Author Topic: Where to start?  (Read 12853 times)

mushroom patch

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2014, 05:09:20 PM »
If your thinking about "where to start" involves musing over whether you need to learn a new programming language, you're light years away from doing anything serious with computers (although I'm sure you can find people who will tell you writing a roguelike game doesn't qualify on that count).

He didn't say he's completely new to programming; he said he has previously used C++, and asked if other languages would be more suitable for roguelike development.

Well, perhaps I'm reading between the lines here, but the OP's question strongly suggests to me that his experience with "C++ and other programming languages" is at best rudimentary. If your question is "how can I write a turn based game with a console interface?" and you "don't know where to start," it stands to reason that you haven't gotten quite around the block as far as programming goes.

As to whether you should actually learn to program before you try to write a roguelike game, I've spent a fair amount of time reading code for angband and its variants -- I can say unequivocally that it would've been better if the people who wrote these games had first learned to program before embarking on those projects. I mean, something as simple as reading SICP would've gone a long way.

guest509

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 02:51:44 AM »
Learning to code by writing a spaghettiRL is a time honored and fun educational method!

awake

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2014, 04:04:31 AM »
You need to find an excuse to write a real program (something at least several thousand lines long that performs a commensurately nontrivial task), maybe something for school or whatever.
How about a roguelike!

I get the impression that a decent chunk of the major roguelikes were started by people who didn't know what they were doing and did it all wrong. And yet, here we are.

Eben

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2014, 06:18:38 AM »
Learning to code by writing a spaghettiRL is a time honored and fun educational method!

I know how to code well and I still end up with a god class and spaghetti code on day 6 of the 7dRL. Which is fine since I'm planning on not working on that particular code again :)

As to the "where to start", if the goal is to make a game use ToME or RPG Maker or Project Spark, or Alice, or whatever. If the goal is to learn programming then get the Head First series book for your desired programming language and read it / do what it tells you to.

Stone Dog

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2014, 11:16:19 AM »
On a related note, what material would you recommend for somebody (me) who has zero programming experience but would want to try his hand at making a roguelike?
Besides that 15-step tutorial on roguebasin, of course.
Thanks for any help.

guest509

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2014, 12:38:32 PM »
Stone Dog, I'm going to give you the hard message.

You aren't going to make a roguelike unless you learn to program. You don't have to be awesome at it, but unless you learn to program you aren't going to make a roguelike. You aren't going to make any video game at all unless you know how to program. Hell you cannot even design or do the art, music or effects for a game without knowing how to program a bit.

Thankfully after one programming class plus the tutorial you mentioned you should be good to go. If you are no longer in school then after working through one programming book (python!) you should be good to go.

Those of us that use game engine programs, as Eben mentioned above, like TOME (t-engine), we actually know how to program. The T-Engine, for example, uses LUA to make things happen. That's a programming language. Some will call it scripting, but that's a distinction without any real meaning in this context.

Game making programs actually require you to know how code is written and structured. We use them because we have no interest in recreating certain functions and would rather use a higher level (inefficient) system instead of getting bogged down in the minutia.

If you don't want to program but still want to make games then you need to make board games. You cannot make computer games without knowing how to program.

Zireael

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2014, 01:58:54 PM »
Stone Dog - pick up T-Engine or RPG Maker or whatever, and then start learning how to program in the language the engine uses. That's how I learned enough Lua to be able to keep Veins going.

There's a lot of free resources for most programming languages used.

Stone Dog

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2014, 05:59:05 PM »
@ Jo
Sorry, I was tired and didn't explain myself properly.
What you said was already crystal clear to me (especially after faffing around a bit with the 15-step tutorial: I can sort of understand what I'm copying, but sure as hell I couldn't do anything on my own).

My goal would be learning a language while trying to code some sort of RL, so I meant to ask if anybody here knew about a manual or something that explained a programming language while explaining how to code some sort of game.
Long shot, I know.

Guess I'll choose among one of the hundreds of tutorials floating around the net (if someone had recommendations on that, please, I'm all ears).

@ Zireael
I was thinking of learing Python, to be honest. Anyway, is the T-Engine very flexible, or am I going to end up with something close to TOME (which I dislike)?

Also, OP, sorry for the thread hijack.

Zireael

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2014, 06:53:59 PM »
Quote
Anyway, is the T-Engine very flexible, or am I going to end up with something close to TOME (which I dislike)?

It's immensely flexible, just take a look at Darren Grey's Mosaic http://gamesofgrey.com/ (scroll down)

guest509

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2014, 04:25:24 AM »
Oh yeah t-engine can do a ton of things.

mushroom patch

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Re: Where to start?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2014, 01:28:06 PM »
You need to find an excuse to write a real program (something at least several thousand lines long that performs a commensurately nontrivial task), maybe something for school or whatever.
How about a roguelike!

I get the impression that a decent chunk of the major roguelikes were started by people who didn't know what they were doing and did it all wrong. And yet, here we are.

A roguelike can be a real program or it can not be. It's pretty much true that some of the more prominent examples in the genre started out using C arrays as their workhorse data structures and never really got past that. These games have had the benefit of twenty to thirty years of ferment and gained popularity in an era when anything that allowed you to move something around on a screen was sure to impress someone.

Roguelike projects today rarely go anywhere, so maybe it doesn't matter anyway, but if you want to bring something new and interesting to the table, you should expect to use algorithms and data structures you wouldn't come up with in a late night of coding. I don't really see the point of writing throwaway projects, but I may be in the minority here.