Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
DarrenHorton

Need opinion on available Beginner books 2011.

This topic is 2768 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I have just begun learning computer game programming.

I have read the stickied FAQ and all the ''Where do I start'' threads via search.

I have decided on learning C# and XNA4.

I have subscribed to Learn Visual Studio.NET and I am working through the videos. My eyes kinda glazed over after a few days, I just couldn't visualise what the problems were, and how he solved them.

Perhaps I will go back and rewatch them.

I have downloaded the AppHub's tutorials and explored the concepts, but as I'm a COMPLETE NOOB, I can't break out the code and re-use it myself just yet.

I made the AppHubs Shooter game by typing away, I may have some if it's concepts still in my mind.

Anyway I would like your opinion on which of these book lists I should buy. The searched threads were a little out of date.

Here's the C# list. Any recommendations?

http://www.amazon.co...628&rnid=404252

Here's the XNA list. Any recommendations?

http://www.amazon.co...A71%2Ck%3AXNA+4

I am hoping in a few years to make a game of this calibre.

The videos don't work under 64Bit Internet Explorer by the way.

http://codeforce.co.nz/videos.asp

I'm not promoting it, but it's of the genre I would like to develop.

The game was also programmed in C#, so I have something to aspire to.

Thanks for any replies!

EDIT:

I've now found the book list under the resources tab. The place to look was mentioned in another thread.

An oversight on my part but I've checked out so many new websites recently, I haven't fully explored everyone.

There is only one C# book in the book list and it is an advanced book, so it looks like I will have to make an educated guess after some review reading to purchase a beginner's book.

I guess the lack of replies is due to most forum users programming other languages.

Fair enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Hi there,

When I wanted a book on C# i read the book C# programming for the absolute beginner, i think this is a good book if you don't have any programming experience.

I would also recommend going to you tube and watching the lectures on Programming Methodologies, these are taught by Stanford University and are fantastic for learning programming, they use Java but the programming principles and techniques are taught in an excellent way, and when you learn what is taught on that lecture series moving to C# should be straight forward as from what i can see Java and C# have a lot of similarities.

Good luck.

I have just begun learning computer game programming.

I have read the stickied FAQ and all the ''Where do I start'' threads via search.

I have decided on learning C# and XNA4.

I have subscribed to Learn Visual Studio.NET and I am working through the videos. My eyes kinda glazed over after a few days, I just couldn't visualise what the problems were, and how he solved them.

Perhaps I will go back and rewatch them.

I have downloaded the AppHub's tutorials and explored the concepts, but as I'm a COMPLETE NOOB, I can't break out the code and re-use it myself just yet.

I made the AppHubs Shooter game by typing away, I may have some if it's concepts still in my mind.

Anyway I would like your opinion on which of these book lists I should buy. The searched threads were a little out of date.

Here's the C# list. Any recommendations?

http://www.amazon.co...628&rnid=404252

Here's the XNA list. Any recommendations?

http://www.amazon.co...A71%2Ck%3AXNA+4

I am hoping in a few years to make a game of this calibre.

The videos don't work under 64Bit Internet Explorer by the way.

http://codeforce.co.nz/videos.asp

I'm not promoting it, but it's of the genre I would like to develop.

The game was also programmed in C#, so I have something to aspire to.

Thanks for any replies!

EDIT:

I've now found the book list under the resources tab. The place to look was mentioned in another thread.

An oversight on my part but I've checked out so many new websites recently, I haven't fully explored everyone.

There is only one C# book in the book list and it is an advanced book, so it looks like I will have to make an educated guess after some review reading to purchase a beginner's book.

I guess the lack of replies is due to most forum users programming other languages.

Fair enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a couple of suggestions.

First, I will personally recommend SAMS Learn C# in 21 Days. It'll take longer than that, but it's a very good introductory book to C# and programming. If you don't want to use that book, then look for ones that include "beginner" in the title. A lot of the books you'll find when searching for C# in Amazon will be like the In Depth or In a Nutshell books, which are fairly advanced references and not suitable for someone with no programming experience. Also, ignore stuff that has "Visual" in the title, as they focus more on using Visual Studio than on actually programming in my experience.

As for XNA, table that for now. If you are a total programming novice, you'll need to work on the basics before you can make use of (or understand thoroughly) libraries for more advanced functionality. That's not to say that you can't get to it relatively quickly, and once you do you'll be able to make pretty rapid progress. But there's plenty to learn about using XNA, you won't be doing yourself a favor by tackling it while you're also trying to get a grasp of C# and programming in general.

The lack of replies is due to the fact that you asked an extremely common question, which happens to have some coverage in the FAQ, stickies, and various posts over the course of the last several years, and then waited less than 24 hours since your initial post to assess your responses. This isn't an instant messenger. There are plenty of people here who can program in C# and will be able to help you out with C# related questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have now placed an order for 4 books.

2 C# and 2 XNA. I placed the order before the first 2 replies came in.

I ordered
[font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]1[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]"C# 2010 All-in-One For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers))"
Bill Sempf; Paperback; £14.00

[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]1[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]"XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming: Developing for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360: Developing for Windows Phone and Xbox Live (Developer's Library)"
Tom Miller; Paperback; £16.17

[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]1[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]"Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step Book/CD Package (Step by Step (Microsoft))"
John Sharp; Paperback; £19.05

[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]1[/font][font="verdana,arial,helvetica"][size="-1"]"XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner's Guide"
K Jaegers; Paperback; £23.79

I rechecked the Visual Studio books contents and it appears to be general enough without dwelling on the IDE too much.

