but if you want to be successful then you have to do it.

TLDR/Conclusion: If you want to be successful, study hard and be patient. Fix your own bugs and learn from your mistakes.

Why are all OpenGL tutorials written in Brainf**k?
Offline Opiop
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-01-28 13:40:52 »

While everything you said is true, there will always be people that copy and paste. I've been programming for a short 3 years now, and in that small amount if time I've seen tons of questions from people who just started coding a week ago asking how they can do some advanced thing in game programming. Game programming is the field that gets hit the hardest with newbies mostly because kids grow up with video games. I remember an old friend from ~6th grade telling me he was going to be a video game tester. I said that sounded boring, but now here I am trying to make games! Programming in general has become less nerdy, and game making has become easier, so more and more young kids are trying it, and young kids aren't known for their ability to do something entirely on their own.

That was just a huge wall of random thoughts, sorry Tongue
Offline HeroesGraveDev

JGO Kernel

Medals: 382
Projects: 11
Exp: 4 years

┬─┬ノ(ಠ_ಠノ)(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-01-28 18:56:57 »

Sometimes copying code can be a good way to learn a new skill, but not copy-pasting.

Generally the pattern follows:

1. Find two different pieces of code that do the same thing.

2. Start copying out the first one by hand, and whenever you recognise a part of the second that does the same thing, choose which one you prefer and refactor.

3. While you do that, pick different variable names. This help the code become more readable to you, and makes you focus on the code more.

4. By the time you're done, you should have some code that looks similar, yet different to both of the original pieces. Go through your code and refactor it (within reason).

5. If you don't know how the code works by now, delete it, and restart the process, possibly with some different original snippets.

The great thing about this method is that it's easy to use but hard for bugs to slip in because you have two sources and have to pay close attention while writing it out.

The problem is that the quality of the result is proportional to the quality if effort. So if you go and do it with the same attitude as copy pasting, you'll probaby end up with the same result. I know I said problem, but this is a good thing.

End note: This method works really well with other programming languages, if you can read them.

(Edit: typos)

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Offline Gef
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-01-28 19:22:23 »

I'm agree with you guys and I think also that learning methods have changed with the time.
I develop since more than Huh years and I can say that a long time ago, we were forced to buy books and use pen and paper
to understand and think on how the problem can be solved, just because it was difficult to find documentation.

Today all these are replaced by Internet and forums.
I'm not saying that is a bad thing, because sharing is the future and I'm finding lot of answers on forums.
But sometimes, before asking a question on a topic, people should spent more time on searching informations by themselves.

I hope I don't give feel to be reactionary, but I'm perhaps a bit old school Grin

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