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KernalPanic

[For a Beginner] C++ express 2010 or C++ express 2012?

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KernalPanic    153
For a while I've been wanting to jump into programming but I've always put it off. I want to eventually make a first person horror game - but that is a huge goal. I don't have a very good misunderstanding of engines or any of that... yet. However now I am going to start but naturally I have a big question that a more experience person can probably answer...

*Should I start learning with C++ express 2010 or C++ express 2012? (or something else)
*Any other general advice?


[size=2]I removed the poll. Please see the FAQ. -- jpetrie[/size]

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yewbie    677
You really should consider trying out c# also!

Edited: to remove language war reference that people didn't like. Edited by yewbie

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Alex Melbourne    294
From a beginner standpoint you'll probably not end up using the features in which they differ. Intelliesence is much nice in VC++2012 though.

C++ is great because it allows complete freedom in the style you use. I think it'd be better of C# simply because of this. It's standard library is organised in a slightly odd way (coming from C) but I'd say it'd introduce you into more, faster.

Actually, I learnt way more using NMAKE; but then I'm not sure where you stand in terms of previous experience. NMAKE means you don't generate all those extra files from Visual Studio that detract from what your actually doing. Points out what your actually doing far more. Edited by BinaryPhysics

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KernalPanic    153
BinaryPhysics: your name kind of relates to my next question...

How long do you think it takes to make a game like Igneous? a group of students at DigiPen made it (link: https://www.digipen.edu/?id=1170&proj=8713)

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Alex Melbourne    294
Um. I'm not totally sure. If you wrote everything yourself from the ground up maybe 2 years? You could cut that down if you started using external libraries like Bullet Physics. Please don't quote me on that figure (it's nothing more than an guesstimate and I would hate to present you with fictional information).

What you want to do is absolutely obtainable but I think it would be a good idea to sit down and look at C++ first. The best piece of advice I ever saw was "know your language". You don't want to be wondering why something won't compile simple because you don't understand what you did wrong with a library function or syntax.

Also if you want to write 'big' projects I cannot rate something like Git (http://git-scm.com) more highly. There's a lot of cool project GitHub too (https://github.com/). A book I own is Game Engine Architecture (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Engine-Architecture-Jason-Gregory/dp/1568814135) which demonstrates the complexity of such systems.

Ultimately I think just starting a language is the best way to go. Learn syntax, learn the standard library, and come up with projects. There's a lot to learn. Don't get distracted or discouraged.

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Dunge    405
C++ Express 2012 is actually better, but since it's just out you might run into compatibility problems. I would stay with 2010 for a few more months until all libs upgraded to 2012.
C++ as a language is the best if you start to do a real project. It's not the best to learn about programming and object-oriented development methods.

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GeneralQuery    1263
I cannot think of any reasonable justification for a complete beginner learning C++ over something like C#. "Complete freedom" for a beginner = enough rope to hang yourself many times over. There's nothing that cannot be learned faster and easier with other languages without the frustration of the sort of problems C++ can throw at you. Unless you have an academic or professional reason to learn C++ as a first language, I strongly recommend against it.

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KernalPanic    153
[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1348598048' post='4983670']
I cannot think of any reasonable justification for a complete beginner learning C++ over something like C#. "Complete freedom" for a beginner = enough rope to hang yourself many times over. There's nothing that cannot be learned faster and easier with other languages without the frustration of the sort of problems C++ can throw at you. Unless you have an academic or professional reason to learn C++ as a first language, I strongly recommend against it.
[/quote]

Again would I still be able to make good things in C#? I know that I am not going to make an amazing game in a day but I still want to make sure that the language I start with is [b]good[/b]. Edited by KernalPanic

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GeneralQuery    1263
[quote name='KernalPanic' timestamp='1348599274' post='4983675']
[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1348598048' post='4983670']
I cannot think of any reasonable justification for a complete beginner learning C++ over something like C#. "Complete freedom" for a beginner = enough rope to hang yourself many times over. There's nothing that cannot be learned faster and easier with other languages without the frustration of the sort of problems C++ can throw at you. Unless you have an academic or professional reason to learn C++ as a first language, I strongly recommend against it.
[/quote]

