Where did it all begin for you?

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Where did it all begin for you?

Postby programmerinprogress on Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:41 pm

Yes... that is the question :lol:

I know many of us are programmers now, but what got you interested in programming, what was the precursor to your fascination with all things technical?

Personally It started for me when I was about 12, and I wanted a new computer, I decided to build my own, and I did (it lasted in various forms until early this year)

I was in the lake district on holiday, and my dad discussed with me about building a computer, a mammoth task at the time, as neither me, nor my dad had a clue what was actually inside the machine!

Eventually I did, and the independance of having my own computer led my curiosity about making the software that makes computers so exciting!

Although I had always wanted to make my own games, it wasn't until I knew that I had the potential to create things through my own initiative (albeit a fairly average computer), but from their the wheels were in motion and i've never looked back.

Would anybody else like to share their origin story of how they became a tech head?
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I think I can program pretty well, it's my compiler that needs convincing!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now a joke to lighten to mood :D

I wander what programming language anakin skywalker used to program C3-PO's AI back on tatooine? my guess is Jawa :P
(That would probably explain why C3-PO is so camp as well :P)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby aamesxdavid on Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:42 pm

I got my obsession from my brother. It wasn't always programming though, it went around to different areas. It started on the family's 386. My brother learned GWBASIC and QBASIC, and I learned a little of that from him. We made some little games on those. We did little hacks in Wolfenstien (this was back when that game was pretty new). Once I got my own computer (and computers got a little more advanced), I started with basic 3D graphics in Bryce, and at some point, switched over more to digital audio - subsequently what I went to college for. More recently, I returned to the programming side of it once I decided to work in video games, and have been more or less trying to play catch-up there.
My brother has a degree in Computer Science, and does web development in NJ now, despite my attempts to get him to move to Boston and work at Harmonix.

Your story kind of makes me feel old. If you're 17 now, you were 12 in 2004 - when I was in my 2nd year of college, and on my 3rd or 4th personal computer (as in not counting the first few family computers). Damn.
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby XianForce on Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:50 pm

Well as a gamer, back in the days of Sonic on the Sega Genesis, I had always wanted to make a game. I was thinking like xx StillAVirgin69 xx, hehe. Anyways, in Jr High, I had a group book report, and this guy started talking about making a game for it. I had no prior knowledge of even GameMaker. Turns out he used GameMaker, and he was actually good with it. So 7th grade I continued to use Game Maker, until I got a DS Flash Cart. I was DLing so much homebrew and playing them, finding out most of them were crap. Then I stumbled upon a Super Smash Bros DS project on youtube. It looked amazing. I thought to myself, I wish I could do something like that... So I started using Google to find some answers and ended up finding libnds, seeing that it was much too hard for a beginner like myself, I looked for something simpler and I found PAlib. It was then I learned about multi purpose languages, and found that I would have to learn C/C++ to actually use PAlib. I went through some tutorials on C, and I got the basics down, but once it got to pointers, it went right over my head, so I decided to just jump into PAlib and see what I could do. I found with the small amount of C I knew, I could use PAlib, so I started stringing out my crappy code and eventually made the crappiest version of a DS game I have ever seen. It was a copy of the Flash Game BowMan, but it only had the portion where you can shoot birds.


Err I was bored and realized I wrote out my life story past this point xD
That means DON'T OPEN THE SPOILER... Although I know someone probably will...



Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
So after that, life caught up with me a bit, so I didn't have much free time. Then when everything slowed down, I started looking at my source code for BowManDS, it was horrible. There was no way anyone could maintain code like that. There were no comments and things were just everywhere. It was then that I found out about Elysian Shadows and Gyro's "How to get started in game development". I watched the videos then thought about how little I knew about C. So I sent Gyro a message asking if he has any recommendations between C/C++. I had chosen C before because I thought it was the easy thing. Surprisingly, he actually messaged me back :lol: I probably sounded like the biggest noob (and I was). But he pointed me in the right direction, and I bought Sam's Teach Yourself C++ in an Hour a Day (The title lies...).

After reading most of the book. I took one last look at my source code for BowManDS. I saw that I knew nothing about functions. I had these 4 lines of code to clear both screens repeatedly in my code. That should have been a function obviously. Looking at that source code made me realize that I'm starting to understand it, that it is really making a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, I learned another lesson... BACK YOUR CRAP UP. My Comp crashed and I lost all my stupid console apps (hey I made them still =p) and BowManDS. I had lost my DS Flash Cart, so I decided to hell with PAlib, it was the simplest library I have seen to date.

