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App Development Newbie - Would Appreciate Guidance

Take2Take2 LondonPosts: 2New Users Noob
Hi everyone,

As the title of this post suggests, I am completely new to app development. In fact, I have zero experience in any form of computer software development whatsoever. But you have to start somewhere, so here I am.

I’m particularly interested in developing gaming apps, but I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I would appreciate some guidance on the following

1) Macbook: I don’t have one. Which is best for app development needs, the Mini, Air or Pro? Money is not so much of an issue as I can pay on finance, but of course I’d like to be sensible and not pay over the top for software / hardware I don’t need.

2) Education: Once I have the Macbook, which resources can I use to start learning code? Tutorials, books, programs?

3) Code: Which code should I learn? I understand Swift is new. Is it worthwhile learning this and ignoring the long-established Objective-C? Or should I learn on something completely different given my zero past experience.

4) Templates: The game I’d like to create is a platform adventure game. Is it possible (and even advisable) to obtain an existing template and adjust it to my own taste, using the code I learn? Or could this be considered some form of copyright infringement / lead to a legal issue?

I appreciate any and all advice.



  • jack_bjack_b Posts: 9New Users Noob
    edited February 2015
    i think you should first read a book,even a simple one of the basics of programming,like what is a function ecc ecc,than start with objective-c,imho is better than swift to learn because it gives you a more broad perspective of how programming works,after you learn a bit of objective-c and how it works in general you could start using templates which give you already a starting point to make games without going to do too difficult stuff at the start,i just released my first platform game done with cocos2d which is a free template you can download from their site,and is used by a lot of people so you can find a lot of help online
    (i know i know you see i wrote to read a book and seems you're going to spend a lot of time to learn,but really while it takes a lot of time to learn it good it doesn't take so much to be able to start to be productive)
  • Take2Take2 LondonPosts: 2New Users Noob
    Thanks guys for all the advice.

    Alifar - With those specs, I think I'll buy a Macbook Pro. But would it make a big difference if I buy a model with i5 core instead of i7 core? The price difference if significant.

    parks_daniel - Thanks for the website tip, I think I'll explore it once I've learnt a bit more about what all the coding lingo actually means and stands for. Then I'll be able to understand how to go about editing any templates I may purchase.

    jack_b - Do you recommend any book? I've seen some paid on-line tutorials like iOS Apprentice Tutorial, which run you through creating a game from start to finish. Any experience with this?
  • jack_bjack_b Posts: 9New Users Noob
    edited February 2015
    i dunno,personally i advise you against paid online tutorials,if u want tutorials the site that the alifar gave you, is one of the best if not the best for step by step ios tutorials and it's free;
    As for books it depends,personally i learned coding c++ when i was younger and than moved to objective c recently to start a bit of ios, if you google you find a lot,i can say you "Programming in Objective c" by Stephen Kochan could be a good start,but really there are like milions others just google learning objective c;after it i think you could easily follow the tutorials of the site raywenderlich and than move on to other books like "ios game development cookbook" which could be a handy reference to have while you do games
    As for the computer to buy go easy i use a macbook air 2011 and it makes wonders really,so even if you dont spend a lot is ok,i think even the mac mini is ok if you really don't want to spend
  • weeareweeare UKPosts: 8New Users Noob
    I use a 2015 macbook pro, works well for me. I upgraded the ram though to the most that it could have.

    As for swift vs obj-c for me i chose swift as i found obj-c harder to get my head around. What i will say though is that there is alot more resources out there for obj-c. However you will find some good stuff on ray wenderlichs site and there are some good books on amazon.

    templates, i wouldnt reccomend them. One usually the code is junk, and cookie cutter.

  • uvidownloaderuvidownloader Posts: 216Registered Users @ @
    I know many people that want to develop for mobile want to create games. The program that apple provides, xcode, is not really good for making games. lol. Try to start with making simple apps and then more up.
  • appsoutloudappsoutloud Posts: 6New Users Noob
    I'd recommend some of the Udemy intro to Swift and iOS courses honestly, especially since you are new. They are a good way to build simple basic programs at your own pace. Plus you always have access to your tutorials and can easily reference chapters as you need to.
  • UIUsUIUs Posts: 177Moderators Admin
    @appsoutloud you've been quite busy answering posts, and even some old ones like this one.

    Any moment now, I expect you to hit this board with a sales pitch/spam of some kind. Please be advised that should you do so, you can only post such in "Shameless Advertising".
  • JonPMJonPM Posts: 159New Users @ @
    *dons flame retardant suit*

    If I were you I'd stay away from swift/obj C. With having zero programming experience it would take you about 6-12 months to learn Obj C (if you're lucky), then maybe another year to build a platformer game. By most accounts Obj C is one of the more difficult languages to grasp, even for seasoned programmers.

    For 2D games I would suggest looking into Corona SDK. It uses the Lua language which is very easy to read/learn. Corona has great APIs for 2D gaming and it has a large healthy community. Another big plus is that you can develop cross platform with one code base (export to Android, iOS, etc).

    Now, in a perfect world you would be far better off learning how to program apps natively (Obj-C, java/Android) because you won't run into obstacles. But in reality these are difficult languages to learn for a complete newbie, and will take a significant amount of time.

    If time isn't an issue for you I would say learn Obj C. Also if you are thinking of a career in development this would be very beneficial. However, if you're like me (not a programmer by trade, have a "normal" day job/family/mortgage etc) and don't want to spend 2 years making a game, then look into other options like Corona or Unity (for 3D).
  • appsoutloudappsoutloud Posts: 6New Users Noob
    @UIUs I have nothing to sell. Although I'd recommend not selling yourself short. We are all in awe of your moderator badge.

    You shouldn't speculate about users. It makes you look bad.
  • UIUsUIUs Posts: 177Moderators Admin
    @UIUs I have nothing to sell. Although I'd recommend not selling yourself short. We are all in awe of your moderator badge.

    You shouldn't speculate about users. It makes you look bad.

    Sarcasm gets you zero points. Don't push it.
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