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What book(s) do you recommend to learn from the ground up?

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Hello everyone, I have virtually no programming experience and I want to learn! However, I know that there are a gazillion books out there and some of ''em are great and some of ''em are pathetic; please guide me! I want to learn C/C++. I want to eventually tailor my skill to focus on game programming, but I understand that I need to be able to do "regular" stuff before that comes. What should be my initial learning source? What book do you suggest as THE book to get me on the right track? I''m looking for ease of understanding, chapter exercises, comprehensiveness, etc. Give me the best! Also, what would you follow this book up with? Give me a "trail" to follow, if you will. I really appreciate anyone and everyone''s help with this. I look forward to coming back and seeing what you''ve come up with. Thank you, Rob -Rob --> "Go sell crazy somewhere else, we''re all stocked up here!"

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Visit your nearest bookstore and check out the ''computer'' section. There you will find (if it''s a decent store) a ton of books to get you started. I recommend starting with a beggining C/C++ book since you mentioned you have virtually no programming experience. There are several books (as well as their ratings) you might look for in the Books & Software section of this site.

Once you get the basics of how C++ works, THEN you can start exploring game programming, which IMHO, starts without a compiler. Start your game development journey by learning good design techniques (good ''ol pencil and paper or word processor).

Once you get some design down, and think you are ready to start coding a game (or demo), come back here and ask ask ask cause I''m sure you will have a ton of questions.

Good luck!

-Q

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I wouldn''t even start learning from a game programming book. Just get many books covering a language (most choose C++, and I recommend it too). I recommend Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours. As a single book, it covers a lot of the information at a good speed. Depending on your learning curve for the C/C++ language, you might start to learn a graphics API in about 3 months and OS specific development. Make sure you learn most of the syntax of the language, some basic data structures and algorithms. Also, even after you learn the stuff, make sure you actually write programs to do what you learn - don''t just put it away and say, "I can come back anytime I need to use it."

After you learn the language, I would start to learn some OS specific code because all of the progams you write while learning a language are console based. Some people recommend keeping your applications platform independent. I agree with that to an extent, but Windows is the primary OS that over 80 percent of computer users are running. I wouldn''t go too deep into Windows programming because most games use as little windows code as possible. Only setting up a window and possibly some basic dialog resources are needed for most games.

For learning a graphics API, I recommend picking up general beginners books like OpenGL Game Programming or Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus. Both of those books give you a good enough base of Windows programming to start making games.

To sum it all up:
Learn language (make sure you learn it well).
Learn OS specific development (not too much, just the basics).
Learn game related API - graphics, input, sound, networking, etc.
Advance your skills and experience. You''re never done learning - there will always be something about the language, OS development, and API that you will not know, and will update.


"Ogun''s Laughter Is No Joke!!!" - Ogun Kills On The Right, A Nigerian Poem.

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Woa, slow down! You need to learn programming first and become good at it. Game programming is an advanced topic. You should probably start somewhere from QuickBasic and see if you''re good at programming at all. Then, as you become more familiar and experienced you may advance and take some more complex language like Java or C++.

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Also, if you haven''t done it already, pick your favorite game for which you can create mods, and make some mods for it. Some mods allow programming and/or scripting, which might be a good start. If the game does scripting via a DLL, then you have a good project that will motivate you to learn C and C++.

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