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Total Beginners C++ Game Programming Books?!?

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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

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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)

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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.

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The book C++: A Dialog is freely available in the link below, and doesn't assume previous knowledge.

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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.

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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]

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"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!

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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.

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