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lizun

trying to learn

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for now, i have only 6 months experience in c++ language, which must be a very low level in your eyes, and nothing else. but i still have managed to work out simple pong and shooting at moving targets. but these games are very primitive and with low graphics. also my keyboard commands delays for a moment. i was interesting if it's better to start working in visual studio.net provided visual c++, as it offers working with directx, which is new to me. for now i have been making programms in msdos mode, and only a while ago i heard about possibility creating programms using directx. so now i am asking for advice: what is better for me to do? expand my knowledge in c++ language or to try work directx out? thanks for any advice.

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expand my knowledge in c++ language or to try work directx out?


Depends on what your exact goal is. I, personally, would recommend you try your hand with SDL first.

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sdl??? (what's that?) i suppose directx libraries allready included in visual studio, but what about sdl, i don't know a thing about it... sorry...

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Firstly, don't feel that you aren't doing well enough yet - from the sounds of it, you've made a good start, and in fact gotten further than a lot of people end up getting. If you stick at it, and keep working on things, you should do just fine.

If you feel that you're ready to move onto basic graphics, then feel free to give DirectX (or perhaps another graphics API, SDL is supposedly very good for beginners for example) a try - you can always go back to working in console mode again for a while if you find it too difficult.

Remember not to try anything overly complex at first though - to begin with, just learn to display a bitmap on screen, and then learn how to move it around. Work through whatever tutorials you are using, and make sure you understand all of the material - ask for clarification if you can't figure it out after looking for additional sources.

Also, many people find the purchase of a good book to be very helpful - if you have the money, you may want to look into that.

Lastly, although not all of the information applies yet since you've already made a good start, check out this and this. Oh, and just for reference, you don't have to be using Visual Studio to use DirectX, although I'm told some other packages aren't as simple to link with DirectX.

If you'd like any more information, or have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask - good luck, hope this has been of some help. [smile]

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Original post by lizun
sdl??? (what's that?) i suppose directx libraries allready included in visual studio, but what about sdl, i don't know a thing about it... sorry...


Yes, the DirectX Libraries should be included, and can also be downloaded for free from Microsoft. SDL is Simple Direct Medialayer, and the libraries can be downloaded at the homepage, here. It's considered to be simpler for new programmers, and can be used in conjunction with OpenGL later on for 3d if desired.

Just to clarify in case you weren't aware, DirectX is a graphics API (among other things, it also includes input handling, sound, etc). There are other graphics APIs available, some of which include SDL, OpenGL, Allegro and ClanLib.

//EDIT: Some additional info

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ok. so i must think about getting sdl libs. but then again, wouldn't it be a problem to get help working with it? i think i could find directx samples and tutorials, but where to get sdl samples i've got no idea.

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Well, you can write programs that use DirectX in any GUI programming tool, or if you want, in a text editor. C and C++ is a standard that aren't depending on any programming software, and Visual C++ is just C++ using Microsofts programming suite.

There are many programming suites out there that you can use. I use Visual Studio .NET. Problem with VS .NET is that it isn't cheap. But there is another programming suite that is very good and is free, and that is Dev-C++ which you can find at http://www.bloodshed.net/dev/devcpp.html.

DirectX and OpenGL are the two most used graphic API's, but there are others that are wrappers around DirectX and OpenGL for easier use.

Then you have windows GDI, that is Windows own graphics system. But i would not reccomend making games in it since it is awefully slow. Sure, it can be good to learn it, but not make games on.

So here are some steps i think would be good to follow.
1. Learn how to make Windows apps. (Open a window, message loops etc)
2. Aquaint yourself with Windows GDI. (just so you undestand it)
3. Learn SDL.
4. Learn OpenGL and/or DirectX

I think those steps are a good way to start.

Hope this helps.

// Allmight

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Quote:
Original post by lizun
ok. so i must think about getting sdl libs. but then again, wouldn't it be a problem to get help working with it? i think i could find directx samples and tutorials, but where to get sdl samples i've got no idea.


While this is an issue, and there are more DirectX (and OGL for that matter) resources, there are SDL resources out there. In addition to what can be found at the SDL site, I've heard good things about Cone3D, and I'm sure google would turn up more.

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Original post by lizun
ok. so i must think about getting sdl libs. but then again, wouldn't it be a problem to get help working with it?


As with anything else, you will encounter problems. But at least, SDL's scope is smaller than DirectX's so you should encounter fewer problems and idiosyncrasies.

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i think i could find directx samples and tutorials, but where to get sdl samples i've got no idea.


There's some documentation available, the PDF for the book "Programming Linux Games" is available for free from its author's website, there are whole open-source games using SDL (e.g. Frozen Bubble) you could learn from... and there's also Gamedev (particularly, the 'Alternative Game Libraries' forum - in addition to 'For Beginners' [grin]).

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thanks for help, guys! i think that should make me going. hopefully this sdl thing wont be hard..

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