i am starting computing and game development this year at my local university. I was wondering what programming language would be good to learn the basics of before i start.
Pick any. The popular languages are all pretty complex in various at this point from the point of a noob.
The most prevalent languages in game development are C++, C, C#, with some Python and Lua presenting themselves in scripting environments.
I think Python is the best in terms of easiest to pick up, teaches good formatting, and is a good lead-in to c like languages. You could also check with the university you plan on going to and see what language they use in the first semester. It might also be good to find which book they use, although it may make the course boring that way also. You can't lose with Python because it gets used a lot and is one of the fastest growing languages. The last I looked it was the fastest growing language.
This question typically leads to threads where everybody recommends something different and start arguing why the others are wrong.
When it comes to scripting and development, I would have to say that Python would be very easy yet there are limitations it poses over what could be achieved commonly needing a pairing with another programming language to accomplish tasks.
C# would be very easy to learn and you can actually accomplish even a full 3d game with just it because it is very much easy to implement with XNA and silverlight.
Though if you really want to start with something basic, as what would probably be used in the first year, is C++. It provides autonomy, which would not be appealing to new bloods as it would tend to need a lot more to it.
Find out which language(s) used in the school's curriculum. Computer-related programs in school are typically taught in JAVA, C++, or Python. However, python is used only in beginning courses.
Bottom line, find out what language your school uses as well as the text(s) being used.
It really doesnt matter, if you think your above averagely intelligent you should be able to learn any language you want, so just pick one. me, i like c
Python is the way a lot of things have been moving in the schools out here on the west coast i know that much...
Depends what you want to do?
You CAN write games in any language, hell my first two games were written in machine code, I didn't even have an assembler.
If you want to end up writing AAA games for the state of the art machines, then you have to get good at c++, really good.
If you want to sit at home churning out casual games then you need be good at Objective C, and or Flash, and or C#.
The other issue is the hardware. What do you have?
If you have a windows 7 machine and a spare \\$100, get into XNA
If you have a mac and an iPhone, get into objective C.
(BIG market for iPhone/iPad coders at the moment)
In the old days we said there was only two ways to become a games coder, you locked yourself in a room with a computer for two years, or you locked yourself in a room with a computer and a bag of illegal substances for one year.
It's not like that anymore, but you can't go into it thinking "this is easy, I can do this in my sleep".
It takes hard work, and not everyone has the right sort of brain for complex coding.