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About this blog

Logging my efforts to envision, build and conquer.

Entries in this blog

It appears that I am a few days late with my update, bad boy! However, I do have my reasons.

Been a heck of a week, I have enrolled in my new degree, cancelled my previous enrollment, got my motorbike open license (I can ride anything on the road by law), setup a new budget for my girlfriend and myself (we plan to move into our own place in december) and have applied for a collection of new jobs in the IT sector.

Unfortunately as side effect of this was lack of time for my programming duties and being currently employed takes up a fair chunk of time. Although I have revised my plan of books after finding out in my degree that I would be using OpenGL so rather then teach myself D3D and confusing myself I will simply do OpenGL from the word Go. For those that are interested I'm studying a Bachelor of Computer Science with double majors of "Software Engineering" and "Games and Creative Technologies".

I'll move myself to a twice a week posting on here to give myself more time for the fun stuff (programming woot!). I'll post my revised plan soon, and hopefully I'll be done this book by the end of next week. Although I really have to stop playing so much Sins of a Solar Empire... Played 2v2 with my brother against a team of AI unfair opponents in a Huge map (100 planets) and won today! Epic battles!

Lets hope my next post is far more productive =)

Untitled

It appears that I am a few days late with my update, bad boy! However, I do have my reasons.

Been a heck of a week, I have enrolled in my new degree, cancelled my previous enrollment, got my motorbike open license (I can ride anything on the road by law), setup a new budget for my girlfriend and myself (we plan to move into our own place in december) and have applied for a collection of new jobs in the IT sector.

Unfortunately as side effect of this was lack of time for my programming duties and being currently employed takes up a fair chunk of time. Although I have revised my plan of books after finding out in my degree that I would be using OpenGL so rather then teach myself D3D and confusing myself I will simply do OpenGL from the word Go. For those that are interested I'm studying a Bachelor of Computer Science with double majors of "Software Engineering" and "Games and Creative Technologies".

I'll move myself to a twice a week posting on here to give myself more time for the fun stuff (programming woot!). I'll post my revised plan soon, and hopefully I'll be done this book by the end of next week. Although I really have to stop playing so much Sins of a Solar Empire... Played 2v2 with my brother against a team of AI unfair opponents in a Huge map (100 planets) and won today! Epic battles!

Lets hope my next post is far more productive =)
Welcome to my Plan for self learning!

My goal as it stands is to learn to program Games in C++ using DirectX on the Windows Platform. Rest assured this isn't my only goal but the goal I'm currently working towards and hope to expand on it in time. This plan is based on this and will be updated as I progress.

I'll be listing the books I've learnt from and will be learning from, sharing my design documents, linking various web sites, articles, white papers and so forth that I find to be of use.

&& Completed Parts of Plan &&

- Decide on which direction to take (Language, Platform) -

Language:
I've decided to go with C++ due to it's flexibility and power. I understand it can be difficult and messy for a first language but it really isn't my first as I've had minimal experience with VB 6.0, Delphi (Pascal) and PHP.

Platform:
I've gone with Win32 (Windows XP in my case at this point) as it is the standard desktop os as it stands, I would also like to move into linux for server applications when applicable (more on that when the time comes). Reaching the biggest audience for the least effort is also a great advantage, the far majority use Windows.

- Completed Books -

C++ Demystified by Jeff Kent

This was given to me by girlfriend as a gift when she found it in a book store. It is more aimed at the very basics of C++. It mostly dealt with the C style basics within C++, naughty things like "using namespace std;" and lacked much on classes with only the very end covering it. If you really have no idea about programming and want to give it a go without worrying about proper techniques then go for it, but don't get stuck on the bad habits.


Beginning C++ Game Programming by Michael Dawson

I nabbed this one myself and a quick revision book after not touching programming for at least a year due to studying. I completed it in a couple weeks and found it just a little bit of fun, a great way to recall what I had learnt and some new pieces.

&& The Book Plan &&

- Current Book -

Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example by Andrew Koenig and Barbara E. Moo

This is my current book at the time of this writing, I am so far finding the book great, it is helping me learn what is really going on not just the basics. I will say more as I move through the book and learn more, but so far I think this is a great step from the baby basics in the previous books showing far more of what is going on and helping me move towards better programming practices.

