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Sinclair

Need Some Insight And Guidance

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Firstly i`m a newbie. About as newbie as one can be. I have a life dream of learning to program and develop games. The problem is i truly don`t know where to begin. I haven`t learnt any language yet and that is probably my first big decision (and it`s a hard one). Some people say learning VB is a good first step, but i`m told that is i`m serious i should go right into c++. is java an option. And what is this about directx? Is it a whole other language or what. Basically i would really appreciate any advice about where to start (books, sites,...) so that i`ll be on my way without buying 20 bad books and/or software packages. plz feel free to e-mail me. sinclair393@hotmail.com

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Hi.

C++ is the language that I would recommend for you. Direct X is what is called an API. Basically, it is an extention of c++ which allows you to use graphics.

The book I used to learn C++ is Learn C++ in 21 Days. It is a decent book. There probably are better ones out there. Hopefully someone else in this forum can suggest a book. There are tons of C++ tutorials online and you can find a lot at this site. I would recommend learning C++ well. Understand concepts regarding pointers and classes exceptionally well.

Once you learn C++, you should get in my opinion, Tricks of the Windows Programming Gurus. That will show you how to use directx to use graphics. (I believe there are 2 editions to that book so look to get the 2nd one). That book has a C++ primer in it but I really dont think it would be enough for you.

Be patient though, cause it may be some time b4 you are able to create 3d games. And go slowly too, even once u get into making directx games. Make a simple game like pong first.

Hope I have been helpful.

Dan.




Feel free to email me at NYYanks432@hotmail.com if you have any questions

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look at the top under "Resources" and click on "For Beginners"
I do not know much java or any VB but I say start
with C or C++.

books:
Sam's Teach yourself C++ in 21 days is a good beginner book.
Most likely u will grow a library of books.


here are some helpful links:
www.gametutorials.com
www.cprogramming.con
www.planet-sourceode.com
www.programmersheaven.com
www.cplusplus.com

Good Luck!


-----------------------------
"There are ones that say they can and there are those who actually do."

"...u can not learn programming in a class, you have to learn it on your own."



[edited by - cMADsc on July 30, 2002 8:01:54 PM]

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First, let me say that I too had a dream just like you. And I bought windows game programming for dummies. Don't get that one, get the "Tricks of the windows game programming gurus." There is a second edition, the cover is green with a little yellow on it (saw it yesterday). The first thing the book says is learn c++. Since most of the good beginning game books, as well as almost all turotials, are written in c++, learning VB is not a good starting point. I taught myself c++, and since then I've come across a book that I wish I had when I was teaching myself. The teach yourself c++ in 21 days is good, but you also need "Schaum's outlines series: Programming with c++ Second Edition, by John R. Hubbardm Ph.D." Because you want to teach yourself, this book has problems at the back of every chapter, along with solution example code examples.
If you use the 21 day book as a starter, then do the problems in the other book ( without cheating and looking at the answer until you give up or figure it out), you will be a better programmer than most of the people at my college.
Ciao glass_knife

I think, therfore I am.
I think?

[edited by - glass_knife on July 30, 2002 9:01:08 PM]

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Thanks for the tips. I do have a few other questions though. I hear that c++ is a "dangerous" language because it can deal so closely with harware. I hear it can cause crashes and lock ups and generally shorten the life of ones pc dramatically. Is this true?

secondly, once i learn c++ i`m not really home free am i. How does one learn to actually program a game? So i know how to use pointers classes variables and all that, but how do I actually learn to design code that will make a "game". is this in the guru or gems books or do i need a "game design book"?

thx in advance for any help

sinclair393@hotmail.com

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Is c++ dangerous...with all the newbies here and other places, it can't be that dangerous. When working with pointers, be prepared for mistakes. Just back your stuff up, and if all goes very bad, just wipe it clean and reload ( it's good practice anyway).
As for what to do after you learn to code...write a game.
Everyone codes differently, thinks differently, and solves problems differently. The link should answer most questions...
Where to start

I think, therfore I am.
I think?

