I need a new hobby

  • #1
    When I get home from work I help my gf clean, cook dinner and entertain the kids until their bedtime and the evening beings for real. Normally I sit with my computer playing wow or D3. I quit wow a while ago since I stopped raiding and realized that wow without raiding isn't fun =)
    I still enjoy D3 but I still feel I could use some variation, thus I need a hobby but I don't really know what...

    I want something that doesn't take my focus away too much from the surroundings (still want my gf to feel that I notice if she leaves the room ^^).

    I've previously tried learning Javascript and done some small games but it never really took off.
    http://home.niddro.com/java/Creatures/Project17/proj17.php
    http://home.niddro.com/java/Creatures/Project20/proj20.php
    http://home.niddro.com/java/Creatures/Project23/proj23.php (never finished it)

    After seeing the Useless machine on youtube, I had to make one myself:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkUg5yOFEck

    Painting Warhammer is something I've done for quite a while. right now, all my things are packed on boxes at my parents in Sweden and I live in The Netherlands:
    http://home.niddro.com/img/warhammer/kommando/kommando.jpg

    If anyone has any nice suggestions, please let me know!
  • #2
    you could build a window farm, they're vertical thingies to grow your own vegetables, pretty cool actually, http://www.windowfarms.com/

    they sell the thing, but you can build your own too, the instructions are there somewhere in the site :D


    Thanks ScyberDragon!!! you're awesome!!:D:D
  • #3
    Those games in javascript are awesome :)

    I'd say continue with that, its the best hobby you can have if you already spend time on the computer anyway. Try making a complicated game from scratch. Maybe add in multiplayer functionality.

  • #4

    you could build a window farm, they're vertical thingies to grow your own vegetables, pretty cool actually, http://www.windowfarms.com/

    they sell the thing, but you can build your own too, the instructions are there somewhere in the site :D

    the looks cool but not really my thing. Awesome gift idea for my gf though, ty! =D


    Those games in javascript are awesome :)

    I'd say continue with that, its the best hobby you can have if you already spend time on the computer anyway. Try making a complicated game from scratch. Maybe add in multiplayer functionality.

    Thanks =)
    I've actually made quite a complicated game already but it's not javascript. It's php with some AJAX: http://rpg.niddro.com/
    It's a RPG with next to no graphics but you have your character, you're able to fight monsters move around on a map and collect gear and do some quests. I can't remember how playable it is right now since I've started and stopped so many times that I can't even remember if it's in English or Swedish anymore =)
    (it only works in FF because it was bugging in IE so I blocked all browsers but FF because I was lazy)
  • #5
    league of legends - might not want another game and something unproductive... but games a short and you can usually semi pay attention till a fight breaks out
  • #6
    Hoi Niddro :)

    I don't know exactly where your interests lie, but if you enjoyed the programming part of JS, I can totally recommend having a look at developing in Python.

    It is the most fun (and imho: logical) programming language I have used to date (others are PHP, JavaScript, Java, C#.NET, ActionScript and Lua). It is really easy to learn, and extremely versatile. For example:

    There is a special game library for it, called PyGame: http://www.pygame.org/news.html

    There is an /awesome/ web-dev framework, called Django, which I have used myself for a few years now. It seriously takes all the crap from web-dev out of your hands and you can immediately start building your website: www.djangoproject.com. Also comes with an included free trainingbook (that's not the typical sloppy online "have to have" stuff, but really /good) @ http://www.djangobook.com/en/2.0/index.html

    Google App Engine hosts your Python applications for free, so you can make all kinds of Diablo theorycrafting tools, a website to display your Warhammer art, an online adventure game with a text interface - your imagination is the limit. (GAE also has it's limits, but you'll find out when the time comes)

    And unlike JavaScript it's a fullblown programming language that is officially being developed further at Google by a guy from the Netherlands :) (Guido van Rossum). It has file-system access, graphical interface libraries for desktop applications, cryptography libraries, Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence libraries, etc.

    Oh and if you get good at it, esp. with Django, you can find a good job too, since good Python devs are scarce and I already know 2 companies in the Netherlands dying to find one ;)

    One thing to note though: If you /do/ decide to go the web dev route (seriously, I cant stress enough to set a weekend apart to give Django a whirl and follow their on-site getting started tutorial), be aware that apart from GAE you are going to be hard pressed to find a hosting service. Because of the way Python works it's not easy to provide virtual shared hosting, I've been explained, so you will have to either host it on a machine at home (usually not desirable) or get a VPS/Managed VPS.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I haven't used PyGame myself, so can't comment on that.


