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Carbon101

Implementation of Data Structures and pointers in games (C++)

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Carbon101    1292
I have been reading up on data structures and pointers, but can't seem to connect these topics in game development. I have tried using google, but nothing has turned up. How do you use data structures, pointers and/or enumerations in game development.

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ApochPiQ    23005
The same way you use bricks in house construction.


Data structures are a central part of [i]any[/i] kind of program; whether it's a game or not is irrelevant. Take a really simple one: lists. That horde of Zerglings running into your base and pwning all your pylons? Yeah, they're probably stored in a list (or a similar structure).

Pointers (in an abstract sense) are integral to implementing most data structures in imperative programming languages. It's worth noting that a "pointer" in the abstract sense is different from the C/C++ concept (which is more like a memory location than an abstract reference); C/C++ style pointers are [i]useful[/i] in implementing data structures but not necessarily [i]essential[/i]. Indirect references of some kind, however, are definitely mandatory for implementing basically anything beyond arrays.

Enumerations are also commonplace in basically all well-designed software. Human, Protoss, and Zerg are probably three members of a "race" enumeration, for instance.


Basically, if you're really grokking the concepts of these things, it should be hard [i]not[/i] to see how they apply to software. And, since games are just software, it should be clear how they apply to games by extension.

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