Beginning Game Programming

This is a discussion on Beginning Game Programming within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I have been programming in C++ for a few months and I plan on using DirectX to make 2D games ...

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    Beginning Game Programming

    I have been programming in C++ for a few months and I plan on using DirectX to make 2D games of different types at first. I have Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming in 24 Hours and I've ordered Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming with DirectX in 21 Days. Can anyone who have read them tell me which one is better or at least which one is good. I read part of the first one, and it didn't explain much, I had to look elsewhere for info, but I'm not sure if the second one is any better, but it uses DirectX and the first one only uses the Win32 API or can anyone recommend a good game programming tutorial.

    PS: What level of math is required for the DirectX book? It uses Direct3D, but 2D graphics and I'm just learning Geometry., is that enough?
    Last edited by ???; 12-29-2003 at 12:28 PM.

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    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    Never read either book...I can say that "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" by Andre LaMothe is a decent book. It uses DirectDraw for 2d, but it doesn't assume you know much of anything so it's pretty easy to understand.

    There are also plenty of tutorials on the net (see the sticky at the top of this board), but usually they aren't nearly as well written or easy to understand as a good book

    As far as math goes, you'll need to learn more if you ever want to make any real games, but you're probably better off just learning everything as you go...
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
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    BMJ
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    LaMothe's books freaking rock!

    As for the math, it only gets weird when you start working with big 3D stuff, and even then, you can use algorithms you read/find on the net and still be fine, but it is easier for you to understand/debug/optimize when you know the math yourself.

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    but things like quaternions...well...very few people that use them really know where they're derived from.

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    The Tricks of the Windows Game Programming book uses DirectDraw and after reading some posts it seems outdated, that's why I didn't get that. I might just go for the DirectX book. As for the math,I guess I will learn the math as I go.

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    mov.w #$1337,D0 Jeremy G's Avatar
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    Any one else here have the sneaking suspicion that Sams' game books make games that some how involve cats? And there ages?
    c++->visualc++->directx->opengl->c++;
    (it should be realized my posts are all in a light hearted manner. And should not be taken offense to.)

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    lmao goten
    I have two books on C++ by them...so I know what you mean. Everyone bashes them but they're pretty thorough books actually

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    I think I might go with SDL and read some tutorials instead, (Is Cone3D good?). Are there that many windows only programmers or tutorials that use SDL and OpenGL. I checked Nehe and there's code for up to lesson 30 for SDL and OpenGL but not sure if it's for Windows.

    I plan to learn Direct3D and read the second book afterwards, so I know both APIs.

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    Nor
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    once you get an understanding of directX try this site
    http://nehe.gamedev.net/
    OpenGl - its the same prencable(dude that runs your highschool)s as direct x but i think simpler to do easy stuff, easyer to do hard stuff.

    and from what i've see runs better on most cards.
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    BMJ
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    Originally posted by Nor
    and from what i've see runs better on most cards.
    ^<< correct if wrong >>^
    That was more true with older versions of DirectX. Of course, some people can't ever seem to get used to Microsoft's notation and ALLCAPS_IDENTIFIERS, and so dub DirectX, "hard" to use.

    And LaMothe's books do cover a lot of fundamentals along with the DX code... but there is an updated version of "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus", too.

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    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    yeah i just saw a new version of "Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus" 2 or 3 days ago at a bookstore. (Half-Price Books rocks, it had it for $25).
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    I have one more question to ask, which API is better for 2D graphics SDL or Direct3D? I don't plan to use SDL anytime in the future but I do plan to use Direct3D for a while.

    Also about the Nehe OpenGL tutorial is it in order. To understand lesson 17(2D tutorial), do you have to have gone through 2 - 16. If not what previous tutorials do you have to know before reading that?
    Last edited by ???; 01-01-2004 at 03:36 PM.

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    I think it depends on the tutorial. To be honest there's no easy way to start with this stuff, you kind of just have to jump in, and formulate your own opinions...i.e, personally if I were you, instead of asking if I needed to do tutorials up through 16 in order to understand tutorial 17, I would've just tried reading tutorial 17

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    It seems to me that Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus is really popular. I know that there's also a book call Tricks of Windows Game Programming. What's the difference in the two? Also, what do I need to know before reading them? I know fairly well most of C++ already, is that enough? or should I go into something else before going into Game Programming?
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    the latter is more updated and covers an impossibly large amount of content. But, it's not really one of those books where you have to know everything already in order to understand it, I think lamothe does a good job in explaining most of what I've read in tricks of the 3d game programming gurus, but don't expect to be able to read the entire book. plus, no matter what book you get, you'll have to struggle with content because no author explains topics as well as you'd personally like.

    EDIT:
    the book assumes you are comfortable with C/C++. It largely stays away from stict object oriented programming, and although it teaches the mathematics used you'll still get spanked quite hard. plus, it does software rendering, it doesn't teach OpenGL or Direct3D or any of that hoo haa. LaMothe says that "in order to be a true guru you must know how to write a software renderer", which is crap in my opinion because now a days writing a fully-functional software renderer takes up too much time and is pointless because it won't ever be fast enough, unless of course you want to take a job as a device driver writer for ATI or nVidia.
    Last edited by Silvercord; 01-01-2004 at 07:40 PM.

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