    Another option, if you liked developing games, is looking at Corona (www.coronalabs.com), which is a cross-playform mobile development kit. You develop in Lua (I fucking loathed it, but it's all preference) and it's free to use until you decide to publish your game to a device (i.e.: the testing stage or... putting it in the AppStore/PlayStore). Think of it as "native Flash development".

    It is pretty versatile, reasonably low entry level to get basic things going. Once you get a bit more advanced, you have to fight around Lua's quirks though. Performance is decent. You could for example easily make remake your above posted JavaScript games as a Android/iOS game in a weekend (depending on previous programming experience I suppose).

    Hope the above helped :) Otherwise you could always look at learning a new language, to speak, that is, like Spanish or w/e floats your boat :)

    - Reinier
  • #7

    Hoi Niddro :)

    [...]

    Hope the above helped :) Otherwise you could always look at learning a new language, to speak, that is, like Spanish or w/e floats your boat :)

    - Reinier

    Hoi Reinier ^^

    I'm actually learning dutch at this point but it's more of a must and nothing I do for fun, even though it's kind of fun ;)

    That was quite a nice suggestion about Python and Corona (would be cool to make an Andriod game). I might look into that.

    Thanks!
  • #8
    Good luck learning Dutch. I hate the language, haha.

    If you got questions regarding Django I can be of help, the rest is has mostly faded away by now.
  • #9

    I've actually made quite a complicated game already but it's not javascript. It's php with some AJAX: http://rpg.niddro.com/
    It's a RPG with next to no graphics but you have your character, you're able to fight monsters move around on a map and collect gear and do some quests. I can't remember how playable it is right now since I've started and stopped so many times that I can't even remember if it's in English or Swedish anymore =)
    (it only works in FF because it was bugging in IE so I blocked all browsers but FF because I was lazy)


    Just tried it. Doesn't work on firefox. Probably because of a new version, I just updated a min ago.
  • #10

    Just tried it. Doesn't work on firefox. Probably because of a new version, I just updated a min ago.

    poop, lol. It's over 10k lines of code for sure, too bad ;)
  • #11
    I would like to learn Java and/or JavaScript. Where did you get tutorials and such for learning Java; JavaScript?

    Also what the hell is the difference between Java and JavaScript?
    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
  • #12

    I would like to learn Java and/or JavaScript. Where did you get tutorials and such for learning Java; JavaScript?

    Also what the hell is the difference between Java and JavaScript?


    I took a small Java course as part of my education at the university but that wasn't really something I had use for coding javascript. What helps a lot is if you have experience in other programming language from before like php, asp.net, java, c++ etc so that you're familiar with the logic of programming.

    When it comes to javascript, what I have done is using the HTML5 feature of the canvas-element and use javascript to paint in it.

    in short what you do is what you have a bunch of variables (for example the x and y coordinates of a ball) and then you draw stuff in the canvas using those variables.

    If you have a look from project 6 (when I started to use javascript: http://home.niddro.com/java/Creatures/
    On that page you can view the source code to see my javascript.

    First thing is to have a HTML-file with a canvas-element, that's where everything will happen.

    Secondly, the javascript. It's basically consisting of 3 parts:
    • Initiation
    • Gameloop
    • Drawing
    initiation
    This is what will happen when the page is loaded. One of the things are starting the gameloop

    Gameloop
    In the gameloop, you'll handle everything that's changing during the course of time: moving stuff for example. Close to the end of the gameloop, you want to draw everything. You can do that directly inside the gameloop or call for a separate function. At the very end of the gameloop, you tell it to wait a short time and then run itself again, looping ^^

    Drawing
    Here you draw stuff depending on how the variables are looking.

    Tutorials
    I actually didn't follow any tutorials, I just experimented. When I thought of something I wanted to do (like being able to press keyboard buttons to change stuff in the "game", I just used Google).

    Please feel free to use any of my code in the projects on my site and if you have any questions, let me know via PM. Important is: start small, get a ball moving on the screen by itself for example then go further adding more stuff and experimenting.
  • #13
    i like this
  • #14

    I would like to learn Java and/or JavaScript. Where did you get tutorials and such for learning Java; JavaScript?

