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C++, DirectX BOOKS

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Alright I have a small knowledge of C++ console programming in DOS but i want to expand. I don't know what the next step is, I know loops, ifthenstatements, classes, functions, pointers. Should I get another, more advanced C++ book? Or a book on DirectX? I'm lost on my next step to game programming. I had a friend recommend the Zen of Direct3D Game programming. Suggestions?

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I started off with "Windows Game programming for dummies" by Andre Lamothe. I like it and still use it, but I've heard some people hate it so much that they think its going backwards since its all 2D game programming in an outdated version of directX.
I also got "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" which is pretty decent and has a chapter or two on most topics.
For you though, I would recommend learning data structures. Learn how to use pointers like the back of your hand, learn how to build linked lists (dynamic sized arrays), learn a lot about classes/structs.
I use two technical reference books for C++:
-C++ How to Program by Deitel & Deitel
-Data structures and program design in C++ by Robert Kruse

hope that helps give you some direction :)
oh yeah, math is actually beneficial if you want to learn programming.

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Well the best step from here that i know of would be to try and get familar with some win32 api programming or you could start with some direct draw making 2D games where you go is really up to you and your understanding of the language you use.

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If you feel like taking your time with this stuff, I'd suggest that you go with some more c++ books before getting into game making. Books like Thinking in C++ (it's free, just google it) and Code Complete will make you a better programmer, which will help immensly when you try to learn how to make games.

On the other hand, you probably want to get some graphics on your screen and start doing fun stuff. I'd recommend Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX. It's a really good book for c++ and DirectX.

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I'm not much further than you are but I will tell you what I am doing or plan on doing.

1)Read a basic C++ book (You know, one that has the word "Dummy" in it)

2)Read an intermediate/advanced C++ book. I am reading Bjarne Stroustrup at the moment but a lot of people really like Lafore.

3) Read a windows programming tutorial. You don't need to know that much pure windows programming to make games because of the work the graphics library does for you. But you will need to know how to make a window and handle messages. A web tutorial will suffice. If you wanna be a hard core windows programmer get Petzold's latest.

4) Start off slow! 2D is a brilliant first step. There are so many ways to do 2D graphics (DirectDraw, GDI, SDL, and even with Direct3D, many many more). I chose GDI and picked this book up: here.
But whichever way you choose is up to you.

5) Next I plan on reading LaMothe (Game Programming Gurus) to get acclimated with physics, collision detection, 3D math. I don't have to focus so much on the math portion because I've taken linear algebra and Cal 1 through 3 so I have a pretty good grasp on it.

6) And only after I have completed all of this will I even begin to attempt Direct3D. There are a plethora of books on the subject, none of which I've read so I couldn't recommend anything (although the very first game programming book I picked up was a Direct3D book by Frank Lora I believe his name was -- I quickly realized that I was out of my league and went back to the drawing board).

Just my .02 cents. Keep the change. ;)

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Andre LaMothes "Windows Game Programming" explains Windows programming very clearly and in an easy to understand manner, and is what helped me through that nightmare. I am still yet to read the directdraw stuff but the directsound and directinput are great too.

I would definately suggest this book or another that explains Windows programming well. I think the next step after that would be to learn a graphics API. If you choose to learn DirectX(like I did, I recommend it lots, I am yet to give opengl a good try though) I would then suggest "Introduction to 3d Game Programming with DirectX 9.0", by Frank Luna. It explains the basics of directx. Once you have got the basic setup routines for windows and your chosen graphics API, you can pretty much begin learning things yourself by experimenting, or reading more advanced books.

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Totally agree with HughG. You can find a lot of books by eDonkey2000 for free(while each of them on Amazon costs 40$). I'll try to go through the same steps as HughG do(except 2D)

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Personally, I went from right where you are (DOS) and jumped into game programming. I had some trouble, but every time I met something unfamiliar, I looked back in my unfinished C++ book.

It's your choice. Are you willing to read a whole book on C++ without knowing how anything applies to games? Or would you rather read a book about games, but be constantly confused, looking back, and re-reading?

As for your first book, I'd recommend Clayton Walnum's Teach Yourself Game Programming with DirectX in 21 Days. It's a great introductory book. Only from then would I go to Luna's book (which is an excellent book, provided you have some minimal experience. Also preferrable is that you have made at least one game. That book won't teach you how to make a game, or how you should apply what you learned to games. It teaches you algorithms, procedures, etc., but it's up to you to decide how to implement them in your games).

EDIT: Oh yeah, and Walnum's book has a chapter on Win32 programming, and Luna's book has an appendix on it too. It's therefore not necessary to know Win32. Still, it might be a good idea to read a bit about it.

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thanks, this community certainly is helpful. I think I will probablly go through all those books you guys recommended, pick out an intermediate C++ book, then a short Win32, and then a Direct3D.

Thanks for the help.

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