*waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

General discussion about LÖVE, Lua, game development, puns, and unicorns.
DisabledTeacher
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*waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by DisabledTeacher » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:19 pm

Hi everyone,

So as my nametag says, I am a disabled teacher. I have fibromyalgia (its a severe wide-spread body pain disorder) and other health issues, so I have had to leave public school and be a stay at home Dad.

Determined to make sure I don't slip into a form of crazy depression and keep my mind active I have been working on graphic/website design and helping my wife with her side businesses.

However, the one thing I have always wanted to do is programming. I am currently self-teaching myself Lua, slowly but surely making I think a reasonable compilation of code to start my first simple game. I got a ways to go but proud to be doing this.

What is my goal: Well, I got two little boys (and a baby girl now) at home and as a child of the 80s, as I grew up I remember the fun, non violent blood splattering game of my youth and I want to make some games that I would be proud for them to play that won't need for them to wear blinders to hide the blood. Plus, I'm a creative soul and actually have several "scripts" laid out for multiple games - I just need to be able to program the game to be able to make the scripts come to life.

So, if you aren't bored yet by this little rundown of my recent life can anyone answer the following?

1) I have bought the programming in lua 2ed and been following it to make my own little basic program. Any other useful books for me to do?

2) What IRC program to you use/prefer? Windows or Mac, since I have both in the house though honestly my graphic programs on mainly on the mac so will be using it more.

3) Any advice for a newbie like me?

I think thats it for now, hope to be at home here. Thanks everyone :)

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tentus
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by tentus » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:35 pm

1) Check out the PIL: http://www.lua.org/pil/
2) I dunno, not much of an IRCer.
3) Experiment! Set small little goals and try to accomplish them, like writing a Tic-Tac-Toe game.

Good luck, and welcome to the community!
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TechnoCat
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by TechnoCat » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:43 pm

I've heard good things about this one: http://code.google.com/p/xchat-wdk/

Just program things. Drop projects and start new ones. Complete old projects or ones you can't stop programming on (like a good book).
Last edited by TechnoCat on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Robin
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by Robin » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:43 pm

DisabledTeacher wrote:So as my nametag says, I am a disabled teacher. I have fibromyalgia (its a severe wide-spread body pain disorder) and other health issues, so I have had to leave public school and be a stay at home Dad.
That's pretty devastating, hope you make the best of it.
DisabledTeacher wrote:What is my goal: Well, I got two little boys (and a baby girl now) at home and as a child of the 80s, as I grew up I remember the fun, non violent blood splattering game of my youth and I want to make some games that I would be proud for them to play that won't need for them to wear blinders to hide the blood. Plus, I'm a creative soul and actually have several "scripts" laid out for multiple games - I just need to be able to program the game to be able to make the scripts come to life.
Great!
DisabledTeacher wrote:1) I have bought the programming in lua 2ed and been following it to make my own little basic program. Any other useful books for me to do?
We usually recommend only the PIL (which you have) and the reference manual.
DisabledTeacher wrote:2) What IRC program to you use/prefer? Windows or Mac, since I have both in the house though honestly my graphic programs on mainly on the mac so will be using it more.
I use XChat, but I'm on Linux and I don't whether it was really good on the other platforms. I think it is shareware there or something? I've heard good things about... I think it was mIRC.
DisabledTeacher wrote:3) Any advice for a newbie like me?
Don't give up, don't be afraid to ask, I imagine you've said similar things to your pupils. :P

Good luck. :)
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kikito
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by kikito » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:48 pm

Hi disabledteacher, and welcome!

1) I have bought the programming in lua 2ed and been following it to make my own little basic program. Any other useful books for me to do?

For learning Lua, I think PiL is the best resource. I've got "Lua programming gems" too, but it isn't particularly good for learning.

There are some websites you should take into account. lua-users wiki is useful for reference, but maybe not so much as a learning tool. It's the web page that comes out most often when I look for a particular bit of information regarding Lua.

Also, if you have any questions, I recommend stackoverflow and this forum.

2) I actually don't use IRC at all. When I do, I use freenode's webchat. There's a link in Löve's front page pointing to it (you can also find it here). It points directly to the Löve channel. Click on it, enter your data, and you are good to go.

