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Game Programming Starter kit?

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Lol I was going to do the same thing (get the game developer kit 3.0 for Christmas.) I also want to know if it is worth it, or should I just go out and buy the professional or standard version of C++?
The thing is the kit comes with a bunch of tools and books which maybe helpfull and it also includes an engine.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
the thing i can say don't, its my opinion and u are free to not take it.

the game programming kit 3.0 has little to do with games, it has 2 online books about c++, a visual c++ introductory edition, the genesis sdk and directx 6.1 sdk, also another book thats softcover that has no info whatsoever, it only talks about strategies in the game bussines. It has no documentation that teaches how to program a game. i sujest get some of the new books that have come out that are game programming oriented. the kit is good for learning visual c++ but little to do about games. it seems the rest u have to figure out for urself.

p.s. its only my opinion, if you want 2 great books on visual c++ at the price them go for it, but ull have to buy something else to teach u about game and 3d programming

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A game programming starter kit should not (in my opinion) contain a 3d game engine in it.

3D engines are advanced programming techniques and not for the unseasoned. I would worry that it would just confuse you and discurage you from wanting to make games. There are other types of game out there then 3D shooters. I believe that 2D is where you should start out from, then work your way up... slowly.

Once you are comfortable with programming games, you can easily download a 3D game engine for free off the internet.

If you think about it, everything that you are getting in the starter kit is freely avaliable off the internet.

I think that the best thing to get for chirstmas is a book on C++ and a book on Algorithmn (with examples in C++ syntax). I believe, if you ask around here, a lot of people just might agree with me. Then again, no matter what I write, I always get flamed.

Good luck to you.

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Aight, I bought some Game programming Starter Kit a while ago (version 2 I believe)....and there were 4 electronic books, 2 books of VC++ and 2 of DirectX and Direct3D.

it also came with VC++ 4.0 Starter Edition or something like that.

It cost me about $50......but for the money you have a VC++ WITH help. Which was useful. Now I bought myself the official stuff.......

I don't really recommend it to people......

------------------
Dance with me......

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I don't know anything about this game developing kit, but I would just throw some tips:

I sounds like this pack includes some C++ compilers; first I would like to know which compilers, and what type... I mean like Delphi's compiler has been on many magazines as "free compiler", but actually you cannot sell you products if its made with this free -trial.
Another thing is that if you don't know almost anything about C / C++ programming, I would like to give some book tips (yappiii !

ALL Andrew Lamothes books (sorry if I did spell wrong.), actually I'm getting he's new book: Gurus Windows Gameprogramming tips & tricks. I have heard that this book is very nice, and I have seen "older version" (I mean DOS edition, couple of years old) and it rox
This book tells "everything" (almost from beginning, how to load image files, how to make things move, and so on, and actually newbies CAN really understand text of he's.
Also I heard that "Windows Gameprogramming for Dummies" is good book, but this "gurus tips & tricks" book includes everything and more than Dummies book.
One to recommend is "learn C++ programming in 21 days". Of course its b-shit name, but it covers very basic information about C programming.

I have been programming C for one year right now, and I have to say that I got bad start for programming... I were thinking that its very easy to tell "draw this to point x,y", but actually new developers need to get basics of C programming...

Maybe I'm just speaking very basic stuff and you guys know already little about C programming, but anyway

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When I bought the Game developing kit, it was v1.0 . It included Visual C++ v1.0. This doesn't help very much. LaMothe's Learn game programming in 21 days ( or similar title) is a very good introduction. Granted, it focuses on games for DOS, but the underlying teachings can be carried over to another platform. (ie. what is a sprite, how to draw a line, and various other neat tid bits)

Six

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Some of you are recommending diffrent books which are probeblt very good but you must remeber that to program in C++ I need a compiler which the game developers kit has.
I wasn't planning to use the 3D engine anytime soon but I do need Visual C++ and I need to learn how to program.
If these other books you recommend come with a compiler then thats great I'll ge them!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Side note, I think anyone who can make simple programs in C, could USE a 3d game engine, the hard thing is to write one. I no

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For anyone new to game programming but somewhat familiar with C/C++, I'd HIGHLY recommend LaMothe's Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus. It has everything you need to get started, including the introductory version of Visual C++.

The Game Programming Starter Kit is probably not worth the money, especially considering that many of its so-called "bonuses" can be obtained for free online (i.e. the Genesis 3D and DirectX SDKs).

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Newbie, Doubledose,

If I'm understanding correctly, you both do not have experience in C or C++? I don't think buying the GD kit is the best thing at the moment. You need to first be comfortable with the language before you can jump in with game programming. Yeah, it sucks.. but the "pain and suffering" you go through learning the language will pay off later.

The GD kit comes with several books on CD you say? I haven't found reading a programming book in acrobat format too appealing. You'll better off with a paperback where you don't have to put up with the frustrations of trying to find something-- it's easier to jump to the index with a physical book, etc..

Here's what I suggest- You should consider spending the money on a good compiler. The ones in the GD kit's have been relatively dated and limited.

For about $120, you can get the latest version of Borland C++ Builder Professional(v4 I believe). You can get the discounted price because you are a student (I assume). Check out http://www.micromasteronline.com/ for latest pricing.

