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Ritual Magic

My first post here :) Little advice required....

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Hi all Been reading here for a bit now, but I finally got around to registering! I have a couple of questions, and I''m hoping I''m posting in the right place... Firstly, like many others, I am having difficulty with many of the concepts covered in the tutorials here. Now, to explain where I''m coming from, I''m a first year computin student at University, learning C++ (but on a VAX platform). I have done some work with databases before (SQL). I have very little clue about Windows programming (as in, I find it difficult to actually find something transatory between console C++ and Windows C++), and am finding Visual C++ a complete monster to learn. It may be I''m simply trying to bite off too much at one time, but I can''t seem to get anywhere. Any advice on where to look for (basic) info would be appreciated. Secondly (and I''m stepping up quite a bit here, I appreciate heh), as part of my second year at Uni, I have tpo do a project. All well and good, especially since it can be anything at all, provided it displays all aspects of a "system". Well, I want to do something like this...I was thinking something like the technosphere project (I don''t have a URL sorry, but a quick google search will find it easily enough). Basically this is an artificial world whereby an outside user creates a little monstery-type-guy, choosing various aspects for its behavior, and then sets it loose in the "technosphere". It can move around, eat, mate, fight etc etc with no outside interference from the users, and mails it''s creator a ouple of times a day with it''s progress. I would eventually like to expand this idea into something that could incorporate a user logging in and interacting with the world (something like an MMORPG I guess), and it''s automated inhabitants. Question is, is this all too complicated? I have no idea of the scope of this, Iwill freely admit, but it doesn''t seem so bad. I was thinking along the lines of a server and a database, and the server loops through reading the status of each inhabitant, carrying out an action, determining the scope of the action, and updating the database. Am I missing something really basic? :D Anyhow, it was a long first post - any advice, help, or constructive flaming is appreciated! Cheers! Ritual. Yes. it''''s true, I DO wield the ugly stick. And I see I have beaten you with it before!

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On learning C++ and VC++...

I suggest that you make sure you learn the distinction between C++ and Windows-specific extensions. You might find it easier to concentrate solely on writing Standard C++ programs using the VC++ compiler, and I''d recommend a book like Accelerated C++ to help you with that. Simply using VC++ for Standard C++ programming will help you to learn how to "drive" the compiler. Then you can move onto Windows programming concepts, and you will have a clear distinction between what is MS and what is C++. How you approach that depends on what you hope to achieve - there are lots of books to help you learn Win32, MFC, ATL and what-have-you - the possible directions are rather overwhelming for newcomers. Since you are probably here because you are interested in games, then Win32 might be a good starting point, and I''d recommend Charles Petzold''s book on the topic to help get you up and running. However, it''s ultimately up to you to decide what you would like to learn.

On Uni projects...

To be blunt, I think your idea sounds too complicated for a Uni project. It''s a good idea, but I believe you will end up getting bogged-down with it - even experienced programmers would find such a task time consuming. I''m afraid I don''t have any suggestions other than to think very carefully of something that you know you are a) capable of implementing in the time given; b) interested in and enthusiastic about; and c) demonstrates your understanding of the subject. If you don''t have to decide on your project yet, then don''t. Wait until you are better at programming, and then decide what you are able to do.

Good luck!

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Thanks, SabreMan

I will look up the Petzoid book, for a start. Also, I had a horrible feeling that that might be the answer I would get regarding that project hehe. I actually DON''T have to decide just yet, but the amount of time we have to do it is limited, and people who have been through this course to a man recommend starting during the summer holiday (i.e. now) so as to get a little bit of a headstart. I''l have a think about it, read a few tutorials on the subject, see what I can find

Thanks!

RM.

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