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Dharwin

Starting with 3D game programming vs 2d game programming

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Hey guys, I'm a software developer at a mobile search engine company, and I program mostly in Java. In my spare time, I've picked up C++, and a large amount of C#. I've been getting into XNA for the past month or so. I've followed a handful of 2D game programming tutorials, and I'm thinking about doing some 3D tutorials, like Riemer's Flight Sim and such. My question is: For a person knowledgeable of general programming, but not 100% confident in game programming, is it a bad idea to start with 3D game programming instead of 2D? Would I be skipping over crucial stepping stones? Thanks for any advice!

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I don't think so given you have a strong math background. I have not done anything past simple 3D, but I wouldn't say its too difficult to begin with if you have an understanding of vectors and matrices already.

With that being said, is there a reason you don't want to start with 2D?

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I find most graphics books and tutorials are done in 3D, so in some cases it may be easier since you can just follow existing examples. One of the big issues going to 3D is the physics and collision detection becomes more complicated. It would really depends what game you are deciding to make, but a vast majority of game development is still the same.

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Whatever. The difficult parts of making a (non-trivial) game aren't getting things onto the screen. Adding one more dimension to the position, velocity, etc isn't compounding the difficulty of anything...

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Quote:
Original post by Dharwin
My question is: For a person knowledgeable of general programming, but not 100% confident in game programming, is it a bad idea to start with 3D game programming instead of 2D? Would I be skipping over crucial stepping stones?

You wouldn't be skipping over any stepping stones. The tendency to start with 2D has to do with simplified scene logic, since almost anyone can understand the Cartesian coordinate system and follow the physical logic.

The primary challenge you will face will regard 3D setup, math and reasoning. The secondary challenge you will face will regard a more complicated application architecture. With relatively simple 2D applications, there is a linearity that anyone can follow. With 3D applications, in large part due to the diversity of assets involved, much more complex abstractions are used - loaders, "engines," etc.

As an experienced programmer, you can handle all of that, but the learning curve is still steep.

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Thanks very much for the responses!

I'm not at all underestimating the learning curve. As long as I hear it's do-able, then I'll do it.

I'm getting to work on some 3D XNA tutorials right now.

Thanks again for the responses!

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