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ThomasK

Making a game. Need some tips

17 posts in this topic

Hello.

 

Me and my friends want to make a 2d game with C++ but don't know where to start. I've heard of Allegro and SDL but I can't seem to get those installed.

 

So if anyone has any tips on where to start my game and what I'll need, Please comment. Thanks! :)

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Do you already know the C++ language? If so, here is a SDL tutorial. And here is a SFML tutorial.

 

If you don't know C++, you need to learn the language itself before you learn SDL or SFML or even before you make a game.

In the same way that you can't write a book without first learning english, you can't write a game without first learning the language you are going to write it with. smile.png

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There is a good 2D tutorial series at http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/

 

This will give you a great introduction to using Allegro 5 to build a 2D game.    Technically its in C++, but this course doesn't us OO.   There is a follow-up course (also on that site) which redoes the same game in a more OO methodolgy, but you need to do the other course first because its the one that actually explains Allegro

 

 

oh yeah this assumes you at least understand C/C++ already

Edited by bubbaray97
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There is a good 2D tutorial series at http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/

 

This will give you a great introduction to using Allegro 5 to build a 2D game.    Technically its in C++, but this course doesn't us OO.   There is a follow-up course (also on that site) which redoes the same game in a more OO methodolgy, but you need to do the other course first because its the one that actually explains Allegro

 

 

oh yeah this assumes you at least understand C/C++ already

 

 

How much C++ do you think we need to know before we can start?

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We could list random "features" of programming languages that you "must know", but that's purely speculative.

 

If you want to start right away making games while you learn C++, then the typical solution is to make text-based games so you don't have to learn APIs and the features the APIs use while learning C++.

 

But if you start with SDL or Allegro, you could just start messing with it and see what you can do. But there's something important to understand: If you get confused and want to give up, that's because you're not bothering to learn the language first and are trying to jump into the deep end of the pool before learning how to swim. So if while working on your project you want to give up on programming entirely: Don't. Instead, scrap what you know, pick up a solid C++ book (without any game-related words in the book's title) and learn C++ first.

 

If you want a speculative list of "basic C++" knowledge, then:

 - Functions

 - Variables, reference variables, and pointer variables.*

 - if(), while(), for() statements

 - Classes and structs

 - std::vector, std::map, and std::string

 - Variable scope

 

*Pointers and references are easy to learn if you learn them at the same time you learn about regular variables. 

 

Things to avoid using in your own projects when starting out: (learn but don't use in your first few projects)

 - 'new' and 'delete', malloc() and free()

 - Inheritance (especially polymorphism)

 - Custom templated functions and classes.

 - Exceptions, goto

Edited by Servant of the Lord
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Well....according to the author for that tutorial here is what he says....

 

Introductory C++ programming is outside of the scope of this text. That being said, I have been very careful not to include any topics that would not have been taught in any introductory C++ course (or that could not be easily learnable from a few internet tutorials). If you’re not sure if you have the required knowledge, see the side bar.
<Note: Topics that are generally used in this text are: variables, functions, structs, and arrays. If I hit upon any topics outside of this list, I will briefly describe it in a side bar (like this one) and give you information on where to go to learn more.>

 

That being said he does pretty much type everything out for you...the problem is if you don't understand the language, I don't know that you would really LEARN what is going on.    Of course if everytime he mentions something you don't understand you go and look that term up, try it out, etc...then it may be a great jump start.

 

Honestly though like Servant of the Lord said...you have to learn a language before you can write anything.    If you're really concerned about your skill level with the language take a look at the first couple of videos on the site.   if they don't make any sense you need to go back and spend more time learning the basics of the language before you proceed.

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There is a good 2D tutorial series at http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/" href="http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/">http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/" href="http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/">http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course/
 
This will give you a great introduction to using Allegro 5 to build a 2D game.    Technically its in C++, but this course doesn't us OO.   There is a follow-up course (also on that site) which redoes the same game in a more OO methodolgy, but you need to do the other course first because its the one that actually explains Allegro
 
 
oh yeah this assumes you at least understand C/C++ already

 
 


How much C++ do you think we need to know before we can start?
 
