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Where should I start? (Game/App Development)

07-13-2010, 02:28 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
Where should I start? (Game/App Development)

Hello all,

My name is Jake, and I am a novice C/C++ programmer who knows basically good enough programming knowledge.
I've worked with Lua before in making some small games and I'm pretty familiar and worked with C/C++ (no GUI just console work) and some Java.

I even tried playing with the iPhone SDK a little with the help of icodeblog.com and I've managed to make a simple game using UIImageView.

What I'm curious about is, where should I start? I've looked into the Apple developer documents but I can't get head nor tail out of them. And I've looked into 2 books: Oreilly's GameDev and Deitel's iPhone for Programmers but both seem to point to advanced developers who only look for a reference.

I also looked at the WWDC 10 sessions but I don't see any beginners choice..

So what do you suggest I start? Which would be easier App or Game development for me? And if game, cocos2d or OpenGL or what? And where should I start?

Thank you,
Jake.
07-13-2010, 11:05 PM
#2
I think the Apress book Beginning Iphone Games Development is brilliant. It takes you through a variety of technologies and the code is good enough to use in production (unlike many books). Even if you end up using something like Unity or cocos2d the book gives you a good grounding that will be invaluable.
07-14-2010, 01:57 AM
#3
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
I think you might want to answer a couple of very simple questions before even looking at where to start.

1. What is your goal.
It can be to make a game, to experiment, to learn about the platform or even all at once.

2. Do i have a plan to reach my goal.
If you don't, make a very quick and dirty road map of the things needed in order to achieve your goal. It will force you to think about what needs to be done and prioritize your tasks. It might as well answer your question as to where you should start.

3. Do you have all you need in order to reach your goal.
Sometimes, the road map tells you: "hey dude, you need the super duper vfx for the mega dinosaur laser!". If you are not able to produce the killing vfx on your own, it is good to note it there so you can get help (In the forum for example?).

4. How long do you want to spend on this.
Even if not respected, it is good to set a rough estimation of the time you want to spend to achieve your goal. It will be stimulating with the experience.


That's about it, I'm not sure if it is the answer you were looking for though but I hope i helped a bit ;-)
07-15-2010, 12:33 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 344
Pick a VERY SIMPLE game idea, ie. breakout, tic-tac-toe, pong, etc.

Make your very simple game using Cocos2D(http://cocos2d-iphone.org). It has a fantastic community of game makers that can answer any of your questions.

Actually complete your very simple game. Don't just make some engine tests or some playable prototypes, finish it with menus and all that. The parts of game development that take the most time(and are the least fun) are the parts that nobody thinks about: the menus, the polishing and tweaking, the bug testing, etc.

Submit your simple game to the App Store as a free game.


At this point, which should have probably taken a month or so, you should know much more about the world of iPhone game dev, and you'll have a good idea of what your future capabilities are. You'll also have released an actual game on the App Store, congrats

You'll either decide to make a new game, or perhaps enhance your free game, adding OpenFeint achievements and high scores, AdMob ads, etc.

Don't make a paid game as your first game, or you'll put too much pressure on yourself to make it perfect and you'll never get it done. Don't make your "dream game" as your first game, or you'll put too much pressure on yourself to make it perfect and you'll never get it done.

I made Trainyard and Disco Zoo. You might like them!

@MattRix | @Trainyard | @Milkbag
07-15-2010, 02:24 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oldmeadow View Post
I think the Apress book Beginning Iphone Games Development is brilliant. It takes you through a variety of technologies and the code is good enough to use in production (unlike many books). Even if you end up using something like Unity or cocos2d the book gives you a good grounding that will be invaluable.
Just started chapter 4 in this book and am stoked at the stuff I'm learning so far. You'll want to hit up the iphonedevbook.com forum to check out errors/fixes that have been found in the book to date.