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blewisjr

Fresh Start a little advice please

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Here I am on my new pc and running vista. I finally have a pc worthy of game dev on. I have 2 choices. C# or C++ really atm. I know both languages well with obvioiusly alot more to learn on the C++ side. I am sure many of you will recommend C# so if we go with that assumption which is better using XNA or the TAO framework. On the C++ side how is vistas OpenGL support. I already know it has great DX support.

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If you use C#, which I would recommend, you might as well use XNA. It's really nice. Ultimately, your choice of API isn't so important when you are learning the concepts from the ground up, but XNA already handles all of the most tedious stuff for you.

OpenGL support on Vista is just like DirectX support... its as good as the driver you have installed. Geometry shaders, I believe, require an OGL extension, whereas in DX10 they are standard.

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My video drivers can do both dx10 and OGL 2.1. As for XNA isn't that limited to what the 360 can do? Is it possible to write your own model loaders in XNA for instance to get support for loading blender models.

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Quote:
Original post by blewisjr
As for XNA isn't that limited to what the 360 can do?
What can't the 360 do that you are wanting to do?

Quote:
Is it possible to write your own model loaders in XNA for instance to get support for loading blender models.
You can run any managed code you want with XNA (unless they've changed that). If you are targeting the PC, you can even use unmanaged code.

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I guess what I am getting at is C++ and a native 3d api better then using C# and XNA? I mean cross platform would be nice but ultimatly no nececssary.

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As Visual C# 2005 Express and XNA are both free and very widely used (and supported) I decided to use them both for my programming/learning foundation.

For a first book I strongly recommend O'Reilly Head First C#. It's really an excellnet read and teaches in a fairly fun and novel approach compared to other technical/programming books I've read.

Keep in mind that MS C# 2008 Express doesn't work with XNA, you need the 2005 C# package however you can have both versions installed. I have both installed side by side on the same PC with no issues.

If I decide later I can always pick C++ again, but I doubt I will need to.

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Original post by blewisjr
I guess what I am getting at is C++ and a native 3d api better then using C# and XNA? I mean cross platform would be nice but ultimatly no nececssary.


Not to give a vague, useless answer or anything, but it really depends on what you mean by "better". As it stands now, I'd say no. C# and XNA is very capable, easy to use, and gets you the added option of developing a 360 game.

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Original post by Diosces
As Visual C# 2005 Express and XNA are both free and very widely used (and supported) I decided to use them both for my programming/learning foundation.

For a first book I strongly recommend O'Reilly Head First C#. It's really an excellnet read and teaches in a fairly fun and novel approach compared to other technical/programming books I've read.

Keep in mind that MS C# 2008 Express doesn't work with XNA, you need the 2005 C# package however you can have both versions installed. I have both installed side by side on the same PC with no issues.

If I decide later I can always pick C++ again, but I doubt I will need to.


Thanks for the info everyone I will go out tonight and grab a xna book. However Dio no need for the C# book I have so many I can't count :P Been using C# since the day it came out.

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I just got done with a little Java learning escapade I went on, and I am now happily returning to C# and XNA. When you start a new project in XNA, half the game is already done for you. And it's a great thing because you really don't have to deal with the Win32 API. The worst thing about C++/OpenGl or even DirectX is that you have this 100 lines of code that is basically just to make a window, and it just looks sloppy and takes up space. Really intrusive when you're just learning. And even after

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To be completely honest, I've looked at a lot of the XNA books (and I actually bought XNA unleashed), and in my opinion they are little more than long-winded tutorials. Half of the space in most of the books that I've looked at are redundant code listings that you probably won't look at anyway. That may not be true for all of them, but it was my general sense.

I would recommend just diving into the tutorials that are provided with XNA... those will give you just enough exposure to know what's going on. Then, as a c# veteran, you will probably be able to make your way through the docs with no problem. Most of your learning curve will probably be related to 3d graphics theory, but that stuff is well documented all over the internet, and gamedev itself is an awesome resource.

As someone who has a tendency to reflexively buy a book about pretty much every topic that interests me, I would advise you to pass on this one until you decide that you actually need it.

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I will get a book sometimes I like to read while I am on lunch at work where I have no computer. And in all honesty I really hate reading stuff off the net. As I am looking for a book the biggest thing I will look for is a good chapter or 2 on shaders. Never used them before. Not really worried about the code just some stuff that will push me along.

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I apologize for the double post. I was looking at the tutorials for XNA and all the tutorials are for GSE 1.0 Refresh. I have XNA Game Stuido 2.0 running on express 2005 will the tutorials still work?

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I think I might avoid this XNA concept actually now that I did research on it. Seems even tho it is free there is alot of stuff that they try to pigeon hole you with to get you to get a CC membership. By the looks of the route they are takeing eventually you won't beable to do much with it without one.

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I think I might avoid this XNA concept actually now that I did research on it. Seems even tho it is free there is alot of stuff that they try to pigeon hole you with to get you to get a CC membership. By the looks of the route they are takeing eventually you won't beable to do much with it without one.

