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Beginning Game Developer

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So I have written a few games to be played in console, but now I'm looking to make them more window-y and interactive. My games that I have written code for are Rock/Paper/Scissors, Tic-Tac-Toe, and BlackJack. I was thinking about starting with R/P/S and doing three buttons for choosing, two displays for the player and computer, and some text areas to display the win statistics. Does anyone know of any good tutorials, or has anyone out there done a visual R/P/S and might be willing to help me out a little? Thanks. Matthew J

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It depends on what tools you have available to you. If you're working primarily in C/C++, find a good tutorial on window creation/management and message loops. Start with a simple window with standard Windows-style buttons for your options. You might consider looking at wrapper toolkits like MFC or ATL to help get the window displayed more easily, but my personal advice is to wait on that sort of thing until you're at least comfortable with the underlying technology.

From there, I'd suggest moving on to the GDI. Managing GDI resources is a bit messy but it's great practice for dealing with more complicated graphics systems and it will get you a very valuable look into Windows internals. After that you'll probably be set to pick up an accelerated graphics API; there's plenty of resources here for both OpenGL and DirectX when the time comes.

If you're low on tools, you can start off with something like the (currently free) Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, or even javascript and DHTML. That will get you a very cursory look at event-driven programming, albeit with very little valuable insight into how it works underneath, which IMO is far more useful in the long run.

A few minutes on Google should turn up some decent Windows programming tutorials, and never forget MSDN - it will probably save your bacon at least once a day. Of course there's always this forum for specific questions. Good luck!

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I just spent a semester learning Java, C, and VB. I'm also self-learning C++. I have a pretty good basic understanding of how it all works, and I'm taking what I learned in C and in Java to help me learn C++. My question really was about the windows. I do searches and find a lot of stuff on OpenGL, but that isn't what I need (or is it?). I know it's really noobish of me to ask, but if you could just give me one link to at least show me what I should be looking for, that would help push me in the right direction. Thanks a lot. Cheers.

Matthew J

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I have to second TheForger's win32 API tutorial. Any programmer developing software for Windows should have some knowledge of the underlying API. It helped me create my Pong clone, for windows. The Win32 API however is strictly a C API, and last time I checked TheForgers tutorial only used C. And if you're using a free compiler, you'll need to get a resource editor.

If you're looking for a pure C++ solution, I suggest FLTK. Its quite easy to use widget and windowing toolkit:

/* Hellow World from the documentation: */
#include <FL/Fl.H>
#include <FL/Fl_Window.H>
#include <FL/Fl_Box.H>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
Fl_Window *window = new Fl_Window(300,180);
Fl_Box *box = new Fl_Box(20,40,260,100,"Hello, World!");

box->box(FL_UP_BOX); /* Raised box */
box->labelsize(36); /* 36 point font size.*/

window->show(argc, argv);
return Fl::run();

FLTK was designed to work with OpenGL, and even has a GLUT compatibility header. So its a great toolkit for hosting games. The toolkit also includes FLUID, so you can layout your components with a GUI.

For beginners who haven't done any Windowing and GUI programming, I strongly suggest learning Java Swing. Swing is a standard toolkit for Java, and Sun has a great tutorial for new programmers. If you have the Java2 SE SDK, you don't need anything else.

[Edited by - EnemyBoss on June 3, 2005 11:38:22 AM]

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