Again would I still be able to make good things in C#? I know that I am not going to make an amazing game in a day but I still want to make sure that the language I start with is [b]good[/b].
[/quote]

You're getting too hung up on vague generalizations such as is C++ or C# "good" or "better". Better for what purpose? If one was a simple "one size fits all" case of "better" then why would anyone recommend the "worse" language? But in any case, all of this is inconsequential. Learning programming is only marginally to do with a language's syntax, the rest of the skills are transferable. "Better" in your case would be more beginner friendly and forgiving language that has a more gentle learning curve, something C++ fails on all accounts. Edited by GeneralQuery

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caldiar    715
Assuming you don't have any experience with programming in general yet, I'd say start with something other than C++... I'd even say C would be better to start with since there's less baggage to deal with when all you want to do is program (plus it transitions nicely into C++ when you're ready to work with it).

I'm personally a fan of JavaScript. Some may call me crazy but I find it to not only be simple to develop in, but fun as well. I enjoy being able to write a JavaScript-based game that runs in the web browser that any of my friends can connect to and interact with. If you're dead set on following an OOP design strategy you could also use [url="http://coffeescript.org/"]CoffeeScript [/url]which lets you just.... go forth and make things. CoffeeScript compiles to JavaScript and hides all the nasty prototype nonsense involved in creating a class in JavaScript.

Another alternative would be Python. It's expressive and powerful. There's also [url="http://www.pygame.org/news.html"]a nice game development library[/url] for Python game developers.

Others have suggested C# as a language to use for game development. It definitely is a valid choice and with supportive libraries provided by the likes of XNA and such, you can make some pretty kickass games. However, I feel that C#, like C++ just has baggage you need to sort through before getting to focus on the meat of programming and distracts from being able to just get things done. C# makes some things pretty damn easy (XML serialization, stream i/o, threading) but there's things like the garbage collector that'll become annoyances you have to be mindful of and tiptoe around (or *gasp* play nicely with).

I would say, that if you're just starting, make some 2D games and start out with a language that just lets you focus on programming, programming, and programming. These could be C, Python, JavaScript, or some other languages that I've failed to mention. C++ and C# are powerful, sure, but they'll also weigh you down with a bunch of crap that you, as a beginning game programmer, really don't need to deal with.

Get started with some excellent material over at [url="http://programming-motherfucker.com/become.html"]http://programming-motherfucker.com/become.html[/url].

Here's some good tutorials for [url="http://learnpythonthehardway.org/"]Python[/url] and [url="http://c.learncodethehardway.org/"]C[/url].

Lastly, it never hurts to know more languages. There's nothing stopping you from learning all of the languages mentioned in the thread. Once you learn how to program, it just becomes a matter of learning language syntax for the most part.

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ic0de    1012
If you wanna use C++ (and I think you should) use VC++ 2010, I use it all the time and its great and functional and easy to use. I think the main thing new in visual studio 2012 is windows 8 integration and stuff, once windows 8 gets off the ground you should be able to move to the new IDE pretty simply by just importing your old solution files. Just letting you know that C++ was the first language I learned and it's not that hard, it's not an evil ogre like some people make it out to be, its a clean and elegant language and all kinds of third party libraries can extend its functionality. Just try C++ and if you think its too hard then switch to something else.

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Sooker    299
C#: you get a simple pong game after 2 weeks if you want to. its easy for a beginner and a good starting point for lerning C++ layter on if you relly need to.
C++: more complex, but harder to learn, especially for a beginner nothing i would recommend. but it is not impossible.

Long story short: The language isn´t that relevant. It´s important to stick to one language and learn it. you have to get used to it. going to another language is really easy if you already know a language.
I personally recommend starting with C#
When you got some more experience you will know what to do next. Keep coding and practicing. Read one or two books and make some small games.
And don´t Rush to 3D to fast

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Sooker    299
[quote name='caldiar' timestamp='1348601335' post='4983690']
... I'd even say C would be better to start with since there's less baggage to deal with when all you want to do is program (plus it transitions nicely into C++ when you're ready to work with it)...
[/quote]

[s]Really C?
It isn´t even object oriented. Thats definitly not what you want to do if you want to get a game dev. Objects are the base of a game. C seems to be the worst decision for a beginner[/s]

