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Thread: Some good beginners tutorials on PGD

  1. #1
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Some good beginners tutorials on PGD

    I've been thinking a lot about what kinds of tutorials are out there for beginners to come and learn to make games with Object Pascal, let alone just plain Pascal it's self. There are some good tutorials out there and there are some very good books too, but I think there is a bit of a lack in good beginner tutorials that will help bridge the gap in an easy way from starting with nothing and moving on to what we more experienced programmers here have learned how to do now.

    Just a simple plain language tutorial on how to do something as simple as define then declare a simple object class with procedures and functions would help a lot of new programmers to understand the beginnings of OOP better.

    Simple tutorials like how to setup FPC or Lazarus for X, Y and Z operating systems are near non-existant too. This is something that both FPC and Laz teams have neglected in focusing on further development of these tools. It wouldn't hurt to take a look at how we do it and tell others. ie. Laz on Mac OS X...

    I'm going to start thinking about a few small beginner tutorials to write for the Articles section of the site myself. Is anyone else interested in helping to write some beginner tutorials for PGD?
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
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  2. #2
    I don't think we need a lot of general OOP tutorials. That is allready covered by some other sites, most notably: www.delphi-basics.co.uk and delphi.about.com.

    What we do need is some extra beginner tutorials that really focus on game creation. There used to be a lot of delphix tutorials (I collected those and learned from them), but DelphiX isn't the future. We need toturials that explain more modern libraries like Andorra, Phoenix, HGE etc..

    I have no experience with these libraries because after I learned DelphiX I started to write my own engines. The only thing I could do is write something about OpenGL, allthough that's not really material beginners should look into.
    Coders rule nr 1: Face ur bugz.. dont cage them with code, kill'em with ur cursor.

  3. #3
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Not many, but one of two covering the language wouldn't hurt. There is something to be said for having all the essential information in one place. It might even draw in more people interested in the language to making games with it too. That said, no, we don't want to go nuts with this.

    Yes, there aren't many tutorials for getting setup with X, Y or Z game library either. There was a bunch of DelphiX tutorials, and I would repost them here too, but they've been slowly disappearing. However, other more current libraries are the way to go. Now getting started working with headers isn't a bad tutorial to write either. OpenGL isn't so bad to work with once you get past the window management portion. NeHe sort of has that covered in a way though. DirectX on the other hand, not too many tutorials or working just with the headers. Lots of game libraries though.

    There are other topics too like simple AI for games like pong and them more intermediate such as pathfinding. Then there is genre specific tutorials we could write as in how to make a bouncing ball game(pong, brick breaker), Snake/Tron, Asteroids, Maze-based (pacman), and then the more full game types space shooter(galaga, raiden), platformer(mario, contra), tower defense and so on. You can also get into audio for your game talking about audio formats, compression, quality and methods of playback. Maybe a beginners tutorial for OpenAL wouldn't hurt either, but I think that Noeska has some of those.

    These are some ideas, but really we need people to start writing them and getting them up on PGD. It'll help so many newcomers to have a place where they can read and learn about solid topics available here on the site. Besides just writing myself, I'm also emailing people who have written tutorials themselves and trying to see if they are interested in either republishing here or writing more for us. Either would be great.
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
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    PGD Staff code_glitch's Avatar
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    let alone just plain Pascal
    I tend to prefer that over other methods. And I must say, for the basics there are docs and that, but they're not aimed at games or anything beyond school level programming... I would say for the users of plain old FPC (as in no laz or delphi) the Prometheus Libs may fill in a gap or two as it will provide audio, graphics and event handling in one place. But tutorials would still be very good, as I learnt: It's not really much good to be all technical and 'I can do that, that and this' but not knowing how to use those ideas in a game...

    Hope this was helpful, cheers.
    code_glitch.
    I once tried to change the world. But they wouldn't give me the source code. Damned evil cunning.

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    PGDCE Developer Carver413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by code_glitch View Post
    I tend to prefer that over other methods. And I must say, for the basics there are docs and that, but they're not aimed at games or anything beyond school level programming... I would say for the users of plain old FPC (as in no laz or delphi) the Prometheus Libs may fill in a gap or two as it will provide audio, graphics and event handling in one place. But tutorials would still be very good, as I learnt: It's not really much good to be all technical and 'I can do that, that and this' but not knowing how to use those ideas in a game...

    Hope this was helpful, cheers.
    code_glitch.
    using FPC without Lazarus is very old school and not likely to go well with beginners. if you spent a little more time learning Lazarus you would realize that just because your using it does not require you to use forms or any of that.you might also learn how useful the debugging features are. or how easy it is to set up search paths or set compiler options. while I don't really care for the bloated Forms approach that lazarus has to offer there are times when it's just to easy not to use. The game engine that I'm working on is intended to be use without forms but I found it very useful to use forms while I am developing it because it was easier to do so. this is not an option that you have because your not using Lazarus. when my engine is done I can use it with or without forms. again this option will not be available to you because you have choosen the hard path. I would not recommend this approach to any new members.

    I think much could and should be done to promote Pascal for games and this site. every day you see many people tring to enter the game scene and most of them fail because of the complexitys of c++. we should be doing more to show these people that c++ is not the only option and make an effort to pull them into the community. and a gaming community needs more then just programers to make it work. most programmers aren't really good artists and the quality of there games reflect this. most artists couldn't get past hello world but would like to see there work put to good use instead of taking up space on some harddrive. community projects will be the best way to attract these people and yet this site does little to support community projects. there is also no Wiki to support all these tutorials, code snipes, donated art ect. and for those of this community that are working on game engines and tring to get people to use then then you need lots of working examples or your just wasting your time. most of the time examples are not enough you need working games to go with it.

  6. #6
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Resource sites are tricky things. There are so many different requirements for the many possible game genre out there. I know I even have trouble finding good sources of quality content to use. Maybe a list of sites and what artwork they offer would help, but these will change over time anyhow. However if you want to start an indie artist for game dev site, that would be a project or site of it's own. A neat one mind you.

    Another topic which could help a lot is math. Paul just posted about circles and arcs, which uses some basic trig to solve. You ever notice how your old highschool's math department took care of all the computer science courses or if you did have a computer science department it was paired or overlapped with the math department? Knowing the math and being able to apply equations to code are sometimes two very different things.
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
    Co-Founder





  7. #7
    Do you know about "The Great Book of Games", by Thim Hartnell? There were another one about how to write games for ZX Spectrum, by an author named Siclair but he wasn't the Sinclair who designed the ZX Spectrum (I search the title of the book but Google can't find it). Those books are great for game learning.

    Actually I tried to write something like those books but I failed. Right now I'm writting a tutorial for a Spanish web, may be I'll try again after this. But I should write some games before. :/
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  8. #8
    Co-Founder / PGD Elder WILL's Avatar
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    Is this tutorial worth RE-publishing on PGD? http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/26401
    Jason McMillen
    Pascal Game Development
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