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Advice on direction

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Hey all,

I'm 20 years old working as a Full Time Web Programmer (PHP) with on/off experience using C++ which probably totals around half a year, I've always tried to learn it but when I was younger I felt it would always overwhelm me. I understood memory management easily, but things like multithreading, those crazy names everywhere, and the STD - I was just whoaa...
So I stuck with my comfort zone which was Visual Basic6 at the time - and I can admit I got really good at, which helped me land a job.

My goal is to eventually be able to pick up 3D Game development (as a learning experience, and possibly a hobby... also for fun to do silly things with friends :p); I never went to college, I am a self-taught programmer (I have close to 5-6 years experience - I was given VB3 when I was 10 and I found it fascinating it became my new toy).. anyhow that aside

So recently I decided to be serious in learning the language, even though I am only at week 3 now I feel I have come fairly far; I bought the book Accelerated C++, which taught me ALOT about the std, memory management and pointers, and just basic programming conventions - I have gone through and done almost all of the exercises (I still have the last 2 chapters to do - I just haven't been able to put the book down), and I have been going through the SDK + http://www.functionx.com/win32/ for Win32 programming. I've followed tutorials for DirectX9 (also from the DirectX SDK), I've made a triangle, rotated it, made a mesh - also rotated it :p.. you name it, I've rotated it! But its not enough (is it ever? :p) - so where from there?

I'm uncertain of the resources I am using. I have googled a fair bit and I thought the following books would of been useful to me, so I bought them as soon as I saw them.

Accelerated C++, Practica Programming by Example - I think its the best book ever.
Beggining C++ Through Game Programming - I found it too easy, didn't get much out of it. [hadn't realised beggining ment absolute no previous knowledge begginer... oops :p]
3D Math Primer - Haven't gone through much but so far I see its going to be necessary to understand. It talks alot about dead sheep though

I've been trying to find 'Making a RPG Game in DirectX' (or similar title I forget the exact name) - is it worth the buy?

Are there any valueable resources I should seek? Should I focus on learning Win32 programming in C++ or jump back onto DirectX and work on understanding that damn Z axis.

Sorry for the wall of text guys!

Thank you for reading it if you managed to get this far :P

with many regards

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I've got Programming Role Playing Games in DirectX (http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Playing-DirectX-Premier-Development/dp/1931841098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287439830&sr=8-1-spell), if that's the book that you mean. I've found it to be very useful, although it is written with DirectX 8, which is fairly dated. But if you're already proficient in DX9, you should be able to get a lot out of the structure and content of games (not just RPG's, either). Just don't count on being able to copy the code line for line and have it work flawlessly with DX9, and don't count on it as a solid DirectX tutorial for modern development.

As for what to focus on next, I would recommend focusing on DirectX rather than Win32 programming. My rationale for this is that Win32 is pretty involved, and while it can be useful in general you won't need a lot of advanced Windows features to make a game; on the other hand, DirectX (or an equivalent API, like OpenGL) is not optional for 3D games.

It'd be worth making small, simple games with boring graphics to get a feel for game programming with DirectX. You'll need to get a feel for game programming while also mastering the applications of DirectX outside of isolated tutorials, and it's better to start small than big. Copying Pong, Tetris, and Pac-Man (in that order) is a pretty common practice regimen for people new to programming games in C++, and is pretty good for understanding a lot of game programming concepts in practice.

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Hey Khaiy,

Thats the book yeah! Previously I wrote down a list of books I wanted to buy in my blue book, spent the morning trying to find it ! (and it was on the desk under all the programming mess XD)

- C++ Primer, 4th Edition - Stanley B. Lippman
- Game Architecture and Design: Learn the best practices for Game Design and Programming
- Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX
- Special Effects Game Programming with DirectX

Thank you I was looking for feedback on that book :) I will make it next on the wishlist hehe.

Yeah I wrote down a list of things I want to tackle first; I thought Tetris would be something pretty neat to do ... of course no advanced shapes just all Squares for now :P

Thank you Khaiy :)

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Sorry to double post, what series is it better to buy (Programming Roleplaying Games with DirectX book)? I heard that the 2nd series is pretty much the same as first, nothing really changed/added. While I'm buying the books I might aswell get the C++ Primer 4th Ed also

Also I found this website if anyone is interested; http://www.codesampler.com/dx9src.htm

anyhow cheers

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