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I want to LEARN DirectX


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#1 Sinner_Zero   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 December 2001 - 04:41 PM

Ok, so I got to the point where I want to get into DirectX, I know tuts here and there, MSDN covers it. Should I get a book or not? if so which one? Same for OpenGL. and if anyone has any feeling on Allegro or SDL please share =)

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#2 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1678

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Posted 09 December 2001 - 05:01 PM

Read the DirectX SDK docs before you go ahead and buy a book. Most of the books I''ve looked through simply restate exactly what the docs say in "friendlier" language (the only one I bought was Tricks , which I promptly gave away because it contained a lot of repurposed material from earlier LaMothe books). The only book on DirectX I would by would be one by the Microsoft software architect responsible for DirectX''s evolution.

OpenGL: buy the redbook - you''ll be glad you did. The blue book is optional, but still a damn good idea.

SDL: download the docs. No book helps you that much with the API specifically; they just fill you in with a lot of general knowledge and use the SDL in examples.

Allegro: who? Allegro is showing its age and design limitations. You can safely pass it over in favor of SDL.

[ GDNet Start Here | GDNet FAQ | MS RTFM | STL | Google ]
Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!


#3 RabidOcelot   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 December 2001 - 05:39 PM

Oluseyi''s post pretty much sums up my experience with DirectX books. I''ve yet to find one that surpasses, or even matches, the content of the SDK help documents.

If you have some money left over after you get the OpenGL Programming Guide (red book), I''d also recommend the OpenGL SuperBible. It features some nice Win32 specific stuff, including multi-threading, choosing pixel formats and message loops.

Game: The Adventure ™.
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#4 evaclear   Members   -  Reputation: 162

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Posted 10 December 2001 - 05:28 AM

quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Read the DirectX SDK docs before you go ahead and buy a book. Most of the books I've looked through simply restate exactly what the docs say in "friendlier" language (the only one I bought was Tricks , which I promptly gave away because it contained a lot of repurposed material from earlier LaMothe books). The only book on DirectX I would by would be one by the Microsoft software architect responsible for DirectX's evolution.

OpenGL: buy the redbook - you'll be glad you did. The blue book is optional, but still a damn good idea.

SDL: download the docs. No book helps you that much with the API specifically; they just fill you in with a lot of general knowledge and use the SDL in examples.

Allegro: who? Allegro is showing its age and design limitations. You can safely pass it over in favor of SDL.

[ GDNet Start Here | GDNet FAQ | MS RTFM | STL | Google ]
Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!



MSDN takes a bit of time to get a custom to. If you can kludge your way through the samples in the SDK and the SDK it is definately the way to go.

However this is not the case for most people just learning DX. Hungarian notation tosses these people into a tail spin, pointers aren't exactly their forte yet, and others haven't even mastered their language of choice. For them the documentation is erratic, confusing and a useless waste of time.

Which is why books exist. Unfortunately there are not enough good books on DirectX. If you are trying to learn the 2d aspects of DirectX, Direct Sound, and Direct Input then Tricks of the windows game programming gurus is pretty much the only book out there that covers it well. If you are trying to learn the 3d aspects of DirectX, your pretty much out of luck because no book to date has ever covered the subject effectively.

Bottom Line:

If your a newbie, learn your language of choice, buy tricks after that you should be able to kludge your way through the MSDN documentation and be able to understand what's going on.

If your experianced, try your hand at kludging your way through the MSDN docs first, if that's no use look at picking up Tricks as a starting point, introduction to hungarian notation, and direct X.

P.S. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT LEARNING 2 API'S AT ONCE! You'll only confuse yourself even more. Defeat one devil at a time...

Edited by - evaclear on December 10, 2001 12:31:00 PM

#5 a person   Members   -  Reputation: 118

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Posted 10 December 2001 - 07:56 AM

also before getting into directx or opengl make sure you understand the windows api for creating windows at the very least 9well if you have skeleton code you understand thats good enough). the most important thing is that you understand c/c++ and are comfortable with pointers, functions, varibles, new/delete, malloc/free, loops, if statements, switch, structs, classes, typedef, #define, etc. otherwise you will have problems relating to the language which will intefere with the learning of dx/gl. knowing c++ (the basics are fine) and understanding how classes work will greatly help when learning dx since it is com based. gl on the other hand is more function oriented and suited for either c or c++. either way, i will reiterate the advice given previously and say learn only one api at a time (which is the main reason you shoudl understand c/c++/windows stuff before even learning an api).

#6 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1678

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Posted 10 December 2001 - 08:11 AM

quote:
Original post by evaclear
However this is not the case for most people just learning DX. Hungarian notation tosses these people into a tail spin, pointers aren''t exactly their forte yet, and others haven''t even mastered their language of choice. For them the documentation is erratic, confusing and a useless waste of time.

Which is why books exist...

Bollocks! That is why newbies should not be trying to create advanced games. You can''t do game programming without programming. Learn your language of choice and the fundamental principles of your preferred presentation style (2d, 3d, iso, tile-based) before you start trying to come to grasps with complex software entities.

#7 MisterGoid   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 10 December 2001 - 10:36 AM

I thought the docs for DirectX 7 were great..... but I had some problems with the ones for DirectX 8, so I bought The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming. It works with 8 very well, tells you theory, tricks, how to do super smooth animation, how to make a 3d game, how to make a half-life style console. I like the book at lot. For 60 dollars you get the book, code, paint shop pro 7, Fastgraph (it''s great when building 3d games), a demo version of light wave, and a little bit more. pretty good deal. there''s also other books by the same company "Zen of DirectSound, Zen of Direct play" but you do''t really need those, they''re pretty easy to understand through online tutorials and docs

#8 Sinner_Zero   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 December 2001 - 04:23 PM

ALMOST FORGOT!

thnx for the info peeps, I think I can make a better decision now =)

#9 Peon   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 13 December 2001 - 11:43 AM

As much as I''d like to be able just browse through the SDK and learn DirectX by myself, I still think Tricks is the real way to go for a newbie...




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