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C++, XNA, OpenGL, DirectX...


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#1 Zorphas   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:45 PM

Hello, I'm a senior in CS major but I'm new to Game programming. I would like to get started but I'm not sure where to start. I've read the guides on the website and it seems everyone suggests C or C++. But I didn’t find anything on XNA. So, my first question is - If I'm just getting started should I start with Visual C++ or XNA? I think I already know the answer to this one but I'll ask it anyway... Should I start learning OpenGL or DirectX? (I've heard DirectX is used more often then OpenGL so I'm guessing DirectX?) Thanks you!

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#2 Deranged   Members   -  Reputation: 606

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:50 PM

As always this is one of those walk before you crawl kinds of things.. I recommend starting with C# and doing text based stuff first, moving on to 2d with something like SDL.Net, then moving on to 3d with something like XNA, OgreDotNet, mOgre, tao.OpenGL, etc.

Happy coding =)
Regards,
Sheridan Bulger
-Day Job | Software Developer | Deacom, Inc.
-Moonlighting | President (lead) | Nonpareil Studios, LLC.

#3 Zorphas   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:00 PM

Thanks :)

I already know how to make text base rpg games in C++, and very little OpenGL (how to draw squares, lines and stuff...) but I dont know anything about DirectX or how to make a 2D game... So I should start with SDL.Net?

Also I was wondering if there are any video tutorials out there for very simple games like pong or tetris that can get me started.

Thank you.

#4 daviangel   Members   -  Reputation: 600

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:53 PM

Quote:
Original post by Zorphas
Thanks :)

I already know how to make text base rpg games in C++, and very little OpenGL (how to draw squares, lines and stuff...) but I dont know anything about DirectX or how to make a 2D game... So I should start with SDL.Net?

Also I was wondering if there are any video tutorials out there for very simple games like pong or tetris that can get me started.

Thank you.

You know XNA uses DirectX right?
Anyways, here is what you need to get started with it all:
XNA pong game


#5 sanstereo   Members   -  Reputation: 115

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 03:11 PM

I'm one of the biggest advocates of C# and XNA on the planet.
It's free, easy, fast and portable to the Xbox360 via network deployment.
Brilliant design it's just a shame that they don't allow you to use C++ as well.
You can't write nearly as intricate graphics with all managed code.
XNA does use DirectX, but it's not nearly as challenging in terms of setup and really getting started; it's all done for you.

You're a senior in Computer Science (like me!) so you should have enough under belt to do a project in C++--unless your school did 101 & 102 in Java or Ada or something--which would give you enough knowledge to work in C# without a hitch.
There' a few many differences, but oerall it feels the same and is a really awesome platform.
Well, not to mention free.
And with Xbox 360 deployment you can use completely inferior hardware to code on and deploy and test it on the 360 hardware, which is faster than most everyone's PC as of late.

In a few months more books and tutorials will surface and by that time you should be well into it.

I've said it a million times, but have you considered Torque?

#6 Zorphas   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 03:57 PM

That’s the thing; there is 2 ways of looking at it:

XNA is mostly for 3D games or games with more advanced graphics - which is why people suggest I start with C++

But again, XNA is said to be easier then C++... which is why some people tell me to start with XNA.

They are both good points, I'm sure if I learn C++ game/graphics programming XNA will be very easy for me since C++ can do what XNA does but it takes a lot more work.

So, I'm confused as to where I should start. I'm leaning towards XNA atm since I found a nice set of basic video tutorials on it.

One other question: Will learning XNA make it easier for me to learn C++ and DirectX? Because honestly, I've been looking at a few C++/DirectX programs and I'm really lost... I would like to learn both of them eventually, so I'm thinking of starting with XNA since its said to be easier and move on to C++, Does that make sense?

#7 Shashwat Rohilla   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:05 AM

What does professional programmers use for graphics programming?
There are games like Counter Strike, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia, NFS etc... In which language are they written and why they chose so?

I've seen games created in C++ like Quake 3 and many games which requires DirectX installation, but haven't seen any game using XNA.

Is that because XNA requires DirectX? Do professional programmers use XNA too?

Even I created an XNA game in my Win XP PC and trying to run it on Win7. I was unable to do so.

I just want to have a setup which includes everything. Like in other games, the user just clicks on the setup and have everything required for the game installed.
How can I have this thing using XNA game created in C# dotNet in VS 2008?

I've learn't XNA to some extent, but I think that ultimately I would have to learn OpenGL C++.

Moreover, I haven't seen Java in graphics programming. It creates a bytecode when compiled, we need to have JVM and library files to run the game. Can't we have a setup which installs everything?
Is that the reason Java graphics programming is rare?

Please make all these things clear to me.:unsure:
I think these are the doubts of many programmers.

#8 MeshGearFox   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:51 AM

I'd recommend learning Common Lisp and some game library or maybe Lua and... Love, which is sort of the main Lua game library I guess.

