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Hello all, just wanted to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions concerning beginning game programming. The past few years I've been working for a company developing small to decent sized windows applications using VB.net. So I guess you could say I have about 5-6 years of programming experience counting what I did in college. I enjoy programming, but what I do at the moment just doesn't challenge me and I'm not learning new things. This and the passion I have for games are the reasons why I am considering taking up game programming as a hobby, to learn new and exciting stuff. If it leads to actually getting a job in the gaming industry that would be a plus (although I'm not real sure how active the gaming industry is in Texas). Now on to some of the questions I have. To get started on learning how to develop games I've chosen to use C++ since it seems to be a popular language for this subject. I took a few C++ in college but considering it's been quite some time since I've actually used the language I've gone back to review some of my c++ books from college. One is a beginner type book and the other is a more advanced book over data structures and such. My first small goal is to get a game like tetris up and running. The question is once I get a basic understanding of c++ should I go straight into to learning directx or opengl or should I grab a book on the windows api and get a good understanding of that first? Second question, I know math is a must in game programming and for my CS major in college I had to take quite a bit of it(calculus up to Cal 3, differential equations, discrete math, ect). Its been about 3 years since I've graduated so naturally I don't remember much. Whats a good way to go about learning the math I need to know for game programming? I mean do I need to just go buy a calculus book or something like that to learn what I need to know or are there good books out there that specifically teach you what math you need to know for game programming? Thanks for taking the time to read my post and thanks in advance for any information provided.

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(although I'm not real sure how active the gaming industry is in Texas).

Pretty damn active. I've lost count of the number of high-profile studios based in Texas. I doubt you can find many places more active in the games industry. [wink]

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Now on to some of the questions I have. To get started on learning how to develop games I've chosen to use C++ since it seems to be a popular language for this subject. I took a few C++ in college but considering it's been quite some time since I've actually used the language I've gone back to review some of my c++ books from college. One is a beginner type book and the other is a more advanced book over data structures and such. My first small goal is to get a game like tetris up and running. The question is once I get a basic understanding of c++ should I go straight into to learning directx or opengl or should I grab a book on the windows api and get a good understanding of that first?

You should make sure you're *really* comfortable with C++. It's not a very forgiving language if you try to learn, say, DirectX with only a basic knowledge of the language.

Other than that, learning the basics of Win32 is a good idea, but you don't have to do anything in-depth. But you do need a few bits of it to write OpenGL or DirectX apps.

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Second question, I know math is a must in game programming and for my CS major in college I had to take quite a bit of it(calculus up to Cal 3, differential equations, discrete math, ect). Its been about 3 years since I've graduated so naturally I don't remember much. Whats a good way to go about learning the math I need to know for game programming?

I'd say don't worry about that. You've already learned most of it, so when you need it, you'll know what to look for, at least.

Oh, and welcome [wink]

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Original post by rvining
Hello all, just wanted to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions concerning beginning game programming.

The past few years I've been working for a company developing small to decent sized windows applications using VB.net. So I guess you could say I have about 5-6 years of programming experience counting what I did in college. I enjoy programming, but what I do at the moment just doesn't challenge me and I'm not learning new things. This and the passion I have for games are the reasons why I am considering taking up game programming as a hobby, to learn new and exciting stuff. If it leads to actually getting a job in the gaming industry that would be a plus (although I'm not real sure how active the gaming industry is in Texas).
I envy you, there are several jobs in Texas, not sure exactly how close to you. But in Oregon (where I am), there is almost none xP
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Original post by rvining
Now on to some of the questions I have. To get started on learning how to develop games I've chosen to use C++ since it seems to be a popular language for this subject. I took a few C++ in college but considering it's been quite some time since I've actually used the language I've gone back to review some of my c++ books from college. One is a beginner type book and the other is a more advanced book over data structures and such. My first small goal is to get a game like tetris up and running. The question is once I get a basic understanding of c++ should I go straight into to learning directx or opengl or should I grab a book on the windows api and get a good understanding of that first?
The first thing you need to learn is probably data types, pointers, references, structures, and classes. Practically all the advanced language capabilities you'd need to write a Win32 application in Visual C++. (You are using that, right?) Once you've done that you have several choices;
OpenGL - OpenGL has some great tutorials from nehe, that being said, you will need to learn Win32.
DirectX - DirectX is considered the most "complicated", and is used in alot of games currently. You will need to know Win32 as well.
SDL - SDL is a wrapper around graphic api's like Directx and OpenGL, it basically makes it easy to learn it. Although the commercial aspect of it is questionable. (uses directdraw7, opengl, alot of the api is simplified.)
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Original post by rvining
Second question, I know math is a must in game programming and for my CS major in college I had to take quite a bit of it(calculus up to Cal 3, differential equations, discrete math, ect). Its been about 3 years since I've graduated so naturally I don't remember much. Whats a good way to go about learning the math I need to know for game programming? I mean do I need to just go buy a calculus book or something like that to learn what I need to know or are there good books out there that specifically teach you what math you need to know for game programming?
That really depends on what you write. A simple pong game isn't going to require alot of math. But writing a Pool game will. Some of the more complicated things you'll see in game programming do include alot of Physics. Best to stay in 2D until you feel comfortable with what you've learned as far as how the API works. Sorta where I am right now ;)

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Welcome to gamedev.

I'm a Texan too! Though the only game companys I know of is Id in Mesquite and another one (i forget the name) in Quinlan, that's a good ways East of Dallas.

I'm wanting to start a small indie company, and I've been working on a business plan for a while. Maybe we could talk after you learn more.

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Original post by JayeAeotiv
Welcome to gamedev.

I'm a Texan too! Though the only game companys I know of is Id in Mesquite and another one (i forget the name) in Quinlan, that's a good ways East of Dallas.

I'm wanting to start a small indie company, and I've been working on a business plan for a while. Maybe we could talk after you learn more.


Hey there JayeAeotiv, good to see another Texan here in the community. I live in San Antonio at the moment. I would definitely be interested in talking with you after I get some knowledge under my belt. Good luck on your plan :)

I appreciate the welcome and the info guys :)

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