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Windows programming books

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Ok, I''ve decided to learn the win32 API. The problem is it''s so overwhelming. So I was wondering if somebody could give me the name of the most suited win32 book for a (almost) complete newbie. I already know C++. I would like a book that starts with the basics of Windows programming, then moves on to DX basics. Lalle

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I use ''Programming Windows'' by Charles Petzold. It''s really good althought no DX-basics included.

May be winapi&DX is too much for one book. I suggest you buy another book for DX.

BTW, that''s my question: can anyone recommend book about DX?

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"Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" might be the one for you. In the first few chapters, it gives an overview of basic and advanced Windows programming and then moves onto stuff like GDI, COM and Directx. It even has on CD some online books on Direct3d. It covers Directx 6.1, though, and there''s yet to be a good book and Directx 8. Still, I''m assuming a lot of it still applies to the newer versions-- with a few exceptions. (Microsoft did not update DDraw in Dx8, but the Dx8 SDK does include DDraw 7.0.)

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hey i just ordered "Windows Game Programming for Dummies" (Same author as tricks of the gurus book i think). I heard it was really good and it has some great reviews. Check it out at Amazon.com. It also touches up on directX a little too. So it looks like a great book. I just started windows programming and i got really confused for a while.. but a read alot of tutorials and i can now do some basic stuff.

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I can''t wait till I go to college. I would prefer the classroom environment to reading pitiful tutorials that only tell you the basics. You can''t make a good game with only knowledge of the basics. You just can''t. Maybe that''s why I come to sites like this so often-- they go beyond the basics. Problem is, I don''t like having to read things off a computer screen. I like physical, paper books. Maybe that''s why I hate the "e-books" idea...

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oh yea definately!! Im still in highschool (Freshman) but im taking a Visual Basic class. Ive found that it really helped to fill in all teh gaps that were left whhen i learned the language on my own. But what ive found is that they really dont teach you... the textbook teaches you.. its jsut that theres always soemone there to help you understand. Though that may be important I still think its more worth while to learn from a book at your own pace... and get help from msg boards like this. That way you can go through 3 or 4 books in the same time it would take you to go through one in a class. This is especially true if you are a good thinker and/or usually ahead of the bulk of your class.

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I know what you''re saying. Thing is, with me, I need someone to be there to push me to go further. Someone who won''t settle for a C. Sometimes, like when my parents don''t even know the subject I''m learning, I have to be that person. I''m reading "Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days: Complete Compiler Edition" (a boxset that includes the book and two CDs) and I''m learning much more from it than I was from "C++ for Dummies". Maybe because I''m not a dummy...

Anyway Lalle asked for some books on Windows programming, and not personal education dosiers, so let''s make some suggestions. I still say that "Tricks of Windows" by André LaMothe is the one he''s looking for. Anyone have something different?

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hmm so theres a C++ for dummies too!!!! j/k haha id better look into that. hehe.

id seriously liek to see waht people put up here. Im very new to windows. But what i think defines a good introduction book is one that doesnt throw your ass in the water and hope you can swim (Cause i cant swim!!). A good intro book will feed all the concepts slowly while stil providing all the knowledge needed. A good reference book is the kind that is filled with all teh goodies that tell you how to make that window blow itself up into a million peices or other cool effects I havent read the tricks of windows but it sounds a little too advanced(for me), but the windows game programming for dummies sounds a little, well, ok for stupid people, but still.. isnt that how we all start out?... as dummies? those are the only two books i can think of off the top of my head and both look very promising. im jsut the kinda guy who likes to take things sequentially. build the base then jump off the building, ya know? But alot of people would rather jump off a premmade building. Thats OK but it jsut doesnt work for me. Thats also why i prefer books over tutorials... its just a much better structured learning.

-----------------------------
I''m almost finished my 3D Engine for the TI-83 calculator

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get your first taste of Win32 at www.winprog.org.
It''s a fairly small site, but it''s got a pretty good beginners tutorial (complete with several spelling errors)
that way you can jump into the idea of windows programming before you commit to buying a 1500-page book. Those can be daunting, but once you have a basis, I''ve heard that
"Win32 Programming" by Brent E. Rector and Joseph M. Newcomer
does a better job of explaining what''s happening inside than the Petzold book does. I haven''t read either of books, it''s just hearsay

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting —
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night''''s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven "Nevermore."

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hehehe now all thats needed is some 3d for them casio scentific calculators...ahhh tha possiblities hehehe

I jsut read throught the first few chaps of windows game programming for dummies and it seems like a great intro to Windows. But the best part about it is that it also touches up on everything... DirectX (minus D3D), AI(Its got 2 bonus AI chaps on CD), Gameflow, all sorts of stuff.

The beginning of the book says that by the end of the book you wil have the know how to mkae almost any 2d game!! I think its worth the 23.99 I paid for it.

plus it comes with a cd that has directx 5.0 sdk, Truespace 3d editer(Demo), Sound Forge music editer(demo too) and some sample games and other stuff. Its really good investment if you ask me. but read the reviews.

oh yeah and you gotta have a somewhat beginner/intermediate knowledge of c++ to get the most out of it (functions, classes, pointers, data types, syntax, typecasting) just any regular stuf that any tutorial can teach ya. Nothing big (well not that ive seen yet)

But like i said... i learned alot from tutorials on the net... so read those as suplements even if you get a book.

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hehehe now all thats needed is some 3d for them casio scentific calculators...ahhh tha possiblities hehehe

I jsut read throught the first few chaps of windows game programming for dummies and it seems like a great intro to Windows. But the best part about it is that it also touches up on everything... DirectX (minus D3D), AI(Its got 2 bonus AI chaps on CD), Gameflow, all sorts of stuff.

