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[1.7.10] What are my prospects for learning to mod?


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Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this.


So I've been attempting to learn how to mod for the last 4 days. I've managed to set up a development environment for modding but I've gotten pretty stuck when it comes to the coding tutorials. I've decided to go ahead and read up on programming since I obviously have no idea what I am doing. Then, after reading the introduction to an online PDF book on Java, it occurred to me: is this even possible for me?


So I made a list of my prospects:



-I learned a little bit of Java in high school and I was able to create a very basic text-based program on my own.

-I have a lot of time to kill.

-IQ of 128.

-I'm somewhat persistent when I really want something and right now I really want to make a mod filled with pretty birds.



-When I tried learning programming before, I struggled with it.

-I'm mathematically challenged. I barely passed the high school based mathematical prerequisites for  college. I had to repeat all of my community college algebra classes at least once.

-My highest level of mathematics was a college-level statistics class. I took it 3 years ago.


If I have no chance, I want to know before I waste all my time trying.

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To be honest I can't really tell if programming is for you or not, it takes a long time (like, months or more) to get reasonably good at it.  There is an awful lot to learn. 


On the plus side, you don't need a lot of maths for programming (although it sometimes helps), but you do need to be able to think logically and break complex concepts down into simple pieces.


One thing's for sure, I don't reckon you should try to learn programming by jumping into Minecraft modding.  That will kill your motivation for sure because it will be days of frustration for almost no results.  I've been at it for more than a year and even now I sometimes want to put my fist through the screen after four hours of wild goose chase and digging through hundreds of lines of obscure code.


I'd suggest you try working through the example textbook for a few days, coding small tutorial projects.  If after a week you're just finding it frustrating, maybe it's not for you.  But if you find yourself going to bed at 3am because you lost track of time, and you get a warm glow and an urge to brag to your friends when you've just coded a text tic-tac-toe game that can force a draw with you every time, then you'll know this is something you could stick with...





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Programming is more like learning a new language. It s about simple grammar and stuff.

Java is fully documented on the net. you will not have to wait between searching for something new and finding it.

I suggest you try directly modding with tutorials from youtube, and learn to search for things you don't understand. you have to  organized your search so you ll start to fully understand the language faster.


Good Luck.


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I'm going through the tutorial Anon10W1z recommended at the moment.


I remember the first program I ever made by myself was a pretty satisfying experience. I have about 6 months before i'm able to go back to college so I figure i'll give learning Java a shot.


Thanks for all the advice from everyone!

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You need an IQ of 129 to mod, so sorry no.  ;D


Seriously, I think modding is not necessarily the best way to learn programming and you definitely need to learn programming to mod. 


The reason I say modding isn't great way to learn programming is that it is very difficult to follow other people's code, especially when it is not documented.  Modding is even worse because the code we're trying to work with was sort of reverse-engineered -- it is not even properly published for sharing.  Also, Minecraft is already a full-fledged game with a lot of complexity.


Secondly, there are a lot of very specific concepts in programming that need a detailed understanding that comes from directed learning (i.e. a course).  Just figuring out difference between an int, double, and float takes some discussion, let alone how loops, conditional statements, etc. work.  Only grounds up programming as part of directed study can really give you a strong confidence in such topics.


However, it sort of depends on your ambitions.  As long as your expectations are in line with your skill, then go ahead and play around.  Any smart person can make a simple mod -- like make a new variation of an item or armor.  But I often find people with no programming skill want to do major modifications that would be a struggle for even more experienced modders.  So just set your sights modestly and you will have some satisfaction.


Lastly is personality.  You need tons of patience and ability for very deep concentration.  The tone of your question actually makes me think you DO have the right personality for programming.


So my suggestion is (a) get a good book on learning Java programming, (b) play around with a modest mod attempt.


By the way, I highly suggest an actual book instead of online learning.  The reason is that with online learning people tend to skip around and jump ahead.  A good book will lead you more specifically through the progression.  I recommend Java in Easy Steps by Mike McGrath because it isn't too scary (many programming books are like encyclopedias and can be daunting, but this book is a friendly introduction to Java that covers all the important stuff).

Check out my tutorials here: http://jabelarminecraft.blogspot.com/

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Thanks you for the advice! I'm looking into ordering the book now!




In hindsight, I know my question was a little bit superfluous. I figure anyone with enough motivation can learn to do anything. But having the idea reinforced by other people is very helpful in the motivation department.


Anyway, i'm actually really excited about my prospect now. After going through part of the tutorial, I took a break, watched a movie, and kind of wound down for the evening. Then, after going to bed, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night realizing something.


I was going through the learnaroo tutorial feeling a little frustrated because not all the coding examples I was solving would actually compile in Bluej. For example, x == 28; as a line of code to check if x==28 was not enough alone to get the results as a line of feedback in the console.


It was after reading the If and Else part of the tutorial that I stopped. And when I woke up in the middle of the night, I suddenly realized that I could APPLY the If and Else code to check if x == 28 and the println code I learned from Hello World (something I also looked up because I remembered from high school that it's everyone's first program) to print to the results to the console.


I know it's really a small step but i'm super proud of myself and i'm going to go write the program now.



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What I recommend:


Start slow. Adding blocks, items and recipes is easy. Start by doing those simple things to get you used to making things. Then work your way up to more difficult things, such as adding some enchantments and some biomes.


There are plenty of tutorials that more or less hold your hand through these processes. Then, tweak the things that you've done from tutorials. That will determine if you've actually learned how it works, or if the tutorial was a crutch.


After you've played around with those things for a few weeks, you should be able to tackle some more complicated stuff. Carry a notebook with you and write down what you want to do and how it might run. Writing will organize your thoughts. Sometimes a flowchart will help, or simply listing what a class needs to know to accomplish it's task is enough.

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