So unlike a lot of people I see posting in this section, I already know how to code. In fact, I do it every work day to pay my bills. Past experience has been in C/C++, then C#/>Net, then Java, and now Python on AWS. Its been a while since I touched C/C++, but I know not to try to deference a void pointer and I know enough about memory management to know I would rather not do it in a multi-threaded environment with only printf as my debugging tool.
My biggest hangups are on the graphics side. I can code a REST api, build a scaled out architecture that will service millions of calls at a time, secure communications, write back end servers, set up and architect systems, etc all day. (and I do as part of my day job) but the local client just makes me derp up and freeze. Its a black box, and I have no clue what to do or where to start.
Looking around the forum - I have lurked for a while - the most common answer to this sort of question has been "first, you need to learn to code". I have that covered. I just cant find something I can use to get started. I lack confidence because I don't know this "graphic stuff" and all of the other skills I have seem worthless.
I tried a book by a guy named Lynn T. Harrison, titled "Introduction to 3d game engine design using directX 9 and C#". The first thing I see when I go to the site and get the source code for the book is a note that states that due to changes in the sdk, none of the code will ever compile.because - as I know now - he used classes that no longer exist and they are used in utility methods used everywhere in his engine.
So I did some research and found the "game programming gems" series; bought the first 6 titles, sat down, and started reading them cover to cover over a weekend with the full intention of learning everything. I then realized I just didn't' have the graphical foundations i needed to make use of the visual parts so while a lot of it was interesting, it was not something I could use to make a local client/game, and in some cases, I felt lie I was reading the second book of a 2 part series.
This is not easy for me to ask. I'm used to being the smartest guy in the room; this makes me feel dumb. How do I learn this? Where do I start? Amazon has so many options.. how do I know whats good or not? I'm stuck in this odd place where i feel like either I'm too ignorant to be able to judge the books effectively an pick the correct one, or too advanced to be able to get anything out of them except for the scraps from the one chapter.. is that the way to go? Just buy a lot of books for the one chapter out of 20 that I can learn from?
Or am I just starting at the wrong place? Should I try something else first? What is the recommended thing for a professional programmer to do in this sort of situation where its just the graphical part that is the black void he doesn't understand?