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I'm brazilian and I want to learn how to develop a game in some college or something like that, but I don't know any place here to learn it. Here is not that good either to develop games, as we don't have many companies to do that.

So, I was thinking about working in some place else, while I study it. What I really want to know is, a good place to learn, and a country that developers are well payed to be able to pay my course and still have money to do something else.

I'm a Java programmer, still learning a lot, but I want to do it later. A few years from now.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Byte56 Oct 9 '13 at 14:27

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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At least you're still better off than me in Jamaica. There is this competition called Imagine cup where students can create games/software, etc and go to finals. Every year brazil is in the top 6 for game development. –  Shawn Mclean Dec 25 '10 at 23:05
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And for us in Jamaica, Our university don't teach much in computer science much less game development. We have to learn online. –  Shawn Mclean Dec 25 '10 at 23:06
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"Developing games" is an extremely broad task, including art, programming, design, audio, etc. - it might be worthwhile to specify what exact area you'd like to learn about. I couldn't tell from your message if you want specifically to learn game programming in Java, or if that's just your current background. –  Ian Schreiber Dec 27 '10 at 20:08
    
I believe that programming what the game character will do is what I want. And I don't mind what language i'll do it, but if is there a way to start from Java, i'll do it, as i am doing right now. Then i'll go to c++. And I'm already reading some books about AI. –  pringlesinn Dec 27 '10 at 21:04
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@Kensai At a quick casual glance, it's both too localized (since he's asking for personalised advice) and too broad (since he's asking such a general question). It's the equivalent of asking "where can i learn english?" on english.SE, or "how do I take a photograph?" on photography.SE. SE sites are for specific questions, or occasionally general questions about a specific topic. Asking such a broad question about the entire scope of this site isn't such a good idea. –  Nellius Mar 11 '11 at 10:20

8 Answers 8

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Take a look at 3D Buzz. When I was just starting out with game development I picked up a copy of their C++ tutorials and learned a lot! Especially their section on OpenGL.

These days however they have many more training videos available such as XNA and various others. They have a few free videos that I encourage you to check out.

If you want to continue using JAVA I suggest you take a look at Slick 2D. I also used this a while back and found it to be really good for developing great 2D games.

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Thank you for this site, I had no idea it existed! :) –  Ray Dey Dec 26 '10 at 3:37
    
First i'll give it a try on Java stuff. Never really liked c++, but it would be worth to learn for sure. –  pringlesinn Dec 26 '10 at 3:59

Personally, I think this site is best for specific game programming questions that you have. Since learning game development is quite a broad subject, there are plenty of varying opinions on it.

Firstly, I would start very small. If you know Java, then use it. Don't worry about people saying you need to use C++, there's plenty of time that later. If you're comfortable with AWT or Swing, use it, rather than looking up OpenGL libraries.

Start by making a simple word game (E.g. Hangman, Word Jumbles, etc). This will give you experience on the fundamentals of game play. Then a tic-tac-toe game, this will introduce you to very basic graphics.

You can extend on tic-tac-toe to have a computer opponent, which would introduce you to very basic AI (even if the computer just places its piece on random squares)

Once you've made very some simple games like that, move on to 2D graphics. I'm sure you can find OpenGL wrappers for Java and use that. You could make Pong or (slightly harder) Tetris.

You could also use C# and XNA for this. C# is very similar to Java and XNA is a fairly all-inclusive API for making both 2D and 3D games.

Get some books on what you're interested in (Game Coding Complete is a good book that introduces all of the fundamentals you need to make games. Amazon Link: Game Coding Complete).

After you're comfortable with 2D, start making simple basic 3D games. It doesn't have to be the next big shooter, or an MMORPG, it could potentially be 3D versions of the 2D games you've already made.

DON'T get caught up in all this talk of game engines and C++ and don't try and get ahead of yourself. When you're too ambitious when starting out, you end up getting stuck on a problem, get frustrated and give up on it.

The only way to learn and progress is to keep making games. You can use bits of reusable code in your later projects, but focus on making a playable game before you start refactoring code and optimizing.

Of course when you do get stuck, you've got sites like this to help and places like www.gamedev.net.

Woah, that turned out to be a long answer, but I really hope it helps.

