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handmade.network»Forums»Is there a definitive method to studying HandmadeHero?
2 posts
Is there a definitive method to studying HandmadeHero?
3 weeks ago Edited by Abdo on July 9, 2021, 6:40 p.m.
Hello, I have been following the HandmadeHero series and it has been a fun experience learning low level stuff with Casey. Lately though,
I've noticed I'm having real trouble absorbing/understanding what is actually going on, I'm currently at episode 33(Virtualized tile maps) and I've been having a rough time almost since we started talking about coordinates in tile maps. The usual way I study HandmadeHero is that I watch the video in it's entirety including the QnA and then I start my editor and try to follow along with what Casey did, if I find that I'm having trouble understanding a certain concept or if there's something I feel is important but I completely forgot, I simply watch that part again and write the code. This approach has worked up to the point where we started talking about the 2-layered coordinate system and tile storage and chunks. Now, it's basically impossible for me to watch the entire video then just start coding, I feel like I have no clue where I should even start and so I changed my approach to following along the video bit by bit, stopping the video at a certain point and writing along with Casey. So far, I would say this approach has worked better and I'm having an easier time understanding but I also am afraid that in the long run, I might just
discover that all I did was copy code and am not capable of solving a certain problem myself. This part of the series has been a very challenging task for me and I feel good about that because it means that if I don't give up, I might just end up being a better programmer than now, but I can't help but feel frustrated at my inability to follow along and started getting weird ideas like what if I'm just not suited for this kind of thing. Although maybe I just need a break xD. So my questions are, is there a better way to study HandmadeHero? What am I doing wrong? How should I proceed? Am I being stupid or is this part I'm stuck in (episodes 31 - 35) a bit of a step up in difficulty? Any help and/or insight would be much appreciated.
Simon Anciaux
1027 posts
Is there a definitive method to studying HandmadeHero?
3 weeks ago
One thing you could do is compile Casey's code and step in it to figure out what's happening and in which order. Taking notes (preferably on paper so you can draw stuff too) to create a "map" of the code can help. The idea is to understand the general goal of some piece of code and then figure out the intermediate steps needed to get the desired result. For example don't step in each functions. At first stay at a "high level" to see what the code does, then try to step lower to understand how it does it.

It's normal to be lost at times, Casey has (I suppose) more experience so you won't think the same as him or as fast. And the more important for me is to learn how to program better, not to learn how to program the same game as Casey.
2 posts
Is there a definitive method to studying HandmadeHero?
3 weeks ago
The last thing you said about just not programming the same exact thing opened my eyes. I guess I got too caught up in following along that I forgot I did actually buy HMH and could step through the source code xD, thanks!