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Experienced coder ready to do gaming, what is the next step(s) for ME

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Hello all, I'm about to take the jump into game programming and I need some advice on where to begin. I just finished my sophomore year of Computer Science University so I'm pretty well off on basic programming. - OOD/OOP with Java/C/C++ (little Win32 specific programming) - Abstract Data Types - Linked Lists/Pointers - Trees BST/2-3/AVL - Basic 2D drawing using Java's AWT and SWING packages - Software Engineering Concepts - Assemblu (Motorola 68k/Sparc) and I did take linear algebra a couple years ago, altho im pretty rush im sure i can brush up fairly quickly - Vector Spaces - Operation on Matrices (Scalar Multiplication, Addition, Sum, Difference, Dot and Cross Products, Transpose) - Row Reduction - Matrix Equations and Inverses thats all i can think of off the top of my head, What other algebra theory should I know? also im familiar with Analysis of Algorithms (altho not entirely comfortable, i got a C ) - BigO Notation - Recurrence relations - Asymptotic notation - Divide & Conquer so in order to be a game programmer what do i need to do next? mind you i havent even written a simple tetris clone for Win32 yet, but i'd like to at least do it using DirectX8 ...ive read a tutorial on here on "2D Rendering using DirectX8" but its still alittle over my head this is what id like to do: 1) Tetris clone 2) Pacman 3) A Street Fighter clone or Street Fighter Characters in a Final-Fight Beat-em up! id really like to do all the 2D stuff using an api such as DirectX8, but i think id like to learn OpenGL right off the bat so let me know if i can render 2D sprites using OpenGL. ..basically my question is where do i go now? What Books should i get, im considering myself a newbie when it comes to game programming so i doubt buying "3D Game Engine Design" would do me any good at the moment. What API should i start with, should i use an API, should i just start with software rendering using VGA? then id like to do some 3D Games, possibly a combination of Portal/Tesselation Engines any help would be appreciated. i've given myself 6 - 8 months starting this Sept to get all the 2D stuff out of the way then possibly another 4 - 6months to get a real basic 3D engine working (1 level, 1 model, 1 weapon) btw i have no experience when it comes to AI/User Interfaces Jerrold X-Bishop Edited by - x-bishop on July 19, 2001 2:38:40 AM

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You''ve got the right idea starting small. Personally, I missed out on all the classes and books that I should have gotten. I even made the mistake of jumping straight into the Windows API and DirectX. I was trying to make games without really knowing the language. It was kinda rough, but with the best resource on the net right here (GameDev) I pulled through.

As for what books I''d recommend, you can''t go wrong with Andre Lamothe''s Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus.

Based on the background info you provided, I''d say you''ll grasp the Win32 API no problem, and DirectX even easier. OpenGL isn''t so bad either, if it''s more your taste.

The best tutorials I''ve found are Joe "IronBlayde" Farrell''s Game Programming Genesis. There is a copy here on GD, and you can find it here: http://www.aeon-software.com/

Good luck, and if there is anything you might need help with, (although I''m not the best out there) feel free to e-mail me at zerograv000@yahoo.com.



DracosX

Master of the General Protection Fault.

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thanks alot for the reply man really appreciate it...and im going to consider your recommendation of "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" i was originally going to buy "Game Programming Gems Volume 2" and "3D Game Engine Design"

altho i think programming gems might be primarly with 3D graphics and im not even close to being ready for that

thanks for the links and i''ll email you for any advice i might need thanks again!


Jerrold

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Hello

One word of advice. Don''t make the mistake i made: DON''T GET COMITTED TO ONE THING FOR TOO LONG. at least not yet. It is good to try to finsih things you start but don''t try to make a whole game at once. One of my problems when i first started was i kept trying to make a big game and finish it. What would happen was i would work on a project for a few months and get stuck on something and not move on to other things for a long time because i knew the game would not be finished without fixing it. Then I''d get discouraged and start a new project.

The trick is: aim NOT to make a game, but simply to gain knowledge and experience and have a bit of fun. You should go online and read tutorials, download demos and codes, enter contests, make 2D AND 3D demos... basically get involved in different things. Not only does that increase your knowledge base and improve your chances in entering the industry (if that''s what you are aiming for) it keeps you motivated and you don''t get bored.

Anyway I hope that made some sense. Best of luck to you

Thanks

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