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WolfSpring

Going to be gone a year

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Hey guys, i've been busy lately and have not had time to be on here much and have gotten behind on learning C++. I am about to deploy to Iraq for a year and was wonderin while I'm over there what things I can download to take with me to learn. I've got a buncha C++ tutorials, two hard copy books, Sams C++ and Sams windows game design. Both beginner level books. I will have alot of free time over there to learn and play games, what should I be looking at for my next level of reference. Before i got behind I had made pong, but it was a crash course and didn't fully understand all of C++ but it gave me an understanding of alot of stuff that I didn't get from the book, such as loops and stuff. so if any of you have some good reference materials, free engines to mess with, free code development tools like python that I should look into I would be much appreciated. They should have some hook ups over there for internet too, but it will be limited to like an hour a week probably, or no more then 15 mins at one time. NOt sure yet, but I'll have my laptop. Thanks.

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lamothe's game programming tricks books will kill take you a while to get through and don't forget to take plenty of FPS games like quake,doom since they've been proven to increase a person's shooting skills in reallife!
p.s. If lamothe book a little to thick for your taste the best and most enjoyable book I've read lately is "Game programming all in one" 2nd edition make sure it's the one by jon harbour and if you really want to get a quick fast and dirty overview of how to make a simple 2d game get "game programming for teens" and even though it's in basic porting it to c/c++ using allegro or sdl would definitely make time fly!

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LOL yeah most me and my soldiers all play Ghost recon, Battlefield series, SOF2 and alot more. We are signal so most of us bring laptops and hubs out there too. Alot of free time on your hands, up to 8 hours a day of doing nothing at all except shower, walk to the PX(Store), wash clothes, do PT, they have gyms too, rumor is they may have a pool where we are going. Only sucky part is being away from my wife and kids, got a 7 month old, not going to see her first steps, or hear her talk, but wife knows enough about computers to video it all and send it to me in an email, or put it on an FTP sever.

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Wolf,
Hey, good to hear from you, I'm a soldier currently in Iraq (Q-west to be exact, a little south of Mosul). I suppose I could probably help you out. First off, for internet - When you get to Kuwait, or as soon as you can after getting in country BUY A SATELLITE INTERNET SYSTEM! They are expensive (ours cost 4000 plus 1000 per month for service), but we got 30 IP addresses with ours, and 26 people paying, so it's only about 50 bucks per person per month. Which isn't bad, considering the Army's Hughes systems are filtered, and you can't look at any websites with "games" "game" or "gaming" in the header of the page! Plus, it's always nice to have internet in your room.

As far as time, things might be different for you. I fly Kiowas, so we are out everyday, but it's really not that bad, our commo guys seem to have a lot of free time, so you should be ok.

I actually learned a lot of C++ before coming, so I just brought a programmer's reference (Herbert Schildt 0-07-222722-2). For windows programming, in Directx or OpenGL, make sure you learn the Object Oriented Paradigm of C++. It's not necissary for a game by any means, but it will help you to understand how windows works and how to get around putting windows specific code into your game code, which is important if you are considering portability

If you are doing any 3D stuff, and are new, I would recommend getting a math book, particularly one focused on math for games and graphics (I brought a Linear Algebra book, but it was very general and not focused on what I was looking for, I eventually got on Amazon.com and ordered Fletcher Dunn and Ian Parberry 1-55622-911-9, 3D Math Primer, which is very good, and very complete on graphics-specific maths).

As far as downloads I downloaded all of the tutorials and articles off of nehe.gamedev.net (very good tutorials) because I was primarily focused on OpenGL. I saved them as Adobe Acrobat files. I also downloaded the OpenGL specifications from opengl.org. Also, don't forget to download the Windows Platform SDK documentation, there is actually a lot of quick-lookup material for OpenGL in there as well (again, if you are using OpenGL, even so, the Windows SDK docs will be a necessity if you are using Windows at all)

Something else to look into (although, I haven't done it yet), is the Torque game engine from GarageGames.com. It is very similar to the engine used in Tribes2, made by the development team from Dynamix (you may remember Dynamix, they made the Willy Beamish series of games for Sierra), and is very cheap and fully supported.

As far as Iraq goes, Keep your head down and leave a round in the chamber when you are on the roads! Don't get complacent, this place is a s**thole and it's dangerous! I don't know if you've noticed from the news lately, but it's not a good idea to stray from the FOBs at all! A year is a long time, but if you stick together and stay focused you can bring everyone home (I'm actually almost done, we'll be leaving before the new year). For now though, I would recommend not doing any programming until you leave home, spend that time with your wife and your daughter! (I have three kids myself, and was fortunate enough to be there for the birth of my son six days before deploying). Good Luck Wolf!

V/R

Dunham
CW2, USA

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