Good luck :)

Ray

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It really helped. So maybe, i'll give it a try here in Brazil. I still think it's better to work outside to make more money, cause here is not that good I believe. But I'm still learning, so I am not good enough. I'll try Slick 2D as @Dave said. Any doubts I'll just post here. I really enjoy this website, make me feel more comfortable while trying to do anything. Any doubt, I just ask in here, and I find the answer. Just like StackOverflow.com –  pringlesinn Dec 26 '10 at 4:04
    
+1 It's very important to start off small. Sure, you aren't gonna make any money or impress anyone by writing Pong and Tetris, but you're not going to learn how to juggle by throwing swords around either. –  Daniel T. Dec 26 '10 at 8:17

The Internet

Specifically:

This site as well as the other stackexchange sites for general programming knowledge.

gamedev.net

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This isn't really the kind of site for general knowledge and broad learning. It's for getting your specifics down. –  Kzqai Dec 28 '10 at 15:55
    
Well, the amount of content on here is pretty nice. Just reading through a lot of the things here is extremely helpful. –  AttackingHobo Dec 28 '10 at 20:04

I don't want to be a downer, but I think that before you have learned game development and built up a portfolio, it doesn't really make much sense trying to think about what country has good game companies, because they will most likely not even look at you without proof of experience.

As for countries to learn game development, the United States, Canada and Europe have universities or art institutes that provide programs focusing on game development; I don't know any off the top of my head, but you can do a search for them.

I don't know if you have thought about it, but I wanted to make sure that you are aware that just moving to another country is not that easy. For someone that has had the privilege of studying and working in the U.S. for around 9 years before moving back to my country - Bahrain - there are a few points I wanted you to be aware of:

  1. You need to figure out the Visa situation. You need to figure out what Visa you need to accomplish your objectives and whether you are eligible for it. Work Visa's are hard to come by and might have limitations on attending a college on the side. Also, a Student Visa will NOT allow you to work anywhere except for on campus, which means you will not be making much money; there are some exceptions of course, but are hard to come by. This also means that you can't legally do any freelance work online or off while in a different country. This is based on a U.S. Visa, but I believe that most countries might have similar standards, but you should study up on this.
  2. Not all companies will be happy to pay for all the Visa paperwork if they know you are intending to switch careers later. I am pointing this out, because you will most likely not get a job in the game industry right off the bat and will have to work somewhere else while you build up your portfolio to get into a game company.

Thus, my recommendation would be to start building up your portfolio. If you still want to learn from an educational institution though, I would recommend in no particular order:

  1. Searching for Universities or Art institutes in the U.S, Canada, and Europe
  2. Start looking for jobs in those countries and see if you can find anything that suits your experience level. I am assuming that you are looking for mid-level positions, because many companies will not pay for a Visa for entry-level positions.
  3. Again, build up your portfolio and practice, practice, and practice. The great thing about development is that you can do this on your own from anywhere in the world.

I wish you the best of luck.

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I meant countries that got good companies to work while I study game stuff in some college. –  pringlesinn Dec 26 '10 at 13:09
    
And I don't really need to quit the company after I finish. First of all, it's just a curiosity. –  pringlesinn Dec 26 '10 at 13:18

Well since you're in Brazil I heard there are some good gamedev schools in Argentina

You could go there, just like some americans go to Canada.

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http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html

I don't want to be dramatic and all by telling you C++ is the standard in game industry etc and that you will have to learn it one day or another.

Anyhow, I can't refrain myself from advising you to try pygame. If you want to go and learn C++, SFML is also quite awesome (SDL also is, but is old).

When you are ready, try irrlicht and/or Ogre.

You can also try to get efficient with unity 2.6, since it's just javascript and C# and boo (a pythonic language), as it will maybe be supported by google and become a standard 3D game quick developement.

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Seeing that your already using Java, then I suggest you head over to JavaGaming and read around. There's a lot of stuff there that would interest you.

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For starters, you'll want to learn to program in general. Once you know how to write code, you can work on applying ti to games specifically. I would recommend learning C++, some think it's harder to learn than others, but I personally didn't find it too daunting and it is something you will need to be proficient in eventually.

Personally I learned with this book: Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours. it's in 24 chapters, and you can get through it in a week or two and have a good foundational knowledge of C++.

Next, I would try to make a game. A small game. Make Pong, Tetris, Tic Tac Toe or something similar. Focus on making a complete game. Try to figure out everything that the game will need, graphics sound, pause menu, controls, etc, and do everything. I wouldn't completely re-invent the wheel, try using an open source library, I think SDL is great. A good SDL tutorial can be found here

Don't get too ambitious, make something small and simple, and focus on finishing it. Here's the thing, you will probably do a lot of things wrong, that's OK. Don't worry about getting every little thing right or making it seem professional or polished, just finish it.

I really think that the best way to learn is to try it yourself and learn from your mistakes (this is why you should make a mall game first). Once you finish you'll have a learned a lot and will have a whole lot of ideas on what to do better next time, so, make another simple game.

Do that, and you'll start to get a grasp of what it takes and you can go on from there.

Here's some good resources on the subject: Sloperama - good, sound advice, geared more towards the business and design end but stil very helpful. gamedev.net - helpful communities, lots of resources.

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