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OpenGL 8 Step Guide to surpass OpenGL NEWB!

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Well I was sitting here reading a few posts and thought that I should help out the general public with the basic questions that will get people started in a theroretical way. I dunno maybe a mod should make this a sticky or something.... **** 1. Many beginners want to start off very quickly, I know this because I was one of those people. However this is not good, with my motto I always think if I jump too far I will fall back; and if you get what I mean then thats good but if you don't what I'm trying to say is not to start off with OpenGL unless you FIRMLY know C++ very well. **** 2. Start of with a really good C++, theres really no point starting off with C now because it's basically the exact same thing just less advanced. A great book to start off with is C++ Primer Plus 4th edition. I have this book and its a little over a 1000 pages but its amazing book I highly recommend this. **** 3. Most computer people like to think that they know everything, my advice to you is don't get full of yourself because if you start skipping pages when reading books I can almost promise you that it will catch up with you. Just take the few more minutes that it takes to read the pages and go on. Even with me which I am I guess Intermediate level at C++ and beginner at OpenGL, when I read C++ Primer Plus(still do because I'm a dumbass and jumped ahead) I learned a lot on the way. **** 4. A good idea for reading any programming book is when you are done reading a chapter is to take what you learned in that chapter and summarize it(some books already do this) and then sort of make your own homework questions I guess you could say and then try then out. Best way I find to learn and most programmers is to manipulate what you just learned in the chapter and do some practical work before you go on, because things start to pile up very quickly. **** 5. Good thing to do once you know C++ classes pretty well is to start thinking about game structure and design just to get your imagination a boost. Just take a peice of paper and start drawing flow charts or something, anything that can help you understand game structure better. **** 6. If you are going to school or working a lot, or busy in general TRY not to procrastinate a lot. I speak from experience because if you read a chapter and don't read the next chapter for like 2 weeks after your retention level goes down quickly(for most people). This will just result in massive frustration down the road. **** 7. When coding this applys to advanced people aswell, try not to code for a long amount of time without testing your code and compiling it. Theres nothing like getting your hopes up when you just finished coding for 30 minutes straight and then you compile it and it doesn't work. I hate that. **** 8. If you goto school, lets say high-school, don't let your programming interupt your school work because even if you know lots of C++ when you get out of school that won't matter when you don't have the marks to support it. **** Well theres my 8 step guide to surpassing an OpenGL Newb. This some of this stuff doesn't apply to all people, but for most people my age(around 17) it does. Anyways hope I helped out some people, Enjoy! [edited by - Elfs1der on October 7, 2003 10:10:57 PM]

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I have to disagree with one of your statements
quote:
Start of with a really good C++, theres really no point starting off with C now because it's basically the exact same thing just less advanced

What you mean is C is a subset of C++. This is true, however, there are plenty of people using it and using it very well. Don't try to force your personal preference on others. Since OpenGL is designed to be used in a procedural manner, there is no advantage to using C++ over C.

But other than that, good advice.

I have a more consise 3 step guide to surpassing the OpenGL newbie stage:

1) If you don't understand C, C++ or how to use your compiler, learn how before you try to use OpenGL. If you don't, you should be posting in For Beginners.

2) RTF(OpenGL)M. At least get a basic understanding of the subject before posting here. This will prevent you from asking questions which are covered better by the manual. The OpenGL pages on MSDN are very good.

3) Use this forum to ask relevant questions.

Note that these steps are to be taken IN ORDER.

[edited by - benjamin bunny on October 8, 2003 8:51:24 AM]

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I use Delphi/Kylix to program in Opengl very happily, as do much of the opengl programming community. Delphi is based on pascal which is designed as a structural, procedural language and OpenGL fits incredibly neatly into its framework.

It''s also worth remembering that opengl is a GRAPHICS library and not a GAMES library. C++ is the standard these days for game coding, but it is not a completely homonogous standard in all fields. Many applications are written in Delphi and indeed many other langauges, depending upon the requirements and purposes of the application being coded. Opengl should be treated as a seperate learning process. I originally learned Opengl on c++ and found no problems (actually less) with using it with Delphi.

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quote:
Original post by benjamin bunny
What you mean is C is a subset of C++. This is true, however, there are plenty of people using it and using it very well. Don''t try to force your personal preference on others. Since OpenGL is designed to be used in a procedural manner, there is no advantage to using C++ over C.


Let me rephrase, I wasn''t trying to force anything, I was just saying that if you are pure beginner then really you might as well learn c++ rather than c.

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quote:
Original post by Elfs1der
Let me rephrase, I wasn''t trying to force anything, I was just saying that if you are pure beginner then really you might as well learn c++ rather than c.

No, if you are a pure beginner then either one will do. Both C and C++ contain the fundamentals of procedural programming, which is a good place for a beginner to begin. Eventually you''ll have to learn both (including the C-only parts of C which you usually do not learn in any depth when learning C++), so you may as well start with either.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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I agree that C is adequate for just programming small graphics demos at first. C++, however, becomes quite handy when one starts designing an engine.

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I know this is going to sound unfair, but i really dont think this thread belongs here. Sure, its a great thread full of a lot of useful advice, but, i mean, you''re concentrating on empasising learning the language, which effectively is one step. Theres not really any newcomer friendly opengl advice in here...

Sorry to sound so picky..

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quote:
Original post by jonbell
Many (maybe most) console games are coded in C.


Thats because you dont really need an easy to maintain and reusable engine structure. Theres hardly any relicencing and patching going on in console games nowadays. Plus, c ''feels'' closer to the hardware haha

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Well if you learn c++ you basically know C, so i dont see what the problem is because if u know C++ you could still make same games in it. And another thing is if you are pure beginner you wouldn''t start out with c++ anyways maybe VB or turing, thats what I started on.

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When I was a pure beginner I started out with BASIC. That was a while ago, though. . .

I''d say the best language to start out with is Pascal (from which Delphi is derived). That one can also do OpenGL programming with it is certainly a nice bonus, too. C is just a step up from Pascal, IMHO, while VB is sigificantly different from C.

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the best language to start off with is the one you can relate to the most. Surely it is better to learn the princples of programming first before worrying about what language you learn? It is no good sitting a newbie down infront of C++ to learn the basics of programming when they might learn the idea faster from something like basic or pascal or java or anything like that. All too many ppl seem to put down basic because thats what it is, basic, a beginners language, which hides the nasty stuff and allows you to learn the basics of programing without having to worry.

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Personally, I found C++ far more intuitive. I dunno maybe it has to do with why people are always calling me a genious or something. Anyways, I like to go hard, then figure out the little things I don''t know. It''s like with any language, the best way to learn it, is to immerse yourself in it.

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quote:
Original post by DudeMiester
I dunno maybe it has to do with why people are always calling me a genious or something.


No, that's not it. I use C.

[edited by - cowsarenotevil on October 8, 2003 10:09:29 PM]

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Wow. What a "genious" you are...

Newbie myth #23324: C++ is harder than C.

This thread has bugger all to do with OpenGL, and it''s not much use as a general programming thread either, so I''m closing it.

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