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Wanting to learn windows programming

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Maybe someone can help me with this. I''m an experienced programmer and know my way around C++, heck I''m heading into my 3rd year in college as a computer science major. I''ve been wanting to make some computer games for a while and I''m now getting started, but the problem is that I barely know a thing about Windows programming. I''ve been looking through the DirectX articles trying to find my way around, but I don''t think it''s helping, cuz I don''t really understand what''s going on with all the new Windows-specific commands and stuff and I''m the type of person who likes to know what I''m doing. So, first question, what do I need to know to get myself to where I can program with DirectX, and second question, where can I find the resources to learn what I need to know, via books or whatever? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Ski

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to learn the Windows code, it depends if you want to use MFC or not. i prefer to not use it, so i''ll just recommend Programming Windows 95 by Charles Petzold (there may be a more recent copy or such but it''s pretty much similar). he may be arrogant and sometimes wrong (not too often), but it''s a wealth of information on general Win programming. starting with the WinMain - MS''s main() - and moving up to GUI''s and other general Windows calls. it''s been a valued resource. however, it''s not particularly useful for DX programming.

for that i''d snag any old book that contains the basics (perhaps one of MS''s own, i forget the title but they''re orange) - or you could just download the DXSDK and look through the sample code. it''s not the best code as it''s main goal it just to provide a "how to" for one thing. but it''s essential and serves it''s purpose. if you''re familar with COM it shouldn''t be too difficult to learn DX basics fairly quickly. one book that wasn''t too bad was Special Effects Game Programming with DirectX by Mason McCuskey. it covers the basics of DX8 which is nice, and it''s for beginners too.

i guess that kinda covers the first question but mostly the second. i''ll elaborate a bit more on the first. as previously mentioned any contact you''ve had with COM (component object module? - i forget) is good. if you''re used to C++ and derivations you should understand pretty easily, as it''s basically the same. uhh well, i think i''m dragging on too long. that should get you going - though i suspect others will have some useful advice for what worked for them as well.

-tim

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If you''re just going for games most directx books start with what windowsknowledge you need and then directly goes on to gameprogramming. If you want to do 2d first I suggest "Game Programming with DirectX 7.0" by Ian Parberry. He is really in depth and doesn''t miss a thing.

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For Windows programming get yourself a copy of Charles Petzolds "Programming Windows" book (MS Press).

Its a highly recommended book, and considered "the standard" for learning the Windows API.


--
Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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