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windows api

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to learn game programming (directx, opengl etc), do i need to know the windows api, or just ansi/iso standard c++? thanks

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At the most to get a game running all you need to know is how to create a window class and WndProc register the class then create a window. The rest should be your game code and your api of choice.

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"ansi/iso standard c++" has absolutely zero support for graphics. You have to use some sort of API to do that sort of thing whether it's the Windows API, the GLut API, the SDL API, whatever.

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by the way, the book i got also covers using mfc. i understand express edition doesnt come with mfc. can i download it(them) anywhere?

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I would not recommend learning much MFC at this point - it is a harder to learn library than the modern ones (and it isn't maintained anymore). MS has replaced it with .NET ... which is easier to learn. Your MFC book will still be fairly usefull though, because the underlying Win32 API concepts are the same (DC (device context), HANDLE, BRUSH, PEN, etc) - but the little details that are inconsistent in MFC are slightly cleaned up in .NET.

For game programming I have used - a LOT of general C++, a tiny amount of Win32 API, and a moderate amount of API specific stuff (OpenGL, DirectX, ...)

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