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VladimirM

How to learn Visual Studio for C++ game programming?

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I have been programming small openGL/SDL games in Visual Studio for some time now, and i know how to use it, but i still get confused with the overwhelming number of compiler options and various tools in the IDE, sometimes when an error occurs, for example in the debug config everything compiles fine and in release all hell brakes loose, and i dont know why? That is i dont undestand how the MSVC works.. Where can i learn more about the Visual Studio IDE for C++, i dont care about CLI or .NET or MFC, or Win32, just the compiler and IDE?

btw, im using the 2010 express edition..

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I'd say there's nothing to learn 0.o
I think it would be better if you could show particular issue you're having, or ask a question about something.
If you're unsure what each option then, searching in on Google usually gives link to MSDN where it's explained in great detail.

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I am aware of books and resources which teach game programming with Visual Studio but not Visual Studio for game programming! However, normally how people learn is if they face any problem they find the answer to it and learn from experience. Given enough time he will eventually be able to handle anything.

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I don't expect to find a book "visual studio for game programming" i just want to learn about all the compiler options, there has to bee some resources about it? There are great books on GCC, are there any similar resources for MSVC?

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I don't expect to find a book "visual studio for game programming" i just want to learn about all the compiler options, there has to bee some resources about it? There are great books on GCC, are there any similar resources for MSVC?


If you want books specifically on MSVC I can point you to these two:
"Ivor Horton's Beginning Visual C++ 2010" by Ivor Horton
"Microsoft Visual C++ Windows Applications by Example: Code and explanation for real-world MFC C++ Applications" by Stefan Björnander
Note that they're not about C++ in general and it's not advisable to get too tied to one compiler, that there are some of the non-portable non-standard extensions (like C++/CLI or MFC) mentioned, etc. This is not to criticize them, I think they're good at what they cover (MSVC-specific Windows programming), just a general disclaimer. That being said, as long as you're not a beginner and are able to separate the wheat from the chaff as you read (this also applies to MSDN, by the way) and are sufficiently familiar with non-MS compilers to be aware of non-portability issues (since you seem to be familiar with GCC I guess that's not a problem) you should be OK and might find them helpful! :-)

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Just mess with stuff.

This cannot be overemphasized to most beginners today, IMHO. Back when I learned to program, we didn't have many books, or the internet, or even local groups of hackers to go talk to (at least not unless you were in a high-end university, which I was not). You learned things by screwing around, for hours on end if need be, until you figured out the correlation between flipping this option in the compiler and that particular behavior in the resulting program.

Sure, there's documentation, and it's good to use that when you can - MSDN is a priceless resource for getting a rough idea of what many of the Visual Studio features involve. But nothing - and I cannot say this emphatically enough - nothing is a substitute for just experimenting and learning by doing.

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In Visual Studio 2010, Visual C++ has
shifted to using MSBuild as its build system
so there is a book "inside the Microsoft Build system" that you could check out but as mentioned most of the stuff is available online at MSDN.

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You should leave those settings as is. Most of them work right out of the box.

The only thing I ever needed to change the settings is when I'm configuring precompiled headers, and that's probably one of the first things you should learn on Visual Studio. I've seen students getting frustrated over PCH. Somehow it was turned on, and his Hello World app spitting linker error, and he did not understand what the f* was going on.

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