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A lot of people ask "I am new to game development. Where should I begin?" It gets down-voted and closed.

I am not suggesting we answer each of these questions individually. I am suggesting we ask and answer a canonical question answering this. Then we can link them to our question before closing theirs.

"They should have read the rules first!"

Sure, but they didn't. Neither did I when I first joined stack exchange. The point of this site is to give and receive help to game developers of all skill levels, including first timers. They need to know where to start. We should be the ones to tell them. Part of the answer of where to start can be "read the rules."

Thoughts?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear to me what your "reading the rules" argument really has to do with your proposal. If you are proposing changing the rules so this question is on-topic, why does it matter that part of the answer is "read the rules of this site?" \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Oct 20 '16 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshPetrie Check out Phillip's upvoted comment: gamedev.stackexchange.com/q/131700/41345 \$\endgroup\$ – Evorlor Oct 20 '16 at 4:41
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No.

The crux of the problem with "how do I get started" is that it is a huge topic. Entire books have been devoted to the material. Most of those still cover it poorly. It seems folly for us to think we can provide answers to that question in the significantly more limited format of the StackExchange Q&A engine.

Further, everybody's situation is unique, everybody has their own motivation, their own goals, and their own thought processes that predispose them towards certain pedagogical paths that would be more optimal for them. I've spent years moderating the "For Beginners" forum over at GDNet, and seen this question more times than I can remember. The threads that seem to work out the best are those where we were able to engage in a back and forth dialog with the asker, sort out their experience level, their wants, and from there suggest a series of first steps we can then engage with them on and provide feedback to. We don't have the capability (nor the mandate) to do that here at all.

The structure of a SE site is just not well-suited to the asking of such a question nor the answering of it, to the extent that I feel we could not do the topic the justice it needs. We should leave the question for other sites to field.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The one thing I would stress quite heavily, though, is that anyone making games should have a relatively strong knowledge of mathematics, especially the knowledge of coordinate systems and geometry. Without that knowledge, I can see quite a lot of game ideas being impossible to make let alone make half-decently. \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Duck Oct 20 '16 at 3:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheGreatDuck Let's say I don't agree with you. Your comment demonstrates why SE is not a great vehicle for this information: it cannot be down-voted, and voting (both ways) is how SE surfaces "generally good" answers and buries "generally bad" ones. Absent that mechanism, all we could do is argue in comments, which are not for discussion (outside of meta), have limited presentation and formatting options, and are generally aggressively trimmed, deleted or moved-aside when they start to clutter up and derail a question. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Oct 20 '16 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I mean to say is that no answer is appropriate because people cannot just "start making games", and as such I would stress that one doesn't begin with making games. The knowledge base required to implement certain things lie in subjects beyond just programming. It's no different that what you helped me with the other day. I could stand there all day staring at a globe trying to envision motion upon it, but without a clear knowledge of vectors or rotations or spherical geometry... you just cannot do it. Even 3D games reply upon a knowledge of linear algebra. \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Duck Oct 20 '16 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tl;dr I am agreeing with you and adding the point that if anything any answer we give would depend on one's knowledge and 90% of the time we'd just end up telling them "come back when you know more about math and stuff relevant to what you wish to do". Therefore, any answer would be inappropriate as it would sound rude and harsh no matter how we put it. \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Duck Oct 20 '16 at 3:37

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