Now I review a lot of C++ concepts daily. Mostly OOP and Advanced C++ concepts. Along with C++ review I use LazyFoo's tutorials for SDL. I've gone through most of them, but I've split them up into sections (like Timing, Events, Sprites, Backgrounds, etc.).

Can't wait to finish the tutorials and get into his articles, there's some interesting stuff in there.


If any of you actually read this entire thing... Go get a life xD
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby eatcomics on Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:41 pm

I myself was bored one day... I knew how games were made, by programming (now that I think about it I have no idea how I knew that), but I always said it isn't something I would do, I wanted to do game development like maybe concepts or art, but one day I was bored and I wanted to see exactly what programming and game dev was like... Then... I found it... Elysian shadows, in it's earliest of forms... Before the project even had a name, during the time the website had a link to the site as it was when Gyro and his team made it at 14 or so... and the forums were quite desolate... Naturally I fell in love with the project and wanted to try programming, which got me waaaaay into computers like hardware, software, theory... and math... so now I am a hardcore nerd :)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby Rhys on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:19 am

One day while playing a game, and idea popped into my head; "I'm gonna make a game!" I contacted some friends and we decided to make a small 3D game, little do I know that for our ability, 0, that was impossible. But, of course, with my stupid idea I went on and started learning some programming, they didn't, and now I'm battling through my first book. (and hoping for a career) ;)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby programmerinprogress on Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:59 am

A set of very interesting stories, keep em coming!

@aamesxdavid Yeah, it is kinda odd, I sometimes think how odd how there are so many techies of so many different ages! I think it's due to the availability of the information through the internet now, and IT in schools, i'm not as old as you, but I can remember windows 3.1 (my parents haed a rented 386 or a 486, can't remember, it was 1994 :lol: )

@XianForce I read it, I read it ALL! :shock:
sounds like you had a bit of a turbulent start into programming, I had similar difficulties, I bought DarkBasic, and I got my first serious project to work (it was a CD player), but there was one hitch, it wouldn't work once I 'Compiled it' (or whatever the f*** DarkBASIC does to your code, whatever it is, it doesnt work!, all I know is it worked in the editor, so not my fault) and so I decided to try and find a language that WASNT defective! and that lead me to C++ :lol:

@eatcomics we're all hardcore nerds, embrace it my friend, embrace it ;)

@Rhys Your adventure has just begun, you will probably suffer much heartache along the way (every time the compiler gives you and error!) but just remember the light at the end of the tunnel...

Now while all of us chase the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick, would anyone else like to share their origin story? 8-)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think I can program pretty well, it's my compiler that needs convincing!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now a joke to lighten to mood :D

I wander what programming language anakin skywalker used to program C3-PO's AI back on tatooine? my guess is Jawa :P
(That would probably explain why C3-PO is so camp as well :P)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby ChrissyJ91 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:15 am

When I was growing up in London I didn't go out much except for school and so spent most of my time playing games on my gameboy, then on my ps1 and then later on the dreamcast and making up realy bad ideas for games. Around four or five years later I moved to the country and became friends with the guy who lived downstairs from me and who also owned an xbox and apart from playing through morrowind and finding secret items and locations he hadn't found yet and vice versa, and playing through halo campaign on co-op for the umpteenth time we used to talk about all these ideas for games. I had no idea how I'd make these ideas come to life because I had no idea what programming was, I didn't have my own computer and I'd just gotten a gamecube and metroid prime was eating up any spare time I had. So now I've got all the good (I think they're pretty good) concepts I've come up with over the past few years which are providing me with a good incentive to really stick with programming (I'm easily distracted-I've tried learning various languages multiple times this year but have been really bogged down in work this year) and I'm really looking forward to finishing year 13 next thursday and getting a couple of months off to learn and then I'm hopefully doing a two year college IT course.
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby programmerinprogress on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:33 am

ChrissyJ91 wrote:I'm really looking forward to finishing year 13 next thursday and getting a couple of months off to learn and then I'm hopefully doing a two year college IT course.


My last exam is on tuesday, so i'm in the same boat as you man ;) good luck! and I'll be working on lots of stuff too (I get like 13 weeks off till university)

Very interesting story, from experience I find that most people who go onto programming, love games, but can attain a degree of separation from them, does anyone get what I mean?

