Always wanted to make games, where should I start?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Sambo110, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Saw someone's thread about scripting or whatever, and this gave me an idea to make this thread. Anyway, for years I have wanted to make games, even if it's just a simple game my friends could play, would be satisfying seeing people play a game I made :). I have only used those crappy free game makers, but where's a good place to start? I know no coding or scripting or anything like that, a complete idiot when it comes to that stuff. Unity looks like a great engine, but it still requires scripting. So where would I start? Something like Python? What programs would I use etc. Thanks :D.
     
  2. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

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    Sep 28, 2009
    #2
    well just go to a book store like borders or something and ask if they have any books on the c programming language for macs. thats pretty much what u should do itll tell u everything, u want to start with c because all the other languages are built off c, c is the first programming language, u know the base language. and then ur going to need a c compiler so i suggest using xcode, it comes on ur mac os x disc, so just install it from there. good luck!
     
  3. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Installed Xcode and opened the "Hello, World" tutorial, and I don't understand it all. Obviously I need to learn more. Should I just read a book about C, then continue with the "Hello, World" tutorial?
     
  4. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    #4
    I'll suggest to you what I told one of the other new programmers on this forum:

    I started programming the same way you did, trying to make games. My first programming language was DarkBASIC. Mind you, you'll need access to windows to try it out. (If you don't, look up blitzbasic, I think it's multi-platform). DarkBASIC is pretty cheap and has a generous trial period. Also, it's pretty fast, and supports everything from music files to quake levels IIRC without anything other than LoadFile "x" or the like.

    Also, DarkBASIC has a solid community & forums, so you can ask questions as you go along.
     
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    If you're going to use a game engine, you'd be far better off with Unity than DarkBasic. Mac-native, huge community, getting some serious traction in the industry, choice of several languages, the basic version is free, can do iPhone apps with the iPhone version, etc. Yes, you have to learn scripting. Just do it. ;) It's a lot easier than trying to learn C from scratch.

    --Eric
     
  6. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    You really think Unity is easier than trying to learn C? What language does Unity use? And it's expensive, so I can't afford it.
     
  7. SRossi macrumors regular

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    #7
    First of all usually scripting languages are easier than a full blown language like C. Use the python based one called Boo for Unity unless you want to learn C# (Hard but becoming widely recognised), or JavaScript (Harder to understand but easier to program, slowly being phased out by C# on windows). And Unity is free go here and in the centre of the window it will say "Download Now", that is the free copy :).

    Stephen
     
  8. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Is that free version new? I have downloaded the 30 day trial a couple of times, but never did anything with it. I think I will at least finish my beginners guide book thing to C, so I at least have some base knowledge to scripting etc, and can build off there.

    EDIT: In the downloads page it just says full version and 30 day trial, and downloading downloads what I assume is the full version, but if you don't have a serial you can't do much except the free 30 days.
     
  9. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #9
    It's free. It's not 30 days or anything, it's just free. And yes, it's 100X easier than trying to build games from scratch using C, OpenGL, etc. However, having programming knowledge before using it is a good idea.

    --Eric
     
  10. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Um, ok then. What does the paid version have that the free version doesn't?
     
  11. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #11
  12. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Must have been changed in the last 6-12 months? Last time I downloaded it there was no completely free version, but that was 6-12 months ago.
     
  13. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Hmm. Downloaded Unity, opened it, and was greeted by this screen:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #14
    You still have to register it even though it's free.

    --Eric
     
  15. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    #15
    Yup, Unity became free a couple (few?) months ago. The old $199 indie version is now the free version. The pro version has some more features and gives more room for commercial sales. For just staring out the free(indie) version is more than enough.

    Another good engine (windows only) is 3D Game studio.. Actually the engine is called Ackex, but comes with various tools (level editor, model/animation editor, code editor, terrain editor etc.) Has 2 different coding languages C-Script (a scripting language), and Lite C (more C like, and needs to be compiled).
    They also have a free version which will have some major updates soon to compete with unity 3D.

    Then there are things like Ichricht and Ogre.. But these are fairly advanced and rely heavily on C++ to get any thing done... They are open source and have large communities, but they are quite difficult to learn and don't have the nice workflow that unity (or even 3D Game studio) have.


    edit:
    As for Unity "trial", now they include a 30 day trial of their PRO version. .After that runs out it will be the standard Free/Indie version.
    And as stated above you need to register it.
     
  16. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I clicked register, but I completely missed the free button :p. Now registered, is the basic iPhone game maker thing free as well? And could I make an iPhone game and publish it with the free version? Pretty awesome if I could.

    And the tutorial for Unity says:

    I don't know any of them, I only know a bit of C.
     
  17. SRossi macrumors regular

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    #17
    I dont think that the iphone one is free, although using xcode to make iphone games is extremely easy.

    But if you read my last post I explained that you should start with Boo first because having some C knowledge and jumping straight into C# would be murder. C# is based on C but in a way is completely different, if you didn't want to learn a scripting language then Boo is your best bet. Might not be the best but for what you will be doing just now it should be fine, have a look at that first.

    Stephen
     
  18. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    It lets me download the iPhone Unity, but from the looks of it, you have to pay to publish? I'll just stick with my C book for now, I'm usually a fast learner anyway.
     
  19. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #19
    Unity is great from what I've seen of it and working through the tutorials will teach you a lot.

    That being said, you also need a way of obtaining 3D assets when working with Unity in order to get graphics and such.


    My suggestion would be start with Python. Python is very easy to pick up, and learning the concepts of programming is much more important then picking "the right language". Games can be programmed in pretty much anything because almost every programming language out there has graphics APIs.

    Learning the concepts and getting them down is very important. This allows you to learn other computer languages quickly because most of the time the concepts are the same, but the syntax changes language to language.

    I also wouldn't recommend learning C as it is a procedural language verses object oriented. If you wanted a C language objective-C would be a good choice, however I would stay away from C++. C++ takes too long to make anything in and most people end up getting discouraged/bored. Its better when learning programming to see results fast. Hence my recommendation for Python.

    Also not sure where the one poster heard that C was the first computer language but thats incorrect.
     
  20. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    I wanted to learn Objective C so I could use the iPhone SDK, but wouldn't it be better to learn C first? As it seems to be the basic one.
     
  21. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Ok, a couple of questions. Can you use just plain C in the iPhone SDK?

    And this was my plan to make iPhone games. Read the book on C, then Objective C, then the one about the iPhone SDK. Is that a decent plan?
     
  22. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

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    #22
    Yes, you can use C to program the iPhone, because Objective-C is a proper superset of C. However, you will need to use some Objective-C to actually display things, etc.

    Yes, that sounds like a decent plan. Some people will insist that you can skip C completely, but i disagree. I think it provides a good foundation, and without it some things just won't click as easily.

    -Lee
     
  23. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #23
    What about Unity? Should I not bother about that? Or is it worth using in some cases? Maybe I will use it to create a Mac game if I ever want more experience or something.
     
  24. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #24
    It's worth using in many cases, specifically if you want to do 3D. I did Realmaze3D in a matter of weeks using Unity; if I had to learn to do all that from scratch, it would have taken months at least, and would have been much less fun. Not to mention I can do a Mac/PC version with very little extra effort. (If I ever get around to it...actually I do have a Mac build on my computer, I just haven't decided how I want to distribute it.)

    --Eric
     
  25. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    #25
    I don't recommend it. I tried that for a while; even if they share similar syntax, Objective C and C are two very different languages. While you may want to learn simple C for a good foundation, when using Objective C try to do things the way the language wants you to (i.e. use array objects not C arrays).
     

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