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Gardon

Anyone recommend a good directx book???

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I'm looking at books like: "Tricks of the windows game programming Gurus" and "Programming role playing games with directx" (2nd edition) but they don't teach directx. They just tell me how to use it in certain situations, like game creation (which I'm obviously studying for, but I can't make a game without knowing how to use directx). So, does anyone know of a good beginners book to directx???

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I have the first one around here somewhere, very good for getting started (others seem to agree on amazon) not sure about the second. Mentioned it because it seems like the next book to get after the first one, but i dont know for sure, havent read it. Although from what you said you should be in pretty good shape getting the first one. Always read as much as you can about a book before you buy it to see if its what your looking for.

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Which do you recommend reading first?

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Tricks of the windows game programming gurus (2nd edition)--By the way, the second edition is just a remake of the first. It's the same book.

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Programming role playing games with directx

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Introduction to 3d role playing games with frank d. luna

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Thanks for your time (that's not a book :P)

Gardon

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In your original post you wanted a directx book, if thats the case, then what you probably want to start with is the one i suggested or something like it. Im not familiar with the "programming a certain type of game" books, as i tend to look more towards how to make the parts that make the game, then you can make whatever game you want. From what ive read of those types of books they give you an overview of what is required to implement a game of that type and the fast track learning to getting it done. Im not sure what your programming experience is but if your not an experinced programmer you could get confused by the code (which is why you should maybe start with the basics of what puts graphics on the screen, what moves them, etc). Alhtough tricks of the windows game programming gurus does teach you how to use directx, it doesnt teach you what directx is actully doing under the function calls (atleast not as in depth as the individual topic books would, and it will have working games at the end, but not rpgs per say).
What is your experince and what are you trying to achieve now and in the long run?

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woah you're right.

I just turned 17, and I'm planning on going to college for computer science. I've been teaching myself c++ for a little over a year now, and I feel ready to go ahead with directx and/or windows programming in the near future, to help me with my studies.

The plan is: go to college, get a computer science degree, attend a gaming school (digi pen, etc.) and hopefully start my own game. As for now, since I'm not in a class for it, I want to learn how to program my own smaller games, so I know what to expect when I get out of college and try to get a real job in the field.


Long story short: I want to learn directx and windows programming so I can create my own game (not necessarily a RPG or MMORPG, but something that will teach me how to program more effeciently), but you're right, Tricks of the windows... doesn't tell you how directx works, but rather how to use it (which is hard when you're trying to drive a car but you don't know where the pedal is).

What's a good book for me, if any, and how can I start using my c++ skills towards game programming? And, is there an easier way to make games? I know programming is hard (from experience, I can say making a game would be extremely difficult), but is directx the way to go for me right now, as I'm just starting out?

Thanks,

Gardon

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Personally, I recommend that you try some 2D games with a good 2D API like SDL first. That way you could focus more on how to make a game and less on how to get a 3D API to work. First encounters with 3D APIs can be quite discouraging.

If you do want to go with DirectX though, get Frank Luna's book. It's a heavy read, but it's the only one out there that'll actually tell you how things work. I've read a lot of other DX books and they all seem to rush through the DirectX part as if they only sort of know the material themselves. Expect to spend some time with the book though...

If you do go with DirectX, realize that you'll be spending a lot of time on learning the API and much less time on making games. That's totally fine of course, but just be aware that 3D graphics is no easy subject. Definately not a worthwhile thing to rush.

One last note, you could also try OpenGL. I only mention this because the online resources are better for OpenGL (NeHe NeHe NeHe). You could give it a shot and see if learning a 3D API is for you right now or if you'd rather make some 2D games first. You can always try DX later.

I hope I've helped
-Aaron

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First off, thanks a ton Aaron. I really appreciate you helping me.

It's just that every book I get, whether it's:

tricks of the windows game programming gurus

or

multiplayer game programming with directx

or

teach yourself directx in xxxdays

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they all seem to teach somewhat of the subject at hand, but nothing really helps me pull it together.

Like, I know how the windows api works, but I can't implement it into a game because I have absolutely no idea where to start.

It's like going to school and learning about the history of the world, but learning 1200-1000 B.C, then skipping to 500B.C-500 A.D and then to 2005, and not having any idea why anything happened the way it did.

Yes, you'd know a lot about the three different time periods, but you wouldn't have any idea on why we live the way we do today because everything just jumped around.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, here's my question:

If I want to make a 2D RPG, what would I need to do?


Should I start out with directx 2D stuff, or just try something else, like SDL or openGL or whatever?
It just seems that directx and windows programming go hand in hand, and that's why I wanted to learn directx. Also, I have numerous books on Directx, and I'd feel as if I'm wasting them if I went to opengl or SDL or whatever. I'm a windows user, I hate linux and mac, and I'd develop on my windows. That doesn't mean necessarily only for windows, but if it's easier than why not?

Thanks for your time,

Gardon

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Also, if I want to make 3D games in the future, should I start with directx now and learn 2d directx so I can build 3d stuff later on, or will directx come easier as 3d then anything else, so I might as well do 2d in something other than directx?

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NumberXaero is right, its a great book. In fact the group I'm in is going through the book together as a project for review and for the beginners in the group. The group is open to anyone if you are interested in going through it with us. Let me know.

Shane

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I was in your EXACT situation when I started. I had a ton of dx books and didn't want to waste them. Don't worry though, they're not a waste. You can go back to them later.

I really do recommend that you use SDL for 2D instead of dx. I thought it would be easier to learn 3D with dx after learning 2D with dx, but it really is easier to learn dx when you're doing 3D stuff (at least I think so).

Warning: Shameless plug commencing in 2 seconds...

If you want to learn how SDL, I've written a bunch of tutorials for doing so. I have some existing tutorials for making Tetris, Pong, and Breakout. You can see them here: my site. Coincidentally, I'll be posting a new series of tutorials that teaches SDL tonight. If you go to my site tonight around 8:00pm (pacific time), there'll be a ton of new tutorials under 2D Game Tutorials.

In the next couple of weeks I'll be writing tutorials on some general game programming issues. It would be nice to know what beginners are looking for. You can email me at aaroncox1234@hotmail.com if you have any requests. I'll basically be writing tutorials to show people how to put games together.

End of shameless plug.

There's also a really great site here that teaches SDL. It doesn't show you how to make a game, but it does show you how to get graphics on the screen, handle input, play music, etc.

Oh yeah, and learning SDL isn't a waste. You can make a window, handle input, get timers, and do many more things with SDL. You can use SDL with DirectX, so it definately wouldn't be a waste.

-Aaron

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I've got Tricks and recently I've bought Game Code Complete (GCC) - imho, GCC (ed. 2) is so much better. Its an all around book, which gives you so much coverage - and its cheaper!

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Hi Gardon,

Books are nice, but also there are a lot of free information and DX tutorials all over the net. It is completely possible to learn a lot only with the web material.
Take a look at, for example, DX FAQ, specially in "Links to other resources" section.

Good luck! [smile]

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