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  1. jkeitz's Avatar
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       #1  
    I'm hoping you guys can help me out with some advice here. I am a middle school teacher and I have a profoundly gifted student. He has been designing a video game for years. Now, I know many kids are "designing" games all the time, but he really has written down plotlines, resources, etc. He has tested his concepts with other people using a boardgame like method. I think he is ready to actually do something with it, but he is afraid because he (and I) know nothing about coding.

    I know that the big developers are like Hollywood studios now, with huge workforces on any particular game at any given time, but here in the smartphone community, there are many individuals developing their own software and selling it (lots of it to me). I would like to help my student get started, but I don't know where to begin.

    If he were to start coding his game for webOS, what should he do? What steps, what programs? I know this may be a BIG question, but can anyone give him some advice for getting started? Would you start with webOS, or go to iOS first?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. #2  
    If you guys are in the NYC area, I would say go to Palm's developer day in Nov. Registration is only $25 for two days of workshops, networking & learning. That could be a good place to start, and gain a better understanding on how to develop apps for webOS.
  3. jkeitz's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartfah View Post
    If you guys are in the NYC area, I would say go to Palm's developer day in Nov. Registration is only $25 for two days of workshops, networking & learning. That could be a good place to start, and gain a better understanding on how to develop apps for webOS.
    Unfortunately, we're in rural Nevada. (Don't let the Islanders logo fool you, I moved out here in 1995). Thanks, though.
  4. #4  
    If you want to push him towards WebOS, then he should start with the PDK. iOS uses ObjectiveC and he'll need a MacOS computer to develop for it. Fortunately, the PDK will allow him to port over anything he creates on the iPhone platform to WebOS.
    Richard Neff

    My tutorials on WebOS development: Beyond 'Hello World!' | Getting Started - WebOS Development

    My apps: Percent Table | SierraPapa
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by jkeitz View Post
    Unfortunately, we're in rural Nevada. (Don't let the Islanders logo fool you, I moved out here in 1995). Thanks, though.
    Oh, OK. If anything Palm will probably record the workshops/lectures & put the videos & notes up on YouTube & their site. They did it with the previous developers day they had in California earlier this year.

    It's obviously not the same as being there, but your student can learn from it nonetheless.
  6. #6  
    It really depends on where your student wants to go with it. Both UDK(Unreal Engine Developer Kit-i.e. Gears of War) and Unity Engine/Development Kit are free for Indie developers with income lower than a certain amount(varies, look it up but I believe both are around 400,000), both work on most platforms available right now(Unreal Engine 3 has been demoed on a Palm Pre) and provide a rich working environment - you can actually create an entire game without touching any code other than the gamescript. If he's looking to start work and pitch a demo to a studio, he's probably better off with UDK as Unreal Engine 3 is what a rather large number of studios are using these days. If he's looking to make the game himself(probably with a bit of help), I think Unity gives a bit more freedom to Indie developers and doesn't cost 5 years salary if you do end up needing to buy a license.(Last I checked Unreal Engine cost upwards of 400k Unity costs 10k)

    If you're looking to go more light weight with it, might I suggest you read up on Javascript and HTML5. I know, there are performance concerns, but iOS 4 and (i think- someone correct me if they know otherwise) webOS 2 support hardware accelerated canvases and css transformations, as does Firefox4, Chrome6, Safari Whatever, and IE9. Look around, there are some really impressive things being done and there definitely is something to be said for being able to just type in a URL or fire up an Adobe AIR launcher to start playing.

    Finally, I'd like to put a plug in for a very nice free 3d graphics tool. If you want 3d visuals, everyone in the industry likes to say you have to get a super expensive set of tools like 3D Studio Max. Something like 80% of the people making visual mods for games like Oblivion and the Unreal Games use a free tool called Blender and come up with some very impressive results all easily exported for use by other tools. Oh, and Blender has its own game engine which you're free to use If you like.
    danNielson.com - Slalom - twitter - facebook
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  7. #7  
    If you want to create a graphics-intensive game, then PDK is the way to go. You need to know C/C++ to develop using the PDK though, so it might not be the best choice for someone who has no coding experience. In that case, developing a web app using javascript, HTML5, and CSS is a better option. Javascript is a lot easier to pick up than C/C++, and it's easy enough to learn HTML and CSS. You might want to start with the Palm developer site, and get a book on webOS development.

    Links:
    http://developer.palm.com
    Amazon.com: Palm webOS (9780596155254): Mitch Allen: Books: Reviews, Prices & more
    Amazon.com: Practical Palm Pre WebOS Projects (Beginning) (9781430226741): Frank Zammetti: Books: Reviews, Prices & more
  8. #8  
    In addition to some of the above advice, there are some good lectures on iTunes U about developing apps. Both for webOS & iOS.

    This lecture series focuses on developing apps for webOS.

    Developing Mobile Apps with Web Technologies - Download free content from Stanford on iTunes


    This series focuses on iOS 4, and is actually currently being taught at Stanford University.

    Developing Apps for iOS (SD) - Download free content from Stanford on iTunes

    I do believe both courses require certain programing knowledge. Depending on the level your student is at, this may be a good place to start.

    Hope that helps & good luck

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