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stein102

When to start with C++?

37 posts in this topic

Well, I already know a fair amount of Java and feel pretty confident with it. But I also know that C++ is the industry standard for Game Programming and that I'll eventually have to learn it.

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I came into programming the old fashioned way. I started with Basic then moved to C and then C++. I personally would not recommend you learn C++ until you first learn the C way of doing things.

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Okay, I think I'll dive into C++ then. What book would you recommend me to pick up? I was thinking something like "Beginning C++ through game programming" Or "Programming principals and practice using C++" What would be the best book for me? Thanks

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stein102, on 10 Mar 2013 - 00:14, said:
Well, I already know a fair amount of Java and feel pretty confident with it. But I also know that C++ is the industry standard for Game Programming and that I'll eventually have to learn it.

"A fair amount" can mean anything. What's the toughest / most extensive thing you have actually programmed in Java?

As for the C++ books, "Programming: Principles and Practice" is really good. It starts from zero and talks a lot about programming concepts in addition to the language, so it's fine for people new to programming in general. If you are not a total beginner, then "The C++ Programming Language", also from Stroustrup, would be a fine choice. The 4th edition of TCPL is supposed to ship 20th of May; the previous editions are/were great books but are not worth getting at this point because the language has evolved tremendously.
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I personally learned C++ first, as my first language. It took me a while (about 1.5 years) to just get grasp of all of it's features.

After that I did some game programming for PC, and then started to learn Java so that I could start programming for Android. , I was suprissed that I learned Java very quickly (it took me about 1 month to get grasp of all of it's differences and new features between C++. And knowing both languages is satisfying feeling, because with those two, you can understand almost every other popular programming language like C or C#.

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Personally, I would do check for the following:

 

  1. Do I know the current language I'm using relatively well?
  2. Have I made games (finished and running) in this current language?

If yes, to both answers, then go on to learn another language. If no, especially to #1, then maybe you should hold off. Switching languages too quickly often makes matters worse, not better.

 

In short, IMO, stick with Java and make games in Java. Once you've done that, then learn idiomatic C++. It'll be easier and you'll already have two skills under your belt when you start learning idiomatic C++. OOP and game dev. :)

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The key is do not be scared of c++. You do not need to move to it if you want to learn it do so. Do not let other people tell you what language you have to learn if it interest you just do it. Look at me do instance I know many languages but I do not know any better than I know C because I love it. People tell me c++ is better and I should learn that but I really don not want to because I have no real need to do so.
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I knew assembler before I knew C and C before C++. I understood pointers already thanks to assembler and curiously found the C/C++ way to approach them more convoluted because of the complex syntax. Looking at assembly output helped me understand what compilers do and get the language better.
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@Alpha_ProgDes has it right; use what you know first. Learning another language "because it's probably got better performance", before you have anything published in the languages you're already good with, is premature optimization - and as we all know, premature optimization is bad.

 

And for what it's worth, I'd avoid C++ like the plague anyway. If you DO pick up C++, avoid the STL containers like the plague - their performance is absolutely abyssmal.

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@Alpha_ProgDes has it right; use what you know first. Learning another language "because it's probably got better performance", before you have anything published in the languages you're already good with, is premature optimization - and as we all know, premature optimization is bad.

And for what it's worth, I'd avoid C++ like the plague anyway. If you DO pick up C++, avoid the STL containers like the plague - their performance is absolutely abyssmal.


Talking about premature optimisation and then saying to avoid the standard library for performance reasons is a massive self-contradiction.
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@Alpha_ProgDes has it right; use what you know first. Learning another language "because it's probably got better performance", before you have anything published in the languages you're already good with, is premature optimization - and as we all know, premature optimization is bad.

And for what it's worth, I'd avoid C++ like the plague anyway. If you DO pick up C++, avoid the STL containers like the plague - their performance is absolutely abyssmal.


Talking about premature optimisation and then saying to avoid the standard library for performance reasons is a massive self-contradiction.

 

Actually, no, it goes to prove the point. Many times, when deciding to optimize early based off of minor observations, without really completing the solution, you just muck it up. In this case, OP is asking to switch to C++ because (essentially) "that's what everyone uses"; having a java background, OP would expect the C++ STL containers to confer that same sort of naive "all native code is fast" performance benefit, when in actuality, they're the fastest way to murder C++ code.

 

Write first, optimize later. OP's java will quite likely be faster than their C++, since they already know their Java, and the best patterns/weaknesses in the language. If they write their Java and finds that it is, in fact, too slow (or nobody wants to run Java), then they can look to a new language.

 

Unless they really honestly just WANT to learn a new language, just for the sake of learning it, which is an entirely different conversation.

Edited by akesterson
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@GD.NET: tldr:C++ rox/sux, Java sux/rox. The end. This debate is older than some of the people on this board.

Also, as for containers, BOOST for the win.

 

@OP: You're going to get bored of hello world and the amazing joys of console text output REALLY quickly.

Get reasonably good with that first. Then try some graphics programming.

I'm assuming you're going to program in Windows so you will want to go with DirectX. You'll want the Direct X SDK. 

Now, there is steep speed bump in the learning curve as you go from console to Windows programming, and that is the windowing system itself. This doesn't have to be a stumbling block in your coding pursuits. Find a good tutorial site. I like CodeProject.

http://www.codeproject.com/search.aspx?q=directx&doctypeid=1

Best thing to do is find a SERIES of Direct X tutorials. This is that whole "gradual learning", "bit by bit", "walk before you run" deal.

Once you have a quasi-firm grasp of DirectX, find a sprite repository and experiment with animating.

http://charas-project.net/charas2/index.php (This one's all sorts of fun.)

 

Sound/music is important. Or you can tell your users to hum while they play. Find a free sound/music repo and add background music and sound effects to your project.

Bit by bit. Little by little.

 

And then one day, not today, or even next week, you'll make the move to 3D. Make some 3D models. Spin them around like a planets in a solar system. (My CG instructor made us do a 3D solar system with the "Utah Teapot" with the sun, three planets and the moon). Go with Blender for now. Sculptris also, but mostly for heads. If you're a college student, you can get a LEGIT copy of Maya 3D and other AutoDesk products free. Free is good. 

 

 

Go make us proud.

Edited by Altruist
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