 



You don't need to know anything to start(you can learn as you go if you really want to) but the more you know the easier things will be and the less likely you'll be to run into a brick wall. (The bigger your game is the harder it will be to avoid creating an unmanagable mess)

Keep your first game simple, If you havn't made a pong clone yet i'd strongly recommend that you make one, it will give you the basic idea of how games work and give you a better idea of where you stand). Edited by SimonForsman
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Ask yourself why you want to use C++ for your game. Do you want to also learn C++ along with making the game, or did you just hear that C++ is "what's best". If you can make your dream game idea using another language or even a program like Game Maker, then go for it. C++ takes a long time to learn, and while it provides an excellent platform for producing high quality work, it is not the easiest path. For the most part any low to medium performance 2D game can be completed with C#, Java, Game Maker, etc. Once you are ready for 3D action, you may want to consider C++ again.

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<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="Servant of the Lord" data-cid="5022254" data-time="1358360662"><p>
Things to <em class='bbc'>avoid using</em> in your own projects when starting out: (learn but don't use in your first few projects)<br />
- 'new' and 'delete', malloc() and free()<br />
- Inheritance (especially polymorphism)<br />
- Custom templated functions and classes.<br />
- Exceptions, goto</p></blockquote>

I actuslly love this advice. For a beginner working on a game you shouldn't have to worry about more "advanced c++ concepts." Sometimes it's not the project that's too complex for you, sometimes it's the code itself that makes it seem that way.

All those features are features you'll learn how to use on your own really (should read on them though so you know them). Their will just come a time when programming a project you'll say "wait I think I need to use this."
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Hey, i'm making the game with Thomas.  I'm having trouble with installing SDL, does anyone know of any videos or advice? I'm using Code::Blocks

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The first post I wrote in this thread links to a tutorial that gives detailed instructions in how to install SDL with Code::Blocks specifically. 

 

Here's the direct link to it - I suggest following the entire tutorial as you go, because it was very helpful to me when I was learning SDL.

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The first post I wrote in this thread links to a tutorial that gives detailed instructions in how to install SDL with Code::Blocks specifically. 

 

Here's the direct link to it - I suggest following the entire tutorial as you go, because it was very helpful to me when I was learning SDL.

 

 

Alright I have SDL installed. But do you know where I can find some video tutorials that aren't outdated for SDL?

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SDL, unless you are using the pre-release version 1.3 or 2.0, hasn't been updated for a number of years. The tutorials I linked to are perfectly up to date, and most tutorials you will find (even if five years old) are up to date, since SDL hasn't changed much. Once version 1.3 or 2.0 are officially released, then the tutorials will be out of date.

 

I wouldn't worry about 1.3/2.0, because SDL 1.2 is very stable and very usable, and trying to download from a remote repository and recompile the libraries yourself is not something I'd recommend a beginner doing.

 

As for video tutorials, I can't be of much help there. 

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Hey, I suggest you to use C#+xna it is very easy to learn that, and c# is much easier language that c++ but it have some - - -. :)

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Hey, I suggest you to use C#+xna it is very easy to learn that, and c# is much easier language that c++ but it have some - - -. smile.png

 

Signs seem to point to XNA going away. This is purely speculation at this point, but the XNA team at Microsoft was desolved (I believe).

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The first post I wrote in this thread links to a tutorial that gives detailed instructions in how to install SDL with Code::Blocks specifically.

Here's the direct link to it - I suggest following the entire tutorial as you go, because it was very helpful to me when I was learning SDL.

Alright I have SDL installed. But do you know where I can find some video tutorials that aren't outdated for SDL?
The Biggest source of info is the forum itself, But you can find a lot of very educating tutorials on YT.
smile.png Edited by PixUnit
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