- Future Books -

Effective C++ by Scott Meyers

Maybe a bit of a jump from Accel C++ but I believe I can manage, if this doesn't work out I'll find another book that fits in between. From what I know so far this is a great way to keep learning about the language and how to produce "clean" code.


More Effective C++ by Scott Meyers

Next logical step you could say, expanding on the previous book with more good conventions. Then again I will be also practicing with my own little side applications in the console to learn more.


** No Title ** by ** Unknown **

This space is empty as I'd like to pickup a C++ reference book and not sure which suits me as yet, this isn't to work through but cover more of the C++ language should I be curious and want to learn more. One that covers STL would also be good (so I don't just use the web site reference, I like books too). Any suggestions would be great in the comments section, I'll be sure to look into them.


Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus by Andre LaMothe
Windows Game Programming for Dummies by Andre LaMothe

Moving onto the fun here with some Win32 programming, from what I have seen of these books they teach great basics in creating games. Also covering the Win32 API which is also great for Tools creation.

Next Step? DirectX books. However, I have plenty on the plan thus far without spending the time looking for these books just yet.

&& Game Projects &&

Text Adventure Game (console app)
Plan, document and create a basic Text Adventure game using C++ in the console.

Text RPG Game (console app)
Apply some active fighting elements, item use and inventory control to the adventure game with a load/save feature.

Tetris (win32 app)
Design and create a Tetris clone using Win32 programming for graphics, sound and i/o. Also include save state/load state and high scores.

Pong (win32 app)
Design and create a pong game. Allow 2 players using 1 keyboard to battle it out. Collision detection methods fun =)

2D Platformer (win32 app)
Create a fun 2d platformer with side scrolling grahpics, music and basic AI. Include some sort of scoring system for high scores, and save/load feature.

Next? Move onto DirectX and re-write the Win32 apps while adding some advanced features (graphical and sound effects). More of a fun project.

I'll refine and update this plan as time goes on, but I appreciate any comments.
This is my first entry on my Journal so I will start with a introduction. I'll start by giving a brief background of myself and finish with an overview of my current goals as I see them.

I'm a 22 year old with a passion for games and life, from 1991 when my grandmother bought the kids a Atari 2600 to play games (I'm the second eldest of 6 children) to 1994 with our first home PC a 486 DX 66 with 16mb ram and 300mb HDD and finally my collection of consoles and 5 PC's, 3 for my brothers, 1 for girlfriend and 1 for myself.

I'm currently studying Dual Degrees, Bachelor of Business (IT major) and Bachelor of Commerce (accounting major) at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (where I live and was born). However, assuming my application is accepted during the next couple weeks, when offers go out, I'll be studying External (distance) at University of Southern Queensland doing a Bachelor of IT (major computer science). I've been doing my dual degree for 1.5 years and luckily mostly done IT subjects (so credits).

I've learnt lots over the past few years and have grown up a lot since leaving school at age 18 due my choices and employment. I've done the AutoCad work for multi-million dollar projects, Purchasing for another project, Delivered Pizzas, Farm work for my girlfriends father's hydroponic lettuce farm and currently Customer Service for a Gas Station.

However, my heart has always lead back to computers and more specifically computer games. Hopefully with my new degree direction taking a more active stance in showing my worth on paper I can move ahead at full steam. I plan on completion starting my MBA and working some Game Development companies. And eventually creating my own Gaming Empire (I wish hehe, well I wish for more then just gaming... cars, motorbikes, robotics, AI and space are also big interests of mine and dare I say it Politics).

Until recently I've been reading Management and Business development books in my spare time (you know, while not playing games) but have put these down and picked up some Math, C++ language and programming concepts books. So in this log I will be noting my progress in hopes it can help others find their way (without spending 4 years trying all kinds of crazy things) and hopefully inspire others to do their best for themselves and what they care about.

If you want to know what I care about, the answer is myself, my partner, my family, my friends and the human race (yes in that order). Eventually I want to make a difference and do something great that helps move the world forward in new ways.

I'm trying for a post every 2 days, with my first official non-introductory post being on my "learn C++, game design and implementation" plan.

Final note, I'm also a "petrol head" I love fast cars and fast bikes. I will be getting my Motorbike license next week (booked in and paid for) and buying my first bike next month! Had a fast car already, moving onto bikes (hoping I may even get some decent track fun in too!).

Hope you all enjoy!
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