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    Help me invest my money in game dev!

    I've finally saved up enough money to invest in a bit of an online education of the sorts, but I can't really figure out what to choose. I'll splain my one major need: Sufficiency in UnrealScript.



    I've tried to approach this in a number of different ways, but the unreal scripting language seems too massive + unpopular for anyone to provide an extensive UnrealScript knowledge-structure for free, and learning a scripting language (of any kind) without any real instruction seems to be a real pain. Premium education seems to be a solid solution, but then there's the issue of no schools teaching UnrealScript (That I'm aware of).

    I've read that UnrealScript is mainly a combination of Java Script and C++, so I figure -- why not learn one of those since I cant jump right into UnrealScript, but I wouldn't want to learn an entire language and not be able to really utilize the knowledge to achieve my goals with UnrealScript. I also would hate to spend the money but not gain proficiency at the end of the instruction.
    • What method do you suggest I use to learn UnrealScript, if not the one I've already chosen?
    • I'm currently aware of "classes" at gameinstitute.com and GameVersity for programming. Do you know of any other form of premium online instruction? or should I just pick one of these
    • Which would be more beneficial to my cause? Java or C++?


    Please share with me your insight as well as your UnrealScript learning experiences! This is the last piece of the puzzle for me.

    Thanks -- ahead of time.

    #2
    Originally posted by lunatorra View Post
    I've finally saved up enough money to invest in a bit of an online education of the sorts, but I can't really figure out what to choose. I'll splain my one major need: Sufficiency in UnrealScript.



    I've tried to approach this in a number of different ways, but the unreal scripting language seems too massive + unpopular for anyone to provide an extensive UnrealScript knowledge-structure for free, and learning a scripting language (of any kind) without any real instruction seems to be a real pain. Premium education seems to be a solid solution, but then there's the issue of no schools teaching UnrealScript (That I'm aware of).

    I've read that UnrealScript is mainly a combination of Java Script and C++, so I figure -- why not learn one of those since I cant jump right into UnrealScript, but I wouldn't want to learn an entire language and not be able to really utilize the knowledge to achieve my goals with UnrealScript. I also would hate to spend the money but not gain proficiency at the end of the instruction.
    • What method do you suggest I use to learn UnrealScript, if not the one I've already chosen?
    • I'm currently aware of "classes" at gameinstitute.com and GameVersity for programming. Do you know of any other form of premium online instruction? or should I just pick one of these
    • Which would be more beneficial to my cause? Java or C++?


    Please share with me your insight as well as your UnrealScript learning experiences! This is the last piece of the puzzle for me.

    Thanks -- ahead of time.
    1) Whoever told you unrealscript is a combination of C++ and JavaScript is plain wrong. Unrealscript is not a combination of any languages; it is a scripting interface for the unreal engine authored by epic entertainment.

    C++ is an object oriented programming language and while the core unreal engine was written in C++, unrealscript has nothing to do with C++.

    Unrealscript is not a programming language it's a scripting language. It does borrow on object oriented programming concepts, however it is not a programming language in itself.

    JavaScript doesn't share many similarities with unrealscript either. One could argue that it is syntactically similar to JavaScript, however it is closer in syntax to Java. JavaScript is a loosely typed scripting language while Unrealscript is strongly typed; right there is a HUGE difference between the two.

    2) Learning C++ or JavaScript doesn't translate to being able to write unrealscript. When I first started with the UDK I had no idea what I was doing. It took me at least a week before I had even the simplest of projects working; and I have extensive experience in several programming languages (including C++) as well as a strong background in OOP.

    There's no reason you can't start learning unrealscript from the get go; I often see here people explaining that unrealscript is difficult to write without having a background in C / C++ and that just isn't true.

    While knowledge of one of these languages will definitely assist you in understanding some of the concepts and patterns employed by unrealscript, it doesn't increase your familiarity with unrealscript's syntax, or the methods / data types / etc... unrealscript provides.

    What WILL increase your ability to write unrealscript is gaining familiarity with the engine, reading all the documentation on unrealscript that is available, and examining the unrealscript that comes with the UDK.

    3) Another suggestion I might make, is to learn OOP concepts rather than a language itself. OOP languages such as C++ rely on a common set of principles, concepts, and methods for accomplishing programming tasks. Having a strong understanding of these will definitely help you in any programming language you decide to pick up.

