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Bantam

What now?

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I've been learning C++ for a short while but I think I have a grasp of the major concepts in the language. I've made a little text game using Dev-C++ and now I'm looking at moving on a little bit. Where do I go from here? I think I want to do something in DirectX as that seems to be the standard now. Can I use this with Dev-C++ without too much trouble? Can anyone recommend any tutorials or books that will walk me through DirectX from the very beginning and explain things fully? I had a look at the documentation that comes with the DirectX SDK and the examples and tutorials are useful but it doesn't really go into too much detail of how or why. I tend to learn better if I understand exactly what is going on but jumping from simple text based games to something based on SDL or DirectX seems to be a big leap. I don't just want to end up copying vast chunks of source code without really understanding it.

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Don't think that DirectX is the standard. Anyway, you can set up DirectX in Dev-C++ by simpling linking the appropriate files. You should seriously also consider OpenGL also before you decide. A lot of people find OpenGL easier to work with (and it is easy to work with). Or, you should also consider SDL or Allegro. You can find plenty of resources on any of those by simply googling.

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Why is OpenGL easier to work with that DirectX? Even if I did start with OpenGL I think I'd still want to put some time into DirectX. Are the principles of both similar? Would it be easy to transfer the skills learnt in one over to the other?

I have looked at SDL but I wanted to go with DirectX primarily because of it's audio capabilities.

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Well, with OpenGL all you really have to deal with is functions (plus you can set up everything easily with GLUT). With DirectX, you have to concern yourself Windows, and all the classes used.

Like you said, the basic ideas are the same, so you would be able to transfer what you have learned over. Also, you should note that SDL uses DirectX deep underneath in its code somewhere. If you want audio, SDL_mixer would work it SDL, or you could use OpenAL.

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I was in your position about a week or so ago, trying to figure out what to do after grasping the major components of c++. What I decided to do was continue with some more advanced c++ books as well as take up c# and windows forms. I found a used copy of "Managed DirectX 9 Kick Start" which I plan on going through after I finish "Windows Form Programming with C#" and "C# Unleashed." If anyone's wondering how I can afford all the books I read, the answer is Safari =) I pay $10.00 a month and can have up to 5 books available at any time.

Where you go is really up to you, as I can't really see any best way of doing it. The reason I chose what I did is because game programming isn't the only thing I'm interested in. I figure going from directX to OpenGL shouldn't be too difficult (in fact, from things I've read, it may be easier).

Have you looked at SDL yet? That's what I started with when I first got into using graphics. It's very easy to setup and use and doesn't really hinder you in any way. Setting up sound can be a little difficult with out a library (the book "Linux Game Programming" has an entire section on setting up sound with SDL).

Lots of different directions you can go. You just have to figure out what it is you want to accomplish. If you're like me, the answer is "I want to know everything about everything." The best option at that point is to just choose something and "learn the hell out of it" [smile].

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Well, there are 2 things that I really want to do.

1. Make some kind of front-end with some nice graphics to present my music in some kind of interactive form.

2. Have a go at making a turn-based rpg, akin to the Fallout games.


Both modest goals I think, and I'm not in any rush to get them finished. I'm don't think I'm quite up to the task of designing a full 3-d engine just yet. I think I'm going to take another look at SDL as that seems like the easiest way of getting into the graphical side of things.

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