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clauchiorean

Starting game programming. Need some advice

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I need some advice on starting game programming. Basically i need some books, which i should read. I don't know yet what platform to use Directx/Opengl I think in the end I will learn both of them but now i need a point to start. I have experience as a programmer(C/C++/C#/Java), i did some games in high-school(Snake, Mindsweeper - old borland c). What books should i read? (maybe some game design books also, but for now some books to get me started)

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well, I'd say start with opengl. I tried directx about 6 months ago and it burnt me out. Than, about 2 months ago, i tried opengl and I found it pretty easy to do, once you have the window done ;) I'm now trying to do directx again. For opengl, i would suggest nehe.gamedev.net. It's got great tutorials. Even though it's not as good for learning as a book, because you copy and paste :O it's still great. I don't have any opengl books to recomend. You can learn a lot from tutorials on line. Books are probably best though. I might recomend the game programming gems series. I haven't tried them, but I hear their good, and on amazon, it's says it's in opengl. Good luck with game programming! Just don't burn yourself out, don't bite off more than you can chew, and have fun!

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Actually, as far as your API of choice goes, Allegro is best for beginners.

EDIT: If you're just starting, why have you been a registered member since 2005?

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Something else that you might consider is the type of games you are interested in programming. Granted, learning a wide variety is never a bad thing but like programming in general, game programming is a very broad topic. Certainly there are different directions to go depending on what you want to do and knowing that will help people give better advice. Good luck.

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Game Programming All in One by Jonathan Harbour is a great book because it teaches how to use the Allegro library and it also talks a little bit about game design techniques.

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The fact is that i'm registered since 2005 but i never found the time to actually do something. Sure i've read some books i've helped in some games but i need some books to really get the ideea so to speek.

Some Opengl/Directx books, and some game design books?
Just name a few, what have you read, anything that is useful.

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I've spent a lot of time doing 2d games, but recently I wanted to really bite the bullet and try my hand at 3d.

Here are some books in my library I recently picked up on my journey to 3d shiny-ness and are worth the mention.

-Mathematics for 3D Game Programming & Compute Graphics Second Edition by Eric Lengyel : This book is like a magic reference guide. Everytime I want to learn something specific I find out it's already in this book. It's tough to chew on, and not something you sit down and read for a lazy sunday afternoon, but It's be indispensable to me. I didn't use it very much when I first started because it's relatively language unspecific, and I needed something to hold my hand at first.

-Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX by Vaughn Young : This is the other side of the spectrum ( ironically though both from the same series ). I have no interest in making an FPS. But this book did exactly what I needed: it held my hand and gave me concrete examples and samples and explanations to things. I can be a little dense when learning something new, so it took me a while. This book focused a lot on the design of a FPS engine, so it really helped me organize how things are connected, and how to design my code so that it was efficient and proper. There are a few annoying features of this book: 1 - he doesn't cover collision detection at all. He just says "get used to using other people's libraries because you can't do it all yourself", and links you with source code to plug in. LAME. He did later release the article he got the source code from, which is good. Also the first half of the book is engine construction, but he doesn't do a good job of explaining why you are doing something. "You'll understand when we start using this in our game". It does make sense later, but at first it's really frustrating just following along with the book and not seeing why you are doing something.

-3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development by Fletcher Dunn and Ian Parberry : This is an all purpose desk reference type book, but a lot easier read than Lengyel's. I would recommend picking this up no matter what language or type of game you plan on getting. It really gets to the meat of the mathematics issue, and explains it eloquently and quickly without all the squwak.

-Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX9.0 by Frank Luna. If you're interested in DirectX, this is the place to start. Or rather, it's where I wish I started. I got this book relatively late (about 6 months ago) and while it has a few useful gems most of it wasn't terribly good for me. Had I picked it up when I first started, I think I would've gotten further, faster. So, I definately recommend it to anyone who is just getting started with DirectX as it covers the API in depth, and keeps things straight forward and organized.

-Physics for Game Developers by David M. Bourg. Reads like a textbook. Which is good and bad. It doesn't focus on any particular language or graphics API, but instead deals with coding proper physics into your game. Like Young, Bourg glosses over collision detection, but makes up for it with some strong collision response theory. Excellent explanations on how to program your objects with the proper variables to model real life physics. It's not an easy book, but it's not hard either.

I just picked up 3 new books, but I haven't read them yet:

Programming Role-Playing Games in DirectX9.0 by Jim Adams (I've heard really good things about this, and just flipping through and looking at some of the source - specifically his octree code) looks really promising.

Realtime 3D Terrain Engine using C++ and DirectX9.0 by Greg Snook. Apparently, this guy worked on Halo. I am borrowing this book from a friend who says it covers a great way of implementing HLSL and DX effects files through a sophisticated wrapper. I dunno, I haven't read much of it. But my friend is giving me two thumbs up right now.

I also have an AI book that's really good but my friend has it (traded for this 3d Terrain Engine book) but I don't remember the title or the author. It went in depth with A* path finding theory and stuff like flocking and group behavior. I actually kinda wish I had it ON me, because I'm doing a 3d space shooter and the aliens... well anyway.

SO if you want a good start get the 3d Math Primer.
If you're going with DirectX i'd say go with Indroduction to 3D Programming by Frank Luna.

Hope that helps!

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