I hope I am now set with these books and the Learn Visual Studio.NET tutorials.

I would like to explore XNA at the start to make games like Pong etc.

Dissecting the App Hubs tutorials at least gives me some understanding of why there was seperate classes for bullets,enemies and player character etc.

Ooops I forgot to use google shopper, well at least Amazon allows the user to browse the books contents and reviews before buying.

Thanks for the replies guys. I realise repetitive Noobie questions are tiresome, however the learning curve is immense for me at the moment, and lets say there's only so much internet searching one person can do per day.

Myself I answer all questions on game forums, even when the answer is clearly stated in the manual.

[/font]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since you've already ordered, my suggestions for those books are:

Save Visual C# 2010 Step-by-Step for later. It focuses really heavily on windows forms, which, while useful, won't get you into programming very quickly. It also won't help you to develop non-windows forms skills very deeply, and you will have a slower/harder time applying what you do learn to anything else for a while.

The first XNA book that you listed is supposed to be pretty good-- it's the textbook for the XNA workshop going on here at gamedev, w hich you might also consider checking out.

But I will again suggest that you spend at least some time working with C# in the console before you dive into XNA. I understand that you want to use it at the start to make games, and that you are intending to start small with something like Pong. However, while Pong is a fairly simple game project, it is not exactly a beginner programming project. It will be hard to work with XNA without even a fundamental understanding of basic C# programming. You can still do it, but it will be more difficult than it needs to be for you, and you will be a worse programmer for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Look like very good books. Good luck with it. Although like Khaiy said I wouldn't rush into going straight into XNA, learn C# first, do lots of console types of programs, like guess the number program, maybe a word game like hangman and tic-tac-toe. Will make life much easier when you do decide to start XNA as you will have learned a lot of important programming concepts doing these types of programs before jumping into something much more complex.

Also I know you wont need to use this just now but i would bookmark it:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb203940.aspx

It is a class library reference for the xna framework, and will be invaluable to you when you begin down the path of XNA :)

good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you've already ordered, my suggestions for those books are:

Save Visual C# 2010 Step-by-Step for later. It focuses really heavily on windows forms, which, while useful, won't get you into programming very quickly. It also won't help you to develop non-windows forms skills very deeply, and you will have a slower/harder time applying what you do learn to anything else for a while.

The first XNA book that you listed is supposed to be pretty good-- it's the textbook for the XNA workshop going on here at gamedev, w hich you might also consider checking out.

But I will again suggest that you spend at least some time working with C# in the console before you dive into XNA. I understand that you want to use it at the start to make games, and that you are intending to start small with something like Pong. However, while Pong is a fairly simple game project, it is not exactly a beginner programming project. It will be hard to work with XNA without even a fundamental understanding of basic C# programming. You can still do it, but it will be more difficult than it needs to be for you, and you will be a worse programmer for it.


Thanks for the replies.

I have been working through the console with Learn Visual Studio.NET. I have learned kinda... the basic C# concepts although putting them into practice still mystifies me.

I've watched videos up until he's making various classes and private and public fields. Declaring different variables.

However the examples appear abit lame and it's hard to visualise why he's creating those references.

I have typed out a calculator under windows forms and done some arrays etc.

But I don't yet know...

I have this problem. What do I need to use to solve it?

I need some kind of project where the goal is set and the implementation carried out.

I will go back and examine the App Hub's Shooter project.

I will say the App Hub for XNA does have some great concept tutorials with source code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However the examples appear abit lame and it's hard to visualise why he's creating those references.
...

But I don't yet know...

I have this problem. What do I need to use to solve it?

I need some kind of project where the goal is set and the implementation carried out.



There are lots of great tutorials that show you good code examples. But doing them too early won't necessarily make you a better programmer; it will make you a better copier. There's plenty of copying involved in being a good programmer as well, but you also need to learn how to generate your own code to solve problems as you discover that you have them. Code examples are often lame, but they illustrate the use of language features fairly clearly, so later on when you've come up with a more interesting use you'll have something that you can reference.

Writing your own programs from scratch is what solves the above for you (well, you solve it for yourself, but you know what I mean). You should write as many programs as you can, using whatever information you've covered so far in your education. You can go back and re-factor those projects as you learn new things (another useful skill), and write ever more complex programs as you learn enough to take advantage of the options C# gives you.

Your goal is whatever you want your program to do. It doesn't matter what the program does, or if it's stupid or impractical or poorly coded-- you just have to do it, and get the program to do what you want. It's the most valuable educational experience you'll have with programming. The first program I wrote from scratch to completion without lifting any code from anything else was one that simulates the Monty Hall Problem, and could be used to determine whether or not switching doors really does cause you to win more often.

It had tons of bugs at first. It's not a very useful program. It ran extremely slowly, though I sped it up quite a bit eventually. But I cemented a large amount of the stuff that I had been learning about the language up to that point in a way that I wouldn't have otherwise. If you don't write your own programs but instead just read books and look at tutorials, you'll end up in a bad place where you can read code fairly well (not a very useful skill), but can't really write it or use it to do any non-trivial tasks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!