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stlfbr1

Windows API

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Hey everyone! This is my first post here. Ive been reading the site for a while now and am ready to finally jump in and try my hand at game programming! Ive wanted to do this for a while but didnt have the time or the resources to do what i wanted, but now i do. For some background I have been programming for about 7 years now. I learned on C++, then went to college and learned Java, and now Im back to using C++, at least thats my current language of choice for game programming (unless someone has a reason for me to switch to Java?? haha) Anyway my current choices or at least how Im leaning is to use C++ and OpenGL (I would like to know anyones opinions on this decision. I went this way for efficiency and portability, but am wary that it may be over the top for one person??) But what Im lacking is Windows API knowledge. I saw a few books in teh books section on the Win32 API taht got great reviews. My first question is that these seem to be from 1998 or 1999. Ive gotten a game programming book once before and the technology was different enough to make it very difficult to learn new things while constantly trying to convert the book to modern code. I was wondreing if the Win32 API is like this? Should i be concerned with the date it was published or hasn't much changed? And finally, am I placing too much emphasis on the windows programming part or is it as important as I feel it is now? (I know i mentioned portability and im asking about windows programming, but you gotta start somewhere!) Thanks to everyone on this site, its been a huge help!!

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Quote:
Original post by stlfbr1
I saw a few books in teh books section on the Win32 API taht got great reviews. My first question is that these seem to be from 1998 or 1999. Ive gotten a game programming book once before and the technology was different enough to make it very difficult to learn new things while constantly trying to convert the book to modern code.

I was wondreing if the Win32 API is like this? Should i be concerned with the date it was published or hasn't much changed?
The Windows API hasn't really changed much at all - a program written for Windows 95 would most likely still run on Vista, almost all of the functions are the same, so that older programs can still run).

Quote:
Original post by stlfbr1
And finally, am I placing too much emphasis on the windows programming part or is it as important as I feel it is now? (I know i mentioned portability and im asking about windows programming, but you gotta start somewhere!)
The windows programming part is fairly minimal, all of the Win32 code in your app shouldn't total up to that much for an OpenGL app. Personally, I'd just use online tutorials and not bother buying a book unless you want to make a full GUI using Win32.

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when using openGL, Win32 is a very small part of your concern, you basically just have to set the window up, and handle messages. The best Win32 book is from the Windows 98 days, which is Petzold's Windows Programming book. Its old, but not really out of date, I'll explain(by the way I own the book, don't expect to bring anywhere with you because it's quite hefty)

The reason it's not out of date is because the Win32 API is so massive, that it wouldn't be possible to write a book that shows you how to use even half of it. What Petzold does, is teach you the basics, and some (at the time) common tasks, but along the way he's teaching you how the win32 api works, and how to do things the "windows" way. This allows you to just be able to comb through the MSDN documentation to look for specific functions, and use them with no problem because you know how windows wants you to do things.

95% of windows specific programming is just handling messages, and learning how to do it in a neat and orderly fashion. The last 5% is just getting to know the common functions and structures, and a little bit of learning about resources. The underlying structure of Win32 hasn't changed at all in 15 years, a bunch of stuff has been added, but the basic concepts are all the same

All that being said, for openGL, you just need to learn to create a window and create a Rendering Context to link it to openGL's rendering. I suggest "Beginning openGL Game Programming", written by a couple of people who run this site, it's the best openGL book i've read, and covers a lot of material for a really low price

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Great thanks a lot for the tips and quick response!

This was exactly the information I was looking for. I've actually got a little something up and running with some online tutorials, and since I dont plan on getting too into the windows programming, I think Ill just research on a need to know basis!

thanks!

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