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TerrorFLOP

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About TerrorFLOP

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  1. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    LOL... I kinda get the feeling that you didn't get much help Vel. Just a lot of peeps blowing a lot of hot air. Such are flame wars unfortunately, and flame wars like these have been rumbling on for EONS... Flame wars even exist in what "coding style" one should use in a particular language... It's ridiculous quite frankly! Anyway, as I've stated from the off... Try and do some extensive research yourself. There are pros and cons to ALL computer languages... That's just Life unfortunately. But if you do your research well then hopefully you'll be able to embark on the path that YOU and YOU alone wishes to embark upon. Programming SHOULD be fun. Well for me it is anyway. But judging by some of the venomous posts here, perhaps it isn't fun for all... But my advice is, whatever you do mate, make sure it's fun, educational and productive. Then you'll get a heck of a lot more out of coding. Good Luck! (KK... Now back to my fun C++ project ^^)
  2. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    Quote: If you can't see the faults and flaws in C++ for what they are and don't understand why people who use it are 'bashing' it when compared to C# (which no, isn't perfect but fixes alot of C++'s issues) then tbh I'd call you a bad programmer. Of course I can see the flaws in C++. But ALL languages have flaws. So I guess it comes down to the fact that some people can cope (or accept) those flaws better than others. Take for instance how I code my class libraries. The fact that a class definition has to reside in a header file breaks "true" encapsulation, because the classes’ private members and methods are also exposed. And despite the fact that the complier will force some kind of encapsulation whenever the keyword "private" is encountered, the program will break if any changes are made to the original class definition, unless those changes are propagated through out the entire project (and if that project happens to be HUGE then you’re in deep trouble!) This is one of my major gripes with C++ (and believe me, I might not be a detractor but I do have many gripes with C++). But you know what? If you're smart enough and knowledgeable enough, you can STILL use C / C++ to create a viable solution. Abstract interfaces in conjunction with DLLs are one such solution. Enabling not only further encapsulation but the added benefits of dynamic code and ease of future extensibility. So sure... C++ is a flawed language. Which is understandable. It's been around for a LONG time and has been continually evolving within that time. But of course, as it evolves it also had to cater for legacy coding environments, so as new features were introduced, old (i.e. bad) features also had to stick, hence why I would agree that C++, in it's current form, is a union of different languages. And that IS messy. But as I said, C++ is powerful enough in that one CAN work around it’s flaws, and with the introduction of STL and boost (two DAMN good pieces of fine software!), you can easily work around many of C++'s flaws without losing either efficiency or generality. So in terms of bashing C++ as a language not fit for beginners. Well I would agree that parts of C++ are tricky. However not ALL beginners are equal. Not ALL parts of C++ are beyond comprehension (and I would assume that beginners would start with something simple like a "Hello World" application for instance and not multithreaded application). And the fact that there are a lot of C++ coders around suggests that learning C++ is not in the realms of impossibility. Bashing C++ for it faults, while at the same time, not appreciating its merits is a tad unfair. Thanks to C++ (and C!) we've seen great games conceived over the last decade or so. And the language can't be all that bad considering that it's been ported over to MANY consoles. Let's have a balanced approach to C++ huh? Sure parts of it are crap. But some parts are good (especially those parts that have been adopted by C#, so again C++ can’t have been THAT bad huh?).
  3. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    Oh I will try C# mate. To help me write better game tools. But to actually use it for my core game code and libraries? I don't think so. Until I start seeing C# code that runs rings around C++ code (and I am NOT talking about syntax or convenience of getting projects up and running... I'm talking about more mundane things like clock cycles), then perhaps I'll convert to C# all the way (as I'm sure the rest of the games industry would). I'm almost getting the feeling that the basic core fundamentals of professional games programming (like clock cycles, fps and writing highly efficient optimized code) is going straight out of that proverbial window. I don't think the industry uses C++ widely because it wants to. It simply uses it because (for the moment at least) it is the best tool to write top standard professional games, not just on PCs but on games consoles too. The right tool for the right job remember? Even if the job of writing highly professional computer games is indeed a VERY tall order (as it has always been since the days of Pong). As said C# is on my "todo" list. But not to replace C++ (not yet... it still needs crucial improvements... which is understandable... it IS a NEW language afterall!) but to be used in conjunction with C++ in those non-critical areas (like tools) in which cpu clock cycles and fps issues are irrelevant.
  4. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    I hear you Telastyn... I do... But answer me this: Why the heck is the current games industry STILL using C / C++? Surely C++ isn't ALL that bad as you make it out to be. And since NO language, not even Java, C# or other similar alternatives is perfect, then why does C++ have to be? Anyway... Although I'm happy to go 12 rounds with C++ detractors like yourself, I'm enlightened enough to understand that just because I like C++ doesn't mean the rest of the World has to. I just don't get all this C++ bashing that’s all. (And I NEVER will either!)
  5. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    I wasn't there of course, but I can imagine that such similar (and ultimately useless) Internet threads such as this one (sorry OP lol!) were created during the Java vs C++ wars. Oh... And C++ "won" btw ^^. Okay... Perhaps "won" is a crude word, but I get the haunting feeling that a LOT of people out here are totally fed up with C++ and I can't really understand why. It's getting far more than it's fair share of flak lately (especially as C# is establishing itself). But yet in the CURRENT professional games industry it IS the language of choice (at least for the moment). Why the heck IS C++ getting all this flak? It's just a computer language for Christ's sakes (i.e. a TOOL), and a relatively successful computer language at that. As some have already argued (and I would agree... to a point), that it's probably not the beginner's language of choice (although my advice to ANY beginner is to try if you REALLY want to since not ALL beginners are equal)... But surely this point doesn't merit that C++ is a "crap" language. That last sentence was mainly aimed at the C++ detractors by the way (of which there seems to be many) and not the "C++ is too hard for beginners" camp. I love C / C++. I've worked in a few languages in my time (BASIC, VB, Pascal, Blitz Basic and even 16-bit game creators like AMOS). But by far I've found C / C++ to be the best languages I've come across (although not perfect... Which is fine... Since perfect languages do NOT exist!). And with regards to C#... Lets just say that my short lived, but painful experience with MFC made me sceptical at first. But having participated with threads here, my attitude towards C# has changed somewhat and it's definitely on my "todo" list when it comes to creating game tools. We all have different tastes and abilities and as one intelligent post has already highlighted... Computer languages are TOOLS at the end of the day. Use the right tool for the right job and all is well. But comparing apples with oranges doesn't really get us anywhere to be honest.
  6. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    Quote: The concept that "pointers give power" is also a strange one; granted they are central to C and C++ but other langauges get on just as well without them or with reassignable references which don't carry half the problems and have the same expressive 'power' if not more as C++ (see C#, Java, Python, Lua etc). Ah come now... Sure I think pointers are useful (and still a pain in the ass from time to time!), but those that know C++ quite well understand that pointers in themselves do not solely give C++ it's "power". There’s a lot more to it than that (templates, boost, STL, inline assembler, superb compilers etc etc). I'm assuming that C# has all that and more of course, but that in no way diminishes C++'s "power". Bottom line C++ has it's advantages over C# and C# has it's advantages over C++. Sure we may all argue over details but I'm pretty sure that BOTH these languages WILL be around for a long, LONG time and I have no problem with that. Just like there are MANY Human languages around the World, there will always be many computer languages. Diversity is a good thing is it not? Quote: However with pointer you bring up an excellent point; they can be a pain to get your head wrapped around. I don't mind saying that, even coming from an assembler background, I had some trouble with them to start with. