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Hi, I''m new to both the forums and game programming. The most complicated program I''ve done so far is to calculate the determinant of a two by two or three by three matrix Pretty complicated stuff :p I''m using C++. What do you think I should do next? Which books should I get, what types of stuff should I try to do?

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I think you should first decide what skills you want to learn with your first game - i.e. graphics, networking, AI, basic game-loop mechanics, etc... I''ve found that if I don''t pick a skill that I want to learn, I then program something that doesn''t stretch me far enough. I try to choose games from various genres just to help the learning process.

Blackjack and Tetris are two good games to start with to learn basic game mechanics and graphics. A simple tank combat clone is a good one to try too, since that teaches you a little bit about physics in-game.

Next, be sure to pick a game that you can finish. Yes, we all want to program the next Half-Life, but finishing a game is a very important part of writing it. A project that is too big will just stop half-way through. You don''t want to get in that habit. Pick a reasonable project, with reasonable goals, and then work up from there. There are a lot of skills small projects can teach you that you can then use in your first big games. But still, I tend to favor the smaller games unless I am working in a team.

And remember, people around here know how hard it is to make a game, especially your first ones. So if your game doesn''t look as cool as ones you''ve downloaded, don''t worry. You''ll get a fair shake on it with other game programmers.

Michael

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