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Ashraf Eassa

How to begin my journey as a game engine programmer?

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Hello All! First off, I'm excited to have registered here, and hope that my stay here will be as pleasant for all of you as I'm sure it will be for me! Okay, basically, I'd like to know, how I should begin my journey as a game engine programmer (being able to write a complete game engine, but I eventually want to specialize in the graphics department)? I am proficient with C++ and have dabbled with Direct3D and OpenGL (making simple demos with lighting and such) but am truly a software-engineering newbie. I've been coding on and off for about four months, but now I want to buckle down and take this seriously! If anybody who is a game engine programmer can offer me advice and basically the steps I should take (what to learn, what order, what you did, how long it took you etc.), I would be extremely grateful! Thank you! Ashraf Eassa

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First thing to do is learn the math. Vectors, matrices, quaternions, etc. If you do not have a solid understanding of these fundamentals you are going to have a difficult time writing a 3D engine.

Look through the books section of gamedev and see if you can find a math for 3d games book that suits your level.

Once you've done that look at the source code that is available: Irrlicht, Crystal Space, OGRE, etc. Also consider picking up a book like 3D Game Engine Architecture by David H. Eberly (though be forewarned that without the above mentioned math skills as well as strong familiarity with the C++ language, this book might be a bit difficult to comprehend).

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The best way to learn is to use other engines like Crystal Space, Ogre, etc. Reading books is one thing, but first hand experience is another. I haven't read the Eberly book mentioned above, but his previous one was not very good at all, though some of the other members' reviews say this one is much better than the first book. But really I recommend familiarizing yourself with some of the good open-source engines out there, there's no substitute for first hand experience.

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