Programming...

Well, as the topic implies, I am wondering how to get into programming. I know this is such a n00b topic but really I'm interested in it and have mucho time off in the next few months. My friend who can program and who has worked for a gaming company on several occasions lent me a Virtual Basic Book w/Cd and pretty much said "read this then come back. Then I'll give you more and you'll throw all this out the window" :huh <-me

I was just wondering if anyone has any tips/stories on how they broke into the whole dev thing. Some answers like what did you start with, how smart are you, and how long did it take you to get where you are would be appreciated.

I know I have to start really small and work up over much, much time but I'm willing to put effort into this... any help at all would be greatly appreciated. right now I flip through this giant 900ish page book and am all
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---Ammut
 

mrkotfw

Mid Boss
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well what system do you want to dev for? GBA? SATURN? GAMECUBE? XBOX? PS2? PSX? I think you should start with GBA because GBA is much easier to start deving. www.gbadev.org #gbadev on EFNET ... ok basicly people get leaked HARDWARE MANUALS then magicly finds a way to dev for the system for example: The saturn, this is an exception because we use the OFFICIAL DEV KIT, All developers use... Basicly you either want to learn C or ASSEMBLY ... Personally i think C is much easier... you write C code:

Code:
#include <stdio.h>

void main(void){

 printf("Hello Ammut\n");

}

then you compile www.compilers.net then if your on windows you will build a Hello.exe, execute it in command prompt-dos and type in HELLO and it will print it.... since C isnt really documented online then buy a book
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you'll feel: :huh
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<_<
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when you start coding.... (took me whole day to change the saturn's background to diffrent colors... STUPID VDP2_VRAM_A0 ...) <_< <_< ermmm.... this is my first system i ever dev'ed on!!!! before C i knew PHP ... (much easier than C) ... then i found a RAR file in MIRC then i started to ask around and found this site! i then coded my first 3d demo ... and now im developing a super advance game (IMO IMO) ................ well good luck!!!!!
 
well, i've had an intrest in programming for the last 15 years.... (and i'm only 23 now). I started programming on the good old spectrum, in BASIC, writing simple little programs such as an etch-a-sketch program (which my school used to teach the 6 years olds some computer skills, damn i was so proud!
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) ... moved into PASCAL when i took computing at school, but thats pretty defunct nowadays from what I hear.

Recently, in the last 2 years, i've been using Visual Basic 6 and C++, and for starting to learn i would definitly recommend Visual Basic, even though it's not as widely used in the work environment. it is definitly a lot easier to get to grips with that C/C++. And contrary to many C++ programmers beliefs, it is not impossible for a visual basic programmer to learn how to code well in C++
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It really does depend on what you want to do with it though... personally i don't think jumping in at the deep end with C++ is a good idea, it really helps to have some prior knowledge of programming first. Even if you have to throw much of it out the window when you come to C++, it helps you understand the logic of programming that much better. At least thts what happened in my case.
 
nescphp: did you consider he might want to dev (or at least start out) on the PC
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Personally, I got started with Qbasic, got a book for children from my local library and it pretty much went on from there with increasing my QB skills. Soon I hit Qb's limits and I picked up 'Assembly Language Step-by-step' by Jeff Duntemann, it's a great book and now I'm quite proficient in assembly language on various systems
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antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
If starting from zero, game consoles is the wrong place to start. It's not that they would be inherently more difficult to program for, but the setup and support needed is on a completely different level. With Visual Basic or similar, you can just press the "run" button and there your program is, without having to muck around with link scripts, startup code and obscure/obsolete hardware and tools to actually transport the code to the target machine.

Once the principles of programming are understood, it's pretty easy to move onto other languages and platforms.
 
Well, I started with goold old Speccy BASIC when I was 7. I moved later on to QBasic, got Pascal from a nice cousin, and I learned 8085 assembly in highschool, C in college, and C++ by my own initiative. I don't really like coding, i'm more of the hardware type, but I'll code when I just that kind of good idea that can't be stopped. Or if it's a challenge, as it's Saturn's case
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I often complain that there isn't a learning platform for coders, like the Amiga and previously, the built in BASIC in microcomputers in the 80's. Er, actually, if you live in Europe, the PAL PS2 has a version of YABASIC on the included demo disc that brought me good memories. And you have to type everything by hand - just like in the ol'days. ^^;
 

racketboy

Established Member
As a professional programmer I would say start off with an Intro book using QBasic or Pascal. Don't worry if they are the best languages -- you just want to learn the basic concepts for now.

After you can do some stuff, play around with Visual Basic and then C.

C++ can scare you off too quickly.

I would try to take a class at your community college or whatever whenever possible.

