Most games are written in C and Assembly. Some newer game programmers
are using C++ to take advantage of OOP, but you need to be careful that
you don't eat up a bunch of resources when you go that route. If he's
new to game programming I would recommend that he try something like 3D
Game Studio or Dark Basic to see what it's like. Later, he can switch to
C/C++ and a Game SDK like Torque, Dark Game SDK ot 3D Game Studio SDK.
Mario "I wrote Breakout 2000 for Atari" Perdue
Hmmm... Sounds like he is ready to build a nice electronic payload for
you to fly on a rocket!
Doug Pratt's CANSAT
http://www.pratthobbies.com/proddetail.asp?prod ΚNSAT%2D1 can be
programmed in C and BASIC. I would recommend he do stuff in C, rather
than BASIC, as IMHO that is a more transferable skill.
The BeeLine transmitter http://www.bigredbee.com/BeeLine.htm is based
around a PIC processor. Greg wrote his code in assembler but there are
C compilers out there for the PIC.
There are other hardware packages that will let your son do some
programming and give you a fun new toy too! 8)
Koen O. Loeven wrote:
I can't think of a better way to get started.
It's easy and FREE!
I learned it from a book:
'Python programming for the absolute beginner' by Michael Dawson
Great book in english.(I'm writing this because your name seems very
dutch and if you are so is your son and it would be a lot harder for him
to learn it in a foreign language).
With that book he can write his own games after he has finished it.
After that something like C or Assembly.
Greetings from Holland, Roland.
It depends on what platform the games are to be played... If it's for
mobile phones etc, then JAva seems to be the way to go, at least
judging by the job ads here in the UK. Other than that, everything is
writen in C or C++ and uses various SDK's to do the actual leg work.
If he wants to write console games, then you cna get dev kits for things
like the Playstation that mewan you can develop and test on PCs. Just
check with the manufacturers.
bob [at] bobarnott [dot] com http://www.bobarnott.com /
I'm not in IT, but wanted to start an intro vocational type
programming class at
the high school. Of course, the most popular "vocational" activity was
game programming. I then canvassed several CS classes at the Univ I
and asked those guys your exact question and what they would have liked to
have been exposed to in high school.
Most said the C family; C/C++. Games require speed and hardware
There is a plethora of free C programming languages and development
out there. A mature C programming system exists within the GNU/Linux OS.
The next most popular recommendation was Assembly Language for the Intel
and compatible processors. Again, speed and hardware control.
Both the above require fairly motivated students with a better than
understanding of hardware and system operation, as compared, say, to a
Java programmer more interested in software only. They will spend a lot
of time generating fairly simplistic (boring) results. In contrast,
Java or another
GUI oriented system let's them generate some fairly complex and
interactive programs much more rapidly.
They also said that game programming was very competitive and if the
wanted an actual job, to go with Java, etc, and learn the concepts of OOP.
One of the main reasons that Cisco Systems started the worldwide network of
Academies was to "grow their own" IT professionals.
There is just not enough skilled people and at the present growth rate of IT
the gap gets wider.
I've been in the IT industry for the last several years in the midwest
(since 1993 when I graduated HS, first computer was in 1982) In that
time I have been everything from level 1 tech support to a Unix admin
in charge of hundreds of business critical systems that require 24/7
uptime (where I am now)
In the late 90's there was a flood of people going into CS in college
because it was viewed as a way to big money and tons of jobs for
everyone. Once the dot-com bubble burst, the market was flooded with
CS people looking for jobs. Most of the people that went into IT for
the money have since left and gone after something else. The IT job
market has started to right itself, but its still nowhere near where it
There is a lack of jobs for someone just getting into IT as everyone is
looking for multiple years of experence. There is not a lack of jobs
for system admins (Server, network, etc) with a few years of experence.
There is a lack of jobs for programmers since you don't have to be
physically near the computers to perform the job. This is why alot of
the programming jobs are being outsourced to India.
That being said, almost every progammer I know wants to write big-name
games. They would LOVE to go work for EA (Eletronic Arts) That is
also one of the worst jobs to have as they will work you to the bone
because everyone wants to work there. One of the safest programming
jobs I know of is an ABAP programmer for SAP. They are still under
very high demand and are paid very well.
My advice would be to pick up C/C++ as that is a VERY good basic
language and you can learn most other languages from there. Also, find
a programming house near you and ask to shadow a programmer for a week.
You'll get to see what kind of job programming really is. Programming
isn't for everyone but programming isn't the only job within IT.
Just my $0.02 from someone that has seen both boom and bust.
** The views contained herein are the insane ramblings of an
over-worked system administrator with little to no sleep and are not
the views of management **
The analysis I've heard about goes something like this. During the tech
bubble there was a great surge in IT studies at colleges. After the bubble
it seems that these course and majors are greatly under-attended. So jump
ahead 20 years and I'd think there'd be an upcoming shortage on locally
grown IT. I may be wrong I suppose, but I think we might me ready for a
renewal in demand. Finally, are US companies really pleased with the timing
and quality and management headaches involved in these outsourced projects
the global corporation I work for sent a couple of guys overseas to design
One of them was originally from India, and in stead of being "redundant"
(loss of job) , decided to go back to India and get paid top dollar for
doesn't do much for the UK guys still on the Home Island, or us Colonials
Many years ago I was cornered by some kid with similar questions at a
computer club meeting. I told him I though he could make a lot of
money with Game Theory, but I'm sure he misunderstood me. ;)
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