Ok, so, I've made several attempts to learn to program in the past couple of years, and nothing much ever amounted from it.
I'm trying again, this time focusing on learning Java because I want to learn to mod Minecraft.
I do have the most GENERAL of programming ideas down, but little else. (Like I know what Object Oriented Programming is, I know what variables are, I know what If/else statements are, etc.)
The problem generally comes from the fact that whenever I get the drive to try to learn this stuff, it's because I wanna DO something specific with it. Like make a Minecraft mod, for example. I know I need to start much smaller, but I don't wanna MAKE anything smaller, and my disinterest in smaller, pointless-feeling "practice" coding kills my enthusiasm.
I know most coders start learning with a "hello world" type of program, but I don't care to greet the world digitally. The world can get lost until I'm done learning.
This is the core of my problem. How do I actually make the trek up the learning curve more interesting? If I can actually feel like I'm doing something useful, or at least interesting, I can keep pushing myself forward.
How do I keep myself engaged in the early stages?
(And I want to be clear, that I'm not asking for any specific, directly coding-related feedback, like "good coding practices," etc. It's more a question of motivation and philosophy than of variables and exceptions. But I'm also not looking for a pep-talk, or anything like that. I want something I can directly try to put into practice if possible. "This is what I did, when I learned to code..." will help me far more than "Keep trying, you can do it, outdated meme believes in you!")
Thanks. I think I even might have an idea for such a simple application.
I do a lot of tabletop roleplaying, we use a lot of custom homebrewed settings. A random generator, which can draw from custom lists of races/classes/locations/equipment/etc. would be a huge benefit. I imagine that it would basically be just a bunch of RNG-controlled access of dynamically generated lists/arrays/whatever. It wouldn't need much in terms of graphics, because it would just be a bunch of words.
Would something like that be a good place to start?
Also, thanks for the specific suggestion of learning about errors. Is there any particularly effective way to get that under my belt as fast as possible?
I also wanna ask, how much do I need to learn before I'm ready to dig into Minecraft? I've seen other people ask the same question before, and they always get different, and usually vague answers.
I want to do as much of the "learning" of Java as possible by fiddling around with Minecraft, so I want to get to the point of being just proficient enough with Java to start messing with it as soon as possible.
I've got a lot of mod ideas, and some of them are fairly ambitious, so I've settled on a "beginner" mod to get used to things before I try to go for the bigger stuff. It's just a mod that adds a bunch of custom mobs to the game and their associated item drops, spawn rates, AI, etc.
Once I've gotten past my tabletop generator, would that be a sufficiently low-skill mod to start with?