    Thanks,

    Zachary Carter

    Comment


      #3
      Unrealscript is semantically similar to C++ and Java, but not necessarily close enough to simply port more than the broad concepts of class structure across. Believe me, Unrealscript will still need to be studied separately after a good foundation in those languages.
      Now, I learned C++ several years ago, after starting with Perl, then progressed to Java. UnrealScript was fairly easy to understand after that, although I've only just started playing with it in the last few weeks myself. If you want to come to grips with unrealscript I would recommend Java to start, since it can be considered a "simplified" C++, and shares many concepts with both it and unrealscript.
      It is eminently possible to self-teach Java. There are a lot of books and resources out there, very inexpensive, and I always did better with them than formal lessons. I picked up the basics of Perl, my first language, in about a month, so the move to C++ was easy, since it was straddled by Object Perl.
      Finally m everyone learns at their own pace. You might have a great facility for computer languages, and get the basics in a few weeks, or it might take months to grasp it. Don't give up, though. It's really rewarding!
      As another option,Eat3D have an Unrealscript DVD you may like. It's inexpensive and gives a good basis in the language. If all you really want is to use Unrealscript, heck you might do well to simply leapfrog other languages and see if getting your feet wet in UScript from the get-go works out better!

      Comment


        #4
        ...and hats off to Mr. Carter, who beat me to it, with a better reply anyway!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by zcarter View Post
          1) Whoever told you unrealscript is a combination of C++ and JavaScript is plain wrong. Unrealscript is not a combination of any languages; it is a scripting interface for the unreal engine authored by epic entertainment.

          C++ is an object oriented programming language and while the core unreal engine was written in C++, unrealscript has nothing to do with C++.

          Unrealscript is not a programming language it's a scripting language. It does borrow on object oriented programming concepts, however it is not a programming language in itself.

          JavaScript doesn't share many similarities with unrealscript either. One could argue that it is syntactically similar to JavaScript, however it is closer in syntax to Java. JavaScript is a loosely typed scripting language while Unrealscript is strongly typed; right there is a HUGE difference between the two.

          2) Learning C++ or JavaScript doesn't translate to being able to write unrealscript. When I first started with the UDK I had no idea what I was doing. It took me at least a week before I had even the simplest of projects working; and I have extensive experience in several programming languages (including C++) as well as a strong background in OOP.

          There's no reason you can't start learning unrealscript from the get go; I often see here people explaining that unrealscript is difficult to write without having a background in C / C++ and that just isn't true.

          While knowledge of one of these languages will definitely assist you in understanding some of the concepts and patterns employed by unrealscript, it doesn't increase your familiarity with unrealscript's syntax, or the methods / data types / etc... unrealscript provides.

          What WILL increase your ability to write unrealscript is gaining familiarity with the engine, reading all the documentation on unrealscript that is available, and examining the unrealscript that comes with the UDK.

          3) Another suggestion I might make, is to learn OOP concepts rather than a language itself. OOP languages such as C++ rely on a common set of principles, concepts, and methods for accomplishing programming tasks. Having a strong understanding of these will definitely help you in any programming language you decide to pick up.

          Thanks,

          Zachary Carter
          This is great information! I feel that I've learned quite a bit from this, but at the same time it's a pretty big let down, really - I had hoped I wouldn't have to sit around trying to figure everything out on my own after studying the workings of UDK. I'd much rather learn a language with favorable resources.

          I'm a big fan of linear paths and methods I can put faith in. I struggle to risk wasting my time at this stage in my life. With that considered, I may have to consider other game development options besides UDK! -- even though i've already learned a lot about the engine. Is there no other way?!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DifferenceEngine3D View Post
            Unrealscript is semantically similar to C++ and Java, but not necessarily close enough to simply port more than the broad concepts of class structure across. Believe me, Unrealscript will still need to be studied separately after a good foundation in those languages.
            Now, I learned C++ several years ago, after starting with Perl, then progressed to Java. UnrealScript was fairly easy to understand after that, although I've only just started playing with it in the last few weeks myself. If you want to come to grips with unrealscript I would recommend Java to start, since it can be considered a "simplified" C++, and shares many concepts with both it and unrealscript.
            It is eminently possible to self-teach Java. There are a lot of books and resources out there, very inexpensive, and I always did better with them than formal lessons. I picked up the basics of Perl, my first language, in about a month, so the move to C++ was easy, since it was straddled by Object Perl.
            Finally m everyone learns at their own pace. You might have a great facility for computer languages, and get the basics in a few weeks, or it might take months to grasp it. Don't give up, though. It's really rewarding!
            As another option,Eat3D have an Unrealscript DVD you may like. It's inexpensive and gives a good basis in the language. If all you really want is to use Unrealscript, heck you might do well to simply leapfrog other languages and see if getting your feet wet in UScript from the get-go works out better!
            Ah, this makes me feel tons better! I don't even feel like slittin' me wrists anymore! Feels like there's hope to salvage the "structure" I need. Got some place to start.

