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FAQ - For Beginners

For Beginners Forum FAQ

Welcome to GDNet. On this site you will find a wealth of information pertaining to all aspects of game development.

This FAQ will highlight some of the more common questions asked in the beginners forum and help to guide you in using this forum as efficiently as possible. Please read and understand this forum FAQ before posting. You should also read the site FAQ and pay special attention to the rules -- breaking the site rules results in disciplinary action, which sometimes includes a permanent ban.

Before we begin, consider this important note: you should be committed to learning. Dedicate yourself to spending a lot of time solving problems. You can't expect to learn anything if you're going to have others do you work for you. See what have you tried?

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Useful Links

Posting guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions.

I want to learn to make games, how do I get started and what do I need?

Welcome to the joy that is game development and thank you for choosing as your first stop.

You should find everything you need to get you started right here at the beginners starting point (warning - the articles there are getting obsolete). Also see the articles and resources section, where you can find tutorials and articles which cover all aspects of game development, from music to game design and more.

What programming language should I start with?

It doesn't matter which language you start with. You can start with any language as long as it helps you learn the basic principles of programming. You will most likely learn several languages, eventually. That said, Python and C# are both popular recommendations; see this article about choosing a language for more information.

I'm thinking of getting into professional game development, what are my options?

We have a forum dedicated to
breaking in to the industry, where you can discuss exactly this topic.

Are there any good online tutorials?

There are lots of good tutorials and resources online and new tutorials are constantly being added to the web so you should periodically search for them via Google.

Here are a few to get you started:

I want to get started in modding and scripting, where do I start?

Modding has become increasingly popular as more commercial games are including software that enable you to play around with and create your own in-game graphics, levels and sounds. has a forum dedicated to scripting and modding, if modding or scripting is your thing, and you haven't been there yet, then please stop by.

What is an API (Application Programming Interface)?

Here is a detailed description of API. The most commonly used APIs here at are OpenGL and DirectX, both of which have forums dedicated to them.

If you're looking for API specific tutorials, here are some of the most common to help get you started.

Can you recommend some good game programming books?

Yes, have very kindly listed a collection of recommended books for game developers of all levels, you can find those here.

Ok I have learned the basics of my preferred programming language, what next?

Make a game. Common suggestions for a first game are:
  • Text based Rogue-like ( to find out more)
  • Text based Tic Tac Toe
  • Text based Magic 8-Ball
  • Tetris
  • Pong
  • Breakout

If you have already made a game you could try something more advanced, move from text based to graphical applications, or go from 2D to 3D.

Other Useful Links

More to come.

Asking questions

Adhere to the following guidelines as much as possible and realize that not following them could lead to disciplinary action.
  1. Before you post, please think to yourself "did I explore every option in trying to figure this out for myself ", its understood that 5 or 6 hours of continuous programming can give you a mental block but please don't ask questions that you could easily answer yourself with a quick Google search or a skim over the reference section.

  2. has different forums for different subjects; put your question in the most relevant forum.

  3. Don't cross post. Keep your question to one forum only. You can delete your post by clicking "edit" and then checking the "did you double post" box, in the top left hand corner of the edit screen.

  4. Be as descriptive as you can. State the language, platform, compiler etc that you are using, according to relevancy.

  5. Make your question as understandable as possible and go easy on the abbreviations and Internet slang. Remember, if you ask a clear and concise question, you will be more inclined to get a clear and concise answer.

  6. Try to make your subject title as relevant as possible.

  7. Browse before you ask. Check the last few pages or use the search feature to see if your question has been answered before.

  8. The infamous "this" vs. "that" threads are considered flame bait. If you're debating between OpenGL and DirectX or C vs. C++, please try to refrain from creating "which one should I choose" or "which one is better" threads. These threads usually turn into an argument and rarely lead to any kind of conclusion. The best way to find out if something is right for you, is to try it for yourself or at the very least, spend some time researching the pros and cons.

  9. Do not ask homework related questions. The members are not here to answer your homework questions, its against the forum rules and few people take kindly to it. Besides, we shouldn't need to tell you that figuring it out for yourself will be way more beneficial to you in the long run. Still not sure how to get your question across? Then read this.

  10. Please refrain from using this forum to ask questions about developing cheats or hacks, especially for multiplayer games. Similarly, questions concerning piracy or methods to evade copy-protection will be firmly and swiftly dealt with.

Answering Questions

  1. Don't answer questions that you don't know the answer to. When you're a beginner, there is nothing worse than bad information so please know what you're saying before you say it.

  2. Don't flame people because of their lack of knowledge. Remember, we all had to start somewhere.

    This forum is for beginners ("newbies") to ask questions without being slapped around because someone more experienced decides they should already know the answer. If you want to make a reply ask yourself:

    - Am I being helpful?
    - Am I guiding them in the right direction if they are misguided?
    - Am I taunting them, flaming them or insulting them because they didn't know the answer, didn't know the supporting material or just seemed lost?

  3. Answer the question asked. Unless the question is completely illogical and makes no sense, you should try to answer it at least on a cursory basis before you suggest alternatives. For example, if somebody is asked for good books about learning assembly language, suggest some before perhaps suggesting that assembly may not be the most suitable language for a beginner. Et cetera.

Stay On-Topic

  1. Remember that this is the For Beginners forum, and that its primary consumers are beginners. Although some digression into more advanced topics is permissible in general, please be mindful that often such digression becomes too much for the typical beginner. If you are asked to stop discussing a particular advanced topic, do so, and consider taking that discussion to another forum. Failure to comply with such a request from a moderator or staff member will be handled strictly, especially in cases where such digression wanders into a volatile, inflammatory topic -- in particular, posts may be removed or edited at a moderator's discretion to help prevent the thread from devolving into flaming or overly advanced but detrimental discussion.


  1. Learning an ongoing process. Even if you feel you have received an answer to your problem, it's still possible that or others may want to continue the thread's discussion. It's also possible that the response you decided to accept as "the answer" is wrong, usually because the poster supplying the answer failed to follow one of the forum rules above. As such, for your benefit and the benefit of the community, please do not try to mark your threads "solved" or "answered" in any way.

People who abuse the purpose of this forum will be punished - warning level increases, suspensions and in the case of sysmatic flaming, bans will be handed out for all offenses. There will be no discussion as to the merit of your post - excuses of posts being a joke, or that "the poster deserved it" will fall on deaf ears.

Thank you for reading, if you have any suggestions or comments regarding the For Beginners FAQ then please PM jpetrie.

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