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Learning Game Design - seeking referrals

by Anonymous Monk
on May 03, 2004 at 14:56 UTC ( #350030=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I am interested in teaching myself computer programming and coding with a focus in future game design (platform and PC). I was wondering if there are any good books/programs I should search for to begin this quest. All responses appreciated! Thanx! --Nutron

20040504 Edit by broquaint: Changed title from 'At home programming'

Comment on Learning Game Design - seeking referrals
Re: Learning Game Design - seeking referrals
by shonorio (Hermit) on May 03, 2004 at 15:39 UTC
    Is Perl the best language for game desing ? I don't think so ! I don't see a excelent graphics implementation on Perl to support games developer.

    Solli Moreira Honorio
    Sao Paulo - Brazil
      If you think in Perl, it's not a bad language for most light-weight games. Look for the http://sdl.perl.org/ project which gives Perl bindings for everything SDL offers in terms of graphics and sound.

      --
      [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

        Warning -- SDL is not a game engine by any means. It currently lacks basic primatives and things that keep programmers from expressing ideas such as "draw a square" simply.

        Having written a few games in the past (experience in QBasic, Pascal, Assembler, C++ w/ Allegro, Tk, and OpenGL), SDL is a horrible place to throw a beginner. Once you feel up to the task (and provided you run something that has good/better SDL support) -- Perl + SDL may be ok. Until then, Perl + OpenGL may be a better option, or even C++ and OpenGL. Or Python + PyGame.

        This is meant to dissuade gaming-beginers, not gaming experts. Those who want can make all of these work in Perl, it just won't be as easy as picking up PyGame or using C++ and OpenGL.

        Game programming is quite fun, and I love doing it when I can find time... I'd just say that saying "SDL is what you want", well, it's misleading. SDL is a framework (and a hard to compile one when we are speaking of Perl bindings), it's prone to crashing/locking-up if not done right, etc...

        This isn't a failing of SDL, it's just to say that SDL is nothing more than a hardware abstraction layer and a few other things. A quality game/sound library it is not.

      I should add the following recommendations to game design quests:

      • Run Linux -- libraries are free, compilers are free, help is usually free ... on Windows, it's more likely you'll be stuck with DirectDraw and cryptic documentation.
      • If you want to try OpenGL, it's not great, and it is hard, but you can do stuff that will work in Windows & Linux this way. Get a generic OpenGL book that does not pose as a "games programming" book -- these books typically use a lot of prewritten engine code, have bad examples, and only run on Windows.
      • I'm not a huge Python fan, but PyGame looks pretty sharp in comparison to what is available in Perl for making simpler games. I'd rather work with OpenGL myself, but that is because I like C and C'ish kinds of things.
      • Graphics are 'hard' to do in a whiz-bang way, but this is what most corporate games spend money on. As a stylistic tip, gameplay is sooo much more important, which is why Atari 2600 games are still fun today -- remember to spend time on gameplay before you worry about graphics!

      I should also add, that graphics programming, 3D modelling, and game/level design are traditionally done by seperate people in the real world, and it's hard to find jobs in any of these... but it's a great hobby, so explore, have fun, and enjoy it.

Re: Learning Game Design - seeking referrals
by pbeckingham (Parson) on May 03, 2004 at 16:21 UTC

    Your phrase "game design" can mean many things, including the overall concept, graphic design or the underlying software architecture. The latter is best addressed by a person with significant experience. Innate talent aside, books are not going to be able to provide you with much more than general approaches.

    There are a lot of talented self-motivated people out there with the ability to go and make this happen, but I don't think such a person would consider PM the best place to start. Games are a stretch for Perl, Frozen Bubbles notwithstanding.

      Perhaps not for the graphics engine of your typical arcade game, but whether it is perl or some other scripting language, it could handle the complex relationships inherant to many of the adventure games (for example)

      Perl would be a supplemental part of the game - just not for the parts needing to be as fast as possible..

      Jason L. Froebe

      No one has seen what you have seen, and until that happens, we're all going to think that you're nuts. - Jack O'Neil, Stargate SG-1

        OP Specifically stated PC and platform games, which to me, implies game consoles. Perhaps I am mistaken about that.

Re: Learning Game Design - seeking referrals
by zentara (Archbishop) on May 03, 2004 at 19:51 UTC
    For games and Perl, check out

    Simple Direct Media Layer

    There is a Perl module to interface to this library and it works quite well.

    If you havn't yet, you must check out Frozen Bubble It's addicting. :-)


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
games in Flash + Perl
by chanio (Priest) on May 03, 2004 at 20:25 UTC
    You could try here:Ming How-to* and Ming at SF**.

    * http://todbot.com/ming/

    ** http://ming.sourceforge.net/

    .{\('v')/}
    _`(___)' __________________________
Re: Learning Game Design - seeking referrals
by BUU (Prior) on May 03, 2004 at 22:31 UTC
    Just to answer the original question and not get side tracked rather you can write a game with perl: http://learn.perl.org/ is a good website for beginners, as for books, you want the latest copy of "Learning Perl", aka "The Camel Book".
      No the Camel Book is Programming Perl. The Camel is a wonderful resource and if you want to get serious about Perl you should definitely buy it, but BUU is right that if you want to learn Perl you should get the Llama Book, "Learning Perl."
        Oh, whoops. Stupid dromedaries.

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