Where To Start?
I am a complete beginner and have no idea where to start. I would like (in the long term) to be able to create simple games and then possibly move onto more complex 3D games.
I realise this will mean learning a programming language (or two) and will take LOTS of practice.
However having taken this into account I am prepared for the hard work.
I do not know what language would be most useful to learn to achieve these goals.
I purchased a 'C++' book (having heard it is pretty common). However (having skipped to the later chapters on the accompanying CDrom) the tasks and creations seem to be text based and more application style that run in DOS with no interactive buttons or styled windows. This may be due to the book. Maybe a book specific to game creation would be more suitable if there is such a thing?
Bearing in mind I have no idea how the process of making a game goes. Is C++ still the language needed? Are characters backgrounds buttons menus, and the over all game environment created in the code or are they created in different software and then just the 'engine' of the game is in code, linking all the aspects together?
I have no idea.
Anychance any of you guys (or girls, but stereotypicaly probably guys) could help me?
And could you reccomend some simple tutorials/books to make these games when I have some knowledge of the necessary programing language.
Any recomendations on Books or sites to help learn the language in the first place would also be appreciated.
C++ is widely used for game making, to draw 3D you the screen you should use OpenGL or DirectX (Direct3D). But to begin with I suggest you read your book, C++ is easiest to learn in the console and windows programming can be a pain. At least for me, since I don't know so much about it. There are some game programming book which brings up the very basics of C++, but I guess that your book is better. All C++ beginneres books begin with the console.
When you know a bit of C++ http://nehe.gamedev.net is a page with great OpenGL tutorials which are very good. You can also look around at the articles on http://www.gamedev.net .
What I mostly have spoken about here is 3D proramming, maybe someone else would point you in the right way for the 2D part which I don't know anything about (except programming in flash)
Good luck with the learning, I myself started C++ for 4 months ago and I'm already trying to write bumpmapping and other cool stuff along with a slope-lighted heightmap and a level editor. These things are really funny, too bad that oblivion has caught my attention ;)
It's best to learn the language first before attempting any kind of graphics programming. It could take a while before you are ready to hit OpenGL or DirectX or even just to create a styled window with buttons. Console programming is the way to go. Just keep reading your book and hang around the C++ forum and this forum. You will learn a lot from just being here ;)
id learn c++ , win32 for making the window and then do directx or opengl,
I advise you to avoid Windows programming as much as you can; GDI is awfull and slow to work with. Once you master console programming, get a quick intro to Windows programming (enough so that you can write the base code for your games), and then jump right into game programming.
It's also worth mentioning that there are several libraries out there (qt, wxpython, glut etc) that are easier and more flexible than straight winapi and that will handle your windowing and gui for you in a dependable, cross-platform way.
Yes glut is a great tool. If you don't mind the fact that it is over eight years old. SDL for teh Win!
Don't learn GDI as has been said. It's a waste of time when it comes to actual graphics.
wxWidgets, Allegro, GTK etc etc etc.
But you should forget all of this first and concentrate on actually learning C++. It's hard enough.