Sign in to follow this  
l jsym l

Total Beginners C++ Game Programming Books?!?

Recommended Posts

Hey, just wondering if anyone knew of any good "Beginners" books for C++ programming. I have recently bought 3 books just trying to figure it out but they all seemed to start like I already knew something. Remember, I'm a total beginner with no experience at all. I love video game and have always wanted to be a part of making them. If anyone has any idea what-so-ever about any total beginner c++ game programming books please let me know. I'll be checking this thread regularly. P.S. I even bought the C++ Primer book that it shows on this website, but it seems like I should already know something about programming?... Please just let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank You, l jsym l

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure about any books, but there are numerous online tutorials that can help you learn C++, even if you have no previous experience in any other language at all. As for learning game-specific programming, I'd suggest you get the basics down first and make sure you are comfortable with C++ before beginning.

My favorite tutorials are at:
http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/ (Very well-written basic C++ tutorial)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb964629.aspx (Shows you how to set up Microsoft Visual C++ 2008)
http://www.fredosaurus.com/notes-cpp/index.html (Covers more advanced topics)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
C++ Primer Plus.

Not a game book. But a very good beginners C++ book, which gives you a very solid foundation.

EDIT : If that is the book you already bought and you are having problems then you perhaps we need to look for something more generic, and you need to have a look at Visual Basic.. C++ Primer Plus if you read it from the beginning properly, and don't skip, should really be ok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the basics of C++, I doubt you can do much better than C++: The Complete Reference, by Herbert Schildt. I believe the man is held in high regard.

I also read a book beforehand though, Teach Yourself C, also by Herb Schildt.

Both books are very good, but you might want to concentrate more on the C++, unless you plan on programming in C a lot. I like C, it makes more sense to me.

I also have a book called Code Complete, which I have read many places, is a must-have book on software development. I have only dipped into it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My situation learning C++ started as a bit of a misunderstanding, since I thought that C was the only language I needed to learn when I was under the impression it had good OOP. Reading Absolute Beginner's Guide to C, which lived up to it's name to be very beginner friendly, was still a good first step. The book made enough sense that I evolved to C++ very quickly.

Aboslute Beginner's Guide to C

C++ for Dummies was at hand, (which I thought was horribly written, try not to get it if you can help it.)

Norman made an excellent suggestion with cplusplus.com, I throw myself there almost all the time not only for it's well written tutorial, but it's amazingly easy-to-understand reference. I would actually start with C, since the books and tutorials related are incredibly beginner friendly, and then move up to C++, in which case things actually start looking familiar right off and it's speeds the learning process.

You can also check the C tutorial of HowStuffWorks, which was also pretty simple.
HowStuffWorks

If you are having trouble, take a look at Game Maker, which has an engine familiar language remarkably similar to C. Even though it advertises as a Game Engine, it does help get a grasp on C-Like qualities with a far more forgiving syntax. It can easily be used to program simple apps, not just games.

Here's the link
Game Maker Download Page

...And here's the link to it's community, which is a tad unfriendly, but quite productive.

Game Maker Community

While we're on the topic of communities...
I would also look into other forums just in case GameDev.net is missing something (LOW chance!)

Try out BleepingComputer and TechSupportForum, general PC forums for many tech needs. Check out "programming" and just ask questions there, but here at GameDev should be all you need. Other forums like Bleeping can be used for just about anything else PC related, though. I'm suggesting it since I got some C++ help from these places.

BleepingComputer
TechSupport Forum

I know, I'm going link crazy.

What I'm trying to suggest overall is to break the learning process down into smaller and/or simpler steps, which is a good habit to establish when you get into C++ anyway. Play your cards right and it shouldn't take you too long to learn the language.

Quote:
they all seemed to start like I already knew something.


That's annoying, isn't it? I relate. Rather than order books online, go to a Borders or Barnes & Noble and read the programming books there. You can bring a notepad along to take notes of what you have learned. You get some time to yourself, you pick a new book if one flops and it's free! Maybe get yourself some coffee and a little bakery thing, you know. [smile]

You can send me some PMs if you have any questions. I'm by no means a c++ expert, but I know I can answer some beginner questions.

[Edited by - zyrolasting on January 19, 2009 12:12:12 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days – By Jesse Liberty"

This was the book that got me started. You don't have to do it in 21 days of course (and I would advise NOT to!) but it's straight forward and streamlined approach made learning C++ quick and easy.

I have to say that perhaps it was quick and easy for me because I was already familiar with other older languages, like BASIC, Pascal and some assembler on old 8-bit computers.

But the book does assume NO knowledge whatsoever on C++ and given it's pace, you'll come across a lot of what the language has to offer, like templates, namespaces, functions pointers etc, as well as a full digression on classes and object-oriented design.

My advice when buying books (and I already have a pretty large collection) is to TRY before you BUY. Don't Amazon a book online only to find that it's totally worthless to you. Go to a book shop and spend a bit of time reading through the book. Most, if not ALL, book shops won't complain if you treat their premises a bit like a library. Some shops even have seats for reading.

Then, when you find that a particular book seems good for you, buy it! There are PLENTY of good beginner books on C++ out there, but in order to find the one that’s right for YOU, be prepared to do some hands on research in a book shop!

