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beginner, need direction...

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I'm 14 yeards old. After reading a lot of the articles on this site I've decided that I am an aspiring game programmer. I've already learned the basic C++ syntax, and I've programmed simple games like tic-tac-toe and hangman for many many months, but I don't know where to go from here. Should I learn win32, or opengl, or directX, etc? What knowledge would be essential for me to know if I want to break into the games industry? I would greatly appreciate a little direction and advice, thanks!

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Have you learned OOP yet? if not, I recommend learning that first, then SDL(SDL), then, finally, opengl(I don't recommend DirectX, because programs writen in DirectX only work on Windows)

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for what it's worth, here's by progression in game programming (about 4 years):

C++ -> VGA graphics[Assembly] -> Allegro -> Win32 -> OpenGL -> DirectX

i also learned how to do a few misc. things like Gameboy programming and winsock. both fun things.
if i were you i'd try to think of what kind of things you'd like to do and start looking into ways you can accomplish them. then Google for libraries or ask here.

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If your thinking of doing anything graphicwise, have a go a learning some higher level maths. I never realised how great a help maths was until i really starting learning more diverse mathmatics

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If you know how to program basic C++, I suggest moving on to graphics. 2-D DirectX would probably be best.

"Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus," by Andre Lamothe, will teach you all you need to know. I found it to be easy to understand, and by the time you're done, you should be ready to program 2D graphics. You can find cheap copies on Ebay, too.

-Gauvir_Mucca

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Quote:
Original post by onehundred
If your thinking of doing anything graphicwise, have a go a learning some higher level maths. I never realised how great a help maths was until i really starting learning more diverse mathmatics


Couldn't agree more! I'm still re-learning a lot of math from school, but it's most certainly helping me solve problems that I couldn't fathom before.

Just in case you decide that it is important to learn the maths (and for what it's worth, I really believe it is if you want to do anything professional), the general consensus for *basic* coverage of maths, should include these topics:

Linear Algebra
Geometry
Trigonometry

Personally, I've purchased 4 maths books so far, and I'm working through them now. For those interested, they are:

Practical Algebra (a self-teaching guide)
Help Yourself to Advanced Algebra
Geometry and Trigonometry for Calculus (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development

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I've been struggling with this for the last couple of months. I've read literally hundreds of posts on this forum trying to figure out what would be the best path for me to take. On top of that I've played around all sorts of different technologies. What I've decided is that I want to learn the things that are useful for getting a job, and the things I'll find fun as a hobby. Not everyone will agree with my decisions, which is fine, but I've given a lot of thought to this so I feel it something you might want to consider.

So with that said, here is the path I've decided on:

Head ->

Basics of C Programming -- Why? Because understand the basics of C (ie, functions, variable types, structs, pointers, and arrays) lay the ground work for C++. C is a very straight-forward language to learn, and can be put to good use after only a week or two of study.

Next ->

Java -- WHY? Because Java is an amazing language and it forces you to think in an Object-Oriented fashion. Java allows you to start making graphical applications and games which will run on any platform with a JVM installed. Java just keeps getting better and better.

Next ->

OpenGL -- Why? Well, because OpenGL is widely used in professional quality games, and can run on just about any platform. Not to mention that with the previous knowledge Java, you can write full OpenGL 2d/3d games within Java itself. Of course, you aren't limited to Java with OpenGL, but by using it with Java you have a way to easily test out different concepts, and to create applets and applications which can help you understand OpenGL concepts in greater detail.

Next ->

C++ -- Why? Java is great, but from most of the job postings I have seen companies want people who are fluant in C++ programming. By learning Java previous to C++ the OOP concepts will not be nearly as much of a shock. You can extend your knoweldge of OOP techniques, and OpenGL skills, for use with C++ to create some truly excellent pieces of code.

Next ->

Win32 -- Why? Well, you really only need to know a minimum of the WinAPI, but I say why limit yourself to nothing but games? Knowing how to write Win32 programs in C++ will allow you to write fully functional tools and utilities that you can use to make better games. Knowing Win32 programming puts you at a great advantage, IMHO.

Next ->

DirectX -- Why? Because DirectX is the ultimate all-in-one game programmer package. With support for 2d/3d graphics, sound, input devices, etc you can create a top-of-the-line game for the windows platform. Considering the majority of people use windows (especially to play games), why not create games that take advantage of technology specifically for that platform?

Null ->


Well, that's just my opinion, and the path I'm personally going to take. I already know the basics of C, so now I'm jumping in to step 2. Of course, you can take detours on the way. If you want to get started making games right away I would suggest a minimal knowledge of C, and then either Allegro or SDL. I have used both of them and they kick butt!

Basically, you need to determine what is right for you by figuring out where your interests lie and what you want to accomplish. For me, I want to learn and tinker in my spare time, and prepare myself for a career in game programming / developement.

Good luck!!

- heap

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