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GSnake

Let's have a good POV..

21 posts in this topic

Hello guys, I just wanted to know how can I start developing games. Easy question, hard answer.
I already program in C, I've also tried the Allegro library but... I want to know how a game is developed. What's its structure, how should I create it, what tools should I use and so on. I would like to use professional-like tools (C++, OpenGL [open-source!]... etc) and maybe you can help me.

How can I understand C++ (coming from C, so I don't need the "ok, this thing is called variable" chapter) and OOP? What should I do next? Which books can help me in my project?

So to sum it up: what's the game structure? How can I make it work? How can I do it?
Suggest me books to buy and so on. Thank you guys!

PS: (this is quite OT but...) I'm not a native english speaker so I'd like some correction and some "grade" with my english. Thanks! (help me improve!)
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[quote name='lemming77' timestamp='1342773656' post='4961226']
I believe OpenGL is an open standard, rather than being open source. But that's a mistake we all make at some point. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

My understanding is that the main distinguishing characteristic between C and C++ is that C++ is object oriented, while C is not. My experience with C is limited though, however OO is the dominant kind of programming knocking around right now I believe. If you've ever worked in one of the .net languages, that's OO. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

One metaphor I find is nice with OO programming is to imagine what you want your program to do is a project you're overseeing, and each of your objects is somebody on your team working on it. You organize them to work on their own parts, and at the end, you get the big picture you want.

I'm afraid I can't point you in the direction of a good book or anything, as I approached C++ with lots of prior experience in OO programming. I'm sure there's plenty of people here who can, though!

And finally, I'd have assumed your native language was English. You write very eloquently, and use punctuation well. There's people born here in England whose English isn't as clear as yours! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]Thanks!
I read that I should also use SMFL or SDL but... what if I'll want to share my games on Steam / iOS Store / Android Store and so on? Steam shouldn't be a big problem, I think but what about the others? iOS uses Obj-C so no SDL / SMFL / Allegro. Android uses Java (as far as I know)... so what then?
I've got no ideas at all... where should I start? C++? A multimedia library?
But then comes again the question: how is really structured a game? What's the "formula" behind a game?
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[quote name='TMKCodes' timestamp='1342774645' post='4961233']
[quote name='lemming77' timestamp='1342773656' post='4961226']
One metaphor I find is nice with OO programming is to imagine what you want your program to do is a project you're overseeing, and each of your objects is somebody on your team working on it. You organize them to work on their own parts, and at the end, you get the big picture you want.
[/quote]

This same can be applied to C team programming, but C++ is still much more powerful with overloading and templates, but basic class functionality you can get by doing something like this with structures and their pointers which is pretty much enough of object style game programming in my mind.

[CODE]
struct MyStruct {
int MyPlayerID;
char * MyCharacterName;
};
void SetPlayerID(struct MyStruct * this, int ID) {
this->MyPlayerID = ID;
}
void SetCharacterName(struct MyStruct * this, char * CharacterName) {
this->MyCharacterName = CharacterName;
}
[/CODE]

If you want to use OpenGL, look into glfw which is small framework for creating window, handling input events and OpenGL context is created for you. Though staying with C might be little more annoying as I damn hate C/C++ arrays, but you still need to use them with OpenGL. If you want to learn C++ there exists quite extensive reference/tutorial sites for this like cplusplus.com and cppreference.com.

[quote name='Krishath' timestamp='1342774290' post='4961230']
I read that I should also use SMFL or SDL but... what if I'll want to share my games on Steam / iOS Store / Android Store and so on? Steam shouldn't be a big problem, I think but what about the others? iOS uses Obj-C so no SDL / SMFL / Allegro. Android uses Java (as far as I know)... so what then?
I've got no ideas at all... where should I start? C++? A multimedia library?
But then comes again the question: how is really structured a game? What's the "formula" behind a game?
[/quote]

Steam is for desktop games so SMFL and SDL are fine. iOS and Android kinda need Obj-C and Java, but there exists many Software Development Kits for mobile which allows you to use other languages like Lua, C/C++.
[/quote]
Could you reccomend me some books? C++ (OOP too) / Game structure (veeeery important since I don't know WHERE to start) / Libraries...
Thanks!
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[quote name='Bluefirehawk' timestamp='1342781598' post='4961269']
I had the book "Practical C++ Programming", which is a nice starter book. It also covers general programming practices.

Personally I like this tutorial [url="http://www.learncpp.com"]http://www.learncpp.com[/url] also explains what C++ and the Computer is doing under the hood. However, I think it doesn't give you the skillset for how you design an OO program.

On OpengI found this here which i like so far, it starts by explaining the terminology and basic math behind OpenGL.[url="http://arcsynthesis.org/gltut/Basics/Intro%20Graphics%20and%20Rendering.html"]http://arcsynthesis.... Rendering.html[/url]

On game structure I found this very helpful. [url="http://content.gpwiki.org/index.php/SDL:Tutorials:Complete_2D_Engine_Overview"]http://content.gpwik...Engine_Overview[/url]
It gave me a great overview what a gameengine should do.

I know these aren't books but I hope it helps a bit until you know what books you want to buy.
[/quote]
Thank you for your links.
Does the "Game Engine Structure" also show me how a "game loop" is created / developed?
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[quote name='Krishath' timestamp='1342775459' post='4961235']
Could you reccomend me some books? C++ (OOP too) / Game structure (veeeery important since I don't know WHERE to start) / Libraries...
Thanks!
[/quote]

I never have read one book about programming languages fully, except almost one about Go. I like more of learning from the language/library's documentation.

