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Flyrun

2D or 3D demo

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I've been reading a book learning how to program in Direct X and I have a concern that maybe someone experienced would be able to help me out with. i'm working a 2D pong like game. I'm running into some very challenging problems creating this game and I'm debating whether or not I should move on to the next chapter, which is an intro to 3D programming. As badly as I want to get into 3D, I know that i'm learnig valuable lessons on game design and programming as I work through these problems. I also would love to have a workable demo for when I try to get a internship/job next summer. My thinking is...I think it would be worth it for me to take as much time to complete the game as needed. I've heard that having a complete game project speaks a ton when you're looking for a job in the game industry. On the other hand, I don't know what other problems i'll run into before I finish, and I don't know how much time it will actually take to finish. As well, I'm wondering should I even be focusing this much on 2D programming anyway. I'm thinking that maybe I should get on to 3D programming and spend all that time plowing through problems in 3D. What do you think?

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Well if you are having problems creating pong, then I think you need to keep working at it. Creating a 2d demo is good becuase it allows you to focus on the programming aspects of making a game, without the added headache of 3d ;).

Once you have made pong, then you could consider moving on to 3d.

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I'd recommend to keep trying to build 2D games until you have a great understanding of the internals. 3D games effectively have the same flow and style internally but often layer complex maths on top of all the gameplay problems you're trying to solve now, and the math and content demands are pervasive enough that they often need your full attention.

So, build more 2D games for now, and get better at understanding game flow.

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Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for that. What would you recommend me getting into after I finish this introduction to game programming book? It's taught me a lot of basics in Direct X and, like I was saying before, it will teach me a little about 3D programming before i'm finished. My plan was to create a workable 2D demo and after I learn some basic 3D stuff, create a workable 3D demo. After that, i'm going to be trying to get an internship. I know that there is a WHOLE BUNCH more stuff to learn. But which direction do you put your time and effort into after the basics, since there is so much out there to learn nowadays??

~Brian Wright

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It really depends on the area that you are intrested in. Some people like physics, some people like AI, and some people like the graphics side of things.

If you do manage to get to work for a company, chances are you will just be working on a specific area of the engine. So you should probally figure out what you like, and more importantly what you hate to work on.

Try creating some stuff without the book, and attempt to do things that you haven't done before.

Personally I would make sure that you know things such as linked lists, classes, inheritance, sorting, binary search trees, ect.

Do you have a Computer Science degree? Lot's of companies want one...

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My first(and only) game was in 3D. I have it posted here on the showcase. It is called The Champion of Dirospear. For me, I just felt that 3D was easier even though I know it is not. I think I just have a phobia of doing sprites. I had the same mental block earlier this week trying to implement a save feature on my height map editor.

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I think I'll go against the grain and say that if you really want to do the 3D stuff, then you should go ahead and do it. You learn a whole lot more when you're genuinely interested in the subject, and although you might struggle a little more, you'll at least be motivated to keep at it.

I'm also tempted to say that developing a 3D game is easier than making a 2D one, simply because non-textured objects are alot more inspiring than non-textured sprites. The key to completing a game is maintaining motivation.

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Thanks, you guys are offering very valuable advice. Anyhow, I agree, 2D these days is not as motivating as going 3D. I'm also learning that lesson as well, you have to be motivated to do these things. The book i'm using to learn teaches how to program with DirectX9 in C. I'm guessing i'm going to have to go back and learn how to do it in C++ as well. Is there a super huge difference in programming games in the two languages?

~Brian Wright

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