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Should I learn WIN32 or SDL next?

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Hi guys. I was hoping to get some informed opinions about my next step. I have been learning C++ for about 6 weeks now and have just completed a text based version of Tic-Tac-Toe (as all good noobies should), the source can be downloaded from here for zahlman..;-) Next I was thinking about making a simple graphical version but not too sure if I should use SDL or WIN32 as the graphical api...any opinions? At the same time as this I still have loads more to learn and explore with C++, templates, more of the STL, class factories, exception handling to name just a few areas that need exploring. So what do you think, do a grahpical version of my text game (with SDL or WIN32) or carry on with C++ 1st and then do the graphical version? Okay, you I guess I have a couple of questions: 1. SDL or WIN32 or both or something entirely different? 2. C++ or game? thanks in advance [Edited by - garyfletcher on March 15, 2005 6:59:29 AM]

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Just pursue both and keep working on whatever one interests you. Unless Mr. Fandango is standing right behind you, you have plenty of time to learn them both.

What do you want to do? Write windows programs? Learn Win32. Write games? Learn SDL. Both are good to know, but don't get caught up in the details. They are often far too messy and inane.

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Well, consider a few things. What platform will you be developing in? What is your final goal? How much time are you willing to put in to learn it? Resources availible?

If you want to learn stuff for Windows, check out the Win32 API and GDI+, MFC, and how the Windows system works. It is good to know this because many APIs use the Windows system for message handling, input, etc..not all have their own.

SDL is kind of a weird thing. It handles input, sound, graphics (2D), and many other things, and is extremely games centered (duh). Personally, i started and went straight to SDL after learning C++, and had no issue. I do wish i knew more about the Windows system, but i have started to learn slowly.

Templates, STL, class factories, etc..that all comes with just working with them, when the need arises. I learned all about templates in school but when push came to shove i learned most when i used them in a real world (a game) situation, for example.

It comes down a lot to your understanding of C++. If you get into either SDL or the Win32 api and feel uncomfortable, brush up on your skills a bit more with text. Start a text based RPG or MUD...something simple, then move ahead.

Hope i helped in some small way.

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Show your TTT source first and I'll give C&C, and hopefully point you in a meaningful direction. :)

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The WIN32 API is a complete mess, and it won't make much sense to people not accustomed to C-style programming. Although it is good to know about the system you are programming for, it is better just knowing something that gets your job done. I would suggest that you either use some pre-written WIN32 code for starting up the graphical framework (see the NeHe tutorials), or learn the basics of SDL. You don't want to be spending your time programming stuff you don't like but have to do in order to be able to do the fun stuff. BTW MFC is rather crappy too. It's nothing more than a semi-OOP wrapper on top of the WIN32 API. MFC is not targeted for game programming anyways, so unless you like to do GUI programming for windows, it is not for you.

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I am on kind of the same track as you.
I finished my text Tic-Tac-Toe and I am now working on a graphical version. I am using Allegro and it is not too hard so far. Pretty easy to work in the mouse as well.

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You should definitly learn the basics of Win32, but use SDL for the graphical version of TTT. Having the basic skills in Win32 is quite useful, I think, when you want to use DirectX or Win32 based OGL in the future. You can always use OpenGL through another library, such as GLFW, ALlegro, SDL, GLU, etc... but having that Win32 skills won't hurt [wink]. So to answer your questions: 1. SDL for the TTT game. 2. C++ before games. Learn how to use the STL. Your life will be so much easier. I am just now learning it and IMHO, it's very benefitial for games.

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Thanks for all the input guys.

Think I'll be carrying on with the C++ as my main priority and doing both win32 and SDL. I think that having a grasp of win32, well the bits for gaming, would be beneficial to future projects and work.

Hakiko..I would be interested to take a look at your implementation of TTT to see a different perspective and design, if you'd be interested.

You can get mine from the link in my 1st post if you'd like.

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