Well, the CC membership is not exactly expensive. Regardless, I think you're taking an extremely pessimistic view; even on the PC alone, XNA is quite useful, and I seriously doubt, after having invested so much time and effort into it, that Microsoft would suddenly pull PC support.

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I am not saying they will Pull PC support at all. I am just saying alot more features seem to require the CC membership and I don't want to pay $99/year just to use a few features. I could just go and learn OGL or DX on C++ and it won't cost me anything. I want to stay away from c++ tho I hate the language. I guess I could always use Java and LWGL.

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None of those features are required though. You can still use the API to the exact same extent that you'd use GL or D3D from managed code, without paying anything.

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Pick up a coin. Flip it. Pick whichever language/API you assigned to it and start learning. Your choice of language will not be the determinant of your success; you will be, and you're off to a bad start.



I will now elaborate in a mini-rant. The notion that there is a "best" choice is reflective of an opportunism that disgusts me. It says that you're not so much curious, enthusiastic and passionate about making gmaes - because if you really were, you'd try every thing that you heard of, testing each one until you found whatever worked best for you - but that you want a short cut to making games, getting a job in the industry and profiting wildly from it. You're like the majority of computer science majors today, who are there because their parents advised them "go into computers; it's where the money is."

That money will always go to people who are actually passionate about the subject. The ones who stay up at night researching and prototyping and testing and failing and trying again. They're the ones who come up with the brilliant ideas that earn them millions of dollars. No, seriously, I dare you to name one IT millionaire entrepreneur who wasn't a tinkerer and genuine enthusiast at heart.

If you want to do this - if you really, really care about this - you won't be sitting back vacillating over which is the best choice like it's the lunch selection at the local deli. You'll go with the first thing you hear, and actually start using it. By the time you hear of the next thing, you'd actually have used your first recommendation.

I see too many people afraid to fail. What if I try C++ and I don't finish my game? SO? Most people don't finish their games, regardless of what language they pick. Most people don't get it right on the first try. You will experience failures, if you ever want to experience significant success.



Pick a language. Get busy. Happy hacking.

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Original post by Oluseyi
Pick up a coin. Flip it. Pick whichever language/API you assigned to it and start learning. Your choice of language will not be the determinant of your success; you will be, and you're off to a bad start.



I will now elaborate in a mini-rant. The notion that there is a "best" choice is reflective of an opportunism that disgusts me. It says that you're not so much curious, enthusiastic and passionate about making gmaes - because if you really were, you'd try every thing that you heard of, testing each one until you found whatever worked best for you - but that you want a short cut to making games, getting a job in the industry and profiting wildly from it. You're like the majority of computer science majors today, who are there because their parents advised them "go into computers; it's where the money is."

That money will always go to people who are actually passionate about the subject. The ones who stay up at night researching and prototyping and testing and failing and trying again. They're the ones who come up with the brilliant ideas that earn them millions of dollars. No, seriously, I dare you to name one IT millionaire entrepreneur who wasn't a tinkerer and genuine enthusiast at heart.

If you want to do this - if you really, really care about this - you won't be sitting back vacillating over which is the best choice like it's the lunch selection at the local deli. You'll go with the first thing you hear, and actually start using it. By the time you hear of the next thing, you'd actually have used your first recommendation.

I see too many people afraid to fail. What if I try C++ and I don't finish my game? SO? Most people don't finish their games, regardless of what language they pick. Most people don't get it right on the first try. You will experience failures, if you ever want to experience significant success.



Pick a language. Get busy. Happy hacking.


Great post!

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Quote:
Original post by blewisjr
I think I might avoid this XNA concept actually now that I did research on it. Seems even tho it is free there is alot of stuff that they try to pigeon hole you with to get you to get a CC membership. By the looks of the route they are takeing eventually you won't beable to do much with it without one.


How so? The only two things you need a CC membership for, currently, are:

* Running on the 360
* Using the Xbox LIVE services (e.g. Gamertags, internet multiplayer, etc)

It will pretty much always be possible to develop games for PC in XNA for free.

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Before I make a decision is it possible to load models and their shaders without the content pipeline?

[edit for rephrasing]

[Edited by - blewisjr on March 3, 2008 7:46:50 PM]

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Ok if this is the case I think I will give XNA a shot. Going to pick up a book thursday due to having a 30% off slip for any book in the store. Any recommendations for XNA 2.0? Of course I am going to use the MSDN tutorials as well.

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The worst thing about C++/OpenGl or even DirectX is that you have this 100 lines of code that is basically just to make a window, and it just looks sloppy and takes up space. Really intrusive when you're just learning. And even after


Why, oh why must people do that? Compare (in this case) C# + libraries to C++ without libraries.

A quick tip for anyone who feels like making that "argument" in the future: C++ has libraries that take care of tedious stuff too.

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