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What to buy...?

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i''m interested in programming, and i know a VERY LITTLE BIT, but i was thinking about buying Game Programming Starter Kit 6.0 for around $50. Is this a good buy, do you recommend something else, at this point i WILL NOT spend more than $100, but if there is something 10x better for more i''d like to know, but i''d like to keep the price to around $50. Thanks for whatever help you can give me!! My email is SToothTZ@yahoo.com Please email me as i do not always check this forum thank you

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I suggest books. And for a good book, you may have to pay some good money, weither or not it being over $100.

- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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Doesn''t the Kit come with some sort of book/tutorial, like i said i knnow very little, i did a bit on TI-83+ but that''s it, i''ll get a book in a week or a month or when i get more into and understand the bare basics.
But dont i need a Programming Program first?

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I would suggest deciding on a language. Then getting a book for that language. There are some free C++ compilers out there and a lot of people use it for games. If you do go with C++ I suggest C++ Primer(cost ~50) as an excellent book. Anyway start with that and go through the whole book, and make sure to learn it and not just do the excersises and forget it. After every excersise use what you learned in some game related way. Examples:
You just learned how to accept console input -> Make an app for creating charactures where you can input their attributes.
Anyway after that you could look at the gameprogramming starter kit, but you really need to learn a language first.
Good luck and keep at it.

------------------------------
p.s. excuse me english. im from L.A.

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I will keep at it!! And thanks for the suggestion i''ll definately look into it. I did not know that the Starter Kit didnt teach the language (i know it does but i know what you mean) Thanks again

--your mom

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if you are looking for a nice c++ compiler, i wood suggest bloodshed. nothin like sweet sweet freeware.

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1st Is albania a real place?
2nd is bloodshed on Download.com? it cant hurt to try
3rd i''ll still need a book...that is..unless you care to be my personol tutor, lol

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It depends on where you want to go with game programming. VB is ok if you want to do this as a hobbie, and you can use what you learn in VB to be something like a database programmer. If you want to do this as a career though I would suggest C++ though because it is what most companies use, and realize you''ll never be programming the next Quake with VB. Also with VB you will probably get frustrated later because of it''s shortcomings pertaining to game programming.

------------------------------
p.s. excuse me english. im from L.A.

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I have the Game Programming Starter Kit 6.0
Well I bought it about a year ago or so... I was a bit disappointed, because it barely teaches you about C++.
The book on game design is quite nice though. What else was with it? Oh yeah that Genesis 3d engine, but you can get that for free from the internet anyway.

So the two things that were good, was the book on game design and the MSVC++ compiler (author version).
Oh and that Tetris game with source code

But you definately need to buy a book on the language that you''ll program in, C++ most likely if it''s games you''re looking into.

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Books
Books
Some more books
Another book

PS: One more book


pan narrans
Study + Hard Work + Loud Profanity = Good Code

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I'm going to go on a completely different note from everyone else and recommend you buy a book.

Yes, I'm a Smart AssTM.

A lot of the starter kit books come with a free trial version of a compiler which is a good start. Another good option to get a compiler to get you going is DevC++. It's free and it works, what more can you ask!

EDIT: Damn hyperlinking piece of crap... just because I got the .net wrong doesn't mean it shouldn't have known what I wanted.

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

[edited by - Greven on December 3, 2002 1:44:48 PM]

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First off. Dont get the GPSK. I got one version of it and it really sucked. The compiler is only an educational version (Distribution of EXEs made with it is not allowd), A Game engine that you can get for free on the net (Genesis 3D) and a model animater that isnt even compatible with the engine and a book. The book doesnt teach game programming either. The are plenty of good C++ books out there and lots of compilers that are better than MSVC++ (I hate that program). DevC++ is the compiler i use. I cant remember the URL but just do a search on google or yahoo and youll find it.

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well i think i''m gonna go out on a lim and buy a book, even tho no one suggested it, I''ll also look into all the the compiler suggestions i got, Thanks again!!

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Quote: 1st Is albania a real place?

Yes, Albania is a real place. Have you been watching Dilbert? It is Euopes poorest country.
Nick

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Nick: if you were joking, ignore this. Otherwise, Albania is not the Fictional country from Dilbert. That''s Elbonia. But, yes, Albania is a real place.

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My advice...save your money. I have a bookshelf full of game-programming books and none of them taught me what I needed to know to make a video game. Game programming books make good references, but you have to learn the fundamentals yourself. So where should you go for help? Online articles. They're often very good (you can find articles on a variety of topics at a variety of skill levles), and best of all they're free. Also check out tutorial websites. Oh yeah, and the documentation of popular graphics libraries is a good place to learn what you need. In fact many of the "Learn to Be a DirectX Pro in 5 Minutes" books you will find on the shelves are little more than a wrapper around the Microsoft DirectX documentation which you can download for free (alot better than the $50 those books command!). I guess I'm a little cynical now, but I really think that many (not all, because I know at least one GameDev member is a published Game Programming author!) game programming books are a deliberate scam. The author knows that there are many naive (I don't mean that in a bad way; I just mean that you don't know that you can get most of that information for free) and eager people would want to make games and are willing to spend $40-50 or more to learn how to make fantastic video games. So they slap together a thousand pages, fill it with exciting looking chapter titles and some color plates, put bold claims on the covers that suggest that you will be creating the next Doom in no time, and figure that after 10 minutes of flipping through the book you, being a trusting soul (as you should be) will truly believe you have found just the book you need to become a game programmer. You buy the book, take it home, read it, and then you try to use the code examples. That's where the trouble starts because many times the code just plain doesn't work. Sometimes the demos provided with the book are so buggy it's a wonder they even got a decent screenshot! In the end you're left just as lost as you were before you bought the book but $40 poorer. Think about it. The game programming book market is a great way for a person who couldn't quite make it to make a decent living. You don't have to be a great game programmer to write a game programming book (I think; I don't know this for a fact to be perfectly honest with my argument); I really don't think most publishers are going to know or even care because as long as your book sells they are going to be happy. I'm guessing many game programming books start with a guy sitting down and hacking together some crude demos and a very crude shell of a game and then writing programming tips around the code (which can be researched extensively online). The code doesn't have to be high performance because "they're trying to teach you the basics so they'll leave the optimization to you as an exercise." It can definitely be a scam and I think in many cases it is. However once again, I'm sure there are some honest game programming authors out there with good credentials and valuable knowledge to share. I just think they're the minority. Besides, as I said already you can find articles on just about any game programming or graphics related topic you can think of online, and they're free. So save your money.