Though I have read OpenGL SuperBible, Bjee's Guide to network programming and Game Engine Architecture. Another good source for OpenGL and general graphics programming is at http://arcsynthesis.org/gltut

Game Loop is just a for or while or do-while loop. xD
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[quote name='TMKCodes' timestamp='1342788776' post='4961305']
[quote name='Krishath' timestamp='1342775459' post='4961235']
Could you reccomend me some books? C++ (OOP too) / Game structure (veeeery important since I don't know WHERE to start) / Libraries...
Thanks!
[/quote]

I never have read one book about programming languages fully, except almost one about Go. I like more of learning from the language/library's documentation.

Though I have read OpenGL SuperBible, Bjee's Guide to network programming and Game Engine Architecture. Another good source for OpenGL and general graphics programming is at [url="http://arcsynthesis.org/gltut"]http://arcsynthesis.org/gltut[/url]

Game Loop is just a for or while or do-while loop. xD

[/quote]
Hmm yeah but I think that I've explained the whole thing in a kinda bad way. With game loop I mean: I start doing this and that... now... how can I set my game to "go to the next level?". What if my pg dies? And so on...
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[quote]
Hmm yeah but I think that I've explained the whole thing in a kinda bad way. With game loop I mean: I start doing this and that... now... how can I set my game to "go to the next level?". What if my pg dies? And so on...[/quote]
Well yeah, it shows a way to do it. I suggest you try to undestand the intensions of the tutorial i mentioned. Then you think about how you would do it, do it and then see how it worked out.
I would not think about how you go from one level to another when you don't have one level.

E: another tutorial worth looking at may be: http://lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/index.php
If you work without SDL you can skip the SDL specific explanations. Here is also an introduction to tools you will make/need like Timing in games, caping frames and so on. Very basic and easy to understand tutorial in my opinion. Edited by Bluefirehawk
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So... C++ with a media library such as SDL.Then I'll move to platform specific environment. :-)
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[quote name='TMKCodes' timestamp='1342789106' post='4961309']
This is one way to manage what is done and when. [url="http://gamedevgeek.c...me-states-in-c/"]http://gamedevgeek.c...me-states-in-c/[/url]
[/quote]
Please make sure [b]not[/b] to make all your game states singletons as suggested in this article, the last thing you want is a ton of global state sitting around being "managed"... the rest of the article seems pretty standard though. Edited by Saruman
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[quote name='Saruman' timestamp='1342810776' post='4961410']
[quote name='TMKCodes' timestamp='1342789106' post='4961309']
This is one way to manage what is done and when. [url="http://gamedevgeek.c...me-states-in-c/"]http://gamedevgeek.c...me-states-in-c/[/url]
[/quote]
Please make sure [b]not[/b] to make all your game states singletons as suggested in this article, the last thing you want is a ton of global state sitting around being "managed"... the rest of the article seems pretty standard though.
[/quote]

Thanks for mentioning that. I myself forgot about the damn singletons I myself hate them probably more than any other programming technique. It has been a while since I read that article, but I knew that it talked about State Manager. Edited by TMKCodes
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Thank you all! I'll start a little project in august I think (got to study right now! exams...) so I'll keep you updated! Thank you all! What a great community! :-)
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[quote name='Krishath' timestamp='1342796610' post='4961334']
So... C++ with a media library such as SDL.Then I'll move to platform specific environment. :-)
[/quote]

What got me started from ground up with SDL is this guy's website : http://lazyfoo.net

Read the articles section too, it talks about beginning game development. The article on state machines is nice too.
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The book [url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Coding-Complete-Mike-McShaffry/dp/1133776574/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1342873989&sr=1-1-catcorr"]Game Coding Complete[/url] is a good book for describing the overall strucutre and systems involved in a game. I've not got this latest edition, but the Second edition is very good.
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[quote name='evolutional' timestamp='1342874098' post='4961647']
The book [url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Coding-Complete-Mike-McShaffry/dp/1133776574/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1342873989&sr=1-1-catcorr"]Game Coding Complete[/url] is a good book for describing the overall strucutre and systems involved in a game. I've not got this latest edition, but the Second edition is very good.
[/quote]
So it's theory + practice at the same time? I already program so I do not really need a C++ guide (Even if I program in C, but with some web searching I'd the trick). Can I spend my 40 € without burning in anger later? :-P

In other words: being a total beginner in these area, will the book guide me through all the learning course? (basic features + advanced ones) Edited by Krishath
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[url="http://www.amazon.com/Professional-C-Wrox-Guides/dp/0470932449"]http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0470932449[/url] - god send on getting you up to speed with C++ (and OO) - Make sure its the 2nd Edition book if you buy from else where, as it covers C++11 topics

[quote name='evolutional' timestamp='1342874098' post='4961647']
The book Game Coding Complete is a good book for describing the overall strucutre and systems involved in a game. I've not got this latest edition, but the Second edition is very good.
[/quote]
I've got fourth edition and I can say its amazing. It won't take you step-by-step through a project, but it will provide you with a solid foundation on design Edited by dimitri.adamou
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