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Programming 2d games

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Hello.

I just started out programming games and I've almost finished a simple space shooter game in c++ with the help

of the SFML 2.0 library. What I would like to know is if there is another  practical way of creating games. 

I'm asking this because before creating the actual game I had to set up the game engine and that took me quite some time.

What tools could I use to speed up programming 2d-side scrolling games in c++? 

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Unless you want to go with a pre-built engine like game-maker, SFML is as good of a choice as any. Games take time; Braid is a 2d platformer and it took 3 years to create. At least with SFML and C++ you're learning transferable skills.

Edited by GameGeazer

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Some tools you should consider before moving to a 2d side scroller:  Will you be using tiles for your maps, and, if so, how will you create the maps?  I'd suggest using Tiled.  there are a few C++ Tiled map parsers you can use as well (you can find the links from the Tiled page).

 

Also, I'd consider using a 2d physics library (chipmunk-physics is what I use, but box2d is also popular) to handle the movement and collisions in your world.  You can check out my Old Blog (linked in my sig) for a game I made using chipmunk-physics.

 

Good luck and have fun!

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Speed comes with experience. It should go without saying, but the more you program the faster you will become at it. With experience there will be less trial-and-error and you will spend less time figuring out how things work. Of course, you could use pre-built engines and libraries to speed up the development of a game, but at the same time you would be losing the experience you would have gained in creating those parts of the code yourself.

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There is nothing wrong with using something like Gamemaker to make a game, as long as the tool does what you want it to.  That assumes you are interested in the final result and not the process.  It's like riding a car to work.  It's much quicker than walking, but you won't get the exercise from walking, so if all you want is to get there, it is fine.

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