#9 nfries88   Members   -  Reputation: 259

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:59 PM

You seem to be confused.

C++ and C# are programming languages. C++ is a low-level language with many high-level features, while C# is a very high-level language with a handful of fairly low-level features. C++ and C# have very similar syntax (they look alike), but migrating from Java to C# would probably be just as easy / easier than C++ or C#.

XNA, DirectX, and OpenGL are 3D graphics programming APIs (although DirectX actually contains sound and input APIs, and all of them can be used for 2D graphics as well).
OpenGL is available to almost every system ever known. DirectX is available only on Microsoft's platforms (Windows, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Xbox 360). OpenGL and DirectX are typically used in C and C++ code. XNA is an API created by Microsoft that wraps DirectX, and is usually used in C# code.

As for where to begin... It depends on what you want to do. Generally I'd start with 2D games. XNA actually makes it very easy to make 2D graphics. OpenGL doesn't make it very difficult either. Not sure about DirectX, but I do know that Windows 7 brought with it "Direct2D" as a new sub-API of DirectX. Don't stick around in 2D games too long or you get stuck! :P
Looking for paid or open-source C++ programming work. Been programming since 2005. No degree.

#10 menyo   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:05 PM

That’s the thing; there is 2 ways of looking at it:

XNA is mostly for 3D games or games with more advanced graphics - which is why people suggest I start with C++

But again, XNA is said to be easier then C++... which is why some people tell me to start with XNA.

They are both good points, I'm sure if I learn C++ game/graphics programming XNA will be very easy for me since C++ can do what XNA does but it takes a lot more work.

So, I'm confused as to where I should start. I'm leaning towards XNA atm since I found a nice set of basic video tutorials on it.

One other question: Will learning XNA make it easier for me to learn C++ and DirectX? Because honestly, I've been looking at a few C++/DirectX programs and I'm really lost... I would like to learn both of them eventually, so I'm thinking of starting with XNA since its said to be easier and move on to C++, Does that make sense?


First of all, xna is as much for 2D as 3D games.

XNA is really easy to learn i went from c++ calculator tutorial experience max 4 weeks ago to almost finishing my own isometric tile editor in XNA. I also did a 3D test project where i can load in 3D objects and fly my spaceship in that environment.

I don't have any experience with c++ and implementing graphics but i can imagine it takes months till you learn how to import models, matrices, etc. There are libraries for that probably but why not use XNA then? C++ surely is more powerfull, but do you need that? Are you going to create the next gen crysis fps that needs the most efficient 3D engine you could possibly build? If you just want to make games take the XNA way, you can also make a easy buck out of it when you make something fresh and creative and release it as a xbox indy title.

Your last question, well c++ isn't really different then c# so probably yes it would help you. Learning any programming language is beneficial to your overal programming skills. But in XNA you won't have anything to do directly with directX, you could explore the XNA classes and libraries that do that for you (if that is even possible).

Take the XNA route and you will be making a pretty cool game soon.

Current Project: TechnoFlux read all about it on my

DEV BLOG


#11 Roots   Members   -  Reputation: 657

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:33 PM

I started game development around the same period in my life that you are (I began the month after I received my bachelor's degree in computer engineering). I've been doing game development on and off for the last 6 years and here's the things I wish I could go back in time and tell myself when I was starting out.


1) Don't be overambitious. Start by either joining an existing project or making your own small, sample game (think: Pac Man, Centipede, Asteriods). If you choose to join an existing project, your goal should be to learn from the experience of others. I recommend carefully looking into the project to make sure its older than 6 months or so and has a dedicated and experience programming team. It is critical for you to have months of game development experience before you're ready to even think about starting your own large-scale project.


2) Don't write your own game engine. It takes forever, especially when you know nothing about game development. Leverage existing engines and frameworks so you can focus on creating a game and not a game engine. If you create the engine first (like I did) it will set you back months to years from getting to a state where you can actually create a game.


3) Choose your technologies wisely and do your research on them before you start using them. It really sucks if you start working with a library and later discover that its cross-platform in name only or is full of unresolved issues. Changing your technology later can be a real pain.


4) Focus on the absolute necessities first. Don't stray away and start working on those cooler, more advanced features that you have planned. Those can be added later. Develop a skeleton/foundation first and save those features that will make your game shine until the basics are working first.



Really its hard to answer "Where should I start?" when you don't state what your goals are. Is there a game that you have in mind that you want to create? Or do you just want to gain experience? Do you want your product to be cross-platform?


I can't offer any comments on XNA because I've never used it. I stick with cross-platform frameworks because I want my games to be available on as many systems as is feasibly possible.
Hero of Allacrost --- http://www.allacrost.org
A free, open-source 2D RPG in development.

Latest release Oct. 10th, 2010.

#12 MeshGearFox   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:58 PM

well c++ isn't really different then c#


They're pretty different, bro.



#13 scgames   Members   -  Reputation: 1977

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:07 PM

well c++ isn't really different then c#

They're very different.




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