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Notes from a noobie from diving into Game Programming

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Finally, some progress!

It's been a big night for myself. I can say am I actually proud. I've been reading books for close to 3 months now without writing a single piece of code - after finishing "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9", I finally said "Fuck it, lets just do it."

I decided to go ahead and begin my journey into 3D Pong. I never understood how to do it in the past, while I've always been captivated by C++ - I never had an actual reason to use it. I regret that I never actually tried before... I couldve done this four years ago - but I learnt soo much more as a programmer at least! I've been working in PHP (which I'm starting to loath.. but thats a different rant) I can say I'm fairly confident in that 'language' (if you even wanna call it that) - but as a wise one once said "bla bla bla.."

Anyhow, I tried to do too much straight away, I was going to write my own renderer interface so I can swap between OGL and DirectX with ease, but after getting deeper into it - it made less sense I would of had to write a massive interface and 2 wrappers for OGL and DX classes ! Not to mention I have no idea how to convert between Left Hand and Right Hand Coordinates (yet). Unless I misguided myself and there is an easier way of doing this? Regardless, I cut out my 'renderer' class and wrote a nice comment - DONT TRY TO DO TOO MUCH ON YOUR FIRST PROJECT.

I've never done anything like this before, so its a scary new (but very exciting) learning ground. I had no issue getting the display set up atleast, but then it came to the camera... that damn thing. I didn't understand how it worked - reading wouldn't of prepared me for it. But...

I blame my exhausted mind, I answered my own question and kept doing the same thing wrong,
"How come when I change my X position, it only rotates around 0,0,0?". I spent 20 minutes trying different x,y,z positions...

I had to end up writing the coordinates to my screen - and it finally clicked! "Change the target vector idiot!"

I finally understand how to strafe atleast! Huzzah. The endorphines were released, I'm a step closer to finally understanding 3d

I can try explain how I'm going to structure my classes atleast, any objects that exist in the game are inheriting class entity (which only really contains 3 virtual functions [setCamera, render and setup] and 1 matrix )

I'll eventually refactor my global variables to sit inside my pongGame class (which I guess you could say is the massive overlord controller)

Anything derived from Entity will be stored in an array that will be iterated each loop and rendered.

So, by my current judgement there are 4 entities. The 2 rackets, 1 ball and the world.

The world is rendered in 32x32 'tiles' (maybe its my prejudice from all the 2D programming I did back in the old day). Each tile has its own Matrix because I want to try make dramatic effects out of it - and possibly add some pinball into Pong.

With the camera, I aim to be able to give the user the ability to switch between as being the player [or rather as being a 3rd person racket], looking from the ceiling with style, or the seizure inducing ball.

Hopefully this will be a realistic goal, and my next journal entry isn't how I am sad and bitter from not getting it right.

Regardless, I will finally do this!

And when its worth it, I'll of course release the source code and hopefully a few years down the track someone generous will be happy to go through and point out the flaws and how to fix them (If only lol)

Anyhow, cheers have a good one! I will call it a night for now... big day down at the office tommorow




Hello World

Well I've been thinking about it for awhile, and one day I finally said "Aw what the heck". I've finally decided to start learning how to program Games.

I'm sure almost everyone here goes through the same journey, the lovely starting point. I suppose I am slightly a step-ahead of most starters, I currently work as a Programmer - but I do all of the office and mobile crap, recently I've felt like its not challenging, its more so become a loong daily hourly grind. So I think its about time I try expand my skills.

Anyway, I'm sure a majority of people starting out are filled with a grandiose delusion that they will design the next major hit, and imagining how fun and amazing their game will be... I know I always imagine it, sometimes I get lost in it, I thought "Oh yea it can't be that hard" - I forgot how big it is.

I've been on this journey for just about 2 months now (with the added on/off 4 years - but this time I'm determined to get something done), I carry my bible around with me (It often changes) - For now its "Professional C++. by Marc Gregoire, Nicholas A. Solter, Scott J. Kleper"; I feel I've said this book more than often its as if I'm a promoter for them haha. It brought me up to speed with soo much.

I try spend some time lurking around the forums looking for generic programming issues and try give a solution (its usually begginer stuff atleast) and I consult the bible just to be sure I even know what I'm talking about .. I feel its helped me out alot.

The reading hasn't stopped however - At the moment I'm reading 3 other books, "3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development", "Game Coding 4th Edition" and "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX9" - with several more lined up afterwards! (One is again by Frank D. Luna - but is the 'Shader Approach' - I intentionally read his older one first to learn the fixed pipeline)

But - I didn't know which book to start, but if I could go back in time I would finish the 3D Math Primer, Introduction to 3D Game Programming then Game Coding 4th Edition (in that order)

Its alot of information to absorb, but I'm getting closer and feel like I'm ready to make the first step and make some 2-3dish Tetris.

So, I suppose your wondering - whats the point of this journal?

I've tried looking around the internet, but could not find anyone speak of their Journey they made. Apart of learning, is making mistakes. I like to read alot just so I can try have some idea of where I could/may/will go wrong, and know how to come back from it.

I'm hoping that by writing out my thoughts in an orderly fashion for prying eyes to be critiqued I'll be able to learn soo much more... and atleast come back to it many years down the track.

Anyway, I'm gonna try finish off Intro to 3D Game Programming - Up to chapter 17 (topic is on the HLSL)




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