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Run of the mill beginner here.

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Hello all. It's taken me three years to realize that instead of thinking about getting into programming, I should just friggin do it. =) Alright, I've started C++ on Sunday, and I've been having a blast learning so far. I'm still in the very early stages as far as I know. I'm able to understand how everything works so far instead of just copying the code from tutorials and saying I've learned it. I'm up to Structures on: http://www.gametutorials.com/Tutorials/c++/Cpp_Pg2.htm And, since the Functions tutorial, I made a menu that has everything I learned. Like 5) will generate a random number. Amazing, aren't I? Heh. Anyway, I know those tutorials won't be much help after I'm done with them. I don't want to be left dry and alone... I think it's about time to get some books. Beginning C++ Game Programming - Michael Dawson Practical C++ Programming, Second Edition Jamsa's C/C++/C# Programmer's Bible The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition) The C++ Standard Library : A Tutorial and Reference Those are what I have in my amazon cart. I don't think I will get all of them. So are there any on that list that are too alike to get the both of them? Any other books that are better?

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For me, the 2 key texts for C++ (in order of importance) are:

The C++ programming language, written by the man who made C++
The C++ Standard Library

Neither are particularly beginners books though. There are plenty of books that different folks like to get their feet wet, but the one I settled on (after looking at 3 or 4) was:
C++: The complete reference

Those 3 (with the emphasis on the last, for learning) are probably as good a base as you need. After that, and after implementing what you've learned, I'd probably go for some of the 'gotcha' type books, like any of Meyer's or Sutter's. Either that or start looking at additional topics, like the WinAPI, openGL (or directX) etc.

Hope this helps,
Jim.

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alien,

If you're just now starting to learn, might I suggest that you might want to consider C# instead.

I've done C++ for several years, then changed to VB.NET and C# in 2002 with the emergence of .NET.

C# and/or VB.NET being managed are much more productive languages to write in. The only downside is that there is not a lot of literature to reference when it comes to game design. But since I use C# and VB.NET at work, it was a no brainer for me. With MS's release of Managed Direct X, the productivity is even better.

Some people will state that C# and MDX carry more overhead, but I don't think any of us are developing commercial type 3D engines here, so you'd probably never notice. To me productivity is most important. I'd much rather be able to code a game in 3 months vs. 6 months.

Just an opinion.


Thanks,
Dave

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I know that most of those books I chose weren't light, baby talking intro books. But I would need them eventually, so I might as well. I think I will get the 3 that you said, unless anyone else has some input. I will get books on OpenGL and other specifics after I have a nice understanding of C++. Right now, I'm afraid of what's next. But since I'm not torturing myself with it, or just prancing around tutorials, I'm doing a good job learning.

And thanks for your say, dhartles. What you said, the downside that there isn't much reference material to C# as of yet, is exactly why I think C++ is the best choice for me right now. Maybe in a few years, when I am more comfortable with all of this, I will make a switch as you did.

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I'm afraid I can't help you with a book (I'll admit it: I learnt my first C++ from "C++ for Dummies"), but I can't stress too much the usefulness of a quick reference on your computer. Many people mistakenly think that they have to learn the details of every function in the standard library, which is a waste of their time when they can just hit a key and look it up in the reference.

If you're using Visual Studio for your programming, you've probably already got a version of the MSDN Library installed. It's Microsoft's extremely comprehensive reference for all things Windows (and, indeed, all Microsoft products), but also contains language references and standard library references. It's fully integrated into the IDE; if you want to use the 'rand' function but can't remember the arguments that it takes, you can just type "rand" and hit F1 on it to get the reference page for the function.

If you're not using Visual Studio, then you can still access the MSDN Library Online.

If you're on a Mac, I believe XCode has something similar (the ADC reference library).

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Although I plan on buying some form of it in the future, I don't have any of Microsoft's Visual programs. I know about the MSDN library and wish I had it on my computer already. I did not know about the MSDN library online, I'm sure I'll use it when I start doing things I'm unsure of. I'm using DevC++ right now, hasn't given me any problems so far.

