Zero programming experience


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Thread: Zero programming experience

  1. #1
    Brian Guest

    Zero programming experience


    Hello,

    I am wanting to develope a first person 3D game along the same lines as "Thief"
    (Looking Glass Studios).

    First of all, is Visual Basic the right language to pursue? If not , what
    language would you suggest and what is the best place to learn coding (school,
    books, private classes)?

    And second, is coding the answer or is there a program or group of programs
    that would allow me to create such a game?

    Background:
    I am 38 years old and a very visual person. I have had some success with
    Thief's DromEd and Quake3's Q3Radient level editing programs. I am quite
    good with Bryce4 and am learning the ins & outs of Photoshop.

    Thank you in advance for your learned counsel,
    Brian Kirsch

  2. #2
    Mike D Sutton Guest

    Re: Zero programming experience

    > I am wanting to develope a first person 3D game along the same lines as
    "Thief"
    > (Looking Glass Studios).
    >
    > First of all, is Visual Basic the right language to pursue? If not , what
    > language would you suggest


    Personally I think your setting your heights way too high for a first
    program. Most people's first apps are simply a piece of text displayed on
    screen saying "Hello world!" or something similar. However, if your looking
    to get into programming then I highly recommend Visual Basic. The syntax is
    intuitive (Compared with some other high level languages such as Delphi, C++
    etc - No offence to programmers of those two languages though, quite to
    opposite actually) and it's an easy language to 'get your feet wet'.
    However, VB really isn't the best language for graphics programming, it
    simply doesn't have the speed needed for rendering thousands of texture and
    RGB light mapped polygons a second. For this you really have to go as low
    as you can, usually through ASM or C simply to get the speed needed.
    Hardware acceleration is also a must so you'll need to have a look into
    DirectX and OpenGL programming. the DirectX 7 SDK has native support for
    VB, but again to get the speed you need you really need to use some other
    language.

    > and what is the best place to learn coding (school, books, private

    classes)?

    I'm probably not the best to answer this as I'm self taught through boredom
    mostly, but books are defiantly good for learning from, as long as there
    good books though. A badly written book can do you more harm than good by
    teaching you bad programming technique. I've been on a couple of courses,
    neither in VB but both programming, and they can help as long as you've got
    a good tutor.
    For instance one that I took in Java OOP was taught by two people, one was
    very good and taught us for 1 day, the other wasn't really that good and
    taught us for the rest of the week. I came out of the course having learned
    far more from the good tutor than the other.
    Your best bet would be to talk to people who have already done the courses
    and ask them how they found it.

    > And second, is coding the answer or is there a program or group of

    programs
    > that would allow me to create such a game?


    Personally I don't know of any such applications, but it doesn't mean
    there's not.

    > Background:
    > I am 38 years old and a very visual person. I have had some success with
    > Thief's DromEd and Quake3's Q3Radient level editing programs. I am quite
    > good with Bryce4 and am learning the ins & outs of Photoshop.


    The level editors you mention are BSP based editors, if your going to be
    developing a 3D game then this is one method you may want to look into. I
    recommend Michael Abrash's book "Black book of graphics programming" which
    has a lot of 3D game design code and optimisations. The code is mostly in C
    and ASM, but it includes a fair bit of explanation too so porting to other
    languages isn't _too_ difficult.
    Don't bother with Bryce 4, it's a 'kiddie' 3D design app designed to make
    eye candy and nothing else. Don't get me wrong, it's a great app and a
    fantastic UI, but for game design it's next to useless unless you want
    rendered backgrounds or something.
    Your best bet for creating 3D models for your game would be to use some
    version of 3DS MAX. A lot of games currently out there on the market will
    have been modelled using this software and it's nice to use too. From
    personal experience though I'd say make sure you have a lot of memory and
    you run it under NT/2K, you'll find the performance is greatly enhanced.
    Photoshop is great though, I can't recommend it enough, love it - nuff said.


    However, some other people would say that you should model in SoftImage and
    do your texturing in Painter or PSP, so it's really up to you. Learn the
    apps and decide which one you prefer.

    Basically after all that I'd say that VB is definitely a good first
    language, but for what you want to create I don't think it's really powerful
    enough. However, I also think that your setting your sights too high, if
    you go down a few pegs and think about making a 2D RPG or something like
    that then you can definitely do that in VB, and I and others here will be
    able to help you in doing so. There's nothing stopping you from going on
    after that to learn C and writing FPS game a year down the line say when
    you've got a good, solid base in programming knowledge.
    Hope this helps,

    Mike


    -- EDais --

    WWW: Http://Members.xoom.com/EDais/
    Work E-Mail: EDais@btinternet.com
    Other E-Mail: Frankle@btinternet.com



  3. #3
    Jeremy Guest

    Re: Zero programming experience


    "Brian" <bsk62@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:39b8f43f$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > I am wanting to develope a first person 3D game along the same lines as

    "Thief"
    > (Looking Glass Studios).
    >
    > First of all, is Visual Basic the right language to pursue? If not , what
    > language would you suggest and what is the best place to learn coding

    (school,
    > books, private classes)?
    >
    > And second, is coding the answer or is there a program or group of

    programs
    > that would allow me to create such a game?
    >
    > Background:
    > I am 38 years old and a very visual person. I have had some success with
    > Thief's DromEd and Quake3's Q3Radient level editing programs. I am quite
    > good with Bryce4 and am learning the ins & outs of Photoshop.
    >
    > Thank you in advance for your learned counsel,
    > Brian Kirsch




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