Tutorial 1 - Introduction to Programming
Who are these tutorials for?
The tutorials on this website are for anyone with an interest in
programming with a view to creating games. They are for anyone with a basic knowledge of
how to use a computer, navigating to folders, running programs and also for
advanced programmers interested in 3d graphics. If you are a complete beginner at programming
then I will try to step you through the processes needed to become an advanced programmer
or at least a capable hobbyist.
Programming is a method of writing code to communicate with a computer and make it
do things. I have been programming for some years now and I find being able to
write simple code to be very satisfying. I am a hobbyist programmer and I am mainly
interested in creating computer games with the knowledge of programming I have.
If you want to create characters that interact with a game world and that you can
control, you will probably need some understand of mathematics.
In my tutorials I will try to cover the best parts of programming and mathematics
that will let you create a game of your own.
What you need
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- A basic understanding of using Windows
- A compiler.
- A programming language.
You need something called a compiler to create an application, that is a program that turns code you've written
in a programming language into machine code,
byte code or something that an interpreter understands. Machine code is what a computer understands basically,
and byte code is what an interpreter understands. An interpreter is a program that recognises byte code
or compiled code that isn't directly unterstood by a machine and communicates with a machine to perform tasks you have defined in a programming language.
This may sound complicated but the good thing is you don't actually have to understand the finer
details of a compiler to actually use one.
How do I get a compiler?
A compiler is often integrated into a development environment such as Visual Studio,
Game Maker, or a Web Browser.
You can download any of these for free by browsing the internet and start coding straight away.
What compiler should I use?
You have to decide what programming language you want to use and what your game requires,
is it a 3d game? does it need to run in a web browser? for example, and then you can decide what compiler
you will need.
might be a good choice.
I will cover in Tutorial 2 how to set up a project that will use a compiler to create a
standalone exe application that will run on Windows.
A Programming Language
A programming language is a language like English or French is a language.
The difference is that a programming language is how you communicate with a
computer and not so much how you communicate with humans.
Typically you type the code of a programming language into
a text editor on a computer and then your compiler or translation software turns
this into machine code or creates the actual application you have written in that language.
There are hundreds of programming languages, C++, Java, GML, Python, Action Script, Perl, Php,
the list goes on.
C++ is probably the most powerful of these in terms of what you can do with graphics and how
fast your application will run on a users device or machine.
In the tutorials found on this website I will be covering C++ and Java mainly because I find
these offer the most versitility in what you can do compared to other languages.
There is a wealth of information on the internet describing these languages but
I would like to teach you everything you need to know about them to
create cool 3D games all in one place.