Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jumping in Head First - Making Your Own Computer Games

In my last post I suggested that web design is the ideal way to get your feet wet in the ocean of computer programming. Some of you have been there and done that. Others just want to dive right into the world of game making. One of my favourite game creation tools is Game Maker. I love it because it is fairly simple to use if you are new to this type of thing. It has a drag and drop interface that doesn't require you to type a single line of code. Once you master that you can begin to use the advanced features including coding with the well documented GML (Game Maker Language).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Steps - Creating Web Sites

Getting started with computer programming can be a challenge. Where is the best place to start? Designing websites is an easy way to see quick results for your efforts. The most basic way to get started with web design is to use a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editor. Dreamweaver is the champion of this type of software. For the amateur who is just beginning the open source NVU should do fine. However, I highly recommend that you learn to create your own websites using only a text editor and html, javascript, and php. The most difficult part of learning to design web pages will be finding the right sites to learn from.

Learn HTML -
I highly recommend using for an HTML tutorial because it assumes no prior knowledge and emphasizes practical application.

Learn CSS -
CSS is an important part of defining the layout of your web page. To find out more about CSS and how to use it use Dave's tutorial. Visit the W3Schools website for more tutorial and a handy reference guide.

Learn Javascript - Thau's Javascript Tutorial
Thau's Javascript Tutorial on was by far the best Javascript tutorial I could find. Once you've completed it you can move on to the Advanced Javascript Tutorial.

Learn PHP - PHP From the Ground Up
By now we are getting into designing more advanced websites. Many websites will not require PHP or another server side language. If you feel limited by the capabilities of html and javascript then it's time to check out this tutorial.