Not true. See the following threads: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. All of these threads were posted by newbies (some were programming newbies, some with programming experience but newbies to gamedev), and all of them received a friendly and helpful response that did not include telling them to go search google or read a book.
Someone who can ask questions such as those have advanced from beginner to novice.
You pick one (website, book, engine). You read it, try to understand it, and then go on to the next one. And then the next one.
And you could end up spending 500 buck on ten books that don't tell you a damn thing you want to know. Book reviews are generally useless you actually get someone who knows what the book is supposed to teach. Otherwise it's half who say this book sucks and half who say the book sucks and the other half say it's awesome. If people are encouraged to post what they've read and it's compiled in an easy to find format that's excellent.
Take the 40 things about better game design or whatever it was that was posted recently. That's cool, but in a couple of months it'll be buried a couple of pages back and pretty much forgotten and never seen by "noobs". You can't expect anyone to to look thouroughly through every past post to see if what they want is there. The search engine isn't foolproof either.
When I started getting interested in programming I didn't have anyone to help me along. My dad got my a couple library books about BASIC and Pascal, but I went from there all by myself. I've learned an immense amount from reading books, websites, and forums like this one and the late Flipcode. I learned from what was posted even if I couldn't immediately apply it to what I was doing. I never asked nor needed anyone to hold my hand through it.
Gee, wouldn't the world be lovely if we were all as perfect as you. Oh, but wait, you didn't do it alone. You used a book. I bet that was maybe one of about 2 books on the subject at that time or at best the one book you had. Today there are hundreds and nothig makes it easy on deciding which one is right for you.
Besides, if everyone were able to do it on their own then DevMaster would have a much different purpose I'd think. It may not even exist since everyone would be programming their own engines anyway.
Moreover, this forum is simply not here to be a school.
Well, yeah, it is. There is plenty of teaching information here. Oddly enough most "noobs" can't seem to find it so they head straight to the forum. The "How do I make an MMORPG?" "noobs" seem to completely miss the Beginners Guide to Making MMORPG's in the Articles section. I wonder why that is? It also curious that there wasn't one single article posted or even updated in 2006. I'm sure that makes at least some of it obsolete. STill, I'm sure if the article section was made a bit more obvious there may be a significan drop in those types of questions.
If we didn't believe in those virtues then we wouldn't have a forum. The issue is one of community quality.
Quality of an online community is subjective. I initially came to DevMaster because of the 3D engin database and that's all. I browsed the forum and liked what I read and tried to involve myself where I could. The quality of the layout is just awful though. For example newbies who want to make an MMORPG can't seem to fing the outdated article on making an MMORPG.
If we allow every beginner who wants to make a MMORPG to come in here and post, then the community will go completely downhill
Every beginner wouldn't ask that question if they could easily...well, you know.
Maybe the newbies could benefit from having teachers. But, like mentioned, this is not a school and most of us are not here to be teachers.
Well of course, but you don't have to have a curiculum for crying out loud. But this is a community and a forum and it has staff members. Staff members have specific duties. I'm sure at one time there was a staff member in charge of articles, where did this person go? Or why did they stop doing their job? No updates for over a year. That's just bad business. A staff member of a website is supposed to help keep a web site in top condition and improve the overall website if they can. Fill in the blanks, make sure everything is current if they can.
Face it, the problem isn't with noobs asking how to make an MMORPG. Its problem is that noobs ask about making MMORPG's in the forum because what they are looking for is either hard to find, outdated, or simply not there.
You want to solve your problems then her are my suggestions:
Tweak the layout a bit so some things are more obvious (like the MMORPG article, that will solve a lot of forum issues right there)
Update or outright replace articles that are out of date and add newer ones. No one expects everything to be here, but they should expect something other than 2005 leftovers.
Consolidate or group the best links, forum topics, etc so that a link to a great article is never pushed back after two months. Maybe set up a ranking system so the best ones stay on the top.
Have a newbie question of the week or something. Best answer gets to be DevMasters Top Dog for the next week. Encourage people to write articles.
Just don't completely shut out anyone. Who knows, the next noob that gets pushed away might, in five or so years, thank all the wonderful people at GameDev.net for all their help as he accepts his award.
Now that would be a tragedy.
Blame any grammatical erors on it being 3am...