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dabomb99

Looking into game programming

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Hi, well as everyone else on this site I am looking into game programming. I have been to a community college for Computer Science, learning C++ and some WINDOWS, am about to finish my Associates but haven't done too much with game programming. I did as the one tutorial said and made a Tic Tac Toe game (a C++ console app) and I was wondering where I should go from there. I don't know if I should jump right into DirectX or should I do more WINDOWS programming. I have done a little bit of Gameboy Advance programming, using Visual HAM, but I got lost after a while. Any help would be much appreciated.

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You made a TicTacToe game, ey?

Well, Windows programming is really only a very small, oft-repeated part of games programming. For the most part, so is graphics programming. Your real choice is: Do I want to fuss around with graphics, or do I want to program a game? If you're more interested in graphics, then by all means write a graphics engine around D3D or OGL (or both!) - but if not, then there are plenty of free graphics engines out there (OGRE and Irrlicht are two prominent ones). This way, you can start programming a game, rather than a graphics engine. And the brilliant thing is that no engine can do everything for you - you're going to have to learn the math and the processes the engines go through anyway. You just won't have to write the code.

So, are you a graphics man, or a games man?

(Er... are you a man?)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I'd stay away from game programming. Most of these parent-dependency users daydream constantly and they still can't make a better Notepad program. Stay with software jobs because there's less biting and grinding your way to the top of that 1% chance. If it takes reality to bite you, maybe working at McDonalds will do that later because chances are software companies won't want a person with game-related material on a resume simply because they now know you have other & more specialized interests.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I'd stay away from game programming. Most of these parent-dependency users daydream constantly and they still can't make a better Notepad program. Stay with software jobs because there's less biting and grinding your way to the top of that 1% chance. If it takes reality to bite you, maybe working at McDonalds will do that later because chances are software companies won't want a person with game-related material on a resume simply because they now know you have other & more specialized interests.


LOL! What are you even doing at this site? Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but that's just some pathetic advice.

Quote:
Original post by _goat
So, are you a graphics man, or a games man?


Dabomb99, just so you know, you don't have to pick between those two.

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Oh wow, someone thinks they're all big by coming in and anonymously flaming the entire of Gamedev.net ... (the first AP, not the second, obviously).

I would move onto either OpenGL/DirectX or a third-party 3D engine once you've got the basics of programming. You're not going to produce a 'real' game using GDI, so there's not really any point in doing more with it that necessary. In the end, it's the game programming that's more important, both in terms of game quality and educating yourself, so you might as well move onto a good graphics environment straight away.

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well, he does have a point that there are a lot of people who wouldn't know notepad from a mousecursor wanting to get into game programming and deciding to start out "simple" with a complete FPS or MMORP game...

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_goat: I am more into programming the game itself, not a graphics engine, but you gotta start small and work your way up.

Bob Janova: Do you need to use DirectX for making 2D graphics? I used Windows with MFC and used Bitmaps and stuff, we did a small Concentration card game in class, but is DirectX the way to go? I don't know much about OpenGL, but which do you prefer?

I understand that I am not gonna build Quake 5 anytime soon so I just wanted to know what the next step would be after the first small game. I am a big RPG fan myself so I didn't know if attempting a Final Fantasy (for the NES) clone would be too big of a jump or if I should work on something smaller, less graphical. I wanna learn at least some about all the different aspects of making a game, the game engine itself, graphics, audio, networking. Just looking for a little guidance.

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For turnbased games you can use GDI graphics as there's no real performance problem.
For realtime games (animation, etc.) that's just too slow and you're pretty much bound to use either DirectX or OpenGL (and whatever you do you're likely going to use parts of DirectX anyway, especially for sound and networking).

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Well, I didn't exactly start off small, first game I made was openGL pong, and now I'm working on a fully featured openGL engine, and not doing so bad if I do say so myself..

It is really a matter of how much you WANT to learn..

I've gone for months programming without seeing a visual result, it doesn't bother me much, I'm just not there yet :)

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Quote:
Original post by dabomb99
_goat: I am more into programming the game itself, not a graphics engine, but you gotta start small and work your way up.

Bob Janova: Do you need to use DirectX for making 2D graphics? I used Windows with MFC and used Bitmaps and stuff, we did a small Concentration card game in class, but is DirectX the way to go? I don't know much about OpenGL, but which do you prefer?

I understand that I am not gonna build Quake 5 anytime soon so I just wanted to know what the next step would be after the first small game. I am a big RPG fan myself so I didn't know if attempting a Final Fantasy (for the NES) clone would be too big of a jump or if I should work on something smaller, less graphical. I wanna learn at least some about all the different aspects of making a game, the game engine itself, graphics, audio, networking. Just looking for a little guidance.


No, you don't need Direct3D for making 2D games, however it is the way if you use DirectX (there is no 2D component to DirectX - you just use one 3D rectangle basically). The differences between OpenGL and Direct3D are negligable if you just want to learn a little about graphics engines. The most glaring difficulty is that all the subjects you presented are weighty in their own right - networking, audio, graphics, (the unmentioned AI). You can certainly get a brief overview on the topics easily enough, but you will require a fair degree of time to cover each subject in any sort of depth. That being said, it's certainly not an impossible task.

My suggestion would be to try making a Tetris clone - it has collision detection, sound (if you so choose), graphics, a basic game engine and the potential for networking. After that, try a Mario clone I guess. It would extend those principles further, and introduce AI. A NES Final Fantasy clone is actually a reasonably large project (excluding the artwork required). But it's certainly achievable if you put the effort in.

Edit: Crazy typos.

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(there is no 2D component to DirectX - you just use one 3D rectangle basically)


You can use the Direct3DX library and its sprite class for 2D work in DirectX. If you don't mind a little obsolencence, you can also use DirectDraw.

I'm currently experimenting with code and I've just barely figured out how to do screen transitions without crashing my applications, so I plan on beginning scrolling & collision detection next.

The thing about deciding which game is right for you is to figure out your strong areas. An RPG doesn't need much physics or really responsive controls, but you have to be reasonably good at scripting. Pong requires physics, collision detection, and AI (unless it's 2 player only), but it's relatively easy to make your own sprites and resources for it.

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Thanks for the info guys. I am gonna look into DirectX and mess with that for a while. I will also try the Tetris and Mario clones to see how they come out. I have really been interested in programing games since I have been a gamer for the last 18 years, its just a little tough right now since I am deployed to Iraq. Reading up on all that will keep me busy til I get home.

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Im learning OpenGL and to see the basics of graphics. Its not easy, i usually read tutorials twice or more, and swithing between them to understand what they are talking about. So far im still at vertices, but the first game im going to make will be tetris. It has about all the basics a game need, although it probaly takes another few week before i start on it, because i still dont have a good image how a base game acually is made.

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