How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

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MikkoM
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How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#1 Post by MikkoM » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:33 pm

The purpose of this thread is to hopefully offer information about how to get started with computer programming, graphics and audio in general, for those that are eager to try their hand at these things, but don`t know exactly where to begin. Quite often we get a bunch of new enthusiastic people willing to help with the project, but who sometimes lack the necessary skills to advance the project in any of the areas mentioned in this thread. And since we have some really talented people in all of these areas working on the project, it might be useful to gather some tips here from these experts to help the newcomers to get started in an area that interests them. It is also worth mentioning that there are other ways to help the FreeOrion project than programming, graphics and audio(How to help page) and they are just as important as the ways discussed in this thread.

It would probably be best if we could offer tips about general programs, guides and forums that might help new people to get started with these things, and maybe only after that some information about the programs that would be most useful when considering FreeOrion, since FreeOrion content usually has to be quite well made to be accepted, which is of course a good thing, but maybe something that isn`t easy for people new to programming, graphics, audio to achieve at first. So this way we might hopefully offer these people the tools to practise and develop their skills, before they eagerly try their hand on FreeOrion programming, graphics, audio and get frustrated, because the project is too complex for them or their work is not yet at the level of the work already in the project.

Also I wasn`t sure if this thread would be more suitable for the general discussion part of the forum or for the rant and rave part, but decided to post it in the general discussion part, hoping that this thread could also benefit the FreeOrion project as well.

Note that the purpose of this thread is not to say that things like game design, game testing, contributing to the story, translation etc. aren`t important and that everybody should just concentrate on programming, graphics and audio. The purpose of this thread is to hopefully offer people new opportunities in areas that aren`t necessarily familiar to them.


Programming
http://www.gamedev.net


Art - Painting, Illustration, Concept Design
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/ (forum)
http://forums.sijun.com/ (forum)

Art - 3D
http://www.cgtalk.com (forum)
http://boards.polycount.net/ (forum)
http://wiki.polycount.net/Polycount (wiki)


FreeOrion programming, graphics, audio
http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/How_to_Help
Last edited by MikkoM on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:52 am


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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#3 Post by pd » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:18 pm

There is a wiki page for this purpose: http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/How_to_Help
It links to the programming and graphics work page and both feature a variety of tasks.

art forums: http://www.cgtalk.com http://boards.polycount.net/

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#4 Post by eleazar » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:48 pm

We should caution that these lists tend to get out of date, so it's a good idea to check in at the forums before starting cold and investing a lot of time in something. There's usually a pretty quick answer to those kind of posts.

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#5 Post by MikkoM » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:48 pm

pd wrote:There is a wiki page for this purpose: http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/How_to_Help
It links to the programming and graphics work page and both feature a variety of tasks.
Yes, you can find plenty of tasks relating to the project from the how to help page. However my original idea for this thread was to collect some useful tips for people who have very little or no experience with programming, graphics or audio, so that they could get started with these things in general, without having to go through thousands of programs, forums and guides that the internet has to offer, before finding a useful one to start with. So the tips don`t have to be related to the FreeOrion project.

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#6 Post by pd » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:02 pm

I'm not saying there aren't or won't be any tasks for the people you are describing, but in general I think people need to have a "medium expertise"(whatever this means) so that the projects benefits from them. There simply are no short cuts and tips to get beginners up to speed, it's always dedication and hard work.

edit: added 3 more links to your initial post

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#7 Post by MikkoM » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:28 pm

pd wrote:I'm not saying there aren't or won't be any tasks for the people you are describing, but in general I think people need to have a "medium expertise"(whatever this means) so that the projects benefits from them. There simply are no short cuts and tips to get beginners up to speed, it's always dedication and hard work.
Thanks for the links. Well maybe we can offer these people some tools and tips to start with, that they can use in their own projects at first to get some experience. And after they have aquired "the needed level of experience" they could also become contributors to the FreeOrion project. And if this doesn`t happen at least they have learned some new skills.

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in

#8 Post by Cyber Killer » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:46 pm

Hell, there are lots of ways to help a OS project... E.g. I'm not so good at programming (though I have some skills), so I take on a translation and try to coordinate it with other ppl who want to do the same, 'cause I'm good at it.

