In need of guidance

This is a discussion on In need of guidance within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I'm wondering if anyone could give advice on the next book for me to get. I'm particularly interested in learning ...

  1. #1
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    In need of guidance

    I'm wondering if anyone could give advice on the next book for me to get. I'm particularly interested in learning about 3D games programming.

    So far I've read "Teach yourself C++" by Jesse Liberty as well as "Begginning Game Programming" by Micheal Morrison. From this I've got an understanding of C++ and have been able to program some console programs and a few basic 2D gams. I think I'm ready to move onto 3D but I'm wondering where to start.

    I'm told I should go with learning either DirectX or OpenGL, but which is best? I've spent several hours on Amazon looking at different books, but all have very mixed reviews and I'm not sure what skill level to consider myself at.

    If anyone can suggest any good books for beginning in 3D game programming, or give links to any websites with good information, it would be much appreciated.

    Many Thanks.

  2. #2
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Well there's a whole bunch of information in our very own local game programmers forum.

  3. #3
    Registered User Kurisu's Avatar
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    OpenGL seemed easier to me when I started learning it and was able to jump right into the mathematics behind 3D games (i.e. FPS camera movement; controls; etc.). I however now use DirectX just because........

    As for books I haven't owned many but I found "AI for Game Developers" by OReilly to be useful for general game principles.

    For DirectX i own "Beginning Direct3D Game Programming 2nd Edition" by Engel, which is okay.

    For OpenGl i found "Advanced Graphics Programming Techniques using OpenGL" to have some useful pictures to aid in learning.
    "OpenGL Reference Manual" talks about all functions kinda like MSDN documentation.
    "OpenGL Super Bible" was also kindof nice.

    I've also owned a book that took the user step by step through making a 2D Scroller game.. They provided all the graphics, sound, etc. and took you through it step by step from start to finish.. however, it was for DirectDraw which is now outdated, but there are probably ones out there for 3D games.. (this was the most useful type and fun book to go through)


    Code:
    AI FOR GAME DEVELOPERS TOC
      Chapter 1.  Introduction to Game AI 
            Section 1.1.  Deterministic Versus Nondeterministic AI 
            Section 1.2.  Established Game AI 
            Section 1.3.  The Future of Game AI 
           Chapter 2.  Chasing and Evading 
            Section 2.1.  Basic Chasing and Evading 
            Section 2.2.  Line-of-Sight Chasing 
            Section 2.3.  Line-of-Sight Chasing in Tiled Environments 
            Section 2.4.  Line-of-Sight Chasing in Continuous Environments 
            Section 2.5.  Intercepting 
           Chapter 3.  Pattern Movement 
            Section 3.1.  Standard Algorithm 
            Section 3.2.  Pattern Movement in Tiled Environments 
            Section 3.3.  Pattern Movement in Physically Simulated Environments 
           Chapter 4.  Flocking 
            Section 4.1.  Classic Flocking 
            Section 4.2.  Flocking Example 
            Section 4.3.  Obstacle Avoidance 
            Section 4.4.  Follow the Leader 
           Chapter 5.  Potential Function-Based Movement 
            Section 5.1.  How Can You Use Potential Functions for Game AI? 
            Section 5.2.  Chasing/Evading 
            Section 5.3.  Obstacle Avoidance 
            Section 5.4.  Swarming 
            Section 5.5.  Optimization Suggestions 
           Chapter 6.  Basic Pathfinding and Waypoints 
            Section 6.1.  Basic Pathfinding 
            Section 6.2.  Breadcrumb Pathfinding 
            Section 6.3.  Path Following 
            Section 6.4.  Wall Tracing 
            Section 6.5.  Waypoint Navigation 
           Chapter 7.  A* Pathfinding 
            Section 7.1.  Defining the Search Area 
            Section 7.2.  Starting the Search 
            Section 7.3.  Scoring 
            Section 7.4.  Finding a Dead End 
            Section 7.5.  Terrain Cost 
            Section 7.6.  Influence Mapping 
            Section 7.7.  Further Information 
           Chapter 8.  Scripted AI and Scripting Engines 
            Section 8.1.  Scripting Techniques 
            Section 8.2.  Scripting Opponent Attributes 
            Section 8.3.  Basic Script Parsing 
            Section 8.4.  Scripting Opponent Behavior 
            Section 8.5.  Scripting Verbal Interaction 
            Section 8.6.  Scripting Events 
            Section 8.7.  Further Information 
           Chapter 9.  Finite State Machines 
            Section 9.1.  Basic State Machine Model 
            Section 9.2.  Finite State Machine Design 
            Section 9.3.  Ant Example 
            Section 9.4.  Further Information 
           Chapter 10.  Fuzzy Logic 
            Section 10.1.  How Can You Use Fuzzy Logic in Games? 
            Section 10.2.  Fuzzy Logic Basics 
            Section 10.3.  Control Example 
            Section 10.4.  Threat Assessment Example 
           Chapter 11.  Rule-Based AI 
            Section 11.1.  Rule-Based System Basics 
            Section 11.2.  Fighting Game Strike Prediction 
            Section 11.4.  Further Information 
           Chapter 12.  Basic Probability 
            Section 12.1.  How Do You Use Probability in Games? 
            Section 12.2.  What is Probability? 
            Section 12.3.  Probability Rules 
            Section 12.4.  Conditional Probability 
           Chapter 13.  Decisions Under Uncertainty—Bayesian Techniques 
            Section 13.1.  What is a Bayesian Network? 
            Section 13.2.  Trapped? 
            Section 13.3.  Treasure? 
            Section 13.4.  By Air or Land 
            Section 13.5.  Kung Fu Fighting 
            Section 13.6.  Further Information 
           Chapter 14.  Neural Networks 
            Section 14.0.   
            Section 14.1.  Dissecting Neural Networks 
            Section 14.2.  Training 
            Section 14.3.  Neural Network Source Code 
            Section 14.4.  Chasing and Evading with Brains 
            Section 14.5.  Further Information 
           Chapter 15.  Genetic Algorithms 
            Section 15.1.  Evolutionary Process 
            Section 15.2.  Evolving Plant Life 
            Section 15.3.  Genetics in Game Development 
            Section 15.4.  Further Information

