Which language should I learn to program a game like PoxNora?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by HickorySmoked, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. HickorySmoked

    HickorySmoked New Member

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    Also how long will it take? I just want to make a rough draft right now so I can pitch the idea to more experienced programmers. I'm not worried about graphics at all, but I want my learning investment to be useful later.

    So essentially, which language should I learn to give me quick results on a rough draft, while also being a language worth investing in for me to use seriously later? (Like if I decide to program the game myself instead of hiring others)

    PoxNora preview:


    Thank you
     
  2. higgipoker

    higgipoker New Member

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    It depends what you mean when you say "rough draft."

    If you are imagining anything even in the same universe as the video you posted, and you don't have any programming experience, then you have grossly underestimated your task. Short answer: you are talking years, not weeks.

    However, if you mean something like just a plain top-down 2D approximation using lines, squares and circles as your graphics, you might be able to knock something up in a few weeks with some kind of drag and drop game maker tool.

    However (again), if you have no programming experience, then your efforts will almost certainly be wasted should you decide to take up programming seriously later. You can not become proficient in programming without learning the basics first. This will take you at least a year (data structures, algorithms, memory, IO etc).

    And if you learn programming properly from the ground up, it doesn't matter what language you choose, your time wont be wasted and your skills will always be applicable to whatever comes up in the future.

    I don't mean to be patronizing but I just don't know your background. So, you should know that if you decide to program a game like this yourself, you are looking at a journey of perhaps 3 to 10 years. Just to give you some perspective: I have and honors degree in the field and over 10 years experience working as a professional programmer and I do a lot of hobby projects at home. If I started a game like that today and worked on it in my free time, I might be able to get a very small (one level/map) game out in an year or two.

    As for pitching your idea to programmers, well, unless you are intending to pay them... let's just say that every programmer has 10 GREAT ideas of his own that he'll invariably think are FAR better than your idea (no matter how good you think it is).

    So, short answer - you do not learn a programming language to make a game like this. You learn programming because you want to be a programmer and maybe one day you'll have the skills/opportunity to make such a game.
     
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  3. HickorySmoked

    HickorySmoked New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the response.

    I'd be willing to invest a year on the rough draft. How many hours do you think it would take to learn the foundation? Once I had a base and could actually work on constructing the game time would not be an obstacle anymore because I would be absorbed in it. You brought up a good point which is the foundation. Would it take a year as in 2 semesters of school or an hour of personal study per day or what?

    And which language should I work on?

    I took basic gaming class where we worked with game maker and learned about objects and stuff. I'm not really sure how hard it is but the game just looks like a web of object interaction which doesn't seem like it would be too hard to fabricate. I am a master of logic. Idk anything about programming though.
     
    #3 HickorySmoked, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  4. higgipoker

    higgipoker New Member

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    If you have some experience with Game Maker, then I'd recommend sticking with that for a rough prototype. It's almost impossible to give you a time frame on that without knowing your goals/skills/time etc. but as a shot in the dark I'd say you could come up with a superficial demo in a year (you'd probably have to throw this away and start again if you decided to go full steam ahead with the game).

    As for learning the foundations of programming, I can only speak from my own experience to give you some idea. I took a 2 year college course at the age of 16-18 and then went on to do a 4 year degree. Both courses were heavily programming oriented. Looking back, I consider myself proficient in the basics after the second year of university. So that's after about 4 years solid programming study. Only by the end of university did I have the knowledge/skill to tackle my own projects. And I started very simply - an OO wrapper for the Win32 API (so you could use it like Java Swing) and a 2D card playing/memory trainer app :D

    Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh before, I was grumpy after having just spent 2 hours tonight debugging a stupid bug in my simple 2D game;)
     
  5. HickorySmoked

    HickorySmoked New Member

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    Okay yeah I'll try game maker to screw around. Thanks for the help :)
     

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