Sign in to follow this  
Momento Mori

Looking for good advice and direction

Recommended Posts

I am a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Technology with a focus on Application Development. I have always wanted to do game programming and have bought several books on the topic and gotten my hands dirty trying to learn some particularly with Direct X 9.0 inside both a Visual Studio 6 C++ environment and a Visual Studio.NET C# environment. I have experience with several programming languages including: C#, C\C++, VB6, VB.NET, Sun Microsystems Java, COBOL, ASP 3.0, BASIC, and Perl. I think that my strongest language is most likely C++. I have experience in several development environments, including VS.NET and VS6, but I also don’t mind writing my C++ or java from notepad or even DOS edit and then using a command line compiler like Borland’s C++ compiler. Now that you have a small amount of background about my skills and experience what I would like is some guidance about what environment I should pursue for my game development. I have read the FAQ on this site and I think that I may try making a tetris clone as a start as suggested. I really would like to get into 3D programming, but I am willing to start small if it gives me the skills necessary to progress. Does anyone have any advice besides what I have gleamed from the FAQ to better guide me towards creating some good games and getting the ropes of game programming down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well my advice coming from a similar backround(I've programmed in C for years before I ever messed with graphics) Is to as you say start small, even though tetris seems relativly easy right now you probably find that breakout, pong, or a side scrolling game are probably quite a bit easier. I started in 2d mainly because 3d math is alot harder to learn and it really helps to have a solid understanding of 2d. You'll probably have a hard time getting directx9 to work with visual studio 6, so youll either have to get a newr version of vs or an older version of directx. You can get newer tools at microsoft.com for free so that should be no problem. Then I recomend picking up a game library like Allegro or SDL and banging out some 2d games. I was able to pick allegro and write my own pong, asteroids and a tile based mario-like game. Now I've moved on to direct3d 8.
Allegro probably has the best documentation but has a primarily C style interface. SDL is organised better and more C++ oriented. Both are equally capable and will ease the transistion into 3d. In any case, if you can program in C++ proficiently you should have no problem picking up one of these libs and running with it. Any info you could possibly need is here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome to GDNet. [smile]

It's good to see you've already read the FAQ, a lot of people don't but the advice in there is pretty good even though some of the material is starting to get a little dated.

You should definately start off with some 2d projects, just to get comfortable with a few of the core concepts involved with game programming - a game loop, setting up your game objects, etc. You probably won't have too much trouble with it judging by the experience you've listed, but if I may make a suggestion I tend to recommend a clone of Pong before Tetris. Tetris is pretty simple as games go, and is an excellent learning experience, but it isn't quite as simple as it seems at first, while pong is quite easy to get working. Basically the progression of games to make I would personally recommend is:
-Pong (or Snake for an alternative)
-Tetris
-Platform Sidescroller (Mario clone) or Overhead Shooter (Like Raptor: Call of the Shadows).

As I've said, I don't think this will take you all that long or present too many problems with the experience you already have. From that point, I'd say you could move onto learning a 3d API (DirectX or OpenGL).

Hope that answers your question. [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks much for the quick and quite insightful responses. :D I like the idea of pong a bit better perhaps I will do that first as you suggest.

I have several game programming books at my disposal, none of which I have had the pleasure of getting very deep into due to my heavy college course load (22 Credit Hours)(I just graduated the 13th so that’s all changed now). Do you have any comments or suggestions on these books, good, bad? Better books I should use?

.NET Game Programming in C# (Apress)
Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX 2nd edition (Thomson Course Technology)
Game Programming All In One 2nd edition (Thomson Course Technology)
3D Game Programming All In One (Thomson Course Technology)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only one I've read out of those is Programming Roleplaying Games with DirectX, and I don't actually own a copy, but I found it to be quite a good book covering a decent range of material.

There might be some reviews of them in the books section if you take a look, there are plenty of books listed there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this