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2D What books should I get next? C++

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Hello GameDev vets,

I use to program when I was younger (few college courses as well) and as I got older I got away from it. I've now been really taking learning programming very serious. I bought Sam's Teach Yourself C++ to learn the newer stuff added to C++ and refresh myself of all the basics. I am looking for the next book to help me actually start on a simple rogue RPG. I wish I could find a book (recent date) that covers heavily DirectX12 or 11 and RPGs. Especially procedural generation and tiles. I assume my book on Isometric programming still has relevant ways of doing tiles. Can anyone help me pick out 2-3 books that will help make me a comfortable windows programmer. 3D is probably my LAST stop. I just would really enjoy non outdated books regarding 2D RPG games (and eventually 3D). But I am trying to go through the stages in a more practical way. Price is not really an issue. Any other sources are great as well.

Thanks everyone!

I have the following books:

Sam's teach yourself C++(8th Edition)
|Beginning C++ Game Programming by John Horton
Beginning C++ Through Game Programming (4th Edition) by Michael Dawson
Game Programming Patterns
The Art of Game Design
Level Up

(Also own a kindle version of 2D programming by I forget who, it was great during its time)

Programming Role Playing Games with DX9
Programing Isometric Games with DX7 (maybe 9)
Programming Multiplayer Games

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In my opinion, you should first define exactly what you want. After that, we can help recommending frameworks, engines, languages, etc.

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I agree with @nbertoa what's your target.

Is your character moving about in a 3D world?

Do we see your character? Requires animation for your character as well.

What tool are you going to use for your models? Blender? I like Blender because there are lots of good YouTube tuts.

Jump into 3D rather than trying to force 2D to do what you want if you are aiming for anything other than tiles.

Assuming you goal is the game, rather than game engine development, look at some of the Game Engines out there. Unreal Engine, Unity. Probably a better investment of your time than trying to learn DirectX, also makes multi-platform simpler.

If you are a sucker for punishment then I'm working my way through this at the moment.


Scan through the beast below which will help you understand how to set up your project and what you are up against.

http://www.latexstudio.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Game_Engine_Architecture-en.pdf first edition free. There is a second edition as well.

Don't get too fussed about learning everything there is to know about C++ that's what Stackoverflow is for, search for a solution to your problem.

You should also write a story about your character and world, a good story. It's the storyline that helps player to become immersed in your world.

The Game Programming Patterns book is good.

Read the Blogs on this site.

And above all else actually write the code in the tut's, copy the boiler-plate but actually type in key code. Actually working through the examples will help you build up the knowledge you are after.

Edited by timjohnarm
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What is more important, Windows programming or your roguelike ? I would learn to get a basic skeleton D3D11 program up and running, that shouldn't be too difficult. From there I'd make a simple 2D game, like a grid-based one. After that things will start falling into place. I don't think you need any more books.

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Hi Leddyboo, 

Looks like you already have a few gems on your list.  I am really enjoying Level Up and Micheal Dawson Beginning C++ through Game Programming was good as well.  I think if you are going to proceed with C++ you should own a copy of "The C++ Programming Language" by Bjorne Stroustrup.  As far as your next steps in game development.  I think that before you delve deeper into programming you should clearly define what it is that you want to do, then direct yourself toward developing skill with the tools that will be most useful to you.


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Actually to take @Endemoniada's point a bit further, and to quote one of my favourite science fiction authors when asked about how to become a writer. "Start writing and keep on writing it's the only way to get better"

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If you want to learn C++, these are the 2 best books I've read (similar names but unrelated).



Regardless of what API/engine you use, C++ skills are good to have. In terms of graphics, you have a few options. Realistically, going with an off-the-shelf engine will save a lot of time. However, it sounds like you are interested in learning, so writing the game on a lower level can be fun and rewarding (as well as extremely hard and frustrating). But if you keep your game to a limited scope, it is possible. 

You probably won't find a book specifically on making RPGs in DX12, so you will have to be inventive. Technically the API and game logic code are separate anyhow, so you don't have to learn them together. Get an RPG game book for any API or engine (even older) and then substitute whichever newer technology you want. The basics of game programming haven't changed much in years, so even a DX9 book will be useful if you ignore all the API calls. 

The most important thing is figuring out what you want to do. Is it to make a game? A game engine? Learning programming? Is it to tell a story? Build a portfolio? Have a fun hobby? Etc. That may give you an idea of what path to choose.

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