Major Life Decision: OpenGL games or WindowsPhone app development

This is a discussion on Major Life Decision: OpenGL games or WindowsPhone app development within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hey so i just wanted a little help making the decision of whether i should continue the path i've started ...

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    Talking Major Life Decision: OpenGL games or WindowsPhone app development

    Hey so i just wanted a little help making the decision of whether i should continue the path i've started with learning OpenGL + SDL or instead turn to what my dad says is gonna get pretty popular: WindowsPhone7 App Development

    I've read Sams C++ 1 hour a day and understood it almost completely, and and on chapter 4 of OpenGL superbibe but find myself rather frusterated with how the authors organize the book (waiting until ch. 4 to explain how to set up Projection Matrix and Coord. system?? WTF). I can not manage matricies right now for the life of me either.

    I'm wondering if there was any other better path for learning graphics programming, eventually Game Programming, like a more in-depth book or easier, functional API.....

    The other option is to instead do what my dad (who works for microsft/ has connections) and be one of the developers Microsoft is desperate for the WP7...

    I'm currently 16 and about done with algebra 2 also.... So what do you suggest for a programmer who started about 7 months ago??

    Thanks for any Input!!

  2. #2
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    Commercially C# is killing C++. Where I live there have been less than 6 C++ jobs this year and 1,000's of .NET jobs.

    If you want to do this professionally go C# using XNA.

    If you want do do this as a hobby, save yourself some headaches, and go C# with XNA...

    [only my opinion, so not worth anything...]
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
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    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    What do you want to do? Do computer software or mobile software?
    For computer, C++ or C# is fine.
    For mobile (Windows Phone), C# is probably your best bet since native isn't supported by Microsoft.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    I like and think most about ideas for game programming, which is why I got into OpenGL in the first place... but I'm thinking it would be a smarter route to get into the new market of windows Phone Apps considering my dad knows a lot of programmers at MS,

    Can I not program games on a windows phone with C++ and OpenGL and other Libs?

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    No you can't, because some idiots at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to go the way of Apple--locking down the OS and allowing only specific programming languages they choose to be used. And the chosen one is C#.
    Yes, there are ways to run native code on Windows Phone (thankfully), but it isn't supported in any official way. It requires you to hack the phone, like jailbreaking Apples phones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRIFFnDOOR View Post
    Hey so i just wanted a little help making the decision of whether i should continue the path i've started with learning OpenGL + SDL or instead turn to what my dad says is gonna get pretty popular: WindowsPhone7 App Development
    Ignore advice about programming activities from people who don't do it. It is like listening to people who have never been in a tent tell you about great places to go camping -- the more time you spend in a tent, the more absurd and pretensious they sound. Esp. true for family, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIFFnDOOR View Post
    ... but I'm thinking it would be a smarter route to get into the new market of windows Phone Apps considering my dad knows a lot of programmers at MS,
    Even worse: people who don't camp but they have lots of friends that do, and much 2nd hand garbled wisdom that they did not understand in the first place. I'm sure your father is a well meaning person. Parents usually are. That does not mean they are not also easily irritating, delusional, naive, and overblown. Just nod and smile.

    In reality, you probably have a ways to go before you really have to commit yourself to some specific form of career specialization. Meaning: there is plenty of time for you to explore both openGL games and mobile platforms, or for that matter openGL games on mobile platforms.

    IMO, learning to use a variety of technologies/libraries/programming languages, etc, will probably make you a more well rounded and informed thinker than picking one thing early and trying to run with it. I haven't done a formal study or anything in this regard, but I think people who really excel because of specializing from an early age are an exception and not a rule.

    Also it's probably boring. Just do whatever interests you for now, and then when something else strikes your fancy, go for it. I think you will find windows phone app developement is going to be very awkward, tedious, and over your head. Many people appreciate jazz and small glittery electronic things that fit in your pocket, but that does not mean the week you pick up an instrument you should start practicing beebop, because your dad says it's cool and will make you rich and famous

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIFFnDOOR View Post
    on chapter 4 of OpenGL superbibe but find myself rather frusterated with how the authors organize the book
    Yes, Richard S. Wright should be banned from ever publishing again. The standards for computer books are low; it is sort of a pulp/trash genre. Get used to it.
    Last edited by MK27; 04-25-2011 at 02:17 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    In my opinion you should take a look at both (for the start) and if you find a favourite go for it. otherwise it isn't a bad way (in my young opinion) to have a basic set of both specialization and learn the deep 1337 stuff on demand. When i started my student job i kew basics about c++. I learned the rest while doing my work. Sure it isn't the most easy way and maybe also not he wisest but it worked out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes, Richard S. Wright should be banned from ever publishing again. The standards for computer books are low; it is sort of a pulp/trash genre. Get used to it.
    Ok so if books are not the way to go, and if im not in college where the classes.... what is?? The online tutorials don't seem much better than the books!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    No you can't, because some idiots at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to go the way of Apple--locking down the OS and allowing only specific programming languages they choose to be used. And the chosen one is C#.
    Thanks for all the input too guys!
    and are there any mobile phones that aren't locked down, and pretty open to whatever language/libs you know? i havn't done any research on android yet

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRIFFnDOOR View Post
    Ok so if books are not the way to go, and if im not in college where the classes.... what is?? The online tutorials don't seem much better than the books!
    The online tutorials are the same way only more so: sometimes great, sometimes awful.

    But I did not mean ignore books! There are great books, and people are different, but you and I perhaps agree about the "OpenGL SuperBible". The "red book" is better. The problem with books is you usually have to buy them and it is a crap shoot. General caveat: avoid "cookbooks" and go for old fashioned references.

    If you live in a major city with a decent library system, you might be amazed at what they stock, and having that kind of resource available too you will make a big difference. Last year I was living in NYC, and the Queens Central Library had the biggest display of programming texts I've ever seen -- floor to ceiling for 150', and 90% of them were < 5 years old. That was at one branch.

    Cboard too is sometimes great sometimes awful and again, people are different and relate to things differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIFFnDOOR View Post
    and are there any mobile phones that aren't locked down, and pretty open to whatever language/libs you know? i havn't done any research on android yet
    WRT "where to start", maybe a good question here is: what devices do you have access to? If you are going to have to buy one, why not go with the device that most appeals to you (as opposed to what rumour says will be popular down the road, or the language required; you can learn any language at any point, and even "less popular" devices need professional programmers. Choosing a fad may just mean joining a longer line).

    I have never programmed a mobile device, but IMO it looks like a very restricted environment, which is why I was suggesting someone in their first year might be happier doing less specialized things in a more traditional setting, such as on your computer. Probably getting comfortable there first will make the leap less frustrating. But I'm not yer dad
    Last edited by MK27; 04-25-2011 at 04:13 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Ok thanks! Any other books you suggests that are better organized? And should i still continue with the superbible or just switch to only the redbook?

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    any other oppinions would be much appreciated also =)

  13. #13
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    Learn programming by doing it. Learning to solve problems / fix bugs is a very important skill.

    Do not worry too much about which language you use. Once you understand the basic building blocks used create code, languages are just syntax and libs.

    Anyway, by the time you graduate in (~5 years) none of the current languages/frameworks will be used for anything much but legacy support.

    Focus on the area of games that interests you.

    If you want to create game systems and mechanics (engines etc) then learn C++ (so you understand how to create the lower tier systems games run on, learn memory management etc).

    If you want to create game content (stories, quests etc) then save time using C# with the XNA framework (and let XNA handle the basic systems).
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

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