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MrJoshL

I Am Starting Over. What To "Learn"?

4 posts in this topic

I have reached a point where I feel confident in my good usage of the C programming language and OpenGL ES 2, except I fear I hath learnt things "the wrong way." I decided that the only remedy to patch my hole-E (not holy) knowledge would be to just restart form the beginning of everything and over the next 4-6 months just piece myself back to where I was (or am), this time my knowledge being sound and secure. Instead of doing what I did last time (online tutorials) I bought these books:
The C Programming Language
Real Time Rendering, 3rd ed.
OpenGL ES 2 Programming Guide
Game Engine Architecture
I don't know what other books, if any, I should get a copy of, but am I on the right track? What order should I learn different topics in?

I am eventually trying to develop a PC/Android 3D game (I know its cliche among beginners, but for all its worth, I made a sidescrolling shooter in C# last year). I want to make it from scratch, because I want to build my own software system and I love programming. I seriously don't know the limitations of what one person can do, as I haven't gone that far before.

P.S: Although I am indeed re-learning everything, in my VERY humble opinion, I have amassed a pretty good knowledge on the subject, if that makes things easier. Edited by Josh Petrie
Please don't use polls in FB.
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Hi,

[quote name='MrJoshL' timestamp='1352586155' post='4999737']


I have reached a point where I feel confident in my good usage of the C programming language and OpenGL ES 2, except I fear I hath learnt things "the wrong way."
[/quote]


It is perfectly fine to start afresh, especially after serious doubts about the quality of your coding. The above quote seems like a huge contradiction to me: "confident" yet "I fear" ? President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

I suggest that you should get your confidence about your coding quality before you go making game engine or support software. If indeed you have some bad coding habits, then you need to realize and correct them in the game creation stage before moving to more advanced things - as if game creation was not advanced enough for you.

Why are you in such a hurry to leap forward beyond game source coding? Only methodical learning of coding will correct and prevent bad coding habits.

I recommend that you continue only working on game source coding until your experience and confidence reach further.

Clinton Edited by 3Ddreamer
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Could you elaborate a bit on the source of your insecurity? I assume that you doubt the quality of those "online tutorials" you learned from, and the validity of information presented within them, but is there a concrete reason for that? Are you hitting inconsistencies between what you learned from tutorials, and what you're currently trying to learn from books?

The point I'm trying to make: Be sure that there's a problem to solve, before you just throw out everything and start over.

About the books you listed: K&R will certainly help you learn C, and any OpenGL book should help you learn the basics of that graphics API. However, books that go into things like "game engine architecture" should be avoided by beginners, because beginners should make games, not engines (and the same could be argued for more experienced developers).

Eventually (after a few game projects under your belt), you'll be able to recognize opportunities where a certain subsystem could be further generalized, and placed in some convenience library that you can use to move faster on future projects.
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My "insecurities" come from writing code for various purposes that is fully compliant with the online tutorials, but doesn't even compile in MinGW. For example, one of the worst cases of this was a few years ago when I was starting out with C, and the tutorial said that you cannot name a function with alphabetic characters, you need to leave no space between type and variable names, and also that you need to declare all variables in the header files.
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[quote name='MrJoshL' timestamp='1353179496' post='5001812']
the tutorial said that you cannot name a function with alphabetic characters, you need to leave no space between type and variable names, and also that you need to declare all variables in the header files
[/quote]
I hope it said [b]non-[/b]alphabetic characters. Otherwise, it's wrong.
You can have a function named "abc", "abc2", "abC3", "abc_3", etc.
You cannot have a function named "ab+", "a b c", "3abc", "a.b.c.", etc.
These rules apply to a lot of languages out there.

As for leaving space between type and variable names, I'm not sure what it means. Do you mean vertical space?

It's often recommended to declare all variables in header files, if you can. It makes things less confusing down the road and keeps things organized.

If you already know C#, I'd stick with it for now. Don't worry about code semantics, and instead worry about learning more about actually making games.
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