    Also what the hell is the difference between Java and JavaScript?


    My biased opinion: Java is for corporate masochists and JavaScript is a waste of time, unless you learn it to supplement an already vast knowledge of some server-side language (PHP, Ruby, Python, etc)

    The actual facts: JavaScript and Java have absolutely /nothing/ to do with eachother. They share the "java" part in the name and that is were all similarities and (apart from both being ECMA standard languages, which refers to the syntax of the language)

    JavaScript is used solely for "programming" in the browser. With HTML5 it can do more fun and versatile stuff, but it's still a scripting language, like PHP and Python. Meaning it's not compiled like C#, C or Java and it's therefor "slow" - in comparison.

    The key point here is that JS ONLY works in a browser. So to make something remotely useful, pretty or generally worth making you are pretty much forced to learn HTML/CSS as well. If you don't have a solid foundation in those yet, I advise against learning JavaScript. You can compare it to learning how to paint model airplanes, but not having the slightest clue how to build a proper model to paint in the first place.

    Java is a compiled language and is among the most punishing, picky and bitchy languages to learn. That said - it /does/ learn you to do this properly on the first try, but seriously... are you the type that reads a manual front to back twice before unpacking your new gadget? Or prefer to learn on the go? If you are of the latter kind, steer far away from Java as you will be utterly and completely frustrated. If you really do want to learn java (and I have no idea why, but please refer to the section below for more on that topic), I would suggest learning with something easier to get a basic programming understanding. Since you ask the difference between both languages, I'm freely assuming you have no prior experience.

    Now, on to the why of learning Java. There are several reasons why you would want to learn Java, but also many reasons why I wouldn't.

    In Java you can build two things: applets and applications. They are /not/ the same. (a 3rd would be applications on specific platforms such as Symbian or Android, although those are considered applications, to my knowledge).

    Applets: in-browser stuff. Remember those old school chatrooms where you had to enable a Java plugin? That's an applet.
    Applications: Server side stuff (such as a socketserver that could facilitate the chat applet's communication) and desktop applications. e.g.: MineCraft, Eclipse IDE, other stuff.

    An advantage of Java is that it's cross-platform, but I still stand by my advice to start with something more forgiving before moving onto the ruthless BDSM master that is called Java. He does not wield a whip, but a branding iron if you make a mistake.

    What is the reason you want to learn software development? As recommended before, I still stand by Python as being the best language to start with. PHP just has the most disgusting syntax ever, C#/Java are both really strict languages with an extremely steep learning curve, Ruby is a valid option as well, I think.

    If you still insist on learning JavaScript for whatever purpose, make sure you also read into CoffeeScript.

    A general resource to learn the absolute basics of programming can be found at: http://www.codecademy.com

    TL:DR; Don't start with Java. JavaScript is useless outside of webdevelopment. Decide what you want to develop first and choose a language based on that. Python is still my recommended language to beginners (and experts).

    My $0.02
  • #15

    I would like to learn Java and/or JavaScript. Where did you get tutorials and such for learning Java; JavaScript?

    Also what the hell is the difference between Java and JavaScript?


    The other guys already said like 99% of what i wanted to say but there is a website called http://thenewboston.org/ and it has a bunch of tutorials on a youtube channel. Its just easier to browse it on the website. I personally program mainly in Java or Obj C for Android / ios applications.

  • #16
    *Thanks go to Niddro, RavenNL, and Jamoose.

    I did a bit of programming in HTML, and I am currently studying to become a Mechanical Engineer, so I can do both Learn everything beforehand and learn on the go quite well. And I love a good challenge.

    Just not chemistry, fuck chemistry.

    Now Raven actually brought my main reason for wanting to learn Java (Not JavaScript) up in an example, and that is Minecraft. I would like to create a D&D version of Minecraft with Faerun and its characters as a focus. Can you imagine running into Drizzt or Bruenor or even Entreri? What about Elminster or Manshoon? Or maybe even a few different Harpers, such as Storm, Sharantyr, or Mirt the Moneylender? A Diablo version of Minecraft would be awesome as well. But we'll see where that goes.

    I would like to learn Flash as well. If you have a better recommendation for what I should learn that is better for programming a Minecraft-esque game, I'm all ears.
    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
  • #17

    *Thanks go to Niddro, RavenNL, and Jamoose.

