Is there any hope for me???

This is a discussion on Is there any hope for me??? within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; So I haven't really learned anything in programming yet, I'm really more of an artistic guy. My dream is to ...

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    Is there any hope for me???

    So I haven't really learned anything in programming yet, I'm really more of an artistic guy. My dream is to make a video game, I've come a long ways in 3d animation, But I really want to be handy in both the animation and programming. I'm curious, how long will it take me to learn enough programming to write at least a 2D game?

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    You could probably start writing a simple 2D game in C/C++ using SDL or SFML within a month, or even faster than that if you choose a language like Python.

    Most people here are at the other end of the spectrum though; we can program but barely have enough artistic talent to draw a stick figure. I've always wanted to create a Final Fantasy Tactics clone for example, but I can't even figure out how to make a cube in Blender heh ...

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    I'm with memloop; I, too, can code but I'm not too good making any graphics.

    Is your dream to make a small 2D game or a great 3D game? I reckon you'd be able to code a basic 2D game in half a year or so if you put effort into it. Though 3D games are generally many thousands (or millions) of lines of code, and are generally written by more than one programmer.

    If you really want to make a game, you should set up a team to do so. Or join an existing one.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    A month might be pushing it slightly, but you will have a much better idea of what is involved at that point.

    Python would probably be an interesting thing to check out in this regard, but I think what will then slow you down is there will be much more reference material in C/C++ for the various libraries such as SDL, and much less in python.* Which, nb, you are best off using openGL for 2D in SDL anyway, so you could just start with that (2D GL).

    * on the other hand, you might find the python community very eager to help with this.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    What I and the other posters here failed to mention is that the timeframe really depends on what you want. I reckon the following (of course, it depends how much time you put into it):
    Tic Tac Toe: 1 month. Maybe 2 weeks, even.
    Platform games: 6 months, I guess. Give or take three months.
    A good 3D game: 3-5 years or so.

    I find it very hard to give an estimate. But tell us what exactly you want and I bet others can give a better estimation.

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    Well my overall goal is to make a big multimedia game. But I of course want to make a few smaller games before that to start with. I was also planning on using the program Unity 3d, which is a game creation program that requieres less programming. I kind of figured I'd have to develop a team of programmers, (I want to start a business) but I figured it would be important to at least know a little bit about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyborthwick View Post
    Well my overall goal is to make a big multimedia game. But I of course want to make a few smaller games before that to start with. I was also planning on using the program Unity 3d, which is a game creation program that requieres less programming. I kind of figured I'd have to develop a team of programmers, (I want to start a business) but I figured it would be important to at least know a little bit about it.
    A big multimedia will require a team. A big team. And it will be expensive. Think of millions of dollars for a single project. And you don't make a single dollar until the game is completely finished and in the stores.
    Generally, at least...

    If you start a business I don't think you need to know any coder. There are dozens of tasks in a company, you would simply hand the programming jobs to someone else. You could design the game, decide the graphics, pull the strings, etc without being able to code whatsoever, I believe.

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    I enjoy pushing both extremes, and I've gotten quite comfortable with it. It took me a few years, but if you're dedicated and motivated you can be both an excellent programmer and artist. The trick is in understanding how physical concepts apply to art, and how creative thinking applies to designing software.

    Neither 'world' is what it seems to be, they truly are more closely coupled than people would like to think.

    I've been creating demoscene art for a while, software designed to visualize music, going so far now as to discover ways of using gpu programming to do audio processing to increase the complexity of visual effects with minimal performance impact.

    If you actually want to pursue this in a way that gets you somewhere, it has to be a state of mind, a way of life. Create art by the principles of mathematics, and learn mathematics while employing the creativity of art. The feedback loop of learning will take you to crazy places. :]

    It's all about learning to visualize and abstract mathematical concepts, mapping from equation to graph spaces (algebraic to geometric), and to understand and realize the patterns in visual arts which have mathematical description, connect the two and you'll directly know how such seemingly extremes are quite intimately connected.

    It's not hard, just start small and work up, you'll be designing complete games and creating art within two years if you push yourself.

    Processing.org and Macromedia Flash are the two options that will make the transitions easier. I moved in to C++/OpenGL/GLSL after quite a few years of experience with Flash and then Processing. I was in constant need of better performance which is how I made my way in to writing GLSL shaders and the like.