Edit Note: look for 'Inprise Builder v4.0 Professional' it is listed at $96 right now


My reasoning behind getting the Borland builder compiler?
1. It should come with Borland C++ v5.02 ona seperate CD (edit node: it does, I just checked). BC++ 5.02 allows you to compile DOS and Win32 games. Visual C++ v6 does not.

2. When you are ready to jump into Win32 programming (not DirectX), Borland Builder provides an interface much like Visual Basic (drag and drop items-- NOTE: Visual C++ is NOT like Visual Basic in that sense.). Borland Builder's RAD interface( what the drag-drop thing is referred to) can also be disabled so that you can program DirectX games without all the weight of the RAD slowing the program down.

3. Borland Builder allows for more growth for you as a programmer. You can start in DOS and move your way into RAD Windows programming and even into DirectX.

4.It includes a fully functional version of TASM (assembler). MS VC++ does include MASM.

Now, I'm not advocating Borland vs. Microsoft compilers. I'm considering overall value for price for you guys. For $120 you get 2 compilers. One strictly Win32 (with RAD or w/o ) and one that allows either DOS, Win16 or Win32.

As far as books go, I would consider other people's suggestions for that. (I favor Jan Slamsholm's 'C++ From the Beginning' published by Addison-Wesley ISBN: 0-201-40377-3 .. mainly because it is a very complete C++ book. It may not be the best for beginner's, though)


Six

[This message has been edited by Sixpack (edited December 01, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Sixpack (edited December 01, 1999).]

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sixpack,
I've been seeing the need to upgrade my compiler from (Borland C++ Builder 3) to something newer. I've experienced some problems in Builder, like system crashing randomly coming out of a debugging session (could be fixed with switching to WinNT?). There is no assembler and there is only limited MFC support (so it's hard to compile and run most DirectX tutorials out there). The question, VC++ or Borland Builder 4 (I'm getting the professional version this time)?

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joeg,
All Professional versions of Builder came with TASM. Standard editions did not come with it. I cannot speak for the MFC support. It would be best to check out the inprise newsgroups for that information.

What it comes down to is this-- what is your current situation?

If:Are you only going to be designing for the Win32 platform? Do you have no need for use of the RAD (not used for DirectX)? Do you want seamless compatibility with MS API's (including DirectX, MFC,etc..)? If you said yes to these questions, by all means, do not overlook Visual C++ in this respect. Great deals of people use MSVC++. But don't expect to be able to compile 16-bit DOS apps with the latest versions.

IF: You're just starting out and want to get the most bang for your buck, take a hard look at the Inprise Builder Pro package. You essentially getting two compilers for a low (student) price. Since Inprise is not MS and does not use compatible MS .lib's for DirectX, you may run into some compatbility issues somewhere down the road. Borland C++ v5.02 (included in the package) gives you the means to write for DOS. DOS is easier than programming for Windows in many respects. It is a different style of programming that many might find easier to start out on.

I'm not saying to buy one over the other. I'm only presenting my suggestion.

Six

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I originally wanted to get borland c++ builder 4 standard ( ididn't know about the discounted price for the other because i'm a student) but when i was at best buy with my brother and dad, we happen to see the GP starter kit, and thought that it might be good to get. However, now i believe i was right with my original choice in wanting the Borland 4.0 builder, and i hope thats what i get. Everyone here has been very helpful, thank you.

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Doubledose,
If you choose to go with Borland Builder, be sure to get the Professional version. The standard version does NOT include BC++ v5.02 ( which allows DOS apps)

Six

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I was originally planning on getting standard, because the $300 + price tag on professional was a bit out of my budget. However, now that i've checked out Micro Master and realized that i'm eligible for the discounted student prices, i'm going to get the Professional.

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The "Game programmers starters kit" is the wrong place to start. Version 2 was a waste of time, full of stuff i've never used. When you are starting out you don't want to waste your time messing around with someone else's engine, you want to be coding for yourself and learning how it's done.
What you should get is Visual C++ 6 standard edition (~$80), the DirectX 7 SDK ($12), and then some books. Have a look at "Beginning C++ : The complete language", but there are loads of good C/C++ books. To find good books, look at customer reviews on www.amazon.com for genuinely impartial advice. Then get a good Win32 programming book ("Windows 98 programming from the ground up" is very good), and then get Lamothe's new book "Tricks of the 3D Windows Game Programming Gurus". You may also wish to get some generalized 3d programming books, to learn how to write your own software rendering engine, although all these books are old and only concerned with DOS.

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I would say definately don't get the starter kit. The book is has nothing to do with programming, but is more about how to get into the business and such. There is no printed manual to teach you how to use the 3D engine that's included, which would've be helpful since it is a "starter-kit". Also, Lamothe's new book comes with this same engine and a few others on the CD! So that is one good reason to get Lamothe's book instead. The MSVC++ 6.0 standard should be plenty until you start having to worry about dynamic linking vs static linking, and fun stuff like that! Good luck!

------------------
Still Learning...

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I'm going to get the Game Programming Starter kit 3.0 for Christmas, and I wanted to know that if its any good. I know very little about programming, and didn't know if this is something a beginer should. Any help? Thanks.

--Late, Matt

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