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Elarys

Beginners Path

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I've been programming commercially in VB.net and Delphi for many years (I've dabbled in many languages over 12yrs now). Basic WebServices and Database GUI's mostly (some financial calculations etc etc)

I have only just started studying C++ and working from tutorials on learncpp.com and just waiting for C++ Primer to arrive from Amazon.

My ultimate goal is to get into some basic game programming, I know I should just focus on learning C++ to start with, which I am doing. However I like to set out a 'path' of learning.

So once I am happy with being able to create basic applications in C++, possibly with using things like database connections (not even sure where to begin that yet). Where do I go from there?

Should I start to look at libraries for db connections and other necessary things? (I know C++ doesn't have much in the standard library)
Do I pick a graphic/game engine to use and learn it's API? i.e. SDL etc...
Do I focus on AI first?
Or perhaps I should study TCP/IP a bit too?
Should I design an idea for a game? (as that might effect engine?)

I use SDL as an example as I saw it has tutorials. But I'm not excluding Ogre and other engines.

I'm not adverse to buying books, so even a good book on how to progress would be good.

I might be thinking too far ahead, but having a path in front of me helps me manage my study and aids me in setting 'goals' and 'targets' for myself.

Thanks in advance, any advice/resources/references would be appreciated

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If you're familiar with vb.net and delphi why not write some games there?

Otherwise focus on learning C++ the language (like you'd learn any other language for your job) and then worry about game specific libraries and stuff.

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I've always wanted to Learn C++ and game development for my personal hobby, I just didn't have time previously because of the company I worked for being a microsoft software house (hence the delphi and vb.net).

I understand what you mean, by just focusing on learning the language. I just thought that I would do my research ahead of time so that I could get prepared, buy books etc

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Are you sure you have grasped all C++ Basics? Because without learning C++ and jumping into programming games in libraries in SDL is sure going to set you no where, Right for now you can program 2D Indie games. My advice would be,
Focus on learning.
SDL is a good choice since you chose c++ as your language, it is a cross platform and also powerful for rendering 2D graphics.
Your always welcome to check SDL's documentation, it might give a grasp on what SDL is about.

For learning SDL, You can buy a book from your local book store probably Focus on SDL would be fine, Else if you are too Lazy try Lazyfoo.net it may help you learn the basics of SDL, start learning and once you get hold of the basics try making games, just make them. Don't just jump in to make a super awesome 3D game which will only last in a bunch of spaghetti code. focus only on learning and make it simple don't forget all the classic arcade and indie games. It's fun to make.
Good luck Game devv'ing!

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Thanks Justin. I dont yet have a full grasp of C++. I am just doing research into what to learn after the basics as most tutorials stop abruptly.

Maybe I should ask these questions in a more generic C++ forum. I thought some basic GameDev might make learning C++ more fun though.

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1) I've been programming commercially in VB.net and Delphi for many years
2) My ultimate goal is to get into some basic game programming
3) I know I should just focus on learning C++ to start with, which I am doing. However I like to set out a 'path' of learning.
4) Should I start to look at libraries for db connections and other necessary things? (I know C++ doesn't have much in the standard library)
5) Do I pick a graphic/game engine to use and learn it's API? i.e. SDL etc...
6) Do I focus on AI first?
7) Or perhaps I should study TCP/IP a bit too?
8) Should I design an idea for a game? (as that might effect engine?)
9) I might be thinking too far ahead, but having a path in front of me helps me manage my study and aids me in setting 'goals' and 'targets' for myself.

1) Great! Then you've got some experience down.
2) Good, you've got your goal down already -- now start removing anything that has nothing to do with that goal.
3) C++ is not a path to game development; it's part of the path to employment in the game industry for a number of programming related jobs.
4) Depends. Does your game need it? Any particular reason why you want to learn that stuff?
5) Yes, when you're ready for that.
6) Depends, how important is it to your game?
7) Depends, how important is it to your game?
8) Yes. Concept out an idea first. Start small.
9) Targets and goals are great; just make sure that you focus on achieving them and removing irrelevant cruft.

If you want to learn game development you should start in a language of comfort. Since you already know VB.NET/Delphi you should start with those (or move to a similar language; e.g. C#) rather than tackle the monstrous task of learning something like C++ (unless your actual goal is employment; in which case, say so).

Don't just make a list of things you need to learn; jump in! Start making some games and make a list of projects that interest you. Applying your knowledge is vital for actually grasping it properly.

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Darkling, that is an excellent response and gives me some things to think about.

I would like to get into the game industry in future.

I think the best advice I have seen is "just jump in".

I will continue my C++ first before coming back to thinking about games.

Thanks for the advice guys. I will try not to think too far ahead and just focus on the now.

Edit: I choose C++ as my language to learn. Because it opens more career options. Games, financial, database industries for example

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When I look at the UK and Japanese job sites, there seems to be far more jobs available that have C++ as a requirement.

I would prefer to get into the games industry, but keeping other doors open is always a good idea.

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Please be sure and check out SFML as well (SFML Link). IMO, it's MUCH better than SDL (faster, more features, C++ wrapper), and, once you want to do some more advanced stuff, it'll be easier to do it with SFML.

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