EDIT: look into the forum, there you will see wich languages are commonly used
And here is a good link for you: [url="http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx"]http://www.gamefroms...-developer.aspx[/url] Edited by Sooker

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caldiar    715
[quote name='Sooker' timestamp='1348602063' post='4983696']
[quote name='caldiar' timestamp='1348601335' post='4983690']
... I'd even say C would be better to start with since there's less baggage to deal with when all you want to do is program (plus it transitions nicely into C++ when you're ready to work with it)...
[/quote]

Really C?
It isn´t even object oriented. Thats definitly not what you want to do if you want to get a game dev. Objects are the base of a game. C seems to be the worst decision for a beginner
[/quote]

You don't need to be object-oriented to make a game. It definitely can help programmers make sense of how things are organized but it's not a necessity.

However, it's worth noting that it's easily possible to get object-oriented programming happening with C through the use of structs to define, well, objects. Did you know Quake 3 Arena was developed in C? id software seemed to get a game built with C pretty well several times I'd say.

The great thing about C, for the beginner, is that it doesn't come with all the baggage and cruft that C++ has. On the other hand, C++ has a fantastic selection of libraries and makes some things easier and less scary to deal with (std::string vs. c-style strings, new/delete vs. malloc/realloc/calloc/free).

C has similar, but simpler syntax and less gotchas than C++.

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Sooker    299
I dont want to start a flamewar...
sure they made good games with C, but now it is way more easy and future oriented to start object oriented. procedual (C-like) programming is always included in C++/C#/Java etc.

There are more then enough threads about wich language to choose.

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zerorepent    663
The language isn't that important as long as you choose one that is commonly used (for two reason, it's easier to get help with problems and it's easier to get a job if you want a career as a programmer). If you choose C++ or C# then I think you should use visual studio 2012. However I think you need visual studio 2010 if you want to use XNA/C#.

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EddieV223    1839
There is no reason you can't install both vs2012express (get desktop edition)and vs2010 express. Vs2012 is MUCH better for c++ than 2010, only use 2010 when you have to for compatibility reasons.

As for c++/c# for a first language, you will have an easier time learning c#. You will have a harder time learning c++. Writing c++ code usually takes more work and more lines of code. However the trade off is more speed and power (which c# people may argue against).

There are some other very good alternatives to Microsoft IDE's. Such as QT Creator the IDE that comes with QT SDK, Code::blocks, eclipse, and more. These are all free and open source. Edited by EddieV223

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caldiar    715
[quote name='Sooker' timestamp='1348603726' post='4983707']
I dont want to start a flamewar...
sure they made good games with C, but now it is way more easy and future oriented to start object oriented. procedual (C-like) programming is always included in C++/C#/Java etc.

There are more then enough threads about wich language to choose.
[/quote]

I don't think a flamewar is being started. I didn't bash C++ and say C is superior or anything of the sort. However, for a beginner, learning to program is much more important than learning how to work around crazy gotchas and odd rules of a language. C is simple, capable, powerful.

I can't tell you the number of times I see beginners (and some fairly well-versed programmers) lose sight of the program itself and get caught up on details like "how to best organize an inheritance tree for my classes" and deciding if they should define an object as a collection of objects or as a specialized derived type of some master parent class (which could be derived from an even more generic parent class, etc... This is closely related to how to organize an inheritance structure). This just distracts from the main goal of getting programming done.

C++ has some great features as part of the standard language and as part of various libraries. Don't get me wrong, I like the language. I wouldn't wish it upon any beginner though as I feel it's extremely important to learn how to form a program from blocks of logic rather than having to worry about how a language does things. C++ has too much stuff going on for the same abilities as C. Yes, C++ is great for OOP designs but keep in mind that OOP is not a silver bullet to solve all programming solutions but just one of many paradigms to help describe and organize sets of problems for programmers to make sense of.

I feel quite strongly that if the OP starts off with C++ without having a general idea of how to program to begin with, he's just going to wind up spending more time pulling his hair out over things (first to come to mind is class inheritance) specific to the language rather than pulling his hair out over the actual problem at hand.

