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Dalik

need some advice

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Well I am just about done with my course and I have covered most of C no c++ but I have a good book on it. I always wanted to work on games but I dont know if I have the smarts to do it. I read about some people how they made there first "real" 2d/3d game when they where 15 etc. I just feel like wow I am not smart enough to do this. C programming which I have never done before came really easy, just the pointers are a bit tuff at first. I am kinda scared about trying to get into the game programming stuff because it seems really hard. I only have done algabra in HS and thats as far as I went and that was a good year 1 1/2 ago(only because thats all I wanted to do, I dont like math) I dont know if I can get by with just algabra, like getting into AI and 3d calculations... I am very willing to take some classes in math but this will be months away. I am kinda comfortable with C as I am still learning stuff but the only thing that I have trouble is thinking out side the circle. Trying to think of other ways of doing something gets to me because if I have my mind set on one or two ways then I will stick to it. If it doesnt work then I will stay up for hours trying to figure out something that would take 5-10 min for an experienced programmer. I guess what I am asking for is how did programming come to you? Was it very hard to understand for the first 6 months? Was learning from the start to making 3d scense hard at the start and for the next 6 months? I just need encouragement, I just feel like I cant do it, but I really want too. I dont want to feel like I am behind. Also my bday is coming up and I want to learn opengl, going to stay away from DX stuff. Any ideas on a good opengl book that is easy to understand and has a lot of code to go with it? I need theory and code to go with it, theory alone isnt good for me to learn. I would like this book to cover the begining of opengl and cover the basics of game dev like loading files (texturs and 3d mods) into maps. Also shows me how to make 3d terrain simple one nothing really complex if possible. Some AI and phyisics, you get the idea. Then after I do that I can move on to harder stuff. Dalik

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Well, when I first tried to learn C++, I had a really hard time. Came back to it in about a year, and totally breezed through it, I have no idea what gave me such a hard time last time.

I don't think you should stress out about "not being smart enough". If you want to do it, just try it; it's not gonna hurt anyone. I found 2D concepts pretty easy to pick up.

If I were you, I would stay away from OpenGL if you don't know much math. 3D is pretty complex math, and OpenGL is a pure 3D API. I don't think DirectX is very hard at all, it's just the initialization code that pisses people off. Don't know about OGL, but Andre LaMothe's Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus is a GREAT book for absolute beginners who are comfortable with C. (It uses DirectX, though...)

You could also try SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer). It's a nice library, and pretty easy to use, but there are no books on it. If you want to check it out, go to www.libsdl.org

EDIT: I think that if you're "scared" about trying to make games, you shouldn't jump into 3D concepts immediately. I'd be willing to bet that you would get discouraged (almost everyone does). The last paragraph in your post listed some things that you wanted to learn; unfortunately, none of those are simple. Start small, preferably with 2D.


[edited by - micepick on August 16, 2002 3:55:43 PM]

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If you have never programed a game before I would recommand you make a few console text-games so you can get used the algebra and some math. Then for graphics start with SDL. Check out Cone3D''s site it has a but of c/c++ and SDL tutorials. Only after your comfortable with 2D and made a few games should you attemp to use OpenGL or Direct3D. Plus if the course tought C then make your first games in it then try c++.

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Well after reading the replys i am going to look into sdl. One question came to mind, I havent looked into it but can I do partical effects in 2d without the 3d componet and other special effects such as alpha bending etc...? I dont think I can unless I do use 3d also such as opengl.

Dalik

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I don''t think SDL supports alpha blending, and I know DirectX doesn''t, outside of Direct3D. If you need some semi-transparent particles and you don''t want to mess with OGL, try writing your own software alpha blender. It''ll be slow, but it might be interesting to try.

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well, nowdays DirectX doesn''t support much of anything (graphics-wise) outside of Direct3d (''DirectX Graphics'') unless you want to go back a version...

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Personally I would say don''t count OpenGL out. It is a lot easier than DX for beginners sometimes. You might want to check out NeHe''s site. It has tutorials on OpenGL programming and it might give you an idea on whether that is something you want to learn. On the counter side, you can check AndyPike. It''s a great DX8 site. I''ve learned a lot from both sites. 3D was something that was very difficult for me to learn. 2D just made more sense to me. If that is the way your mind also works, you might want to start with CDX, it''s a nice 2D DX library that is very easy to get the hang of. It''s also very complete and has a great support structure. Personally I''ve never been able to get the hang of SDL, but I think I just havn''t given it enough of a chance...

Always remember, you''''re unique. Just like everyone else.

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I agree on both counts. The only thing to watch out for on NeHe''s site is that he teaches very good programming practices, but it can seem very overwhelming. The windows API functions are 90% of the code in the first tutorial - the OpenGL stuff is actually pretty basic. You don''t really need to understand the Windows crap at first anyway...

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quote:
Original post by AeroBLASTER
well, nowdays DirectX doesn''t support much of anything (graphics-wise) outside of Direct3d (''DirectX Graphics'') unless you want to go back a version...


And we all know how limited DirectGraphics is

Anyway, Dalik, if you want to get into game programming I''d suggest you learn a bit more math. Sometimes there are problems where basic algebra just wont cut it and a good sense of geometry couldn''t hurt either.

The first 6 months of learning something as large as programming is always going to be difficult and the best way to get through it is to keep on programming. Make simple projects that use what you learned and you will become more and more familiar with that area. Challenge yourself and you''ll learn.

