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Jam3

Visual Studio C++ .NET, looking for game book, need advice

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Ok i have finished my com sci degree after going back to college. I have been a MSSQL dba for many years(since 94) and have plenty of VB experience. I have recently finished the MS step by step C++ book and after my college C programming I feel my fundamentals are sound enough to start my adventures into my true calling, game programming. I am looking for advice on where to start. I want to learn the fundamentals of turn based programming then move on to 3d and rts styles. What books would everyone here recommend? My tool of choice is VS .NET C++.

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addendum: I am looking for something that will show me the basics front to back even if its for checkers or something. Including creating loader screen, save game files, replay sequences (game film files), basic AI, etc. I am obviously not averse to using MS technologies, ala directx.



[edited by - jam3 on March 1, 2004 3:21:00 AM]

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All the things you mentioned( loader screen, save game files,basic AI) can be done easily if you gave it some thought.

For saving game, you need to know how to write to a file which you should know if you have done programming.

Basic AI, no standard way of doing AI, but usually state based where a NPC has a current state and reacts to events based on his current state.

To get started you need a graphics API, you could try OpenGL if you dont like MS tech. Just download the Free RedBook from the resources link above and get started. Or if you want something simpler, perhaps Allegro/SDL.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I am sure i can figure most of those things out as well. I would much rather have a book to walk thru. I just want to see if theres "standard" ways of doing those types of things.

What I don''t want is a book that teaches me C++. It seems like there is no happy medium, either a book is 90% C programming or is deep into some specific technical issue. Isn''t there a book out there that will teach people who know C how to code space invaders, etc.......

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Jam3,

I am in the same boat you are. I have been developing Business apps for years and now I want to learn the ins & outs of game development.

I have tried a few books and found them lacking. There is a large math/vocabulary barrier for those of us who don't want to just modify existing source.

I have resorted to www.gameinstitute.com (I have no financial interest in the site). Excellent courses and reasonably priced. I have been using them in my spare time to get a handle on the concepts. I have been taking their C++/DirectX code and porting it to C#/Managed DirectX. Slows things down a bit but, I learn so much more this way.

Game Institute takes each concept and elaborates on the necessary math (even if DX does the math for you). A real benefit if you want to understand what you are doing.



[edited by - eagleone on March 1, 2004 2:10:26 PM]

[edited by - eagleone on March 1, 2004 2:40:24 PM]

[edited by - eagleone on March 1, 2004 2:40:51 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
My experience has been that most any book devoted to DirectX assumes you will be using MS VS. There really is no "one" book, you''ll have to build up a library. As a fellow recent comp sci grad, congrats :-) ... Now as for books to recommend... Its really depends on what you know already, or what you are willing to wade through. If your comp sci education was anything like mine, you should find it easy no matter what direction you go (this assignment in Ada, this one in C, this one in Lisp, etc.) Your big advantage is understanding the "big picture"... what are the Big O implications; what is the most efficient data structure; etc. I was a "non-traditional" student who had prior programming experience -- the degree was really a good idea for forcing me to learn many things I would have always avoided (assembly language, for example). If you head towards DirectX, here are some books I''ve found helpful:

Adams'' Programming Role Playing Games w/ DirectX 8.0 (yes, 8.0, but lots of good information)
[Note: was not a big fan of his coding style, but he covered a lot of ground]

Adams'' Advanced Animation with DirectX (version 9.0, yes!) [still didn''t like his coding style, but that''s a minor point]

Barron''s Strategy Game Programming w/ DirectX 9.0

Engel''s Beginning Direct3d Game Programming

And if you want to go fully .NET,

Miller''s Managed DirectX KickStart

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