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Alex Melbourne    294
[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1348598048' post='4983670']I cannot think of any reasonable justification for a complete beginner learning C++ over something like C#. "Complete freedom" for a beginner = enough rope to hang yourself many times over.[/quote]

This is such a negative outlook. Yes, C++ doesn't provide all the comforts of C# but what you might learn from repeatedly tying your own noose is invaluable.

[quote name='Sooker' timestamp='1348602063' post='4983696']Really C?
It isn´t even object oriented. Thats definitly not what you want to do if you want to get a game dev. Objects are the base of a game. C seems to be the worst decision for a beginner[/quote]

My apologies but this attitude pisses me off. It is perfectly possible to do small projects in C. Hell, the original Quake is in C (complete with source code available online). OOP is not the be all and end of of life. People need to stop being so hung up on it. Edited by BinaryPhysics

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GeneralQuery    1263
[quote name='BinaryPhysics' timestamp='1348616429' post='4983804']
[quote name='GeneralQuery' timestamp='1348598048' post='4983670']I cannot think of any reasonable justification for a complete beginner learning C++ over something like C#. "Complete freedom" for a beginner = enough rope to hang yourself many times over.[/quote]

This is such a negative outlook. Yes, C++ doesn't provide all the comforts of C# but what you might learn from repeatedly tying your own noose is invaluable.[/quote]

It's a pragmatic outlook. There are far easier and more efficient ways of learning the... "lessons" C++ teaches begginers without the counterproductive baggage than starting with C++ as a first language.

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KernalPanic    153
Look guys (or girls) I don't know much of anything regarding programming (as I stated before) however what I do know is....

*C++ is the standard however it has a [b]very steep [/b]learning curb (even worse for me since I'm a beginner)
*I had Java in the back of my mind for a while but I read (from other forums so don't take this as a solid point) that Java is rather dated

Since I was not so specific in my OP apparently let me ask a few other questions...

*What exactly is a library and how do I apply it into my programming?
*What is an engine? (I see on various games that it is powered by so and so's engine [url="http://i50.tinypic.com/vdojus.png"]example[/url] - from what I understand it basically runs the code??)

[size=1]Please stop arguing... because a lot of what I've read has gone over my head (obviously you know more than I on the matter)[/size]

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ic0de    1012
[quote name='KernalPanic' timestamp='1348625635' post='4983836']
Look guys (or girls) I don't know much of anything regarding programming (as I stated before) however what I do know is....

*C++ is the standard however it has a [b]very steep [/b]learning curb (even worse for me since I'm a beginner)
*I had Java in the back of my mind for a while but I read (from other forums so don't take this as a solid point) that Java is rather dated

Since I was not so specific in my OP apparently let me ask a few other questions...

*What exactly is a library and how do I apply it into my programming?
*What is an engine? (I see on various games that it is powered by so and so's engine [url="http://i50.tinypic.com/vdojus.png"]example[/url] - from what I understand it basically runs the code??)

[size=1]Please stop arguing... because a lot of what I've read has gone over my head (obviously you know more than I on the matter)[/size]
[/quote]

A library is essentially a piece of code that someone else has written to perform various tasks for you, for example Bullet physics is a library that will do physics calculations so you don't have to. A library is usually a dll (on windows at least) that will be linked to your code.

An engine is similar to a library and some engines are libraries but mainly they perform the various functions of a game such as rendering and such so all you have to do is write game logic.

As for language choices, just continue with what you set out to do and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The great part about c++ is that it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, c++ can even be c if you want it to. The learning curve of c++ is by no means steep. C++ also happens to be compatible with more third party libraries than most other languages. Its just a pleasure to use and definetly not a noose.

If you're smart and use libraries like SDL you could easily finish a pong game in two weeks. Edited by ic0de

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yewbie    677
Everyone keeps going back to C++.
I did hobbist programming in C++ for almost 8 years and before that worked with C for years...

I will tell you right now without a shadow of a doubt that its faster to develop games with a good library in C# than it is with the same or similar library in C++.
(At least for me)

If you you want to spend weeks to months learning C++ and all the gotcha's involved that is completely up to you. (Dealing with circular dependancies etc comes to mind)
But if you want use something like XNA with c# you will have results in no time.

C/C++/C# are all very similar/compatible in syntax so learning one would do a great deal towards learning the others.

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