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nHawk

Getting Started: What to learn?

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nHawk    100
Hello, I recently discovered this forum (about twenty minutes ago!) and I would love to get started on game design. I am currently a soft-more in a B.S. computer science degree, however, I have been programming since 9th grade. I have a strong background in c++ procedural programming and have an introductory understanding of OOP in c++ (basic classes and up to single inheritance, polymorphism). I want to write a basic pong game or anything just to get understand how to begin designing a game. It is on a windows platform. What do I need to learn for such a basic game? Windows programming or will SDL due? Any type of direction would be great! I just simply do not know how to begin in the first place.

Thanks for the help!
Nathan

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nHawk    100
To clear up what I'm asking is, I have read the beginning tutorials and explanations on this website, but I'm not sure what the variables do (size_t), or what I need to learn outside of standard c++ to begin.

Thanks

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pulpfist    528
Hi,

when you say Windows programming do you mean Windows API? if so, I would recommend against it. Windows API is all but replaced by the .NET platform these days. It may have its place when writing low level drivers, or creating the initial window for a raw DirectX/OpenGL application, but thats about it. Besides, it doesn't provide access to the juicy resources you got in your video card.

For games you will be much better off with SDL, or one of the many other 2D graphic libraries out there. Personally I prefer SFML

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Tom Sloper    16062
Quote:
Original post by nHawk
I would love to get started on game design. ... just to get understand how to begin designing a game.

Nathan, game programming is not the same thing as "game design." Read the definition of "game design" at http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson28.htm

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nHawk    100
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Nathan, game programming is not the same thing as "game design." Read the definition of "game design" at http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson28.htm


Sorry, I tend to use the term loosely. My interest is in game programming, mainly AI development, but I realize it'll be a long road before I'm ready to dive into that so I want to get started on building foundation games like pong, or something of that simplistic nature. I need to start watching how I word things since I'm not around my non technical friends ^^

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boogyman19946    1487
Quote:
Original post by nHawk
Hello, I recently discovered this forum (about twenty minutes ago!) and I would love to get started on game design. I am currently a soft-more in a B.S. computer science degree, however, I have been programming since 9th grade. I have a strong background in c++ procedural programming and have an introductory understanding of OOP in c++ (basic classes and up to single inheritance, polymorphism). I want to write a basic pong game or anything just to get understand how to begin designing a game. It is on a windows platform. What do I need to learn for such a basic game? Windows programming or will SDL due? Any type of direction would be great! I just simply do not know how to begin in the first place.

Thanks for the help!
Nathan


Hellow Nathan,

It is hard to say exactly what you need to make any program or game. General APIs (like SDL or Win32) can be suggested, but we can't spoon feed you all the info you need. SDL is just fine for what you want to do and is probably better than the Win32 since it's cross-platform and all that jazz.

The first stop to making a game is to ask questions about what your game, or the particular piece of code your writing if you're hired and on a team, will have to do. Make yourself a checklist and figure out how to do each one. Here's a sample one for Pong game:

Checklist:
- Display the court to the screen (background - two solid bars on top and bottom)
- Display two paddles on both sides
- Move one of the paddles as the mouse changes it's vertical (or horizontal... or both if you'd like a crazy game of pong ^.^) position
- Display a ball
- Move the ball "like a ball would move" (hard to explain a little. I'll try to come up with something clearer)
- etc. etc.

Once you have your checklist (you don't really have to write anything down for a game that is this simple, but it WILL help you keep on track), start doing what it says and cross off things you've down. =]

Game programming is a loose art. No strict science here :) All for your interpretation.

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