            I'm definitely not comfortable diving right into it, so I think I'll pursue java and get a good idea of what OOP is, since zcarter says its important business, but I sure would like a class!

            Anyway, long road ahead!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by lunatorra View Post
              Ah, this makes me feel tons better! I don't even feel like slittin' me wrists anymore! Feels like there's hope to salvage the "structure" I need. Got some place to start.

              I'm definitely not comfortable diving right into it, so I think I'll pursue java and get a good idea of what OOP is, since zcarter says its important business, but I sure would like a class!

              Anyway, long road ahead!
              The effectiveness of programming courses all depends on the instructor. I failed AP Computer Science in High School, majored in History in college while taking 0 IT related courses, and now program professionally and have been doing so for several years now.

              My teacher in High School barely spoke any English, which is my native language. He also taught his course from what seemed to be college level material.

              After graduating from college and maintaining a job as a software tester, I started trying my hand at programming again. I found some material online which taught by explaining programming concepts through real world examples.

              When they explained concepts such as inheritance, they used analogies like -

              Vehicle
              |+ Land Vehicle
              |+ Car
              |+ ATV
              |+ Tank
              |+ Air Vehicle
              |+ Plane
              |+ Helicopter
              |+ Space Vehicle
              |+ Spaceship
              |+ Flying Saucer

              vs something like (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherit...ed_programming)) -

              In object-oriented programming (OOP), inheritance is a way to compartmentalize and reuse code by creating collections of attributes and behaviors called objects that can be based on previously created objects. In classical inheritance where objects are defined by classes, classes can inherit other classes. The new classes, known as subclasses (or derived classes), inherit attributes and behavior (i.e. previously coded algorithms) of the pre-existing classes, which are referred to as superclasses, ancestor classes or base classes. The inheritance relationships of classes gives rise to a hierarchy. In prototype-based programming, objects can be defined directly from other objects without the need to define any classes, in which case this feature is called differential inheritance.

              While the second article might have made perfect sense to some, it may not make any sense to someone who doesn't understand all of the other terms or concepts referenced to in that article. The first article might make more sense because it can be related more directly to real life.

              Since I read that article, I have learned everything I know about programming through online resources and books. I haven't taken an instructional course and programming, and while I won't say they aren't valuable, they didn't work for me.

              I also won't say that I didn't learn anything from taking them in the past. Many times I think back to those courses and light bulbs go off in my head; I find myself saying to no one - "That's what the hell they were talking about!"

              The one thing that will ensure your learning and mastery of programming is practice, and following best practices. Stay organized, program intelligently, comment your code so you can understand it at a later time, and remember that programming is a hell of a lot like a construction project. Programs have to be built in stages - you can't install the plumbing without having laid the foundation.

              I'd start out by reading some general overviews on OOP, decide on a language ( again I recommend C / C++ - learning about concepts such as pointers, and skills such as memory management will make you a better programmer in the long run ); Java is great but memory is managed for you and you will miss out on some concepts.

              Many programmers who start by learning higher level languages - C# / Java / VB / etc... - have a tougher time picking up lower level languages. In the end it is irrelevant because if you dedicate the time and effort you can learn any programming concept, provided you posses the mental faculties.

              He's definitely right though, you could start out with unrealscript and probably pick up Java with relative ease. The important part is learning the rules and concepts that structure the language, not the syntax of the language itself. Just like when learning Spanish or English - knowing vocabulary while important, won't help you conjugate a verb.

              Having said all that I wish you the best of luck on your journey in learning to program. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via PM within reason. If I can easily google and find the answer, I may link you to a let me google that for you page

              Thanks,

              Zachary Carter

              Comment


                #8
                @zcarter: once again, well said! I recommended Java as a useful starting point because it introduces the concepts of classes, objects and inheritance without needing to worry about memory allocation and garbage collection, since those aren't applicable to unrealscript anyway... However even object perl has a surprising amount in common with uscript, I have found!

                Comment


                  #9
                  With dedication, Unreal Script can be learned. I'm finally getting the hang of a lot of concepts behind it and my only background in any type of code is HTML, a tiny bit of JavaScript, and one intro to C# class haha.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by zcarter View Post
                    The effectiveness of programming courses all depends on the instructor. I failed AP Computer Science in High School, majored in History in college while taking 0 IT related courses, and now program professionally and have been doing so for several years now.

                    My teacher in High School barely spoke any English, which is my native language. He also taught his course from what seemed to be college level material.