Good Luck anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The C++ Primer is an awesome book, but yeah, I would agree that it's far more useful as a reference for those who already mostly know how to use the language. Personally, I started with Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days, but I can't recommend it personally because the edition I used was old & outdated; it used a lot of pre-standard stuff and taught me a lot of bad habits that I had to unlearn later on. Maybe someone here who has used a more recent version can tell you whether it's been improved or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Sam's Game Programming in 24 hours", by Morrison
I didn't start out with it, but it's a good introduction into the general concepts of games and 2d games in particular, still reading it and using it every once in a while, contains a win32 primer and builds out a 2d engine based on that step by step.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I moved from C to C++ with SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days.

It's a good beginner book. My copy was run over by a train and survived. It isn't that I disliked the book, my backpack was stolen from my car and found strewn across the train tracks. That book was the only thing that survived, it has a crease right down the middle (the book is like 3.5 inches thick) but it's in one piece and readable.

Yes, I am advocating a book because it will survive a train. It also makes a great ad-hock weapon if you ever need to defend yourself in a dark alley. Chances are if it can't double as a deadly weapon it isn't worth reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by CodeStorm
"SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days – By Jesse Liberty"

This was the book that got me started. You don't have to do it in 21 days of course (and I would advise NOT to!) but it's straight forward and streamlined approach made learning C++ quick and easy.


That's also the book I started with and I didn't know anything about programming, except a little QuickBASIC.

I googled around a little, because I thought I've seen an online version of this book before and found this link:

Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days, Second Edition

It seems to be complete but I'm not entirely sure.

EDIT: Seems like burgert was faster. Sorry, didn't see his post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would also advise Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days. I've got the fifth edition by Jesse Liberty and Bradley Jones. I can say I have not finsihed (or am even close to finishing) the book, but what I have read so far is fantastic. Easy to understand explanations and examples.

I saw GameMaker advertised up there somewhere. If you want my advice, DON'T get GameMaker. I have nothing against the program (I've actually used it for about 3 years and love it for the most part), but you'd be amazed how much it can hinder your progression into other languages. The ease of use alone makes it hard to move on, but the coding habits you'll gain are hard to break. I'm learning Java as a stepping stone between GameMaker and learning C++ (and hey, knowing another language isn't so bad either :p). That being said, without GM I probably would've gotten discouraged with programming long ago and given up. So if you ever feel like learning a language is too large a task, you should look GM up. It might give you the spark you need to keep going ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
burgert
this is here im learning from http://newdata.box.sk/bx/c/


Quote:
Original post by DraganO
Quote:
Original post by CodeStorm
"SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days – By Jesse Liberty"

This was the book that got me started. You don't have to do it in 21 days of course (and I would advise NOT to!) but it's straight forward and streamlined approach made learning C++ quick and easy.


That's also the book I started with and I didn't know anything about programming, except a little QuickBASIC.

I googled around a little, because I thought I've seen an online version of this book before and found this link:

Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days, Second Edition

It seems to be complete but I'm not entirely sure.

EDIT: Seems like burgert was faster. Sorry, didn't see his post.



Erm, are you guys sure the linked content is legal? It even misses the author/s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Personally, I avoid recommending books which are entitled "Teach Yourself X in Y Days", as it is simply impossible to teach most programming languages in alleged timeframe. Learning good C++ Basics takes at least some years for most persons, learning the more advanced stuff takes some more years, and becoming a wizard will take at least 10 years.

Generally, I would not buy books with such grandstanding/alleging/"hip"/"cool" titles. Invest some more money in real C++ books, especially look out for the craft of Josuttis, Vandevoorde, Knuth (which is about CS in general). Googling for those names will bring up more names. This is only my hint: Buy something proper, not something cheap with a promise in its title that can't be hold.

Also, read this: Teach yourself programming in 10 years, Peter Norvig.

Quote:
Peter Norvig

Let's analyze what a title like Learn Pascal in Three Days could mean:
  • Learn: In 3 days you won't have time to write several significant programs, and learn from your successes and failures with them. You won't have time to work with an experienced programmer and understand what it is like to live in that environment. In short, you won't have time to learn much. So they can only be talking about a superficial familiarity, not a deep understanding. As Alexander Pope said, a little learning is a dangerous thing.


  • Pascal: In 3 days you might be able to learn the syntax of Pascal (if you already knew a similar language), but you couldn't learn much about how to use the syntax. In short, if you were, say, a Basic programmer, you could learn to write programs in the style of Basic using Pascal syntax, but you couldn't learn what Pascal is actually good (and bad) for. So what's the point? Alan Perlis once said: "A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing". One possible point is that you have to learn a tiny bit of Pascal (or more likely, something like Visual Basic or javascript) because you need to interface with an existing tool to accomplish a specific task. But then you're not learning how to program; you're learning to accomplish that task.


  • in Three Days: Unfortunately, this is not enough, as the next section
  • shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like the OP I to am looking to learn C++ but have zero experience, i have yet to find a website/book that starts at the very beginning and explains what thing's like strings,loops,classes ect are and how to know when and where to use them.

One book i can recommend the OP avoids until he/she has gained some knowledge is C++ for dummies, this is yet another book that seems to jump straight in assuming you have some knowledge to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about "Thinking in C++ 2nd edition" by Bruce Eckel? It actually assumes you to have little knowledge of C, but can you comment it ? It used to be an excellent book few years ago, but is it outdated now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by sheep19
Beginning C++ game programming is a game book, which assumes you are a total beginner. It is a very good one.

Beginning C++ Through Game Programming is what he should look for, so he doesn't end up getting the first edition.

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Through-Game-Programming-Second/dp/1598633600
ISBN-10: 1598633600
ISBN-13: 978-1598633603

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this