I used to play games all the time, but now I spend the majority of my time trying to make them, a lot of people I tend to talk to have it the other way around, which surprises me, considering they want to get involved in the business, I think you have to get the right balance between being a producer and a consumer.
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I think I can program pretty well, it's my compiler that needs convincing!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now a joke to lighten to mood :D

I wander what programming language anakin skywalker used to program C3-PO's AI back on tatooine? my guess is Jawa :P
(That would probably explain why C3-PO is so camp as well :P)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby Pickzell on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:44 am

Well in April 2008 I had just gotten Flash and was learning to animate. Later on I started trying to learn AS2 to put my cartoons on Newgrounds ( Thank God I didn't! ). I typed in "Actionscript" in the Youtube suggestion box, which was new then, it said "How to make games with Game Maker" I clicked on this out of curiosity and I made a game! Even though it was just a piece of crap smiley moving around with no point, I was endlessly proud of myself for making a video-game. I later found out about a game called "Noitu Love" which was made in "MMF2". I started making basic games in MMF2 and Game Maker, now I use C/C++
I'm an altogether bad-natured Cupid.
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby XianForce on Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:28 pm

programmerinprogress wrote:
ChrissyJ91 wrote:I'm really looking forward to finishing year 13 next thursday and getting a couple of months off to learn and then I'm hopefully doing a two year college IT course.


My last exam is on tuesday, so i'm in the same boat as you man ;) good luck! and I'll be working on lots of stuff too (I get like 13 weeks off till university)

Very interesting story, from experience I find that most people who go onto programming, love games, but can attain a degree of separation from them, does anyone get what I mean?

I used to play games all the time, but now I spend the majority of my time trying to make them, a lot of people I tend to talk to have it the other way around, which surprises me, considering they want to get involved in the business, I think you have to get the right balance between being a producer and a consumer.


Yeah I totally understand what you mean. I need to find that balance. It's been a while since I sat down and played a video game for more than 15 minutes....
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby ChrissyJ91 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:07 pm

programmerinprogress wrote:
ChrissyJ91 wrote:I'm really looking forward to finishing year 13 next thursday and getting a couple of months off to learn and then I'm hopefully doing a two year college IT course.


My last exam is on tuesday, so i'm in the same boat as you man ;) good luck! and I'll be working on lots of stuff too (I get like 13 weeks off till university)

Very interesting story, from experience I find that most people who go onto programming, love games, but can attain a degree of separation from them, does anyone get what I mean?

I used to play games all the time, but now I spend the majority of my time trying to make them, a lot of people I tend to talk to have it the other way around, which surprises me, considering they want to get involved in the business, I think you have to get the right balance between being a producer and a consumer.


thanks you too. ;) awesome. I can't wait until this weekend (first time without stress or anything to do since a few months ago). that is quite surpring, that said I'm easily distracted from learning by games I haven't completed (well that and annoying compiler errors which seem wholly unreasonable and cause me to get really annoyed and lose interest).
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby programmerinprogress on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:20 pm

that is quite surpring, that said I'm easily distracted from learning by games I haven't completed (well that and annoying compiler errors which seem wholly unreasonable and cause me to get really annoyed and lose interest).


Yes, I think we all get a little tempremental from compiler errors, you just have to remember, the compiler is always right ;)
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I think I can program pretty well, it's my compiler that needs convincing!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now a joke to lighten to mood :D

I wander what programming language anakin skywalker used to program C3-PO's AI back on tatooine? my guess is Jawa :P
(That would probably explain why C3-PO is so camp as well :P)
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby lotios611 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:26 pm

I started out in game programming with Roblox. For those of you who don't know, Roblox is a multiplayer game where you can build things with bricks and go to other people's places. In Roblox, you can use a modified version of Lua to script. After that, I learned HTML, then Batch, and then C++.
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby Innerscope on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:55 pm

It all started with my NES, which was pretty much my babysitter. My brothers and I were gamer/comic book nerds (were? haha we still are)
My parents bought a Macintosh Performa when I was 6 years old, and I started using a program called Imaginator to create animations. When I was 9 I looked into Klick and Play, but there was no Mac version. :lol: Fortunately, I then discovered Cocoa DR3, an authoring tool for kids by Apple research labs. I used that to make games.
After I turned 12 I started using the first version of REALbasic. (a Mac clone of VisualBASIC)
When I was 15 I took a course in C++ at the community college. Made a couple text based adventure games.
When I turned 16 I took a college course in advanced programming in C++.(109% w00t) My final project was a game using SDL. It was very similar to Kung-Fu for NES.
I took Java and Web (CSS/HTML) design courses when I was 18-19.
Went to community college and took engineering, and math courses.
I ended up getting my AA in Comp Sci by the time I turned 22. This was largely due to the fact I took 1st semester calculus 4 times. (too much partying :nono: )
And here I am now, learning Obj-c, and OpenGL. :)
Current Project: Gridbug
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Re: Where did it all begin for you?

Postby eatcomics on Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:22 am

programmerinprogress wrote:@eatcomics we're all hardcore nerds, embrace it my friend, embrace it ;)

I do but as a repercussion noone gets my humor except my most 31337 of friends >.>
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