3) I've got several advices:
  • If you haven't already, read the Getting Started page
  • Start small - if you try to start with an ultra-mega-giga game, you will just end up frustrated.
  • If you have a programming question, you will get faster answers if you complement it with code. (This might sound obvious but you wouldn't how many people ask code questions without code in them). Help us help you.
  • If you are developing a LÖVE game, and you want to post it in the forums (either for showing it up or for asking questions) remember to use the .love format - there's a guide on how to implement it on the Game Distribution page
  • Don't obsess yourself with getting the perfect art for your game. Gameplay is usually more important.
  • If you need to build a new functionality, chances are that other people before you have needed it too. Browse the existing libraries to see if you can reuse something. Similarly, if you build a new library, try to make it easy for others to work on.
  • Sooner or later you will want to manage your changes in code, and making "backup copies" of your code will become tedious and difficult. When that moment comes, consider learning a Source Management tool (I use git on github - it has some social adds that I like)
That is all! I hope it helps.
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Ensayia
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by Ensayia » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:54 pm

I would definitely recommend you hang around on the IRC channel, most of the LOVE vets and devs spend time there. Be aware that most people idle in the channel for long periods of time but there are still spikes of high activity throughout the day.

As far as an IRC client goes, most people here seem to like XChat a lot. If you're on windows get XChat-WDK (http://code.google.com/p/xchat-wdk/) build, as the official one costs money. If you would prefer to keep it among your browser tabs, the freenode web client linked to on the main LOVE page is excellent as well.

I've been a part of the LOVE community for over a year now, and the core of my programming knowledge is in Lua. One of the most powerful features of Lua is its table data structure, which is kind of like a dynamically sizable array that can hold just about anything including variables, functions, other tables, and can also serve as an Object Orientation implementation through the use of metatables. If you don't understand all of this now, don't worry about it as you will learn bit by bit as you go.

Good luck, and welcome to the LOVE community!

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benloran
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by benloran » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:15 pm

Hello!

I don't have much to add other than that Colloquy is a very nice (and free) IRC client for Mac. (I also prefer this additional chat style: Succinct)

Good luck!

help computer
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by help computer » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:39 pm

DisabledTeacher wrote:
3) Any advice for a newbie like me?
Hi DT.

The best thing I learned* when I started programming as a hobby was to finish what I started. Always. That's why starting small is massively important to make steady progress, as has been said already. Then finishing projects increases your confidence and give you a buzz to start another.

* This was after I realised I had a pile of unfinished games in various languages that slowed me down because I was too ambitious, but that's another story.
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kraftman
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by kraftman » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:30 pm

help computer wrote:
DisabledTeacher wrote:
3) Any advice for a newbie like me?
Hi DT.

The best thing I learned* when I started programming as a hobby was to finish what I started. Always. That's why starting small is massively important to make steady progress, as has been said already. Then finishing projects increases your confidence and give you a buzz to start another.

* This was after I realised I had a pile of unfinished games in various languages that slowed me down because I was too ambitious, but that's another story.

I would disagree with this, at least for my own learning process. I find I learn best by problem solving, so if i have an idea for a project that will teach me something new, once I have learned that new thing, and the problem is solved, it doesn't really matter if i finish off the whole project and get it fully functional.

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slime
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Re: *waves hello* You seem to be a friendly bunch

Post by slime » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:11 pm

kraftman wrote:
help computer wrote:
DisabledTeacher wrote:
3) Any advice for a newbie like me?
Hi DT.

The best thing I learned* when I started programming as a hobby was to finish what I started. Always. That's why starting small is massively important to make steady progress, as has been said already. Then finishing projects increases your confidence and give you a buzz to start another.

* This was after I realised I had a pile of unfinished games in various languages that slowed me down because I was too ambitious, but that's another story.

I would disagree with this, at least for my own learning process. I find I learn best by problem solving, so if i have an idea for a project that will teach me something new, once I have learned that new thing, and the problem is solved, it doesn't really matter if i finish off the whole project and get it fully functional.
Finishing something is a whole new problem added onto the idea you had for the project, so you only really solved half the problems. :P

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