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WILL

New Blood & Beginner GAME Tutorials

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Hey everyone!

I've been talking quite a bit with Pascal Programming for Schools site co-creator, Dr. Norman Morrison about ideas that would help better introduce students and young people to Pascal. It's also gotten me to think about how accessible PGD is to those new to making games with Pascal. There is a lot of information on the site in the older threads in the forums, but much of that covers rather advanced topics such as working with 3D meshes or HDR or the next API header or many of the other various topics a newcomer wouldn't know how to use in a game anyways.

I also think a lot of it misses a point though. So much of the community's time is spent trying to get to the next platform or trying to use the next API while some of the core basics of game development is being skipped over. A vital part if we want to introduce the language to newcomers. I don't think that a lot of the content on the site is bad, as much as it only caters to a small selection of those that know how to do all the basics so far. So with that, I think we can do better.

I'm planning on writing and re-publishing some articles that will focus more on the core basics of game development that doesn't get into usage of a specific compiler, graphics API or game engine. The idea of it would be to simply teach the basics of what a game is and how you write one. There are steps to get there of course, so they would have to cover different topics.

Anyone who is interested in chipping in on these new articles feel free to contact me and let me know. Of course any member of PGD is able to write an article as well, just go to the Home section of the site and click on the 'Articles' section link, then use the upper-right form to start.

Good topics would be:

- Basic game code structures
- How to organize your game code so it's managable
- Simple collision detection for simple 2D games
- How to make a simple Pong game
- How to make a Snake game
- How to make a Maze game

I think by keeping new articles to the core basics that actually teach new people how to program the game part rather than just how to play with the next great API, we'll see a bit more interest in future projects. And perhaps some more games to go with it.

Dr. Morrison has done some great work on his rather extensive Game Development tutorial, which I think would give any of our new articles a proper sense of direction. With luck it will do wonders with his students and whichever schools use the material for their programs.

Till next time, happy coding!

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  1. code_glitch's Avatar
    I might have a go at pong. Are we allowed to use libs that are being developed? I'm dying to take the Prometheus Video units out for a test run; and this way it would be constructive too
  2. WILL's Avatar
    Like I wrote in the blog it's self, it's best to stay away from any reference to a specific API or even a library (library dependency is a bad crutch that new programmers get stuck on and when their favored lib stops being maintained by the developer, they lose interest or instead start to spend time instead trying to continue the maintainer's old job instead of doing what they originally planned in the first place, learn to make games and have fun doing it.

    Lib's in progress, also aren't a very good way to start people out on their way to their first coding lessons, either. It's best to instead use proven libraries such as JEDI-SDL or the like despite how long since they have been updated. There is no possibility that the code will be broken later on and they readers won't be waiting for a future version of the library should you have a delay or not.
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