[edited by - glass_knife on July 31, 2002 12:16:56 AM]

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personally, I'd say go for C++. I've got tons of experience with Visual Basic and think it's a very cool language, but its not very fast, which is really the only downfall it has from C++. Visual Basic is easier to program with and if you're wanting to write RPGS or other games that don't require fast frame rates, its a great choice.

If you're wanting speed and flexibility, and are willing to do a little bit more typing, then C++ is definately the way to go.

Don't worry about things like DirectX, OpenGL, or other APIs... just focus on a language.

[edited by - zer0wolf on August 1, 2002 2:09:18 AM]

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As a professional (somewhat) programmer who has earned my dues teaching myself a multitude of languages, I would recommend NOT starting with VB. It is a nice little language for somethings, but IMHO it is not a good place to start. Starting with pascal, c/c++, QBasic, or other ''old and outdated'' languages will help you learn how to code better than starting with VB will.

Thats my opinion on the matter. YMMV.

--Drakonite

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C++ dangerous? Well, I''ve managed to cause as many problems that could only be fixed with a reboto with VB as I have with c/c++
Shorten the life of your pc? I''ve never heard that. And as far as I can figure out it isn''t true.

Once again, mostly my opinion, YMMV

--Drakonite

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Hey, I''m a newbie too but i learned C++ and it wasn''t too hard
If u are wondering what compiler to use, go with Visual C++ 6.0, it comes free in Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus (i also bought that). Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus does teach u everything u need to know to make a complete game.
U definitely need to learn C++ and get Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus!

Good Luck



The difference between insanity and
genius is measured only by success.

BTW: all that stuff about C++ is a total exaggeration

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Thank you so much for the help. I have one more important question.
this is semi aimed at drakonite ,but all input is welcome.


When you say that vb and c++ can cause "problems" that can only be fixed by rebooting what do you mean. Do the compilers become unresponsive or something like that. The reason I`m worried about a language destroying my comp is because I share one witha room mate. I`m working and i will get my own eventually, but if programming is gonna fragment and put errors and stuff on my hardrive and elswhere i would appreciate knowing.

thx


sinclair393@hotmail.com

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Using a "sandbox" wrapper like DirectX gives you the advantage of playing within a certain set of limits without fear of retribution for doing something silly. For example, before there was DirectX, people would program in DOS, writing directly to video hardware using a machine-code language called Assembly. This could certainly damage your computer if you tried something undocumented (or documented as dangerous ).

But with the advent of higher-level things such as DirectX, it''s relatively impossible to damage your computer. Granted, C++ will let you do things that VB won''t, but as long as you''re just trying to write games, the worst thing that you might have to do is reboot your computer. The reason for this is when you attempt to write to a section of memory that belongs to another program or process. If the process is OS-related, you might have to reboot.

That having been said, if you''re programming on a Windows 9x-kernel operating system (95, 98, and Me), you''re stuck with the FAT32 file system. This unfortunately is not as reliable and foolproof as NTFS (which is native to Windows NT, 2000, and XP). Coupling an NTFS system with learning to program makes your "sandbox" a little safer, because the file system is protected, and thus less susceptible to damage to critical OS files from frequent reboots. As well, NT has protected-mode memory access, which prevents the problems from paragraph #2.



MatrixCubed
http://MatrixCubed.cjb.net

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Guest Anonymous Poster
what is "dangerous" about c++ is that it doesn''t check to make sure that you are reading memory that you are supposed to be reading. With a pointer you can go read any chunk of memory in the system. If you happen to write over soemthing important the machine will crash. It is not a tradgy, but I have noticed that I have to reinstall Windows more often if I''m programming a lot.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
if you are using windows (at least the versions I use, 98 and 2000) you will never need to reinstall. The program will crash but that''s as bad as it gets, at least for me.

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