The Torque Game Engine is a very complex. I purchased it about a year ago this September and feel I am still swimming in the shallow end of Lake Newbian. GarageGames.com has a forum with a lot of people chiming in and discussing a dizzying array of topics. Most of the time, I rarely make heads or tails of what they’re talking about. I just continue to wade in the shallow end. One of the things that obfuscates me mind is a point of reference from which these folks are using. As there are several versions of the Torque Game Engine and with that different versions of the starter files, again, I rarely know what context their examples or code/scripts are referring to.
I find not having a point of reference contributes to confusion and wasted time, especially with tutorials. I know I’ve written some tutorials that had no point of reference that six months later I had no clue what I was trying to say. Pfft! Imagine the reader…doh!
I Finally Get the Point
I got a hold of Ken Finney’s book 3D Game Programming All-in-One (Torque) and it was excellent. For months, I had been scouring and surfing the Web and basically leeching off other people for info about how to do this or how to do that. This book gives you a point of reference and context to work from and the instructions are detailed to the degree that you can create a game with the information being presented. It was good to finally get my own copy.
With My New Found Knowledge - I Wrote My First GG Tutorial
Above: My first official tutorial for my fellow Torque developers posted at GarageGames.com.
As of today, I am still in the first few chapters as I learn about datablocks and basic functions, but I can see myself really understanding how Torque script works as I leverage my previous programming experience. For example, I was able to figure out how to select a player before going into a game. Using the info from Ken’s book and a number of GarageGames.com resources to work from, I wrote Simple Player Selection Torque Tutorial. It’s gotten some good reviews from my fellow Torquers. Writing the tutorial itself was a learning experience. It forced me to slow down and really understand what it was I was trying to do. Therein is a good way to learn. Write a tutorial. Writing a tutorial is good as it helps to document a technique that you may need later on. I know for me, I will typically forget what I’ve made a few months into the year, unless I refer to it frequently. A tutorial helps to remember. Sorta like commenting your code, but much more helpful and informative.
Well, it’s 5:00 am and I have to start my day job in a few hours.