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what path did you take?


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#1 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1248

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:04 AM

I am just really starting to do some computer programming. I want to learn directx. How did you guys go about learning these things? Did you read books, take courses at your school? The school I go to has almost no programming courses. - Moe - ps - got any ideas for storylines for games? send them to me at: rcjbvermilion@hotmail.com

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#2 Sith Lord   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:16 AM

I''m reading a lot of books on how to program. I just started programming about 3 months ago. I''m thinking of taking a programming class during the summer if I have the time, but right now I don''t know if I''ll have the time.

#3 PsYcHoPrOg   Members   -  Reputation: 115

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:19 AM

There are several books that cover some directx. For someone who is beginning, you should try Inside DirectX. Another good choice would be any book by LaMonthe i.e. Windows Game Programming for Dummies or Tips of the Windows Game Programming Gurus.

This is how I started. However, you need a good grip on C/C++ before starting out here. If you only know a little, you will struggle reading these books.

Get acquanted with pointers/linked lists before you get involved in game programming. Good experience in math is also a requirement (something I need to work on! )

Good luck on your venture into the world of Game Devlelopment!

"Remember, I'm the monkey, and you're the cheese grater. So no fooling around."
-Grand Theft Auto, London

#4 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1248

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:19 AM

I guess i really started programming in September. I haven''t done much since. I am just starting to learn windows programmming. gotta go

- Moe -

#5 Oofnish   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:38 AM

how to go about learning all the various aspects differs from person to person. For instance, I learn squat in a classroom. I just picked up a programming book and a compiler and started learning.

One thing to note, it takes a LOT of time to get good... mostly practice. if you like it alot, you''ll have no problem doing this.

As for directx and game programming topics, for me, the best bet is to study source code from the net... once you understand the language really well that is. I like to take the source to a relatively simple program that does somethign interesting to me, and modify it to do something different. helps me understand the code better, and also how the whole thing works together.

in any case... g''luck


*oof*

#6 Cloxs   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 08:54 AM

I''m a lot like Oofnish I guess. I started with basic, and then found a book on C (not C++) and I read it. I decided to get a compiler, and then I started playing with it. Then I read the compiler manual, and it did a fairly good job in presenting C++ to me. I picked up DirectX from a book (Windows game programming for dummies) and I browse the DX documentation. But, reading source code, and books is the easiest way for me.

#7 vissing   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 09:09 AM

I started like many other with good old Basic, learning by during. went straight to Assembler and then to Java/C/C++.
The C/C++ thing i learned when I have to make a Pascal compiler with code generation in the University.
I learned DirectX, OpenGL from the internet, there are pretty good articles out there.

Happy game developing...


#8 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1248

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 05:00 PM

I just bought Windows game programming for dummies about a week ago. i also have windows 98 programming from the ground up (ugh, dont buy it to learn windows programming) and sams teach yourself direct x 7 in 24 hours.

I think my ultimate goal is to write a half decent 3d engine. I had a friend do this (doug morgan, in case you wanted to know). if you want the example he and i did, just e-mail me at: rcjbvermilion@hotmail.com. it requires direct x 6, but you can run it on a machine as slow as a 486.

my immediate goal is to make a windows 95 skeleton window with a bitmap for a background.

- Moe -

ps-thanks for your support. i probably need it

#9 JD   Members   -  Reputation: 208

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Posted 03 March 2000 - 06:16 PM

Hate to say this because it might scare away some people that otherwise would think programming interesting, but reading books is a must. I don''t talk about reading but understanding the material and rereading if you''re not clear about things. With this in mind before I got vc++ I got borland c++ 4.52 that came with couple of programming books that I read many times over and over. I started doing simple dos text programs like a hangman game, fibonacci number calculations, sine and cosine waves and other silly stuff.

Once I had good grasp of the C language(again, didn''t understand diddly squat what I was doing or what passing by value meant and how functions worked so I reread the book many times and it one day clicked and I said "aha, I get it") I tried assembly and liked it so I studied the intel/cyrix/amd cpu/os manuals and compared all three cpus to each other. I read Randall Hyde''s Art of the Assembly Language book many times and that''s how I learned to program with MASM. I ventured into compiler and os technology (studied Linux code and other people''s oses, bootup codes, interrupt timers, vga registers, etc.)and after while it clicked again and so I gained some knowledge there. But most importantly I learned to understand the cpu and memory and how the C breaks down into an assembly and this helped me to overcome the abstraction that higher level languages provide. Higher level languages are fine but if I didn''t learned assembly then I would still be working in the dark and never understand or could comprehend things in the MS docs like far pointer, stack, global and local heaps, and many others.
I also think that by knowing assembly it helped me to become more cautious, careful programmer and improve my debugging skills.

I found out that I best learn from books and good api documentation. I always cross reference docs like SGI STL with MS STL, or DX with OpenGL. Definitely by reading only the api docs and other people''s short web articles/code is the way to go. I found most graphics books about DX in general are geared toward novices and contain the same info I read in the api docs. Once you understand the api docs then find pieces of code floating in the web demonstrating short examples about specific things that the api tutorials don''t cover. After I knew C and wrote console type programs I ventured into Win32 and yet again it was Chinese to me. So like I said before I reread the api many times finding bits of info here and there and one day it clicked. Coding with Mfc and Owl was fun also.

After I understood the scope and syntax of the C language I moved foreward rapidly and only the lack of being familiar with the necessary api functions or not knowing better algorithms did slowed me down.

Funny thing happened after I became familiar with direct draw, direct3d immediate and retained mode, Genesis3d, and OpenGL. While working on many incomplete experiments(which were fun by themselves) I realized that I had not written a single complete game(I''ve written some dos/graphic programs as well as somewhat complex sprite editor app in win32). So I stopped messing with Genesis3d collision stuff, I had it working including other neat things, stopped working on my 3d Constructive Solid Geometry editor (I had surface division working), and instead rolled up my sleves and into direct draw I went. Easy stuff compared to 3d I mean in terms of setting up the api for drawing.

I''m definitely enjoying the making of a game from start to finish in relatively shorter amount of time then it would take to experiment and learn other person''s code and their shortcomings or bugs. I am more motivated now that I can actually count the milestones in weeks instead of years Definitely I recommend to everyone interested to finish a simple 2d/3d game/demo before hitting some serious calculus and physics books. I am willing to bet that many will change their opinion of the whole getting rich quick scene once they invest time into a complete game. It''s still comes out to writing and sweating through thousands of lines of code. Sometimes I stop coding and instead I create some graphics and sprites for my game. I then laugh at my creations and start feeling glad that I''m more effective at writing code than drawing art. That''s it in a nutshell and I''m willing to bet that most people are doing or have done exactly what I''ve done. I gained confidence through experience. Good luck

Jerry




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