I think because I'm not at the point where I need to look something up, only at the point where I can just hardly manage a Magic 8 Ball program that displays a random message. Still can't figure out why it displays a message for each word. Heh. Anyway, I do think that a good book will help me while I am in this confusing learning stage. Just something to guide me in the right direction of where to go next. I'm only 16, and I'm taking a C++ class in January. I'm hoping I'm way past everyone else at the start. But that's not why I'm trying to learn now... I've been interested in how things work in computers from the first time I played doom; maybe when I was 5. I've just finally taken the time to do something about it.

Maybe I will buy "C++: The complete reference" and use only that. Then, after I'm done with it; whenever that may be; I will decide from there. I am probably thinking too much into the future.

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I am only a beginner also but have been learning C++ for a couple of months now.

I purchased "Sams teach yourself C++ in 24 hours". It was basically a quick tutorial to get me started and for the price I paid ($40AUD), I believe it to be a worthy purchase.

I have also purchased a copy of Visual Studio 2003 Academic Edition.

I would recommend considering this as a development environment because as SuperPig stated before, it has lots of useful functions that aid the learning process immensley.

But what it comes down to is what resources you already have...including time and available cash for further books, compilers etc.

If you've already got Dev-C++ and it seems you've decided on some very respectable text's to follow, I would stick with that plan until you feel your ready to move on.

The main thing to be concerned about with learning how to program, and Im sure others will agree, is finding the time to practice, practice, practice - and be sure to ask questions when you need to!

Best of luck!

J-Ral

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Hmm, Library. I haven't been to one of those in a while. I didn't even consider that. Libraries let you take books out for a few weeks... at least the one I would use. I think I would rather have my own books that I can have and constantly use for months, hopefully years.

I've been practicing every night since I started late last week. Stayed up much too long some nights, messed up my whole sleep schedule. It's hard, but I'm managing. I like using forums, but I hate asking questions. I like to act like a know-it-all. And I'm not quite comfortable with these forums yet. There are lots of boards where someone asking an easy question isn't labeled a "n00b" or given ignorant responses. This doesn't seem like one of them, but I still hate making new threads. I'll only ask questions if I really need them.

Thanks everyone.

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After seeing some of the features of the Borland C++ Builder program from my uncle, I'm considering purchasing it. Of course, the only other thing phasing my mind are the Visual Studio programs.

Are there any downsides to Borland, or should I just stay away and go with VC++? I just need something besides DevC++... it has been useful for everything I have done so far but I think I will need something more advanced soon. The other thing I'm worried about is that mostly everything is written in essence to VC++.

Starting to ramble, so any ideas?

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If you are new, I consider Beginning C++ Game Programming great to learn from, especially the chapter on pointers, I thought it was very good.
THe last two chapters for a complete begininer may feel a little overwhelming at first (linked lists are ALWAYS a pain for the beginners), but you can always ask for help here.

After that, I'd consider reading Accelerated C++, I loved it.
I'd stay clear of references only books for a while.

I heard that Objected Oriented in C++ (4th ed) is really good, I might buy it.

Also, if you are running short on money, visit www.mindview.com (or soemthing like that) and read the books Thinking in C++ both first and second volume.

Meyer's books are great btw, he is my second favorite author (Andrew Koenig is first).

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These are C++ A to Z books, and they are free for download too!

If you're thinking about an IDE I'd really recomend Visual Studio, if you just want to give it a try you can download VS 2005 beta for free too.

I would really consider C# as dhartles recommended but C++ is still the most prominent for developing games.

And one last thing, get the Effective C++ CD. It was the best C++ I've ever read. But it should be your second book not your first.

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I already have the Thinking in C++ and Thinking in Java books on my computer... but theres just something about reading on the computer that bugs me. Having a book on my desk would be better for me. Thanks for all your recommendations, I think I will be away from these forums for a long while. Maybe I'll be back in a few months after I have some good grounds. Or a week when I can't figure out something tiny.

Books I have ordered already-
C++: The Complete Reference, 4th ed
3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development
Beginning C++ Game Programming

I will pick up the libraries and further practice books when needed; whenever that may be.

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