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EbonySeraph

I'm A Bit Confused...

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Basically I dont have a clear path on where to go. Wear I want to end up is being a game programmer somewhere doing something with a 4 year college degree, masters, and maybe a Ph.D. Currently I''m a high school junoir, I have taken the basic computer science course, am taking Computer Science AP this year(for college credit), and will take Accelerated Computer Science next year. I am a bit ahead of the class in the sense that I know the basics of the Win32 API and Direct3D programming. I do want to advance in Direct3D(or just DirectX), however I dont know if I should be looking at OpenGL now and try to build a foundation for it now and learn it later. Or it might interfere with learning Direct3D so I should wait till im a bit more experienced in one before the other. Or should I advance further in the Win32 API? Should I stop and learn Java(which I already know the basics of)? What about assembly? The only things that I am sure I will do in the near future is Direct3D programming. Hopefully by the end of next year I will have some good experience with Direct3D and can actually make something to show off. I just want ideas one where I should go in the next year and a half(till I go off to college). I dont want to be doing more than two things at once though. "Ogun''s Laughter Is No Joke!!!" - Ogun Kills On The Right, A Nigerian Poem.

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For a junior you sure are stressin alot. Look, there
are a million roads to take and there are only afew
that will be BAD choices. For now do the school work.
If you have time and intrest in something more, explore
that. Don''t worry about how to get where you want to go
just kinda aim in the general direction and you will
get there one way or another. Sure OpenGL might be worth
learning. So might any number of other things. Take on
as little or as much as you can handle. If you dont feel
chalenged, do more. Fell a bit overwhelmed, simplify. I would
think right now you should aim at tring to learn ideas and
concepts more than any API or program lang. Pick ones you
know you can learn on and get a good foundation on the
ideas you will need. Down the road the API''s will change and
the programs to use will too. The ideas and concepts will never
change. It easy to learn the new tools of the trade. Learning
the trade is what matters.

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Hey,
I recently graduated high school and am now in college and the one thing I can tell you is that if your taking computer science you will soon find that your teachers (or at least mine) really aren''t interested in your graphics or game programming skills. I took Computer Science AB in high school and it was a joke. I self taught myself C and C++ and have been learning on my own for around 5 years. Your high school classes will focus on getting you to pass the AB or A exam. Which in general requires only limited knowledge to get a 5 on. I never studied for it and got a 5. You asked what you should be looking into. If you want to do get ahead in school and CS in general learn all you can about programming in general. Learn about the various searches, sorts, ADTs (Advanced Data Types), OOP, and anything else you can. When I first started learning about all these things I thought - How stupid is this, what a waste of time - but now I see my programs are 100x better using them. I haven''t spend much time lately learning more about D3D or OGL but my programs are still getting better because my programming skills are better. So heres my advice:

1. Assume you will learn nothing that can be directly applied to graphics programming particularly something like D3D.
2. Despite how lame CS in high school is - pay attention - you will realize how important it is someday
3. Keep programming in D3D but try to apply some of the more advanced stuff you learn in CS. For instance, make an engine that uses BSP trees to store data.

As far as learning assmbly goes - if you have time go for it but there are probably better things to focus on right now. OpenGL is cool to learn and I highly recommend it, especially if your like me and use linux half the time.

I think Java''s pretty pointless as far as games go but thats just my opinion and I certainly may be wrong

Dan


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Learning game programming does not require a degree. I took the road to get my degree in Computer Science because I did it as a hobby for a long time..so I''m taking it to the next level and getting my B.S or possibily a Master''s (i love going to school).

Take your time learning whatever you do because it is time well spent.

Assembly is good to learn if you want to know machine level programing. Java''s language structure looks like it is based on C++ so you should feel right at home.

I''m trying to learn D3D, perl or maybe php, and what else interests me..

