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#1 MaxFire   Members   -  Reputation: 202


Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:21 AM

Hi gys I was wondering if you could give me some opinions on my current path to start games programming. Heres a bit of info about my background, I have recently finished my second year of university there we have been learning java and c#, now I have done a lot of additional work on these two languages writing small programs for local businesses so I would say i am not a beginner but not extremely experienced either so some where in-between.

I have just started learning the basics of c++ using books and the internet, so this is where my plan starts. First I want to begin learning Open Gl using the NeHe tutorials as they seem to be quite well recommend. Once i have a handle over this I will start some small projects like pong and tetras just to drill it all in as doing something yourself if my way of learning (pong already done ah well :D). My last idea was to then move from the raw windows Open GL to GLUT so that my programming then becomes portable and can be used across multiple platforms.

Thx for any advice in advanced :)



#2 Ryan Konky   Members   -  Reputation: 97


Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:37 AM

If you believe you can handle the technicality of OpenGL, then by all means do it. But as for myself and many programmers that I know, started with SDL.

SDL is a 2D library that can have support from OpenGL, so it's a good progression phase and would be a better platform for learning how games work; your experience with Java and C# should give you an advantage here.

I tried learning a complicated API first with C++, the Win32 API, however this threw me off coding and came back after several months and started with SDL as it's a low level API and builds up the thinking of an API and then the more complicated ones like OpenGL and Win32 API can be learned fairly easily.

This was how I learnt OpenGL and large parts of Win32 API, but of course we all learn differently. Good luck!
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#3 MaxFire   Members   -  Reputation: 202


Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:03 PM

Thanks for the info Ryan, would you know of a good place to start with SDL books websites anything like that would be great.

update: I have tried the Lazy Foo website but their tutorials are for VS 2005 and after 2 hours of tinkering i still carnt get the SDL liberties to work with VS 2010
update: nvm fixed it

thanks again in advanced :)

#4 Crowseye   Members   -  Reputation: 308


Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:53 PM

I had a similar experience to Ryan's. When I got bored with the console, my inclination was to try to jump right into the Win32 API, OpenGL, and DirectX. Unfortunately, while one can copy tutorials and get nice things to show up on the monitor, it's not the same as understanding what you're doing.

Progress came a lot faster after I decided to take a "step back" and work with SDL. IMO it's a perfect fit for games like Tetris, Pong, Pac-Man, and many other 2D games in that because you don't have to concern yourself so much with having the right code in the right places to make it work you can spend more time absorbing the "lessons" those games have to offer.

#5 Switchblade_77   Members   -  Reputation: 120


Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:19 AM

I have started with SDL and it seems quite fine ... there are tutorials on wiki on how to setup the libs for the required OS ...
Then I moved to coding in java since I m more comfortable with java and many post says that u should program in what you are comfortable with ..
So there are tutorials on you tube about java game programming that'll get you started but the technique isnt refined .. so you got to play around with it
Once you get the hang of the game loops .. search for dewitters game loops .. they provide very interesting details about game loops and the pros and corns ...
Then try developing a side scroller ...

If you feel comfortable with all of this then move to openGL .. if you are developing in java then you can use JOGL or LWJGL (my current choice) as a wrapper for openGL...
currently I m learning from NeHe .. but the tutorials use a deprecated library devIL ... so download the new library known as SLICK .. and then combine the tutorials to get u a good base in openGL API

I have currently reached this far ... if ne1 knows how to go further please let me know ...

Hope this helps you MaxFIre

#6 MaxFire   Members   -  Reputation: 202


Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:11 AM

thanks for your input crowseye and switchblade, i have taken ever once advice and started with c++ SDL :)

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 13326


Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:08 AM

i have taken ever once advice

"ever once" --> "everyone's" :P
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#8 MaxFire   Members   -  Reputation: 202


Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:00 PM

haha sorry that's what you get when you just click the top spelling correction :P

#9 Night Lone   Members   -  Reputation: 778


Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:35 PM

I started programming on a calculator, making games on my TI 83+....when i got on to the computer, i used VBA to make a very very simple game, with no internet to learn from, i used the references in the manual for VBA. Now, this is def NOT the way to go, but thats how i started the ball rolling. In grade 10 i was kicked out of high school programming class and placed in grade 12 advanced programming cause i had previous experience and i still past that with flying colors, thats where I learned C/C++....I've learned some more languages over the years, but my favorites are C/C++ and Java.

When it comes down to C++ game programming, I started with SDL. I would go back to it any day too! But if you want to really learn 3D, then I would find a simple opensource graphics library that uses OpenGL and take it apart and learn from the people who already did what you want to do. If you just want to program games, and you want to do it fast, then get a graphics engine. You got to weigh how much you want to do something, whats more important to you? Making games or making graphic engines? It's possible to do both, but in my experience, better aim for one. Think hard, and write the pros and cons of making your own engine, VS using another's. Since I wanted to make games more then remake the wheel, i chose to use another's engine.

The choice is yours, but think hard. And if you decide to make a graphic engine, Personally i say take an opensource engine apart and see how they do it! After you get the basics down first :P

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#10 BeerNutts   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3867


Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:26 PM

FWIW, I've used SDL in the past, and it's nice. It provides most of what you want for simple 2D games.

But, compared to SFML, I think it's weak, and it doesn't have near the power. The main advantages of SFML is the graphics engine is on top of OpenGL, which provides HW acceleration for many of the graphics abilities SDL does not provide. When I wanted to rotate an object, using SDL, it was SOOOO SLOW. Using SFML, it was no problem.

SFML has a nice interface for Audio as well, and provides for advanced audio functionality, like spatial positioning, among other things. Input, Network, and fonts are also provided. Also, SFML has a C++ interface, which I prefer.

Personally, if I was going to advise beginners on which rendering engines to use, I would always suggest SFML.
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