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I practically learned the basics from this book "Beginning C++ through Game Programming." I found it on ebay a couple days ago going for cheap check it out. p.s not trying to advertise just trying to help

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Meh.

I've looked at that book, and many others like it (involving "learning C++" and "learning game programming," as if that's somehow different from any other kind of programming). I generally find that they're all complete crap. They gloss over some critical topics and issues of the language, and their focus on games detracts from their ability to clearly and appropriately present the language itself and some of the more important underlying concepts involving programming; people end up with a lot of bad habits and misconceptions learning from books like that.

In general, most books that meet two or more of the following criteria
a) target beginners
b) talk about "game programming" or programming to specific APIs (D3D, GL)
c) specify a schedule (21 days, etc).
are dangerous and should be avoided, as they tend to not be worth the money; you can find better informational coverage elsewhere, possibly for less money.

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Original post by Marcus03
I practically learned the basics from this book "Beginning C++ through Game Programming." I found it on ebay a couple days ago going for cheap check it out.



Yes, is a great book for beginners and the author, Michael Dawnson is an excellent game programmer, author and teacher. By the way, his book was required over a dozen colleges and universities.

The book now is in its second edition.

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I'm inclined to agree with jpetrie. Game programming is a subset of programming in general, so it makes sense (to me at least) to first learn how to program, then learn how to apply that to making games.

Also (and no offense to any of the above posters), IMO beginners are not really qualified to determine how good a learning resource something is, because by nature of being a beginner, you don't know how much of the language you didn't learn from said resource.

My $0.02.

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Don't ever judge a book for its cover or its tittle.

After reading Beginning C++ through Game Programming I recommend you reading Beginning Game Programming, second edition by J. S. Harbour.

Another excellent book is Game Programming All In One, third edition by J. S. Harbour.

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Ah, to be youthfull again...


I remember when I thought my "learn X in 21 days" books were the shit, of course I was all of 14 at the time and there were no programming classes available at my highschool, so its all I had... They're great for a jump-in-and-see-results style introduction, but what jpetrie and Driv3MeFar are saying is that they don't cover the topic in enough depth to give you a true grasp of it. It takes people years to reach a competant understanding of C++, even longer to master it. Even people with this knowlege as a foundation still take many more years on top of that to really wrap their head around game development.

They're perfectly fine for what they are, a results-oriented introduction, but you'll need to move on to more academic or advanced texts if you want to become more than a mediocre programmer (at best).

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Original post by ravyne2001

They're perfectly fine for what they are, a results-oriented introduction, but you'll need to move on to more academic or advanced texts if you want to become more than a mediocre programmer (at best).


Hence the book being targeted towards Beginners. In the introduction, the book reads, and I quote: "The goal of this book is to introduce you to the C++ language from a game programming perspective. Although no single book can make you the master of two deep topics such as C++ and game programming, this book will start you on your journey."

Of course someone with intermediate or greater skill level will find this book useless. The book states in the introduction that its not going to try and teach you everything about C++, it just gets you started. And from my experience reading it, it was great as a beginner. I got a glimpse of C++, enough to start programming, but the full-depth of the language and its features are far beyond the scope. And that's okay; the book is for beginners, and beginners don't need to know absolutely every feature and it's enormous depth within the language.

I recommend it for any Beginner, but if you're beyond the Beginner level (whatever that means), then don't bother with it.

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I just bought a book today entitled "Beginning Game Programming" 2nd Ed by Jonathan Harbour. I was debating between this one or "Game Programming All In One" by the same author but chose the first one based on price, it was 20$ cheaper
Did I make a good choice? I can return the book and get the other one. The only other book I have is Problem Solving with C++ by Savitch from C++ course

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Original post by bluefox25
I just bought a book today entitled "Beginning Game Programming" 2nd Ed by Jonathan Harbour. I was debating between this one or "Game Programming All In One" by the same author but chose the first one based on price, it was 20$ cheaper
Did I make a good choice? I can return the book and get the other one. The only other book I have is Problem Solving with C++ by Savitch from C++ course


Hi again;

I Have both and both are terrific books. the differences:

Beginning Game Programming, 2d edition uses C++ and DirectX 9, it has a chapter dedicated on 3D programming, also it does a brief about 3D modeling (nothing complex and nothing big). What you'll learn? how to start a D3D window, how to draw sprites, animations, tiles and a scroll background. It also teach how to initialize the sound, use wav sound and midi for background and how to use a joystick and mouse with your games. Is a very good choice if after that you want to go deeper with DirectX (remember, you are going to learn the basis only).