Nobody can become a specialist overnight, so I really don't think there is a need for a topic like this. The simple idea behind this is: if you can do sth good then do it. Everyone has some skills. Some are good coders, some can do gfx, and some can write good storylines. If everybody would keep to this simple idea then the whole project could benefit from it.

As much as he might want it, it would take years to make a good programmer out of a humanist, right? On the other hand the same humanist can write a really cool backstory to a campaign in just a couple of hours or less. It's just that easy ;-).

---

I see that my comments are for the most part against to what already has been said. I really don't mean to disrupt any constructive discussion, but sometimes there is no point in this (like this discussion here). Thus I'll try to remain the dude that points out the simple, overlooked solutions ;-).
Last edited by Cyber Killer on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Josh
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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#9 Post by Josh » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:20 am

You know what we are really short on professionally? Musicians and SFX artists. Graphics are nice, but sound goes a long way in selling it (and vice versa).

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#10 Post by Cyber Killer » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:57 am

How about using some music from Jamendo? There should be some cool instrumental tracks out there, and as long as there is credit given to the musicians the project can use that music for free.

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Re: How to get started with programming, graphics, audio in gene

#11 Post by MikkoM » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:36 pm

Cyber Killer wrote:Hell, there are lots of ways to help a OS project... E.g. I'm not so good at programming (though I have some skills), so I take on a translation and try to coordinate it with other ppl who want to do the same, 'cause I'm good at it.

Nobody can become a specialist overnight, so I really don't think there is a need for a topic like this. The simple idea behind this is: if you can do sth good then do it. Everyone has some skills. Some are good coders, some can do gfx, and some can write good storylines. If everybody would keep to this simple idea then the whole project could benefit from it.

As much as he might want it, it would take years to make a good programmer out of a humanist, right? On the other hand the same humanist can write a really cool backstory to a campaign in just a couple of hours or less. It's just that easy ;-).

OK, I don't want to become the current forum nazi, but I see that my comments are for the most part against to what already has been said. I really don't mean to disrupt any constructive discussion, but sometimes there is no point in this (like this discussion here). Thus I'll try to remain the dude that points out the simple, overlooked solutions ;-).
I have edited my first post, since it clearly was considered too hostile towards other possible ways of contributing.

The reason why I posted this thread was to hopefully offer people new interesting opportunities. This is after all sort of a game development forum, which focuses on the development of one game, FreeOrion. So there might be some members and guests here who are also interested in game development in general. Now they might of course search information about the topics discussed in this thread themselves on the internet, but since we have some professionals here working on the project I thought it might be a good idea to ask them for some helpful hints and tips to make it easier for those interested in these topics to find useful information, programs etc. This way it might be easier to start something new.

Now I don`t know about the educational system in Poland, but at least in here things like programming, computer graphics and audio aren`t among the subjects that are taught to everyone. And it is quite impossible to tell if you would enjoy programming, making graphics or audio if you have never even tried these things. So I am hoping that the tips gathered here might make it easier for people to try new things like those mentioned in this thread, possibly learn new skills, discover new talents or just notice that these things aren`t really for them.

So let’s think about me for example. I think that it would be great if I could one day make a game, which would resemble the king`s meeting room in an old classic game Castles. So there would be graphical representations of people visiting the king and then multiple choice options for the player, so that he/she could answer to the questions that the visitors ask. It would also be nice to have some background music. Now it probably isn`t that hard to find some programming guides on the internet to get started, but as far as graphics and music are concerned I wouldn`t have any idea where to begin with them, without some helpful hints. And it probably can`t hurt to know a couple of useful programming, graphics and audio forums, that could help me if I run into problems. And maybe tips from experts in programming, graphics and audio could point me to forums, programs, guides etc. that would be easy to use and helpful for possible other projects too.

So how does this help FreeOrion? It is entirely possible that it doesn`t help FreeOrion at all. However it is also possible that if people develop new skills they might also be willing to use these skills on the FreeOrion project. And if for example your ace story writer humanist would suddenly discover that he/she also enjoys composing music, he/she would probably have plenty of time to develop his/her skills since this project isn`t a fast moving commercial one.

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