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Hey everybody, so I've been learning to code on and off for about 9 months and have decided to try and make simple 2D games to help my ESL students. I have tried several approaches including the A Smarter Way to Learn book series, freecodecamp, codeschool, a couple of books specifically for pure javascript games, udemy tutorials, and an online tutor. I think in another month or so my core javascript skills will be decent and I'm wondering if anybody would have any ideas of how to proceed after that?

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A great question.

The initial learning curve for creating any sort of application, particularly a game, is very steep, but, thankfully, there are loads and loads of information out there.

Once you have the basics down you'll want to do more stuff, now the info out there gets a little thinner. Hopefully in step 1 you learnt how to find the information you need and how to read it and implement it, you'll need those skills in this 2nd step.

During this 2nd step you have a lot more info inside you so you should have a better understanding of the problems you're facing and when you can't find a way to proceed you start needing more human intervention, so this means you need to be able to ask the right questions. Forums like this one, or using Stack Overflow, should be really helpful as they'll give you access to more experienced devs who, if you ask the right questions, will hopefully help you out.

Other things you can do during this step:

* Hopefully you have a job coding, this will be helpful because hopefully you're at a good company where you will have mentors. Doing something for 8-10 hours a day with guided help is pretty crucial. If this is a hobby then finding a real human to mentor and help you is harder.

* Find a human to mentor and help you! See point 1! Use forums and other online sources like Stack Overflow to help. A real human you can have a coffee with is best, but, a human behind a keyboard is still very useful, even if its only via a forum or blog post.

* Start finding some devs who are doing what you want to be doing and writing about it. Blog posts can be variable in quality so try to find a few devs who regularly write top-quality stuff (hopefully covering stuff you want to do) and follow them, ask them questions if you can. Twitter can be useful here as its usage is high amongst developers and devs are generally very shouty these days, put another way, blog posts can be very time-consuming to write properly so naturally the author will want to shout about it to get an audience, thankfully they're often very receptive to critique and questions, some are even paid to do so! Find them and follow them!

* Write as much code as you can. Hack together games if that's your thing. Create scripts to help you do stuff, like firing up a local server or transforming a json file. Anything. Do it all. Write as much code as possible. Care little if things work perfectly, care a little more that with each app/script/game/thing you create your coding skill increases. After a while you'll get good enough that you'll really know when your code improves (at first you won't, and a little later on you might get the Fear about whether you're actually improving, don't worry about either of these states right now, just keep coding!).

* Npm is a package manager for node primarily, but, is now fully utilised by many a front-end JS developer as well. These are all free and open-source modules, which means that most you can poke through the code. Do this. You have access to code that older developers could only dream of having access to. Reading code (particularly complex fully-formed code) is tricky, but its a crucial skill. Don't worry if you get lost at the moment, keep going. It will be an invaluable skill later on.

* Many games posted here and elsewhere are open source and so you can have access to the source code, often via Github. Look through. Fully-fledged games are not easy to read the source code to without instruction, so, make sure you practise your code-reading skills by looking through smaller modules (i.e. via npm) and persevere, maybe you can find where an RPG game initialises objects or the map, work from there, maybe you can find where collision logic is in a side-scroller, at this stage just being able to follow through the source code will expose you to lots of different ways of doing things.

* Maybe there is an open-source project you could contribute to, such as Phaser, Pixi, Babylon or the other projects that have a home on these boards? Small documentation amends are extremely welcome by most maintainers and will help you dip your toe in to the water before trying to dive in to fixing/improving the code.


Good luck in improving your skills, sounds like you have already set out on the right path.

Never stop asking questions, never stop learning.

It's a long, but rewarding path. 

Don't take short-cuts.

And always, always make sure you're enjoying it!

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