If you are in AP classes then keep it going, keep your grades up, and earn your scholarships.. do not take the path that I did because it is taking me forever to get into my major classes.. I''m a perfect example of what not to do in high school =)

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I am a junior in High School and have been programming in C and C++ for a couple years (on and off for the first year, more in the last year). I am working on making a 2D game using Direct X now. I currently am signed up to take "Computers 1" 2nd semester (taking 1/2 credit of a computers class is required). I am going to work on getting out of it (and possibly into an AP computer science or something, if the school offers one) becuase it is totally worthless and will be really boring to me. They teach you some type of BASIC on a iMac. BASIC may be usful if i happen to hit a time warp and travel back to the 80''s, but I don''t see that happening. I know that the class would move at an incredibly slow pace too, I am a rather fast learner, and since I already have experience in programming it would take me no time to pick it up.

I think if the school doesn''t offer an AP Computer Science course I may see if I can just study on my own and take the AP test for college credit (might as well, I have heard of people doing this).

I am done rambling about my life now

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My schools AP Computer Science is a joke.... anyone who knows what a computer is could pass it.

They teach you Visual Basic the first year, JAVA the second year, and then you can go into AP Computer Science(Advanced Placement)

I would not bother going through Visual Basic again(it only takes 10 days to learn how to program in Visual Basic.. I completely forget how it works now that I started C++. And the same thing with Java.. it was a waste of time.

The computer programming teacher knows VB, Java, and C++.. and in Java and VB, she can barely do what I could do acouple months after I started with C++... and with C++, she gazes in amazement when I show off Windows Programming. When I showed the class a hieght map in OpenGL every person in there thought I was a guru(though, in truth, I am probably considered a newbie.. or between begginner and intermediate at most).

My point being, AP Computer Science is worth taking, it looks good for colleges, I would guess. But, while the teacher works around with all the dumb garbage you surpassed already, you should be reading book on Direct X to become better.

www.PrimaGameDev.com

there a bunch of good direct X books there, but if you are going to buy them, get it off of amazon.com, they are about 10 dollars cheaper...

Good Luck.

"I''ve sparred with creatures from the nine hells themselves... I barely plan on breaking a sweat here, today."~Drizzt Do''Urden

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Math!

Learn all the linear algebra, calculus and differential equations you can - those things come in very handy, especially in game/graphics programming.

Also, explore your other interests. A lot of the discoveries of the sciences came from observing people, things - the world around us at large. Don''t hole yourself up doing strictly computer stuff; get into the arts, music, philosophy... these will provide great subject matter for your college projects as well as for your personal (game) programming.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
My college considers the AP Computer Science class such a joke they don''t give credit for it.

If you already know what''s in the class, I would just take something else that I''d actually learn something from, like a physics, or calculus if your school has that. You''ll get more out of it in the long run than a class going over programming topics that you already know.

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Well, you may not learn more, but a computer school may like to know you have taken a course that the high school considers college level. *smiles* At least if you already know it, youll do great in it, and the college's administration will think you are worthy of being there..

"I've sparred with creatures from the nine hells themselves... I barely plan on breaking a sweat here, today."~Drizzt Do'Urden

Edited by - Drizzt DoUrden on September 26, 2001 4:54:13 PM

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quote:
Original post by Drizzt DoUrden
I would not bother going through Visual Basic again(it only takes 10 days to learn how to program in Visual Basic.. I completely forget how it works now that I started C++. And the same thing with Java.. it was a waste of time.


Actually, you should pay attention to these things. For one thing, the underlying principles of sound programming are the same across all languages. Only the implementation details differ. For another, Java is (currently) a very viable language for network programming - and even becoming more useful for graphics programming thanks to libraries/APIs like Java3D.

quote:
My point being, AP Computer Science is worth taking, it looks good for colleges, I would guess. But, while the teacher works around with all the dumb garbage you surpassed already, you should be reading book on Direct X to become better.


Actually, you should be reading books on graphics principles. When I started graphics programming I was fortunate enough to read books that outlined algorithms such as Bresenham''s, Warlock''s, Painter''s, etc; and the underlying principles of backface culling, scanline rasterization, inside tests, etc. That knowledge has stayed useful even though I no longer need to write those routines because I have a good idea what the hardware/API is doing - it makes my graphics pipeline better.

Platforms and APIs will change, but most principles will remain the same.

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