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Need some guidelines

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Hello everybody, I recently began learning to program in C++. My goal is to learn to program 3d environments. I realize that it takes a considerable amount of work required to create something in 3d, but I really want to learn how. I was hoping that somebody could point me in the right direction, because right now I'm at a loss. I have the most recent version of borland's C++ and I'm reading through the book that came with that, but what do I do after I've learned those basics. I just want to know what I need to learn so I can plan some sort of a course for me to follow. It's been difficult to figure out what 3d programming entails, due to the wide range of topics that accompany a search. I was hoping that I could get some guidance from someone that knows what they are doing. Thank you all.

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If you are only just learning to program, there is no way you can make a 3D game. It's not a matter of intelligence, it's just a matter of tools. Programming a 3D game requires knowledge of the language that you do not yet possess (for instance you will need to know pointers and dynamic data structures). So for now, just stick with the book until you work your way to the end. Along the way try out the sample problems for the chapters. By the time you get to the end you will be in a place where writing a 3D game is an achievable, though still really hard, goal. If you want an intermediate goal, I'd try writing a text based adventure game. That's something that you could probably start on now (depending on how far into the book you are). If you haven't covered loops yet, I'd just wait on game programming till you get there and are very familliar with how they work.

If you are interested in 3D game programming, I'd also suggest picking up a linear algebra book and working your way through that.

-me

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I have to, unfortunately, agree with Palidine. Although it's tempting to just want to get straight in to 3D programming, you need that foundation of C++ before you can really understand what you are doing.

I attended a 6 month C++ class about a year ago and when I started it I also bought the opengl Game programming book. I thought I can learn both at the same time, but I couldn't. The code just didn't make any sense to me. I put the book aside and kept to practicing the C/C++ language by writing console program's as instructed by my course.

After I finished my course I picked up the book again and was surprised to find how easily I could follow all the code examples. So I heartily recommend, sticking to finishing C++ so you understand the basics such as arrays, loops, pointers and class creation, then you can move on to a 3D api.

Despite what non-game programmers think, writing 3D games is very hard. After you've learnt C++, you need to learn OpenGL / DirectX, then you need a good understanding of Math, then you may need to include Physics, then A.I, then learn a sound API like OpenAL, then learn a 3D graphics program and understand it's file export structure. There's a LOT more to it than meets the eye.

I know it sucks when you are eager to just get in to the good stuff, but perseverance always wins. For the moment stick with C++ :)

Goodluck.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just to offer another perspective, I learned programming by buying a book on 3d game programming and learning everything else as I went. I had no idea how to program in C/C++ and really didn't even know trigometry at the time. Once I bought the book, I went through it chapter by chapter constantly having to look up various things to understand what it was talking about. I ended up buying a C reference book and flipping through my math textbook a lot, but basically just went through the game programming book a chapter at a time, learning new things as I encountered them in the book. Basically I let the book be my roadmap of what I needed to learn.

I bring this up because, as 6 said, perseverance is critical. But I think the key to persevering is to stay interested, so it's not necessarily a bad idea to go ahead and jump right in with what you're interested in (even if it's dauntingly confusing at first). So my suggestion is to find a book that you think looks cool, buy it, and keep reading and researching until you understand everything in the book. There are TONS of beginning 3d books out there (good and bad), so if I were you, I'd spend a while reading book reviews and buy a recommended beginner C++ 3d programming book, then see where it brings you...

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