Game Programming All In One, third edition use the Allegro Library, which is a wonderful library to work with and C/C++, the code in the book is not Object Oriented, is more structured so the codes are simplier. It cover more game concepts deeper and it has more pages, aprox. 832 pages. You'll develop several games trought the chapters, and all the examples works fine in Windows, Linux, BeOs, Mac and other OS.

Both books are easy to learn and very easy to follow. I really recommend both.

If you want to read more, look here:

Game Programming All In One.

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Original post by ejele012
Don't ever judge a book for its cover or its tittle.


Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years sumarizes why the "Teach yourself _____ programming in ____ days" title is nothing more than a blatent lie. The consistency with which they demonstrate poor quality leads me to believe it is entirely appropriate to judge some books by their titles.

Judging books by the author or publisher on the cover is also a great idea IMNSHO. A writer who is able to write a good book knows how to do it consistently. A publisher who is able to decern quality worthy of publication should also know how to do it consistently. The converse also holds true.

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Original post by Driv3MeFar
Also (and no offense to any of the above posters), IMO beginners are not really qualified to determine how good a learning resource something is, because by nature of being a beginner, you don't know how much of the language you didn't learn from said resource.

My $0.02.


While I agree with you, sometimes I think it is valuable to have someone's opinion of a book when they have no previous knowledge. It might be called an "introduction" or a "beginners guide", but for someone new, it might be too difficult or uninteresting. These kind of posts (or comments) give a rough gauge to other new users who might be interested since a seasoned veteran might have a harder time telling if this is something that would actually interest a beginner (not that that is impossible).

But again, an opinion is an opinion and it only goes so far in all cases.

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Original post by JBS103
Quote:
Original post by Driv3MeFar
Also (and no offense to any of the above posters), IMO beginners are not really qualified to determine how good a learning resource something is, because by nature of being a beginner, you don't know how much of the language you didn't learn from said resource.

My $0.02.


While I agree with you, sometimes I think it is valuable to have someone's opinion of a book when they have no previous knowledge. It might be called an "introduction" or a "beginners guide", but for someone new, it might be too difficult or uninteresting. These kind of posts (or comments) give a rough gauge to other new users who might be interested since a seasoned veteran might have a harder time telling if this is something that would actually interest a beginner (not that that is impossible).

But again, an opinion is an opinion and it only goes so far in all cases.

True, but there are two different issues involved here.
As you say, a beginner is fairly well qualified to judge whether a book is, well, readable, for a beginner.
But as people above have said, a beginner is not really qualified to judge whether the stuff they learn from the book is a) true, b) worth listening to, and c) something that's actually going to help you become a better programmer.

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Books are designed for different target audience. So, for a Beginner, newbie or hobyest who is starting in the Game Programming world sometimes is easier to start with a "Beginner" book. Is not a matter of judge, is a matter of understanding and knowledge.

Take for example a newbie who has never program, neither in C or Basic, and want to start. I wouldn't recommend the ultimate C++ Reference Bible or Advanced 3D programming, they're too deep and too complex for him to understand. Instead I would recommend an easy book to start with, the one mentined aboved is a good example. You are going to learn only the basis and is a start (start walking and then try to run). Then, you can move forward, learning more complex concepts.

But, if you want to be a pro or want it to be your life career I'll suggest going to college. Is very difficult nowdays to become a pro without studying.

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Original post by ejele012
Books are designed for different target audience. So, for a Beginner, newbie or hobyest who is starting in the Game Programming world sometimes is easier to start with a "Beginner" book. Is not a matter of judge, is a matter of understanding and knowledge.


There's a difference between a "Beginner" book and a "Just plain bad" book -- and the later is definately a matter of judgement. There are a lot of books out there that are just plain bad -- and they're almost always targeted at beginners, because they're the only poor bastards the writers are going to be able to con their pathetic excuses for books off onto, on account of their target audience's very lack of previous understanding of the subject.

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Original post by Marcus03
I practically learned the basics from this book "Beginning C++ through Game Programming." I found it on ebay a couple days ago going for cheap check it out.







p.s not trying to advertise just trying to help



Thanks a lot mate. I will buy this book when my exams get over, it might help me and also other books for beginners suggested here [smile].

I agree with some experienced guys here that learning programming concept is more important but these books can be helpful I guess.

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