  4. #4
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisu

    I've also owned a book that took the user step by step through making a 2D Scroller game.. They provided all the graphics, sound, etc. and took you through it step by step from start to finish.. however, it was for DirectDraw which is now outdated, but there are probably ones out there for 3D games.. (this was the most useful type and fun book to go through)

    Sounds like a cool book, which one was it?
    Environment: OS X, GCC / G++
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  5. #5
    Registered User Kurisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neandrake
    Sounds like a cool book, which one was it?
    Not sure of the exact title as I can't find my hard copy around.. all I can find is the soft copy (pdfs/wavs/pngs/etc) sitting on my harddrive...

    Basically it is a Game programming teacher at the University of Texas who wrote the book, which he uses to teach his students the step by step process of how a game is made... The game was called "Ned's Turkey Farm". Nice book as it taught everything from graphic loaders, direct input, direct sound, basic AI, background scrollers, animation, menus, highscores, etc... But like i said earlier it was written for DirectDraw which is somewhat deprecated..

    Excerpt from intro:
    The approach that I take in this book, how ever, is different. It is the product of seven years of teaching game programming to students of computer science at the University of North Texas. Typically, those students are smart enough to read the documentation that comes with the DirectX SDK, and smart enough to experiment with the code samples. The problem is, all that information is fragmentary and over whelming in its complexity. Therefs just so much information that its hard to know where to begin. Thatfs where my class comes in. I teach using a series of game demos for a side-scroller called Neds Turkey Farm. Each demo adds a new feature or set of features onto the previous one, much as a real game is developed. Thus, the class is as much about the process of coding a game as it is about DirectX

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    more info on the book

    The book which was referenced above, is called -

    Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0


    This book is by Dr. Ian Parberry, who is a professor at the University of North Texas, I am currently taking his class on game programming. He no longer uses his directdraw approach in teaching Ned's Turkey Farm. But the book above does. I believe he is going to be coming out with an updated book in the next year or so, if you want to wait.

    Otherwise he allows people who have purchased the book to download his more recent lecture notes, and code for turkey farm, to augment the book.

    here is the url for his page with more info:
    http://larc.csci.unt.edu/book2/info.html

    personally, I'd wait til the new one comes out.

    you should also note that the book that Dr. Parberry recommends to students in his game programing class is -
    Introduction to 3D Game Programming with MS DirectX 9.0 by Frank Luna
    not his own book
    Last edited by maryingst; 09-10-2006 at 02:49 PM.

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