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logan1033

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i love programming and want to make video games. simple enough right? the problem is that i can program the logistics of games very well but i can't due graphics at all. obviously knowing c/c++ is not enough, you need to know directx, opengl, or some other library(s). my question is what would be a good project to do for sample work? i'm guessing that a tetris rip-off isn't going to get me that game programming job. Also, if i'm applying for a programming job, is the graphics side of it as important? (i'm really not much of an artist.)

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first of all, there is nothing that says you have to know how to program graphics to make games. There are tons of jobs involved with game programming that have absolutely nothing to do with graphics such as AI, gameplay, networking, etc.

If you do want to learn graphics though I would recommend checking out NeHe's site (www.gamedev.nehe.com I think) for OpenGL tutorials and possibly think about using a graphics library such as SDL or Allegro that can abstract a lot of the API details for you so you don't have to worry about the nitty gritty stuff.

For DirectX stuff just check out the DirectX SDK. There's plenty of examples and tutorials to get you up and running.

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ahhh ok thank you. i actually have no professional interest in programming graphics. i've always wanted to design AI systems. then what would be a good program for a code sample? i'm guessing that a program that prints "Hello World!" on the screen is a little bit elementary to get me a job. :)

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It probably depends on your skill level. You could start by writing AI for a mancala sim, or something like that - that game could be rendered just using ASCII graphics, so it would be an easy way to just concentrate on AI and forget about the rest of the game. On the other hand, if you're looking for a position in a game company, you'll probably need to have some experience doing some more pertinent AI.

Try setting up, say, a shortest-path-finder. Once you've got that up and running, you could maybe set up a game of tag, where the computer chases the player (more or less a la pacman). For a twist, the player then has to catch the computer. In this reverse chase, you could make the AI very simple or quite complex - the AI could just pick a random direction away from the player to run towards. Or, you could be fancy and somehow get the AI to figure out which paths would keep it from running into a dead end.

Another possibility might be a battlebots game. This would require you to develop other parts of the game as well, but, considering that you're working on your own for now, this is an inevitibility and will probably be good for you.

I recommend the AI forum and articles on this site, and have these links for you:

AI Depot
AboutAI.net
American Assoc for AI
Randomly pulled out of my bookmarks.

Good luck!

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I would probably suggest a different course from most folks. Since you have no experience programming graphics apps, stick with what you know ... AI! Learn about number and game theory, study game design, and make some AI mock ups!

Leave graphics to those graphics people. That is their business. Game Development these days includes many diciplines. Embrace AI as you own!

And, Good Luck!

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thanks for the replies. i like the idea behind specializing. i like AI, but what are some of the other programming diciplines i could focus on. obviously not graphics programming but maybe gameplay(in my head gamplay means how the controls are interpreted by the game, is this right or wrong? or is more along the lines of programming what each hit does, such as damage or experience gained?) thanks again, you have been very helpful.

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