[edited by - bob_the_third on December 4, 2002 10:23:46 PM]

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Need to learn the art of formatting your comments, lot to read in one statement without a few newlines.

Books can teach you a bit, just have to be careful in what you get. Online articles like you said are a really good source

quote:
Original post by bob_the_third
My advice...save your money. I have a bookshelf full of game-programming books and none of them taught me what I needed to know to make a video game. Game programming books make good references, but you have to learn the fundamentals yourself. So where should you go for help? Online articles. They''re often very good (you can find articles on a variety of topics at a variety of skill levles), and best of all they''re free. Also check out tutorial websites. Oh yeah, and the documentation of popular graphics libraries is a good place to learn what you need. In fact many of the "Learn to Be a DirectX Pro in 5 Minutes" books you will find on the shelves are little more than a wrapper around the Microsoft DirectX documentation which you can download for free (alot better than the $50 those books command!). I guess I''m a little cynical now, but I really think that many (not all, because I know at least one GameDev member is a published Game Programming author!) game programming books are a deliberate scam. The author knows that there are many naive (I don''t mean that in a bad way; I just mean that you don''t know that you can get most of that information for free) and eager people would want to make games and are willing to spend $40-50 or more to learn how to make fantastic video games. So they slap together a thousand pages, fill it with exciting looking chapter titles and some color plates, put bold claims on the covers that suggest that you will be creating the next Doom in no time, and figure that after 10 minutes of flipping through the book you, being a trusting soul (as you should be) will truly believe you have found just the book you need to become a game programmer. You buy the book, take it home, read it, and then you try to use the code examples. That''s where the trouble starts because many times the code just plain doesn''t work. Sometimes the demos provided with the book are so buggy it''s a wonder they even got a decent screenshot! In the end you''re left just as lost as you were before you bought the book but $40 poorer. Think about it. The game programming book market is a great way for a person who couldn''t quite make it to make a decent living. You don''t have to be a great game programmer to write a game programming book (I think; I don''t know this for a fact to be perfectly honest with my argument); I really don''t think most publishers are going to know or even care because as long as your book sells they are going to be happy. I''m guessing many game programming books start with a guy sitting down and hacking together some crude demos and a very crude shell of a game and then writing programming tips around the code (which can be researched extensively online). The code doesn''t have to be high performance because "they''re trying to teach you the basics so they''ll leave the optimization to you as an exercise." It can definitely be a scam and I think in many cases it is. However once again, I''m sure there are some honest game programming authors out there with good credentials and valuable knowledge to share. I just think they''re the minority. Besides, as I said already you can find articles on just about any game programming or graphics related topic you can think of online, and they''re free. So save your money.

[edited by - bob_the_third on December 4, 2002 10:23:46 PM]


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Haven''t read this whole thread, but I did pick up GPSK5 a few years back for 8 bucks, so I feel qualified to answer.

The thing is just an intro version of MSVC, a softcover book (kinda worth the price, but it won''t teach you how to MAKE games), and a CD with a lot of sample applications and a few eBooks.

In short, it''s not worth the MSRP. If you can get it dirt cheap, the book is worth a quick read, but the tools you get can be obtained mostly online, or are available with other books and packages that have greater value.

The way I see it, something like this is not remotely the best way to learn to make games. Especially if you have no coding experience, get a good book on C++ and learn it front and back. Then, start in on games. I''ll almost guarantee it will take less time if you focus on the language first, and then pull in all your other game-related resources. Otherwise you''ll be largely in the dark.

You might, however, want to read articles on general game design and coding practice while you''re learning C++. The more exposure you have to such, the more prepared you''ll be to really get into it once you know your stuff. Just getting it in your mind will allow you to think about things.

Just take it slow, don''t overwhelm yourself, and stick with it!

Peace,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//
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quote:
Need to learn the art of formatting your comments, lot to read in one statement without a few newlines.


Now that I look at my post, you''ve got a point!

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While I agree that most of the information you want can be found for free, on the internet, I like learning through books because they''re portable. I can take a book with me to bed, to visit relatives, on car rides... whatever, so I can use the time pretty good.

Being married with 2 kids I don''t have a lot of time, so being able to bring a book along with me to various places and read when I don''t have access to a computer, is quite nice.

Then I can use the time I have with my computer actually trying some of the examples if I want or applying what I have read to my own programs.

Books aren''t a total waste. They have their place.





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