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Bijo

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Bijo    142
A very long story ahead of you here :) Let me first explain some stuff 'bout how I got into it as I'm new here. Skip it and go to the line down below, if you don't want to read it, though it's a lot anyway. Am in college (music and production). How I got into it back then: Started fooling around with programming long ago, was about 12 or something, with Turbo Pascal mainly. Only did some mathematical things and tried to make interesting stuff, but it didn't go, as I knew NOTHING of how to actually go about doing it. I dropped it. Then I was introduced to Delphi later on and made some text editor. Thing is I had no idea how the heck I made it, and the things I learnt weren't very interesting at all, so I dropped that too. Then got into C. The learning was going alright, but all the books and tutorials I encountered were just worthless. Why were they "worthless?" Because they weren't practical, but tedious, complex, unclear / vague, trivial, etc., dealing with annoying matters. I was learning it alright, but I wasn't being productive. It's like you learn features of a language (slowly), but you don't really learn how to apply it and GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. I dropped it. Then later started yet again, this time doing C++. Learning the language was going alright as I sometimes compared certain basics I'd learnt before, but it was the same problem again.... it was tedious, trivial, unproductive, long, and tiresome. I dropped it.... AGAIN. Learnt Java syntax for a while but the same problem as previous. Learnt a bit of C# but the same problem again and I dropped it. ______________________________ The present: So lately I restarted YET AGAIN. I've been getting at C# 'cause it was recommended by some people saying it is or was becoming the standard nowadays. Arrrgh, I dropped it (these are all a lot of drops, ain't it?). Have familiarized myself a little with Perl and Boo syntax as well just to check it out, but no. I decided C++ was going to be the general-purpose language to learn again, as it can be used for a lot of things, so I hear. Besides, C++ just feels better for some reason. But, it's just that I'm encountering the same thing again, and before I go on (and let me tell you I've been breaking my head a lot, searching here, searching there, everywhere(!)), I want to know what the proper steps are to becoming PRODUCTIVE with C++, making games, programs in general, and to learn the language properly at the same time. I'm merely doing it for an extra hobby, but I'm very serious at what I do, and I prefer a no-nonsense practical clear (and fun if possible) approach to doing things, while learning. The thing with the previous situations was that there was always much Theory, but no Practice to actually DO SOME SERIOUS ****. So I stumbled upon this community, after lots of headaches, after lots of fooling around making stupid console programs, testing out language features like a fool, and I've been struggling to familiarize myself with the Allegro library and besides opening a window and some basic things I haven't really done anything with it. The way things have been going: demotivating for a beginner. What I want to make, etc.: One hobbyist product I'd like to make is a 2D RPG (old-school console style). I realize it takes time, and experience, therefore I ask for the proper steps and I don't mind making much simpler games to get the hang of stuff. I want to learn "how to think like a programmer" and solve appearing programming problems and create useful things with what I've learnt (so far), instead of struggling with the basic use of pointers and other nonsense (though pointers are important of course). So much creativity I've always had, but when it comes to programming.... I can't even program a simple Tic Tac Toe, though I have a basic design idea about it. What I'm possibly going to do: I've looked around and think I should get a good book. I've seen people say that Accelerated C++ is a good book, and it sounds like it fits me, but I want to be sure if it's recommendable for me at the moment. I have a general understanding of the C++ syntax, features, and concepts but there's a lot of little things to learn. I've looked around, but they don't have this book in a Dutch translation, so the English one would have to do. Another book my eye caught was the one by Adams if I recall right, about DirectX and making RPGs. With my current general C++ understanding, is this a book I should get into at the moment? Third, I've been reading about STL and such. I didn't even know what the heck it was, but got a fair idea now. Basically it's about containers, iterators, etc. and they can be very useful and more high-level and your programs can even be cross-platform, correct? I've learnt C-like stuff before with C, but also now with C++ (I think...) like character arrays, etc., and to learn more of all these tedious little things is getting on my nerves as I see no worthy results as of yet. So how difficult is the real STL? As far as I know, or think, I'm familiar with <string> and know just a little about <vector>, but that's about it. And what's exactly the story about STLport? They say it's better, but I don't know. Is it a good idea to replace or add STLport to my current MinGW installation? So, now that this... rant(?) is over, what step(s) in my programming needs would you recommend to me?

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oliverb    122
I've had a way very similar to yours ;)

I wanted to make games since I'm 10 (19) now, and already got a book on C++ back then, but was totally disappointed.

Since then I've started with PHP (enough to adjust everything I need in already existing Scripts), did QBasic in school, then did some Visual Basic, then Delphi and finally Java. All the while only learning to do either console apps or some WYSIWYG Windows Form stuff, the only language with which we ever did something you could "see" was Basic and that was tedious at best...

A week ago now, I picked up a 450 Page book focusing on game programming, which covers the Basic (through which I got quite quickly, having a fairly certain grasp of what programming is about) and in the end takes you through creating a Asteroids clone using SDL which is REALLY great!

You can get something on the screen real quick and it's not hard to understand, I already managed implanting quite a few new Features in the game and it's fun.


So, basically, all I wanted to say is: Try and find a book (the book I used is only available in German, sadly) which hast something on the SDL or work your way through here (just got this link recommended in another thread).

PS: I'm no expert, just an enthusiastic beginner who's had a great sense of achievement while using the SDL =)

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Bijo    142
Hey oliver. I saw a bit about that SDL before, but was hesitant to get familiar with it, because I might get disappointed. Perhaps I should have a look at it.

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