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Absolute newbie question Im Lost!

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Ok Ill start out by saying ive read most of the FAQs and searched around for a few days now. I understand a little but still am confused...heres my issue. Im willing to learn but dont know how to execute. I can model low polygon "worlds" fairly well (low polygons are good, right?) I have a 3d modeling program, Cinema 4d, and I have made a simple maze, like a dungeon. I want to learn how to navigate around it. At this point I dont have a game objective to pass the level or anything, I just want to walk around this maze ive created. Now Ive read that I need to be able to export as a .x file which cinema 4d does do. I also read that I need to know a programing language and Ive chosen C++. I do know actionscript, lingo, and html pretty well and understand them. I also know I need a compiler, and I have Visual C++. I am planning on buying a book to get started in C++ as I have no earthly idea about any of it but like I said before im willing to learn. How does one go about taking this model ive made and turning it into a world I can navigate around in? In super laymans terms, do i put the .x file in the compiler and add the code for the mouse and keyboard navigation?? Ive imported the cinema 4d file into director as a shockwave 3d file and had a little success...im still having a little trouble understanding collision detection but I want to take it further....use a method the "pros" use. Im sorry for my question being so basic but im not understanding the methodology of creating a 3d navigation after a 3d world is made in a 3rd party program.....go easy on me:) Matt

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You would load the file and from there its up to you. Set the camera to the entrance of the maze I guess then take input and move the camera based on that. Not too difficult but if you dont know much programming then it might take you a year or two to get to that level.

You would have to first learn a language (like you said, C++) then learn a 3d graphics API (such as OpenGL or D3D) then an input API if you like and you could do it.

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Coupled with sufficient knowledge of programming in general and 3D graphics theory (lots of math) it'd allow you to do pretty much anything you see in modern commercial games.
Theoretically, that is, since those games have huge teams and multi million dollar budgets.

A 3D graphics API won't really help you create worlds or models, but rather it is the tool that allows you to take your models, apply various real-time effects (lightning, transformations, etc.) and display them on-screen, as part of an interactive game.

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Well you said you were going to learn C++ so that you could make a program to explore your maze...well you would need to know an API to display your model.

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Ok, this is making some sense...thanks for the replys.....so the Application Programming Interface allows me to display the model ive made in Cinema?
C++ allows me to create the actual navigation like moving around, looking around, and collision detection correct?
How does it all get put together into a working program?
Will it all be apparent if i read and understand C++ and directx/opengl?

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so the Application Programming Interface allows me to display the model ive made in Cinema?

Sort of... but 'Application Programming Interface' has a generic meaning which doesn't necessarily relate to graphics. An API is just the way in which you use some existing software from your own, new software. OpenGL and DirectX are 2 examples of APIs that are geared towards 3D graphic manipulation. However, there's still a lot of work to do.

C++ allows me to create the actual navigation like moving around, looking around, and collision detection correct?

Yes, in much the same way as English lets you type this post. C++ is just a language - bear in mind you will still have to learn to express the concepts you talk about within that language.

How does it all get put together into a working program?

You write the code, compile it in a compiler, and run the program. Unfortunately writing the code is very complex and time consuming.

Will it all be apparent if i read and understand C++ and directx/opengl?

You will start to see roughly how to achieve your goals, yes. But you really need specific literature as well. You'll want a good book on learning C++, a good book on learning the graphical API of your choice, and you'll want at least one book that specifically deals with game logic such as collision detection, movement around a map, etc. I have about 20 books on programming and game programming and it never seems enough. But the more you read, and the more you practice, the clearer it will become.

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Thanks Kylotan and the rest of you...im going to buy some books, get cracking and maybe ill hash something out next year! LOL
what api would you recommend?

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