New to Programming: Questions

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by omgitssum1, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. omgitssum1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    I do not know any languages, but am willing to learn. I have three months this summer to learn to program. Ultimately, I want to make an iOS game that utilizes IAP.

    Someone has advised me to start with something easier than Obj-C, the Corona SDK (lua language), because it is much easier to learn than Obj-C/Xcode and because I wouldn't have to worry about memory management. However, this would mean that I wouldn't have access to all iOS features.

    My questions are:
    1. Should I start learning Corona/lua or should I jump straight into learning Obj-C?
    2. How difficult really, is Obj-C to learn and to program? Is 3 months sufficient for learning it and creating maybe just a simple game that I can submit to the App store?
    3. Can I make a game using only Obj-C or would I need to learn other tools such as OpenGL or a physics engine like Box2D?
    4. Any other tips would be appreciated.

  2. ArtOfWarfare, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

    ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Three months from nothing to a game?

    I hate to tell you this, but if you were doing the simplest of app store games worth paying money for, that would take at least a few weeks by itself if you knew what you were doing.

    My recommended path for learning is this:

    First, learn C. I originally learned from a book, The C Programming Language, years ago, but I don't think I learned well enough so I'm going back and relearning everything I've forgotten / might have missed entirely before. This time, I'm learning from this free website:

    I'm liking it. I would say knowing everything up to and including the stuff on functions from that website is absolutely necessary. Everything beyond... well... I'm going to be honest, I'm hazy on, and that's why I'm relearning C. Nonetheless, I've made games without formally reading all that.

    Anyways, once you're ready to move on, I suggest you go to Stanford's free lectures on programming the iPhone on iTunes U. They'll take you from knowing C to Obj-C (Obj-C perfectly encapsulates C... C and Obj-C code can be mixed side by side in the same files.) Stanford's courses will also cover a lot of the iOS SDK.

    Up to this point, apps I've made have been made entirely using C/Obj-C and stuff from the iOS (or Mac OS, in the case of my Mac Apps,) SDK. I am, however, looking into a variety of game engines for my next project on account of the fact that using just OpenGL/ES appears to be... not impossible, but incredibly frustrating and time consuming.

    Oh, here's some time estimates:

    Learning C - This will take 2-4 weeks of nonstop effort.
    Learning Obj-C and the iOS SDK - 2-4 months.
    Making a Game - Well, Egg Drop! was my first project I ever put up on the app store. I started working on it at the start of May and had it on the iOS App Store by the end of June, so it basically took me two months. If I were to try starting over and making it again, I think I could make it in under 2 weeks, now that I've had a full additional year of experience and learning.

    One other thing... how much do you expect from making a game? Egg Drop! has been on the store now for over 40 weeks and only sold 84 copies at $0.99. This has brought in a grand total of $58.80. I suspect the reason why is because it failed to stand out in a crowd of 100K+ different games.

    I probably won't be making back the $100 I paid to be on the iOS App Store for a year. Not this time, anyways. I'll probably give another shot later this year when I have a more solid game to try with.

    Here's an article worth reading about... vastly more successful games.

    Although there are other articles you should probably read, about how fewer than half of developers manage to even make the $100 back that they pay Apple to be a developer.
  3. omgitssum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    Thank you for your response! It is very helpful.

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