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Phacia

Graphics, sound, and programming, oh my!

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Well, I may sound like the typical newbie here, but I think I have some "special circumstances" that warrants a couple of these questions... I''ve already picked my language and my platform. C++ and Windows. Now, my "Development System" is a Sony Vaio GRX550- which has some great hardware, but it''s shipped with WinXP Home(see Sony''s site if you need to know the hardware specifics). This is the only real development system I have to work with. And DOS programs work worse in XP than they did in WinMe! So Windows XP is what I''m stuck with for development. I''ve noticed some older programs that were originally designed for Win95 work just fine in XP, while others crash and burn. My ultimate goal is to make SNES-styled games that can work on Win9x and WinXP. It''ll be a long, grueling journey- I''m prepared for that. And I''ve got a summer job to take care of the expenses. I plan to start off making cheap Tetris and Hang-Man games after I have a fundamental knowledge. Then add a few twists to those two for flavor(to get my creative juices flowing). And if I''m feeling lucky, and really up for the challenge, a cheap Mario-like game that can be beaten in a half hour. I plan to do this one little baby-step at a time, of course. Now, here''s what I need: A good compiler, XP compatible, that can compile the C++ language faithfully. Books to teach me how to use that compiler. Something oriented for game programming in WinXP(or at least something that can be developed on both). I have no real working knowledge of C++, so this book will have to get me started from scratch(I''ll buy a couple books if I have to, but do bear in mind, I do have a limited budget). I''d prefer some online tutorials(not just one, but a few would be nice), but if books is the way to go, I''ll do that too. Books(yes, more books) to teach me about graphics, specifically, character sprites. I have a couple basic textures down(grass, water, wood-floor, desert-sand). I have one of those "How to Draw Manga" books(the Getting Started one, of course :D), and I plan to buy a couple more of those in the near future, so I should be able to design characters by the time I''m ready to make the game(which will be awhile, heh). It''s the actual sprites that are a problem. I don''t even know where to begin. Here''s a list of software that I have, that I think is relevent to mention. Bloodshed.net''s Dev-C++ 4 - No real updates, I don''t think, just the plain flavor. I heard that this is indeed a good compiler, but awhile back when I typed up a few C++ "examples", they didn''t compile at all. I got a handful of errors on quite a few of those examples. I even used the "copy and paste" command! Microsoft Visual C++ V1.5 (yes, V1.5, from the Win3.1 days! I probably won''t use it, but I thought I''d mention it anyway for humor :b) Adobe Photoshop Elements - Cheap, scaled-down version of AP, but it''s still nice. :-) Corel Draw 8 & 10 Jeskola Buzz - GREAT(and I do mean GREAT) tracker. 99% of my music is composed in Buzz. Have to use the XP fix everytime I wanna use it though. :b NoteWorthy Composer & Anvil Studio: I hardly use ''em, but I keep ''em around when I need to think in sheet-music. Notepad - No storyline writer should be without!!! :-D So, that''s pretty much it. Any tips or pointers would be much appreciated.

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For a compiler and book how to use it, get the Visual C++.net standard edition / Step by Step book combo from Barnes and Nobles. Its like $120, but thats covers a good compiler with a book on how to use the compiler and how to use the language.

For game programming, I don't think too many people will argue with me, you're going to have to pick DirectX or OpenGL. I prefer DirectX because its graphics, sound, etc all rolled into one, but OpenGL is a perfectly viable choice.

DirectX:
the Zen of Direct3d Game Programming
Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus

OpenGL:
OpenGL Game Programming (I think thats what its called)


Hope this helps!

The multiverse is sloppy... I just make it neat

[edited by - zer0wolf on July 14, 2002 11:41:54 PM]

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Well, if you don''t want to pony up the cash for MSVC++, Dev-C++ is a perfectly good compiler. I know you said you have tried it and it doesn''t compile code, but trust me, it does (and very well, too, since it uses the excellent MingW compiler). If you are still unsure, post the code you have the tried and the errors you get.

For learning C++, Sam''s Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days is good (though don''t try and go through it in 21 days... you should spend a few months with the book at the least).

As zer0wolf pointed out, it might be easier to pick a graphics API to do games with. Though I would hold off on this until you learn C++ and get some experience programming in Windows. Learn C++ first... if you try to jump right into game programming, you''ll be swamped and most likely give up due to frustration.

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thanks for the Tutoriel sight.If i already know VB then should i learn Directx or C++ first?Also,can i use VB coding in C++.

Another thing (very newbiish) could you give a brief deffinition of a Compiler ?is it just a C++ program?

thanks in advanced

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quote:
Original post by Warabit
thanks for the Tutoriel sight.If i already know VB then should i learn Directx or C++ first?Also,can i use VB coding in C++.

Another thing (very newbiish) could you give a brief deffinition of a Compiler ?is it just a C++ program?

thanks in advanced


Learn C++ first. You probably can do DirectX with VB, but why waste you time? If you want to get into game programming, you will need to learn C/C++. As for VB code in C++, no, it is a different language. You can easily translate the code from VB to C++, but it is not simply a copy and paste job.

zer0wolf covered the definition of a compiler.

One more note: I tried using DirectX with Dev-C++ and I recall problems. Because of different file formats, you cannot use MSVC''s .lib files with Dev-C++. You can download DX libraries for Dev-C++ from Bloodshed''s site, but I do recall problems with getting it to work.

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First learn C++. I would just read through some reviews on amazon or barnes and noble and pick. You might want to get an old college book which actually gives you examples to try to motivate yourself.

Then, a great way to start is Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus. You can find the old version for around 30 dollars and it comes with Microsoft C++ 5 with enough functionality to learn the skills on. This book comes and teaches with directX 5 so it is a bit dated, but still a great start.

I haven''t looked at the new book yet, but it teaches with directX 7.0(correct me if I am wrong) and is probably around 50 bucks.

As for paint and sound programs use what you got or go cheap or free until you get some skills. You will need to get a good 3D rendering program and there are not many of those for free or cheap though

good luck

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quote:
Original post by yoda5
First learn C++. I would just read through some reviews on amazon or barnes and noble and pick. You might want to get an old college book which actually gives you examples to try to motivate yourself.

Then, a great way to start is Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus. You can find the old version for around 30 dollars and it comes with Microsoft C++ 5 with enough functionality to learn the skills on. This book comes and teaches with directX 5 so it is a bit dated, but still a great start.

I haven''t looked at the new book yet, but it teaches with directX 7.0(correct me if I am wrong) and is probably around 50 bucks.

As for paint and sound programs use what you got or go cheap or free until you get some skills. You will need to get a good 3D rendering program and there are not many of those for free or cheap though

good luck


i have that book.It doesnt really hep though its just a bunch of interviews but the programs are great

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Wow guys, thanks for the tips! I''ll definitely check it all out. And y''know, back when I had started learning C++(I gave up when absolutely none of my codes compiled), I totally forgot that I could ask you guys for help. :D

But there''s still the issue of those character sprites...

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Two or three years of high school (or a year of college-level)Computer Science courses should be enough to give you a general understanding of C++. As far as creating sprites for a game, check out articles online to learn about artistic techniques (someone covered Capcom-style sprites, which was incredibly useful). After that, check out Game Programming in 21 Days, like Erunama suggested. It covers DOS-based game programming, but it contains all the info you can handle about 2D games, sprites, and animation. I read it as much as The Zen of DirectX Game Programming, which is great for learning to produce code to support your sprites. It''s nice and modern. Good luck!

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