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AceWicked

A true newbie in game programming asks simplest question.

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I am new to programming. I have been studying c++ relentlessly as well as browsing some game programming books. What are "the" actual first few steps in making a game such as a side shooter...(and I do mean THE first few baby steps such as where specifically to starting the code)... and can I use microsoft visual c++ compiler for decent results?? Lastly, should I focus more on OpenGL or Direct X as I plan to be a graphics programmer over the yrs. Thanks in advance!

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The first things to do:
Make very simpel math programs, then try to exploit these programs a little more.
Make a window! Init DX or OGL and start making things you like :D

I'm using DX but OpenGl has some features I like over DX.
I can't help you with that.

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Probably there are a lot of things to do before starting programming games... you should be sure that your c++ skills are good, learn a bit of math and some related algorithms.
Anyway VC++ should be OK (but it depends: which version? 6 is min, but 2003 compiler is very good).
There is a big difference in programming style and features between DX and OGL: DX contains also a lot of stuff for net programming, sound and input, that OGL does not have. This apart, the 3D features are very similar (always remember that OGL is present in pretty all OS while DX on microsoft's only).
DX should be a bit easier to set up.

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My skills are that of a newbie. I have Viusal C++ 6. I have done a simple tic tac toe in text and coded in source files but that is as far as I ever got. I wonder if I should use the wizards for my windows or try to build my own gui with code?? And if so where would I start coding physically on my computer..??(besides keyboard hehe)

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Well, If you have VC++6 then you should have something like 120 MB of online help and documents. This could be a good start. Then you may want look for simple Win tutorials. There are mainly two ways to programming windows with VC++ 6: using plain Win32 api (classic way) and throught MFC (if you use the App Wizard the resulting App is MFC based).
I suggest you to first get an intro to Win32 because when you start making games you wouln't probably make use of MFC.
Some tutorials are here:

http://www.relisoft.com/win32/
http://www.flipcode.com/articles/article_winprog01.shtml

Of course there are also the examples provided vith VC++.

After that you will be ready to begin with 3D. Download the latest lib (wether DX or OGL is up to you) and try with the articles in this site.
If you want to use OGL there is, of course, NeHe, for DX there ise, IIRC, Nexe.

P.S. If you want a very good free resource for C++, download "thinking in C++" by Bruce Eckel:
www.mindview.net

Good luck!


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You learn by doing and gaining experience. The more you do things, you become more experienced and can build off your knowledge to always do things better.

Start with what you know and start working on projects. Read everything you can and try to apply things. Try to copy other programs, by thinking about how they work and how you would duplicate them. Code, read, learn, experience, Code. It never really ends. You just become higher and higher level of proficiency (if you discipline yourself).

The only way to ever truly learn is by doing, that is why math and physics classes make you do tons of problems. The more problems you do you gain experience on how to solve them and how to use the information more effectively. They give you a few templates by demonstrating the solution to some sample problems. It's the same with code. You read a book, it gives you some templates on how you can solve a problem in a particular way. But there is usually other ways to do it too.

Always think things through. If you get stuck there is this forum. Try to make sure you understand the problem before asking questions though. Too many people do not fully understand the problem and ask ambigous questions that can't be answered.

Good luck and stick to it.

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Quote:
Original post by AceWicked
I am new to programming. I have been studying c++ relentlessly as well as browsing some game programming books. What are "the" actual first few steps in making a game such as a side shooter...(and I do mean THE first few baby steps such as where specifically to starting the code)... and can I use microsoft visual c++ compiler for decent results?? Lastly, should I focus more on OpenGL or Direct X as I plan to be a graphics programmer over the yrs. Thanks in advance!




Assuming you go DirectX:

Download the DirectX SDK from Microsoft (software development kit - its like 240meg now) which has ALOT of DirectX sample programs (which compile/run fine with VC++6).

The examples cover 3D/2D graphics as well as sound/input/some network stuff.

Start looking at those sample programs (there is an Application framework in it)
to see how various things are done and start making modifications to them.

If you plan on concentrating on graphics, get up to speed on the mathematics --
especially linear algebra - vector and matrix stuff.

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First off, thank you all whom have taken time to respond to my thread. Anyhow, I currently have software for DX and OGL and VC++6.0 and I am currently studying beg game programming in C++ as well as a C++ reference guide. I hope those are good starts.....However, I am curious ss to the beginning process of using Win 32 first or should I start coding in the source file .cpp? I am just trying to figure out the "first" steps that would make sense in say for example a simple Tic Tac Toe game or CHESS game. Would using Win32 allow me to code in source file later or vice versa....? Where would be the best place to begin the process in my VC++6.0? Thx again in advance.....

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I highly recommend NOT using a wizard to create you window or any other application stuff. You'll learn the stuff much better if you do it yourself, and by the time you become proficient, your needs will be specific enough that the wizard doesn't cut it anymore.

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Going to drop in a plug for SDL here (www.libsdl.org) I think it's a wonderful resource for people just starting out. I personally don't use it anymore, but I strongly suggest it for someone learning the ropes :)

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