I cant really say much for a good OpenGL book since I haven''t read any (it''s DX for me!) but I am glad that you''ve chosen your API both OpenGL and D3D are very powerful, which is why I plan on learning OpenGL after I''m satisfied with my skill level in D3D, I suggest you do the same - but that''s something to think about down the road.

Finally, since you seem to be new, I also suggest that you don''t move into 3D to quickly. Play around with 2D for a bit to help build your skills. Make a few small apps or programs to just get the feel for OpenGL, that way you''ll be more prepared for 3D.



The hackers must have gotten into the system through the hyperlink!!

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quote:
Original post by Dalik
I guess what I am asking for is how did programming come to you? Was it very hard to understand for the first 6 months? Was learning from the start to making 3d scense hard at the start and for the next 6 months? I just need encouragement, I just feel like I cant do it, but I really want too. I dont want to feel like I am behind.

Also my bday is coming up and I want to learn opengl, going to stay away from DX stuff. Any ideas on a good opengl book that is easy to understand and has a lot of code to go with it? I need theory and code to go with it, theory alone isnt good for me to learn. I would like this book to cover the begining of opengl and cover the basics of game dev like loading files (texturs and 3d mods) into maps. Also shows me how to make 3d terrain simple one nothing really complex if possible. Some AI and phyisics, you get the idea.

Then after I do that I can move on to harder stuff.

Dalik


First of all, IMHO, I hate these kind of questions since they're sort of redundant and second, the learning curve varies from programmer to programmer. Now, to answer your question about how programming came to me or rather how I decided to become a programmer, I started when I was 9 on a C-64. I programmed in Basic and another language similar to Basic except that each line when entered would return a hex code( it was a way of making sure that if you gave the sources printout to someone, and they retyped it in, that the line didn't have any errors. ), then, a couple of years later, I got into an argument with a school collegue about how C-64 were crap and a guy who was in my class that I didn't know started telling me how c-64 were good and all, he then asked me if I programmed. I told him what I knew and he proceded to show me how to code in Basic on PC. Once I could do just about anything I wanted in basic, I moved up a step to Pascal, from there, I moved on to learning C/C++ but I still coded mostly in Pascal as that was what I knew best at the time. Another couple of years past and I started programming full time in C/C++( note that the C++ I'm talking about was 12 years ago, hence, not standardized, it mostly refered to OOP programming at that time, STL was still in the thinking ). I stayed with DOC C/C++ for about 5-6 years doing small apps in the beginning and moving on to small game programming for DOS. When DX 3.0 came out, I finally decided to give windows programming a try. Guess what, I got my as* kicked by Windows. I was still trying to use int main( int argc, char *argv[] ). So I got a book called "Win32 Game Developer's Guide With DirectX 3.0" which was written by some kid( and I'm not kidding ). Anyhow, I got to the point of trying to understand his code and figured man this is too complicated for me and switched back to DOS programming. Up until about 1998 when I decided it was time for me to really get into windows programming if I wanted to create games. So I downloaded DX5.0 SDK and installed and configured it for VS and started learning through game programming sites. Then as I learned, I got into OGL as well and into SDL a year ago and only use SDL now. Since I'm also program under Linux. Well, that's my story. Oh and before anybody asks, yes, I'm still friends with my mentor. I still talk to him after all these years, even though he's moved on to web programming( ie: www.gograph.com and www.visic.com ).

"DaHjajmajQa'jajHeghmeH!"

Cyberdrek
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[edited by - cyberdrek on August 16, 2002 10:41:07 PM]

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Dalik,

You seem to have a great desire to learn the language and it''s methods and idiosyncacies(-2sp) which is a pretty good indicator on how well you''ll do. I''ve worked with l33t haxors and novices (though I''d consider myself neither) - the one thing they all have in common is the desire to sit through the boring hard parts to raise their knowledge of computers above and beyond the average programmer.

Sound familiar?

Stick with it. Try learning a little about C++ now, move on to Andre LaMothes Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus (it''ll teach one of the two popular methods (portions, at least) for programming the windows API(.vs. MFC)). Once you''ve become familiar with this move on to OpenGL/DirectX.

Jumping into the core of the windows OS without any prior knowledge of how Windows works or how to program C/C++ is a very steep cliff to jump off of. Andre''s book will at least give you a glimmer of how to approach game programming. By that time, you should be able to steer yourself into the next arena of your choosing!

Good luck!

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Well I will give a bit more about my past, I started to program when I was 11, got a book on delphi and did it myself learned the basics, then I started on VB when I was 13 then when I was 14-15 tried C, that blew my mind away so I went back to vb till I started my course and I went through C very well. I covered java, vb, cobol they all came very easy.

The instructer noticed one thing about me is that he sees that I am very deticated to programming.

I know I need more math and I intend on going to take some classes when I get back to america. I have a few ideas in my head on 2d games, simple ones. I am a fast learner when I put my mind to something, and very dedicated to interested areas, but very bad when I am bored.

I downloaded SDL lastnight and read through the docs for an hour then, once I got on today I played with sdl for 4 hours, got a window up with full error testing. I tried to load a bmp file but its not working... So I am looking into it, its a pong game, just to get the feel for sdl really. So far its coming along very smooth but I am sure I will hit a steel wall soon.

So I take it I have to use opengl in order to use partical effects and all the other goodies in my 2d game?

thnx for all your replys

Dalik

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Not sure what you mean by needing OpenGL for particle effects. I don''t think any API does particle effects for you (correct me if I''m wrong). You need to make your own engine, and SDL can do that just as well as OpenGL can (only in 2D).

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