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Can anyone point me in the right direction.

(5 Posts)
MugglesandLuna Thu 25-Aug-11 12:45:35

My DS (10), wants to design computer games when he is older . He already has about 50 plans all written out.I am totally out of my depth with anything like this. Can any of you with more knowledge than me point us in the right direction for some websites that be can make some basic games? (If thats possible).

Sorry if I sound like such an idiot. DS is very passionate but has AS and find things difficult, and I have no idea where to start.

BadgersPaws Thu 25-Aug-11 13:03:07

Does he actually want to be a computer programmer? Which isn't quite the same thing as a designer.

It's certainly not too young to start computer programming, I was doing it when I was in Junior School and wasn't too unusual.

But it was easier back then, computers came with the development tools built in and a hefty manual that took you through how to use them. That's not the case any more.

You can get free stuff though, for example Microsoft give away a cut down version of their tools (www.microsoft.com/express). You can also do a reasonable amount using HTML and Javascript which will run in a web browser and can be written using notepad.

I can talk about development tools all day, but that's not going to help that much, so some questions.

So does he want to be a a "proper" programmer?
Would he be happy starting off with programs that just make messages pop up saying "Hello World" for the first few weeks?
Or does he want to just make some games where he can get things exploding?

MugglesandLuna Thu 25-Aug-11 13:16:40

To be honest I dont think he really knows grin

Most of the games he has written are based around a Mario type hero. I am actually quite impressed as his imagination is limited. He definately wants to design games, but im sure any the skills he can pick up along the way would be good too.

nocake Thu 25-Aug-11 13:28:25

He could contact some games companies and ask them for advice. They will be looking for people with certain skills so I'm sure they could point him in the right direction.

BadgersPaws Thu 25-Aug-11 16:32:38

I'd recommend that you encourage him to get into programming, it's not a coincidence that many computer programmers seem to be somewhere on the lower end of the autistic spectrum.

It's not something that schools seem to be interested in teaching these days, which is an enormous shame. Teaching children how to use Microsoft Word just isn't a substitute.

If possible I'd advise getting into Java or C# (both of which you can develop in for free), in my opinion C# is easier as it's much more straightforward to develop stuff that has a visual interface, which is more satisfying when it comes to making things.

However I wouldn't know where to begin in recommending a good book to get a child into it. As said it used to be easier, when I did it computers were simpler and came with a decent manual. I wonder if there's some evening class or something to help give kids a kick start. Maybe I should hire myself out smile

Moving forwards neither Java nor C# are what I would could really useful for "proper" games programming. But they will teach the required way of thinking and they do pretty much all of the same concepts that the more serious, and more complex, languages such as C++ require from programmers.

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