I got bored while playing geometry wars and watching some gears 2 video, and decided to share some things i have learned over the last few months.
Read tutorials, lots of them. Each tutorial is going to some things different from others, and each is going to have good part and bad parts.
Be lazy with your programming. When you are writing a piece of code write it so that you can easily recycle it and reuse it. Think of ways of saving lines and time in the future.
As you get better with programming write a common framework. Develop this in parallel with your main projects and include your latest eureka moments ... wait, was that workmeng?!.... where was i? oh yeah...
Get a good cvs, I use a svn. This makes your life so much easier, if i do something stupid which breaks the game or want to revert to a piece of code earlier stage. It also provides a simple backup system. It has a ton of uses I'm not gonna cover them all, you should take time with your choice as there are many out there, and often when you start using one your stuck with it.
Do not listen to Jim Sterling. This is not to bash him, this is a warning, he is used to to criticizing games with thousands of hours of man hours, from companies that massive budgets. Your games will not compare for a long time.
Use your friends. if you have a friend who is good at modeling, don't be afraid to ask him for a model. Though don't expect them to deliver quickly.
Take pride with your work but do not be afraid to accept criticism for it. I recently had my girl friend play one of my games and she got annoyed with the controller scheme. I couldn't tell the problems with it because i had been using it from day the first day developing it.
Be patient, it takes a good couple of months before you can have some thing that you are proud of.
Do not expect to be programming like a pro from the start. Use something like Xna as it teaches you many of the things you need to learn before starting real games programming with Direct X. You can learn the principles of advanced games programming with it, such as Shader programming or Vertex buffering.
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips help in some way.
Just came up with another one
Microsoft give away tons of free software to students, such as xna subscriptions or visual studio through programs such as MSDN AA or dreamspark
. MSDN AA is the best of the two but unfortunately it requires your college or university to pay some money so some may not be able to get this. read