After a few months of searching the web and this site, I wanted to share my observation as a beginner to graphics programming. So, without further ado, here I go:
FYI: This is not meant with any animosity. It is offered more as a report on the current state as seen, offered in the dry 'Dragnet' voice of, "Just the facts, Ma'am."
There should be concrete examples in the 'Beginner's Resources.'
Like the human genome, I don't believe 'Best Implementation Examples' should be patented or relegated to super-secrecy. Yes, you're not going to learn anything if all you do is cut-and-paste; but, if you're like me, who takes a piece of code and breaks it apart to fully grasp it, then us 'Noobs' would not be filling the forum with so many questions. A case in point would be Input. When I began a few months back, I was trying to tackle Direct Input. I should have been spending my time on RAW Input instead. I realized my mistake recently while reading through these forums. Here's an example which should be in the beginner's resource Designing a Robust Input Handling System for Games, by ApochPiQ. At least, it should be there if the off-site source code was explained a bit more clearly. I understand enough to know that, following this example would vastly improve my knowledge of how a game engine interacts with different aspects of my game, simply through the Input system.
There is a vast amount of code going on under the hood just to get the graphics up and running. I keep seeing people referred back to the DirectX SDK for examples which is fine if dealing with anything other than DirectX itself. These examples can be confusing because they're bare bones and don't fully implement error-checking. I started learning with the Rastertek DirectX 10 tutorials. Finally, when I started onto DirectX 11, I stumbled on Chuck Walbourn's blog which gave references to the new dxerror files you need to download and use. Although I might not have found it yet, there should be source code available in the beginner's resources or DirectX, for a solid implementation that includes feature checks, device capability, error-handling, lost-device, and properly switching between windowed and full-screen modes. Once all this stuff is in place, everything then comes down to the actual graphics programming. And, when the beginning programmer has the ability to get input from the user, any further questions would then be on dealing with specific graphics related items.
Of course, I'd love to see a good implementation for handling and or creating entities such as sprites with different AI, etc.
My whole point, really, is that a few solid source examples in these areas, would save a great deal of time searching for articles that may or may not supply code that actually works. Beginners need a solid foundation, and good coding practices. Example code that can be built upon is extremely valuable. I know that on multiple occasions, I've followed along with book code examples only to learn after 4 hours that it doesn't compile. What did I learn from that? I'm sure much of it was workable, but in the end, I had to throw it all out and start over.
If there is sufficient feedback to this post with useful suggestions, I will put them all together into an article to cover those topics. I, for one, am still trying to get all this together myself. I'll make the time to offer both DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 full implementations (I mean the checking, error-handling, etc,.. not the installer portion).
Edited by Thiatsii, 02 September 2014 - 04:08 PM.