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gamedev curiosity

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hi all,

I'm currently a programmer by hobby, but I would like to work towards making this a profession. I have some basic experience with C++ and Java. In other words, I know the syntax rules and have created some simple programs (mostly console programs in C++ and a couple of Swing apps in Java). That said, I haven't had the experience of working with the win32 API, DirectX, OpenGL, etc. Basically, I wouldn't consider myself enough of a beginner to read an "intro to C++" book, but maybe not quite advanced enough to jump full force into a heavy win32 or DirectX book, unless there was a good amount of hand holding involved.

I have always been interested in gamedev, but I am aware that it is a complex and difficult subject to tackle. I am considering purchasing Frank Luna's book on DirectX 10, but I'm not sure I really meet the pre-reqs for the book. There don't seem to be many books on the subject, and pretty much all of them seem to assume that you are an intermediate to advanced developer.

I have a few typical beginner questions:

1. Is "Visual C++ 2010 Express" sufficient for starting game programming? Would I need to purchase the full edition to work on professional quality games?

2. Could anyone recommend some DirectX 10 (or 11) books which have a good amount of hand holding? I'm looking to learn a lot, but not a pretentious book in which the author is trying to boost his resume.

3. Is it recommended to learn the win32 API before tackling DirectX? In other words, what would you recommend as the next step for a college level C++/Java student?

4. Is it really necessary to read through an entire 3d math primer prior to starting a DirectX book? This kind of turns me off, because I want to get started on fun, hands-on projects right away. Please excuse me for thinking a math textbook is boring.

5. Would it be very simple to switch from working with OpenGL in C++ to working with JOGL in Java? Or are the differences so significant that I would have to dedicate a good amount of effort to make the switch?

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Original post by bbr125
1. Is "Visual C++ 2010 Express" sufficient for starting game programming? Would I need to purchase the full edition to work on professional quality games?

Express is more than enough!
Quote:

2. Could anyone recommend some DirectX 10 (or 11) books which have a good amount of hand holding? I'm looking to learn a lot, but not a pretentious book in which the author is trying to boost his resume.

Sorry, cannot help here. But look at the books section on gamedev.net

Quote:

3. Is it recommended to learn the win32 API before tackling DirectX? In other words, what would you recommend as the next step for a college level C++/Java student?

No, have a look at some nice (game) libraries.

Quote:

4. Is it really necessary to read through an entire 3d math primer prior to starting a DirectX book? This kind of turns me off, because I want to get started on fun, hands-on projects right away. Please excuse me for thinking a math textbook is boring.

Of course not ... if you know the stuff. Just keep it at hand.

Quote:

5. Would it be very simple to switch from working with OpenGL in C++ to working with JOGL in Java? Or are the differences so significant that I would have to dedicate a good amount of effort to make the switch?

If you understand the principle ... you can switch between languages, libraries, etc. without problems.

--GWDev

PS: Have a look at XNA. It's really fun and C# is just like Java with better documentation and support. At least on a hobby gamedev level.

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Original post by bbr125
3. Is it recommended to learn the win32 API before tackling DirectX? In other words, what would you recommend as the next step for a college level C++/Java student?


Even if you're not using a library, you could probably learn just the required win32 window functions very quickly. You don't need to know all of win32.

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I actually found out I can get Visual Studio 2010 Professional for free since I'm a student.

Just one more quick newbie question that I forgot to add:

What is the difference between developing for 32-bit and 64-bit? Would I still use the same DirectX function calls? Will a 32-bit game run without problems in a 64-bit environment?

[Edited by - bbr125 on October 30, 2010 3:31:19 PM]

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