where to start

This is a discussion on where to start within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; for someone who is thinking about starting to program games. Is there a starting program (like hello world would be ...

  1. #1
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    where to start

    for someone who is thinking about starting to program games. Is there a starting program (like hello world would be to someone learning a laguage) that everyone starts with?

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    You mean like say reading the sticky threads at the top of this forum?

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    Pong?

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    You could always start out with something as simple as a guess the number game, then move on to hang man, then you could move on to a text adventure. All of these are simple to do but you can learn a lot by doing them.
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    the Great ElastoManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunder
    You could always start out with something as simple as a guess the number game, then move on to hang man, then you could move on to a text adventure. All of these are simple to do but you can learn a lot by doing them.
    Yeah thats right!
    But don't use Windows, learn it later, it's complicated...
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    so start on the console?

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    the Great ElastoManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Spud
    so start on the console?
    agree
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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You guys will think I'm nuts but I say dump console. Go to www.borland.com, register, and go to the museum. Download Turbo C++ 1.01 and yes it still works on XP. Learn to program the VGA from www.brackeen.com and you will be much closer to doing graphics than you might think.

    Fact is all the technology in DirectX has been compiled from those who used to code in DOS using VGA mode 13h and SVGA. All the stuff on your hardware video accelerators has also been done before in software in someone's old 3D DOS-based engine. All this matrix stuff and all the algos were all there in the DOS days, it's just now the hardware can do all this stuff for us.

    Learning DOS and learning to access VGA memory as an array will bring you much closer to game programming than doing anything in the console. Just try it.

    And if you cringe at using 16-bit DOS then try DJGPP at www.delorie.com. It's a little more complicated but you get used to it after a bit.

    I don't think this is poor advice, but if so feel free to comment.

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    I don't think that's bad advice at all but a lot can be learned by doing text mode things. I mean just writing a simple text adventure could teach you a lot depending on how much you wanted to put into it. And it's a lot easier doing these simple little things if you don't need to worry about graphics while you're learning.
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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    But matrices and graphics algorithms in general are machine independent, so why cripple yourself with non-standard compilers, 16-bit memory ?

    Sure, if you know C++ well enough already, and can work your way around the short-comings of the old kit, perhaps.

    But trying to learn C++ at the same time with that old stuff will only hamper you later on when you rejoin the real world.

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    C++ Enthusiast jmd15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElastoManica
    Yeah thats right!
    But don't use Windows, learn it later, it's complicated...
    Why not use Windows? Learning Windows is not that complicated, it might be a little tough AT FIRST, but after that it is simple. You could even make a text-based game with Windows. Just make a window, create two edit box windows(one for input, the other for displaying text), and a button(that the user pushes when sending input) to let you know when to retrieve input from one of the edit boxes. If you wanted, you could even use radio buttons to let the user make decisions instead of typing a letter or number that represents a decision. I started off into the Win32 API pretty early, and now I am glad I did.
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    the Great ElastoManiac's Avatar
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    I agree that win32 rules, but it's just too complicated for a hello word.
    And creating edit child window to display text is crazy.
    Also it's crazy to input text.
    It's nearly immposible to learn Win Dev without any previus exp.
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    C++ Enthusiast jmd15's Avatar
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    For a hello world? What about this:
    Code:
    #include <windows.h>
    
    int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,PSTR szCmdLine,int iCmdShow)
    {
    MessageBox(NULL,"Hello World!","Hello",0);
    return 0;
    }
    That's a Win32 hello world program that is extremely basic. Although I think he means a hello world kind of thing into game programming, not the Win32 API. Why is it crazy to use edit boxes for displaying and entering text? That would actually look kind of cool, I think. At least better than a console text game. For a beginner, I do agree, learn more about C++ and how it works before learning the Win32 API.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElastoManiac
    I agree that win32 rules, but it's just too complicated for a hello word.
    And creating edit child window to display text is crazy.
    Also it's crazy to input text.
    It's nearly immposible to learn Win Dev without any previus exp.
    Huh. After 2 weeks of learning C++ I was able to easily read and learn some win32 API. Although I stopped after a bit because I realized I wasn't learning anything C++ wise, and just plugging in settings. It'd be best to know your C++ before going to win32 API not just so you understand it, but you know how to use it on your own. They are just commands and reading where to put things.

    A girl in my computer class didn't read a word about how to use Java and read a tutorial on using the graphics library (Swing) to make a browser and was able to pick it up, because its just placing things in the right places, and defining settings, and such.
    Warning: Have doubt in anything I post.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    But matrices and graphics algorithms in general are machine independent, so why cripple yourself with non-standard compilers, 16-bit memory ?
    True, but I use MSVC 6 inside of Windows and it hardly meets any standard as well so I guess it's more of 'pick your poison'. That's why I recommended DJGPP although I'm not sure how compliant it is either.

    The 16-bit portion though is not that big of a deal. It actually helps I think to learn in a limited environment so that you are forced to manage resources. With all this memory available I've seen some fairly odd things on this board like 3 dimensional arrays and the like.

    But Salem does have a good point.

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