Programming isn't something you just learn real quick. You need lots of practice and somebody to help you along the way like a teacher.
 

mrkotfw

Mid Boss
bah <_< , lol i'm 16 so... i been coding since i was 14 yrs old HEH i started out with HTML, it isnt a language but it got me used to typing alot of stuff... then i started to learn PHP ... until i really knew it i started to mess around with C... made a few programs here and there ... then still without no book i decided to dev for the saturn there i learned alot of stuff.. you guys are right start learning PASCAL or BASIC or whatever
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I'm 18 now and been hacking code out in various languages since I was 12. I really got interested when I found a BASIC book in our school library and checked it out. I had GWBASIC on an old-ass PC so it was a natural fit. I screwed around with that for probably a little over a year, moving on to QuickBASIC a couple of years later. The graphics functions and the ability to omit line numbers from code was both fun and educational. After a (very) short stint with Pascal (still, in my opinion, a very clean and logical language) I moved to C because I got some books and stuff on it. I've really truly known C for only about 2 years but it is definately worth the effort of learning. I'm now preparing to begin a major in Computer Science in college; odd that an old school library book could start an interest and a potential career.

Of course, as many coders will tell you, the postscript to this is that you understand hardware a bit... it is very helpful in understanding some concepts of any programming language (ex: pointers in C). Good luck in whatever you do.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
If you do decide to learn with an old-school BASIC, get into the habit of using GOSUB/RETURN as soon as you possibly can. GOTO is not evil, but if you learn to depend on it you'll have to unlearn the sloppy coding habits it causes later.

Also, I highly recommend learning at least one assembly/machine language, whether or not it's the one for the machine you intend to work with the most. Just understanding the core concepts of how instructions work at that level will make you a better programmer.
 

Cloud121

Established Member
I've been wanting to learn how to program forever, however, since Algrebra IS involved, I may consider something else. All I wanna do is make Sega games (Saturn especially, since it IS the GREATEST CONSOLE EVER! That'd most likely be the last one I'd make games for, since it's so tough), but since I am the most patheticly (is that even a real word?) stupidest, and most dumbfounded Math person you will EVER meet, programming seems out of the question right now. Hm... Any language out there, that I can learn, that requires little Algebra (I was average at math, until I took Algebra last year, and it just went to hell), that will help me get started? Is there any language like that that can be used to develop Sega games? Hm... I know Sega development is a LONG WAY down the road, but it's something that I really wanna do.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Any language out there, that I can learn, that requires little Algebra (I was average at math, until I took Algebra last year, and it just went to hell), that will help me get started?

It really depends on what is causing your trouble with algebra. For programming, particularly in C-like languages (C, C++, Java, etc.), it's important to at least have a basic grasp of the idea behind variables and functions - i.e. that a mathematical statement can be generalized to do useful things with different numbers. This idea is not complex at all; you're more likely to not understand it because it's too simple. The more complex stuff like geometry, polynomials, complex numbers, etc. is not really vital to programming at all IMHO, though first-year algebra is definitely still good stuff to know for other reasons if you want to do anything resembling engineering (like figuring out if that shiny "36-inch" TV will fit in your entertainment center).
 
Cloud: maybe assembly is something for you. It uses very simple math (i.e. only adding 2 numbers at a time), and all complex equations are broken down into it. I have yet to encounter anyone who started with assembly language, but I think it can be done and it'll sure help you programming the Saturn (you'll need SH2 assembly for that), but if I were you I'd start out with x86 asm.
 
or even better.. z80 assembly
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If you like maths... z80 is the processor used in the TI graphic calcs..
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Then again, you should start with something simple that will teach you some "programming logic".
 

slinga

Established Member
IMO, starting with assembly is a terrible idea. Start with C++. And use a proper developer's environment (ie Visual Studio).
 
Has anyone used Python?

http://www.python.org/

I've heard it's a good starter language, but it's advanced enough to actually be useful. I haven't even glanced at it to give an opinion.

I grew up on BASIC and Qbasic. I started some classes in college and saved my "Windows" class for later in the year because it was stupid. Sure enough the class was teaching things like changing screensavers and formatting floppies . . So I asked the Prof. if I could take an Exempt test. He said he'd get in touch with me, never did, and then gave me my 1 and only F and ruined my >3.6GPA
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:flamethrower:

Oh yeah, and the Prof. was only a few years older than me and it was his first class of teaching EVER! . . but yet the school didn't do shit about my F.

So I said FUCK OFF and never went back.

Funny thing is that I had installed and used every Windows version of the time then. . . 'cept WinCE and Win 1.0
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I thought Qbasic was pretty simple to catch on too. I remember a number game I made in QB. You had to guess a number 1-100 and a tone would sound to hint if you were too high or low. The higher the tone, the higher your wrong number was. And vice versa.

Qbasic has a great fan and support base to help you along too. I was always amazed at the programs I found that people made from it. Just use the term "qbasic" or "quickbasic" in google and you'll find more than enough. I especially like http://www.qbasic.com/

It has cool sample programs to give you and idea of what QB is capable of, and it has lessons. . . all for free.
 
What software is required to learn and use these languages?

And is there a free download anywhere? or a trial? or what's the price?

I want to learn C++ but I want a program that I can look at and use to see what the developers look at. What program is that?

Sounds like stupid questions to the ones that know, but that's because you know and I don't.
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IBarracudaI: yeah, Z80 assembly is great! I have a 83+ SE and I love devving my own stuff on it. Makes you realize how lucky and spoilt coders on today's platforms are
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