    Doing these things is not unheard of, it's just rare. Do not let anyone convince you that you NEED a team of people to accomplish everything. One man made Doom, and to this day it is but one person that is behind many great games, and much of the software designed to provoke audio and visual arts. It is possible, you just have to care enough to ignore everyone else.

    So it completely depends on how utterly insane you are. >:]
    Last edited by since; 12-17-2009 at 12:43 PM.

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyborthwick View Post
    Well my overall goal is to make a big multimedia game. But I of course want to make a few smaller games before that to start with. I was also planning on using the program Unity 3d, which is a game creation program that requieres less programming. I kind of figured I'd have to develop a team of programmers, (I want to start a business) but I figured it would be important to at least know a little bit about it.
    Yeah, that's every nubling programmers dream, as well as every ye olde thymer's. If you want to learn to make games while learning to program, start small, as in write a few dozen text games like guess the number, tic tac toe, etc before moving on to graphics and real time stuffs. Don't be in a hurry to move on to the next step, perfect those simple games first, work out all the bugs, add features etc. It is all experience that will come in handy later when you are writing an event based multithreaded game server that runs as a cluster.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since View Post
    ...
    Neither 'world' is what it seems to be, they truly are more closely coupled than people would like to think.
    ...
    ^Truth. Creativity is a big player in many fields : )

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since View Post
    Neither 'world' is what it seems to be, they truly are more closely coupled than people would like to think.

    No, they are quite a bit different altogether, more so than people think. It takes entirely different types of creativity to design software than it does to paint a picture. Writing software is not a fuzzy concept. If you can't think like a machine at least on some level you will not be able to effectively program them. Just because the language used is too imprecise to differentiate between them, do not assume that implies equivalence or equality. Take for example the concept LOVE.

    I love roast beef.
    I love my daughter.

    I do not love roast beef in the same way that I love my daughter. The language used ('love') is not sufficient to describe those different and entirely unrelated concepts using a single word, just as it is not precise enough to describe the differences in the types of creativity used in art and science (software engineering) with a single word. The concept of love for my daughter and for roast beef are neither equal nor equivalent. I do not create software in the same way I create blown glass sculptures.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-20-2009 at 01:15 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    abachler,

    What I did not say is that they are the same.

    What I did say is that they are more closely related than most would like to think, ... there are bridges between art and science that many cannot recognize. As for the degree of creative or logical thinking of an individual, it's not even worth debating, it's impossibly obvious that each individual carries their own degrees of each, but that makes no meaningful inference on the concept that there *are relationships between art and science that allude many. The message to the topic starter is to not bother 'deciding' what they are, preventing them from progressing on forward, and just to begin pushing all of the limits that can be recognized.
    Last edited by since; 12-20-2009 at 01:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler
    I do not love roast beef in the same way that I love my daughter.
    Phew

    Anyway, this reminds me of Paul Graham's essay on Hackers and Painters.
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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Writing software is not a fuzzy concept.
    Neither is art. There is as much "subjectivity" involved in thinking about art as there is in thinking about software for the layperson. Eg, anyone can come up with a good idea -- but the implementation or realization of that idea is pure mastery of technique. It is not subjective at all. Either you do what you set out to do, properly and well, or you did not.

    I think the "division" is based on the idea that a good artist is someone with a "natural talent" as opposed to a highly developed skill. 99.9%+ plus are really the later: they put a lot of time in developing a skill. The exact same is true of programming, and plumbing, and downhill skiing. Of course, being smart, perceptive, able bodied, etc, will make certain things easier for you. "The eye" ("the ear", et. al.) is something acquired thru practice, noticing what works and how.

    If you do not have time or are not motivated to develop a skill, you will not be any good at it. It is hard to motivate yourself if you are not interested. Some people will find programming fascinating and spend a lot of time developing skills -- the same is true of "an art".

    So it is really a question of how much time you are willing to spend with something. Claiming "oh, I don't have any artistic talent" IMO just means you are too lazy or unwilling to develop it. The exact same it true, eg, of math. It does not interest a lot of people, so they have no motive to learn, so they are bad at math, etc. And who would blame anyone? RMS somewhere refers to gcc as "his child", implying that if he had had real human kids, he perhaps would not have had the time and resources to do it.
    Last edited by MK27; 12-20-2009 at 02:37 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    You can argue their similarities all you want, the simple fact is they are different cognitive domains.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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