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good books???

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i looked on the books section here at gamedev.net and there are simply too many to choose from. what would guys suggest with this criteria... i am starting out with c++ no other programming langs i have 1 book an old "starting out with c++" by Gladdis i believe. its an older book. i am currently looking at "beginning C++ game programming" and "tricks of the windows game programming gurus". i have only a text adventure or two under my belt no graphics other than like 2 lessons of opengl from some tutorials. i want to eventually make some sports sims(tecmo bowl style) and rpgs. what do you guys suggest.

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Well, it depends.

I could not tell from your post if you wanted to learn C++ or you already knew C++ well. So i will give you two answers.

If you already know C++ well i would reccomend a game programming book that either make a console based game, like "MUD Game Programming", which is a book i apreaciated alot. Not only will it teach you how to make a multiplayer game server, but it will also teach you alot of good C++ tricks and give you a good recap on most of the C++ advanced features. Since it creates a console based server, it dont spend alot of time teaching you how to program for windows. Another good choise would be a book on a gfx API, such as DirectX or OpenGL. For OpenGL i liked the "OpenGL SuperBible" and of course the famouse NeHe site "http://nehe.gamedev.net/". For DirectX i enjoyed the "The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming". Sure, you have to tolerate the authors "odd" sence of humor, but it tought me much. When that is done, you can advance to books like "3D Game Engine Programming" if you chose DirectX, or "OpenGL Game Programming" (think that was the name) for OpenGL (dooh).

If you are looking for learning C++ well, then you could read "Beginning Visual C++" series for Visual Studio, or the "Beginning C++" for other compilers/platforms. A good book to have on the shelf as well is "The Complete C++ Reference". It has everything on C and C++. A very good reference book in my eyes.

Btw, theese books are books i enjoyed. Im sure many users on these forums disagree with me on some or maybe all books. But the books i mentioned have taken me from scratch to the 3D RPG Engine i work on today. Well those and about 20 other books :P
You have to realize that you will have to keep buying books that expand the knowledge you gained on the eariler books. Mostly those books deal with newer API's, GPU Programming books, and all the Gems and Wisdom books out there.

Another good tip is a book that teach you to make applications as well. You gonna need those skills for making tools for your games. Things like Dialogs, buttons, file handling, creating databases etc are skills that are almost invaluable for a game programmer.

Hope this helped you in some way.

Good Luck!


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