Do we need to master programming?

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Post » Wed May 06, 2015 8:10 pm

Hi guys!

I actually have a 2 questions. This came to me when I'm practicing Javascript by reading some tutorials.

"Do we really need to master a programming language to make games or programs? Like, do we need to know 80% of that language?"

"How many months or years would it take to master or be familiarized with the language?" :?:
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Post » Wed May 06, 2015 8:24 pm

1) It depends on what you're making.

2) 10,000 hours of practice and study is the commonly held time frame.
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Post » Wed May 06, 2015 9:23 pm

with C2 it is not necessary to be able to code however my opinion is that it is highly valuable if you can code.

More important than coding however is computational thinking... constructing the appropriate logic structures, understanding program flow, things like if-then-else, the use of variables - that is valuable and that is the bit that translates from one programming language to another.

how long does it take... well i'm teaching 7 year olds using studio.code.org and they recommend 20-100 hours but I suspect an adult can do it faster. they capture a surprisingly large number of the core issues you need to understand. so 100 hours to learn basics.. a programming language has its own terminology and behaviours which will take longer, but you can start with easier ones.. but yup.. many hours to perfect, but you can get a good distance with a small investment.

think of it like a sport... first you learn rapidly how to play the game.. picking it up quickly and doing the basics well.. after that improvement is slow.. but noticeable
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Post » Thu May 07, 2015 1:26 pm

To make a game, it is far more important to know how to organize your ideas, concepts and thoughts rather than being a programming expert, without this you won't go far.

Then you need to know how to do things in said language, the basics (syntax, expressions, etc..), how to do a clean code, how to optimise it, etc..

But keep in mind that doing the implementation of the game is something that comes after knowing what you want, I see people asking "how to do this? To do that?" While they do not even know what they are even asking for, limitations are not something you should have in mind while designing the game, design the game as it should work in a perfect device, then see it with a more realistic eye, after all, we can see heroes of might and magic on a game boy color and it works just fine.

Some people seems to think that programming and designing is the same thing, it is not, remember that a clear document that defines the exact mechanics can be easily translated to code, don't adapt yourself to a language, adapt it to what you want to obtain.
Game design is all about decomposing the core of your game so it becomes simple instructions.
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Post » Thu May 07, 2015 4:41 pm

zedmicht wrote:Hi guys!

I actually have a 2 questions. This came to me when I'm practicing Javascript by reading some tutorials.

"Do we really need to master a programming language to make games or programs? Like, do we need to know 80% of that language?"

"How many months or years would it take to master or be familiarized with the language?" :?:



As advertised, generally you require no coding skills to create a game with construct 2.

Obviously, if you wanted to do it in a programming language like javascript, you will be required to learn that.

The amount of time required differs per person, generally your background is of most influence.
If you know other languages, it would just be learning the correct syntax and approaches, seeing as how most code all does the same, just written a bit different.

If you are totally unfamiliar with writing code, then it will mostly depend on how you intend to learn it.

If you plan on learning lots of little tutorials and try to snatch just pieces you need; then you will likely spent a lot more time learning that language then if you were to take a course for an x amount of time, which would cover all the basics.

I learned most by the former, but in hindsight, would advise the latter.

I've been writing codes since GW basic and know how to make programs in roughly 10 languages ... surprisingly, apart from the whole object orientated approach, lots is still named and applied the same as it was 20 years ago.
Who dares wins
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Post » Tue May 12, 2015 8:20 pm

Well, to be honest. The claims from Construct 2, Stencyl or others are not really true when they say "no coding required" :D

Whenever you arrange some commands into an order and / or put in conditions to make sure that a computer executes this commands in your desired and foreseen order, it's programming. No matter if you type in the commands or select them from a list. If the tools give you building blocks to archive something with just "one instruction", so it's convenient but still programming.

If you need more flexibility with the things you want to do, then yo might want to go deeper and learn the instruction set the building blocks you used before to gain the flexibility you're looking for (JavaScript for Construct 2 Games, for example). If you need more flexibility, more speed, whatever, then you have to learn the instruction set this tool is build (C++/C, for example). If this is not fast enough for what you're looking for, you have then to learn the instrcutions C++ is written in: Assembly Language (Okay, nobody really wants to do that. Or plain machine code. But that's how we learned it. But hey, we had only 700 bytes memory!)

So: yes, you have to master programming. But this is not a technical question. It's more the ability to prepare the right amount of instructions to archive a certain goal with the given toolset.

Just my 2 cents (writing applications and games since 1982)
Last edited by dripple on Tue May 12, 2015 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Tue May 12, 2015 8:21 pm

lennaert wrote:GW basic

The good old times :D
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