                    After graduating from college and maintaining a job as a software tester, I started trying my hand at programming again. I found some material online which taught by explaining programming concepts through real world examples.

                    When they explained concepts such as inheritance, they used analogies like -

                    Vehicle
                    |+ Land Vehicle
                    |+ Car
                    |+ ATV
                    |+ Tank
                    |+ Air Vehicle
                    |+ Plane
                    |+ Helicopter
                    |+ Space Vehicle
                    |+ Spaceship
                    |+ Flying Saucer

                    vs something like (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherit...ed_programming)) -

                    In object-oriented programming (OOP), inheritance is a way to compartmentalize and reuse code by creating collections of attributes and behaviors called objects that can be based on previously created objects. In classical inheritance where objects are defined by classes, classes can inherit other classes. The new classes, known as subclasses (or derived classes), inherit attributes and behavior (i.e. previously coded algorithms) of the pre-existing classes, which are referred to as superclasses, ancestor classes or base classes. The inheritance relationships of classes gives rise to a hierarchy. In prototype-based programming, objects can be defined directly from other objects without the need to define any classes, in which case this feature is called differential inheritance.

                    While the second article might have made perfect sense to some, it may not make any sense to someone who doesn't understand all of the other terms or concepts referenced to in that article. The first article might make more sense because it can be related more directly to real life.

                    Since I read that article, I have learned everything I know about programming through online resources and books. I haven't taken an instructional course and programming, and while I won't say they aren't valuable, they didn't work for me.

                    I also won't say that I didn't learn anything from taking them in the past. Many times I think back to those courses and light bulbs go off in my head; I find myself saying to no one - "That's what the hell they were talking about!"

                    The one thing that will ensure your learning and mastery of programming is practice, and following best practices. Stay organized, program intelligently, comment your code so you can understand it at a later time, and remember that programming is a hell of a lot like a construction project. Programs have to be built in stages - you can't install the plumbing without having laid the foundation.

                    I'd start out by reading some general overviews on OOP, decide on a language ( again I recommend C / C++ - learning about concepts such as pointers, and skills such as memory management will make you a better programmer in the long run ); Java is great but memory is managed for you and you will miss out on some concepts.

                    Many programmers who start by learning higher level languages - C# / Java / VB / etc... - have a tougher time picking up lower level languages. In the end it is irrelevant because if you dedicate the time and effort you can learn any programming concept, provided you posses the mental faculties.

                    He's definitely right though, you could start out with unrealscript and probably pick up Java with relative ease. The important part is learning the rules and concepts that structure the language, not the syntax of the language itself. Just like when learning Spanish or English - knowing vocabulary while important, won't help you conjugate a verb.

                    Having said all that I wish you the best of luck on your journey in learning to program. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via PM within reason. If I can easily google and find the answer, I may link you to a let me google that for you page

                    Thanks,

                    Zachary Carter
                    Great. The first example is definitely a lot easier to understand, and that's kinda what I figured it was to begin with! The name says a lot, just gotta learn to implement it.

                    The main reason I want to go with visual and/or audio instruction is because well.... I really do hate reading and I'm generally not a self-motivated person in the end lol. I mean, I've only completed 2 books in me entire life, and I HAD to for school. Hopefully I can find an instructor who speaks fluent english then everything will be golden, I suspect.

                    Thanks for taking all the time to help! I really appreciate it

                    Originally posted by DifferenceEngine3D View Post
                    @zcarter: once again, well said! I recommended Java as a useful starting point because it introduces the concepts of classes, objects and inheritance without needing to worry about memory allocation and garbage collection, since those aren't applicable to unrealscript anyway... However even object perl has a surprising amount in common with uscript, I have found!
                    I get the feeling that you both agree that C++ will be sufficient, or maybe overkill! But, I always say "too much is better than too little!" and I happen to already know quite a few C++ resources already, so it sounds like a good idea to learn it. This is what I shall spend me money on!! and pray that it helps me on the road to UnrealScript mastery!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by JessieG View Post
                      With dedication, Unreal Script can be learned. I'm finally getting the hang of a lot of concepts behind it and my only background in any type of code is HTML, a tiny bit of JavaScript, and one intro to C# class haha.
                      It's quite the opposite of the way I'm comfortable with learning lol. As I said before, I like to know where I'm going and where I'll end up before I start anything, otherwise I'll just feel like I'm wasting time and I'll be totally void of drive and motivation. Not a good setup for success at'all! I know this certainly works for a lot of people though, just fiddling with it and deriving an understanding over a unknown length of time.

                      Comment

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