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How long does it take to learn some form of development?

01-15-2012, 02:52 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 56
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How long does it take to learn some form of development?

I would like to release a iOS app in the future, I'm buying a MacBook in a few months and want to know how long it will take to learn and how should I learn.

The game will be a 2D racer.
01-15-2012, 08:04 PM
#2
It really depends on what your previous development experience is. I had been programming in c++ for many years before starting iOS development. You will need to learn a little objective c to setup your app (I wrap my stuff so I can use c++) at minimum. Did you intend to use an engine? What kind of features are you adding? Etc

01-16-2012, 12:09 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I'll toss in my 2 cents. Your question is pretty general - but ya gotta start somewhere

All I can do is tell my own experience. I chose to use a 3D engine to start iOS dev. From the day I downloaded the engine to the day I released my first game was about a year.

I had to learn the entire 3D engine from scratch - programming, using all the other custom tools.

However, I had prior experience in other types of programming - including making games as a hobby. I have used graphic and sound editing software for years, and I also had some 3D design experience (not professionally).

I tend to learn things quickly and I am mostly self taught. I will admit that I'm a mediocre programmer at best because of it.

Without knowing your previous experience it's hard to say much more. But I'll tell you this...if you want to do it then just go for it. If it's something you really want to do then you will do it, and don't let anyone dissuade you from doing it. The App Store is very tough and people may tell you that you have no hope of competing. Tell them to shut up. Well you didn't ask for a pep talk so...

There are a lot of 2D engines out there too. I've never used one so someone else can probably help you with that.

It was a lot of work but it was very much worth it, both financially as well as giving me a great sense of accomplishment.
01-18-2012, 08:22 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 267
One thing I would recommend is making a practice app before you jump right into your main game. I went with cocos2d, and had a decent background with programming but no objective c experience. It took about a month before I really got a good feel for it.
01-19-2012, 02:06 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: India
Posts: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
It really depends on what your previous development experience is. I had been programming in c++ for many years before starting iOS development. You will need to learn a little objective c to setup your app (I wrap my stuff so I can use c++) at minimum. Did you intend to use an engine? What kind of features are you adding? Etc
Rogue is spot on!
Learning Objective C will require about a week or two based on your proficiency level with other object oriented languages.
You can start studying and practicing Obj C before you buy the macbook. [2 weeks]
Once you have the macbook, devote a little time towards learning more about the iPhone SDK (grab a good book and Xcode). [1 month?]
For 2D game development, I would suggest using a good engine (Cocos 2d-iPhone is the one I prefer) unless you would like to roll out your own engine which would take up considerable effort and time. [Learning about an engine: 1 month. Rolling out your own engine: WHOA!]
01-19-2012, 11:42 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: near Indianapolis, IN USA
Posts: 9
Here's an alternative suggestion (for what it's worth). We recently completed a game using the Unity engine. Unity is basically the mother of all IDEs you might say it's a BFIDE. Anyway, if you use Unity and code in C# you will learn something that will allow you to get work in other markets as well. Plus the code you write will work for iOS, Android, PC or Mac stand alone, the web and others.

Just a thought.

Play our demo at http://bashthebankers.com/
(requires a browser compatible with the Unity plug-in)

http://itunes.apple.com/app/bash-the...491075506?mt=8
01-19-2012, 01:49 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 12
Learning how to program is much more a practice of being able to effectively use your environment Xcode and recoginize code rather than being able to whip up an app from scratch using notepad.

Go through a book on regular C to grasp the concepts. Download some open source code and Xcode and start fiddling. Look up cocos2d tutorials. It took me about 40 hours to get the hang of it.
01-20-2012, 01:22 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: India
Posts: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Photon View Post
Here's an alternative suggestion (for what it's worth). We recently completed a game using the Unity engine. Unity is basically the mother of all IDEs you might say it's a BFIDE. Anyway, if you use Unity and code in C# you will learn something that will allow you to get work in other markets as well. Plus the code you write will work for iOS, Android, PC or Mac stand alone, the web and others.

Just a thought.
True, but the entry cost may be too high for a person just getting started!
$1500 for macbook pro
$400 for Unity iOS
$99 for iOS dev program membership
+ $xyz for 3D assets which definitely cost a lot more than 2D assets.
01-20-2012, 09:30 AM
#9
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: near Indianapolis, IN USA
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkMinhas View Post
True, but the entry cost may be too high for a person just getting started!
$1500 for macbook pro
$400 for Unity iOS
$99 for iOS dev program membership
+ $xyz for 3D assets which definitely cost a lot more than 2D assets.
We got by with a Mac Mini and a monitor we already had, but you are right it still cost over $1000. Plus you really need at least one device to test on.

As far as the cost of 3D assets, I often use 3D software to produce 2D assets because I can render them at different resolutions. That way I could do the retinal display buttons and panels with the same assets I used for the 3GS.

Play our demo at http://bashthebankers.com/
(requires a browser compatible with the Unity plug-in)

http://itunes.apple.com/app/bash-the...491075506?mt=8
01-21-2012, 08:04 PM
#10
I would like to add that if you are only doing small 2D casual games, doing everything in plain openGL is not so hard. You are really just rendering quads to the screen. A single screen game can be overkill with an engine. If you are learning to program this can be daunting but you will find that you absorb far more. I swore by engines when I was younger but have found since moving to iOS that for casual games you are really bloating things with an engine. Then again, I did mobile development on far weaker mobile platforms (you cannot get away with much on a Nintendo DS for example). However, if you are doing a larger content driven game then perhaps an engine is better suited.