I want to learn programming, specifically game programming. I just need to know how to get started. I am currently going to school for computer science but the programming courses havent started yet and I want to start learning now. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
First, grab a book and learn the basics of C++. If you want to know what book to buy, run a board search - there are a ton of threads on it. You'll have to get a compiler too - there are free ones out there, or if you're willing to spend a bundle, get MSVC.
After you know the basics, try making a simple tic-tac-toe game. Learn a graphics API, like Allegro or SDL. (just Google for them) Move on to some version of Pong, followed by Tetris. After you get all those done, you'll probably know where to go with your programming on your own - especially if you hang around these boards much. WinAPI, OpenGL and DirectX are all good choices for a next step, if you haven't learned any of that by the time you're at this point. You might want to head over to gamedev.net for some more ideas... and check the "game programming links" sticky at the top of this board.
The internet is a great resource as well. I haven't read a single programming book, ever. I consider myself pretty intermediate. A lot of books are available online as well.
im assuming you are heading to your first year college? anyhow, as frenchfry said you can search the net for some very good tutorials; so there is really no need to buy books as i havent done so in 3 years and im a 4th year compsci/robotics student (ok, just a few assembly and robotics books but thats about it).
however, i remember my first year C++ course where i did buy a very good book called "C++ for Programmers" - third edition by Leen Ammeraal: http://home.wxs.nl/~ammeraal/cppbook.html
my specialty is not C++ but every once in a while when i want to refresh my memory and to remember what the language was all about i refer to this book :D however make sure you spend enough time searching for a good book, you dont want to pick up a book, take it home and realize you waisted your money since the material in the book is too heavy and advanced or not well explained! so in a sense you are taking a risk by buying a book :eek: thats why the internet is a more reliable choice!!!!
BTW. tnx blackrat for the guidance! i was also wondering myself how to get started on game programming too!
anyhow, good luck!