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# I'm interested in starting over. Any suggestions?

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Hello. :) About 3 or 4 years ago, I started getting interested in programming video games. Like so many others, I just wanted a creative outlet and I saw video games (as a combined audio/visual/storytelling experience) to be the perfect outlet. So naturally, I started programming. Makes sense, right? Yeah, I know it doesn't. =P I bought a book called Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days and read it until I got to the chapter on classes. Inheretance? BO-RING! Templates? BO-RING! Where's the graphics stuff? I skipped ahead and couldn't find any in the book! GRR! This book sucks, right? Yeah, I know it doesn't. =P So I skipped that stuff and bought Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus. I got frustrated about halfway through because I had problems getting Direct Draw to work the way I wanted it to. I liked loading bitmaps from a resource like Andre taught me in the GDI chapters, but I could find no way to do that with Direct Draw. I found a way on MSDN to load a bitmap into a DDRaw surface using GDI somehow (I forget) but I couldn't get it to work properly using MinGW (Dev-C++ was my IDE). Obviously the compiler sucked, right? Yeah, I know it doesn't. So I found SDL and was amazed at how easy it was. I made half a Tetris clone and was very proud of myself, but instantly I wanted to do platformers and Metroid clones and I needed to build a sprite class. Could this be the point where my lack of C++ skills came back to haunt me? You bet ya. I started thinking, "What the hell am I doing? I don't actually like this stuff, do I? I just wanted a creative outlet of some kind!" So I dropped programming completely and started drawing, painting, writing stories, playing guitar, and writing music. A lot. For like a year and half. Now that I have that creative stuff out of my system, programming is still calling my name. I guess it grew on me. But this time, I want to do it right. I want to learn the skill, not necessarily to create the coolest games ever, but perhaps for all kinds of applications and maybe even advance my career a bit. I just have this insatiable need to program things that work, and to do that I need to learn the right way. So my plan is to re-read Teaching Yourself C++ in 21 Days from back to front. I want to do pointless programming exercises over and over again so that I can learn all about templates, classes, inheretance, data structures, overloading, and all that BO-RING stuff. Does anyone have any other books they can recommend, or perhaps some self-teaching strategies or even some useless exercises to try?

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It sounds like the best thing you can do is go learn Python. Python's pretty awesome, and even better is that you can use PyGame to make game stuff. Think of PyGame as a much, much more feature-filled SDL which is also easier to use.

Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "Man, learn another language? I don't want to waste me C++ skills!" But you won't be -- you will learn Python soooo much faster than C++, and a lot of the skills you pick up in one will apply to the other. I believe, that for a person with no programming experience, it will be faster to learn a language like Python and then C++ instead of just learning C++ first.

-- John

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"C++ How to Program" 5th Edition

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You can learn everything you need to know about making a game on the internet, with enough google you can find just about anything you need about programming.Also, here are some links that I like to go to CProgramming.com, MSDN,fre CPP books,Programmershelp.co.uk,CPP reference.If you wish to learn allegro; here's the allegro vivace, or for SDL tutorials here's some tutorials, or DirectX tutorials; I would recommend MSDN for DirectX tutorials.[smile]

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