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Windows Game Programming for Dummies

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I've never read it but from looking at amazon it looks a little dated. 1998 was a long time ago and DirectDraw is kinda obselete.

With that said, It's probably perfectly usable for starting with.

And isn't this usually the kind of question you ask before purchasing something :) ?

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I have it. It is a little dated, so you should just try to look at the concepts (BOBs, game loop, etc), don't try to memorize the DirectDraw and GDI stuff. The book kind of ends up being an API reference. It's almost as if the author is reading through the docs and writing up the book lol. Also look at the marketing and physics sections.

It's basically the same as "Game Programming Gurus" which a lot of people recommend. If you have the last edition, it uses dinput8 for input.

But the future is 3D hardware and the APIs that tap that hardware, so you should not feel the need to start with DDraw, start with SDL because it is easier and cross-platform.

Edit: there are some *really* funny comments about "C++ for C programmers" and "Windows for DOS programmers" (that shows what time period it is from)

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It's alright, I have it. It's not good for beginners, Andre' LaMothe is an excellent programmer but he's horrible at explaining things to beginners, but it does state in the beginning that you should know at least C. I recommend you get "Beginning C++ Game Programming" by Michael Dawson, it's great for beginners and VERY simple, it's the book I got to learn programming.

Good luck.

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A few thoughts:

It was a pretty decent book a few years ago. It gets you to the point where you can make games using his engine. However, as stated before, it is dated (no one uses directdraw anymore), and can get you in some bad programming habits (which I recently had to unlearn).

If you aren't familiar with c/c++ I recommend the Beginning C++ Programming book by Dawson, it's a great intro to the c++ language and basic game programming theories.

If you already know some c/c++ and want to start making games, I suggest Beginning Game Programming by Johnathan Harbor. It is similar to Game programming for dummies but uses DirectX 9.0b with Direct3d and the sprite class, which is the current preferred method of 2d games.

I wouldn't throw away Lamothe's book, you can still learn quite a bit from it (there are many nontechnical parts), and i'd rather create games in an old API then not create games at all.

Good luck!

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"Bad habits"? Could any of you expand what these might be? Are you talking about using DirectDraw, or are there more fundamental concerns?

Thanks!

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Quote:
Original post by Silverwings
"Bad habits"? Could any of you expand what these might be? Are you talking about using DirectDraw, or are there more fundamental concerns?

Thanks!


Sure. First off, everything is procedural, the book is really done in C. That's not that big of a deal but OOP is pretty much taking over and I've had a hard time making the switch.

He uses a lot of #defines in the book instead of const's. And he does a lot of very low level programming (sometimes even in assembly!).

There are a lot of other things, honestly I can't name them all. I just know from other people looking at my code and from reading other c++ books that a lot of the stuff that I was doing (most of which i picked up from Lamothe), was bad practice.

I am a big fan of Lamothe, I think a lot of people needlessly bash his books. But given the choice, I would recommend more up to date books. Also, if i could start all over, I would start by learning OOP.

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Quote:
Original post by ChurchSkiz
Quote:
Original post by Silverwings
"Bad habits"? Could any of you expand what these might be? Are you talking about using DirectDraw, or are there more fundamental concerns?

Thanks!


Sure. First off, everything is procedural, the book is really done in C. That's not that big of a deal but OOP is pretty much taking over and I've had a hard time making the switch.

He uses a lot of #defines in the book instead of const's. And he does a lot of very low level programming (sometimes even in assembly!).

There are a lot of other things, honestly I can't name them all. I just know from other people looking at my code and from reading other c++ books that a lot of the stuff that I was doing (most of which i picked up from Lamothe), was bad practice.

I am a big fan of Lamothe, I think a lot of people needlessly bash his books. But given the choice, I would recommend more up to date books. Also, if i could start all over, I would start by learning OOP.


Everything you just mentioned is not a bad habit. It's the way the C language works (well except for assembly. but learning or using assembly is not bad thing(TM)).

The only thing that can be considered "bad" is the use of #defines, but since const didn't become standard in C until C99, people are going to just have to deal with that.

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