The beginning of the book says that by the end of the book you wil have the know how to mkae almost any 2d game!! I think its worth the 23.99 I paid for it.

plus it comes with a cd that has directx 5.0 sdk, Truespace 3d editer(Demo), Sound Forge music editer(demo too) and some sample games and other stuff. Its really good investment if you ask me. but read the reviews.

oh yeah and you gotta have a somewhat beginner/intermediate knowledge of c++ to get the most out of it (functions, classes, pointers, data types, syntax, typecasting) just any regular stuf that any tutorial can teach ya. Nothing big (well not that ive seen yet)

But like i said... i learned alot from tutorials on the net... so read those as suplements even if you get a book.



-----------------------------
I''m almost finished my 3D Engine for the TI-83 calculator

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I''ve picked out twp books that I mind the most interesting.
Wich one of these do you think I should buy?

1. Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
by Andre Lamothe

2. Windows® Game Programming For Dummies®
by Andre Lamothe


nr. 1 uses DX 6(I think), and is said to have all the info
nr. 2 provides, but nr. 2 got a higher scoring on amazon.com ranking.

Lalle

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I think the best book is Programming Windows by Charles Petzold. it''s 1500 pages and gives a good introduction in the basic concept of Win32. It doesn''t touch DX / GL, but I think just basic win32 coding should be at least 2500p, and the SDK itself ist about 5000p if I remember right. You should have a good idea of how Win32 works and the different concepts.

Tim

--------------------------
glvelocity.gamedev.net
www.gamedev.net/hosted/glvelocity

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about the "tricks of the gurus" and "windows programming for dummies"...

I think it probably depends on how good you are at c++. cuase if you totally understand c++ and you got it down pat then go for something a little more advanced. but if your not that great and you jsut wanta learn the basics then go for something alittle easier. And if your really not good at c++ at all then its best you get a C++ book instead (im serious).

Personally, I think Andre Lemothe is a great writer and any book by him should get you going on the right track. He talks in plain english, explains everything in an easy to understand manner, and every once in a while hes throws in a few jokes. It feels liek your actually having a converstation (Well not really, but close).

btwWindows game programming for dummies)

-has DirectX5.0 SDK and a pretty large section explaining directx(not including direct3d). DirectX5.0 code is compatible with any version of directX.

-has a few demo development applications on the CD

-has sample source and some sample games.

-uses diagrams to help you get the ideas

-is over all just good

I havent read tricks of the windows game programming gurus but ill bet that its the same book (in terms of what you learn) but was made a little later. I think that it will serve the sam purpose (or better) that Dummies, but I dont know cause i havent read it yet.

If you want a basic understanding just get Dummies and its almost gauranteed to help you out.

-----------------------------
I''m almost finished my 3D Engine for the TI-83 calculator

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Interestingly, I''ve also found that the Game Programming Genesis series on this site is practically a replica of André LaMothe''s book, but I don''t know what it has in its downloadable files.

Either way, it starts out the same-- touches on Windows programming, goes on to GDI, then to COM, etc-- and it keeps on going just like "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" would. If you don''t want to go out and buy a book, I''d suggest this series. However I''m not so sure if it''s complete or not, as "Tricks of Windows" goes further than what it is now, so if you absolutely get the chance, buy that book. It''s really your choice.

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you guys who said you cant wait to get to college to learn how to do this stuff:
most colleges dont teach you squat when it comes to useful knowledge towards game programming. They are good for getting you to know C++ or java, but i am getting pissed off at my options as far as learning more.
Of course there''s always digipen. my friend went there and got burned out after a year, hehe. i would have loved to trade places with him.
oh well

-Steve

"Work is the blackmail of survival."

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hey its me again.. i jsut wanted to update you on windows game programming for dummies. I just finished reading it. its a great book. right now i dont feel like i can make the worlds best program but im pretty sure i can make something worth while. there were only a few small sections that were unclear (sections ons reading bitmaps and soundfiles). But those can be found inside of the code for the engine that you get. Though this book only touched on direct draw,directsound, direct input, and directsetup, i now know how to use directX, and this knowledge can be applied to learning any of the directX subsets. Its pretty easy stuff once you get the basics down. plus the book shows you how to use windows while still keeping a dependable game loop. this book is greatness.

-----------------------------
I''m almost finished my 3D Engine for the TI-83 calculator

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If I may interject my opinion...

The original question was about learning the Win32 API. Windows Game Programming for Dummies does give a simple introduction to the API in part 1. However, it''s more like a crash course. As a programmer with experience using the Windows API, I found it to be a great little refresher course. Newbies may have to read through it a little more intensely.

Charles Petzold''s books are definitely a rock-solid place to start learning the API. They go into much greater detail, but the introduction to Windows programming will leave you on more solid ground.

I found WGPFD to be a great DirectX intro. I''ve also heard that many of the concepts are covered in Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, with a little more. Something to consider.

By the way, for those of you reading WGPFD, I have lots of articles and notes on my web site intrepidhero.com dealing directly with this book. The site lists common compiler errors that you may encounter, lists of the mistakes I found in the book (so you don''t have to puzzle over them), details about the tutorial game Star Ferret, and the basic game programming engine GPDumb.

If you''re reading WGPFD, you may find my site helpful.


-- Intrepid Hero Steve

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http://www.pocketmatrix.com/pocketquake/

You know, I never wanted to be a programmer...

Alexandre Moura

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Haven''t seen any school around here teaching game programming etc stuff, just basics of most programming languages - rest you gotta build on your own.

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