    I did a bit of programming in HTML, and I am currently studying to become a Mechanical Engineer, so I can do both Learn everything beforehand and learn on the go quite well. And I love a good challenge.

    ...

    I would like to learn Flash as well. If you have a better recommendation for what I should learn that is better for programming a Minecraft-esque game, I'm all ears.


    I would avoid Flash, it's not optimal to create games in. I personally prefer Java and I do not agree it is as unforgiving as Raven stated. I think it teaches you how to programme properly from the very beginning, which is a good thing i suppose.

    Other then that, I'd recommend Python, which is a very logical and flexible language, I love it. If you want to go the hard way, try something in good old C++ (btw, don't do that).
  • #18

    Just not chemistry, fuck chemistry.

    Watch it man, I'm a chemical engineer =P
  • #19
    If you want to play - try Skyrim, if you want to do something else - go play tennis or something :P
  • #20


    *Thanks go to Niddro, RavenNL, and Jamoose.

    I did a bit of programming in HTML, and I am currently studying to become a Mechanical Engineer, so I can do both Learn everything beforehand and learn on the go quite well. And I love a good challenge.

    ...

    I would like to learn Flash as well. If you have a better recommendation for what I should learn that is better for programming a Minecraft-esque game, I'm all ears.


    I would avoid Flash, it's not optimal to create games in. I personally prefer Java and I do not agree it is as unforgiving as Raven stated. I think it teaches you how to programme properly from the very beginning, which is a good thing i suppose.

    Other then that, I'd recommend Python, which is a very logical and flexible language, I love it. If you want to go the hard way, try something in good old C++ (btw, don't do that).


    I'm glad to see another opinion on Java as well. Programmers are normally pretty damn loyal to their language of preference, so they are all highly biased - me included :)

    Flash is actually a great medium to make games in (did it for a living), however if you're starting just now I would advice HTML5+JavaScript (somewhat contradiction myself here..) as this is the "web graphics language" of the future. That is, you can make games for iOS, Chrome store, etc. Flash is dying. And it should - there are plenty of reasons I abandoned it.

    Also, don't take this as an "I know it better" argument regarding Java, but! You are very correct that it's a language that perfectly teaches you how to program OOP correctly, however if you're just getting started using classes, inheritance, error handling, etc, it is /a lot/ easier to start with a scripted language (Python!). The reason for this is that with a scripted language, your application will just run until it dies somewhere. This allows you to very quickly and easily try new things and "mold" your application on the go.

    Java requires a lot more thinking ahead and, in my personal experience, a solid understanding of the aforementioned OOP concepts. As well as stuff like multiple-inheritance, singletons, factories, abstract classes, interfaces, MVC, etc. Normally Java is taught in schools alongside classes that teach these concepts. If you going in blind, so to speak, my opinion is you will hit a brick wall of "how the hell do I get this to do that?!", since the compiler wants everything to be perfect before starting.

    (Christ, I type a lot on this topic...)

    So, yes, Java not so much teaches, but forces you to write your applications in a properly organized and well structured manner. But this severely slows down the initial learning process.

    If somebody asked me where to start from scratch, my personal suggestion would be:

    Start with Python (yeye, I know). Learn basic syntax and control structures such as if...else.., for/while loops, dictionaries (arrays in most other languages). Then move on to learning to use classes. Learn the basic principles of what a class is, what instances are, static methods and then move to inheritance. Once you have that under your belt, I'd task you with building a simple DVD collection application. This is a perfect idiom to illustrate OOP principles and uses some persistent storage (read into SQLite, which is a filebased SQL interfaced datastorage solution, available to many languages, including Java and Python).

    After that, you can decide what language you want to really delve into.

    Again, that's my personal point of view. I should note that I have had zero schooling in software development and am a 100% self taught nerd.

    One last note regarding C/C++; as Kyoob stated - don't. Just don't. Learn to ride a tricyle, then a volvo and then you can consider moving on to a F1 car. C++ is powerful but gives you /a lot/ of responsibilities as the developer (and even more so for C). Alternatively you can go with Obj-C, which I've only used briefly, so maybe Kyoob can chime in. From what I know it handles, like C#, all your memory management for you and does not (by default?) expose the deepest layers of the system.
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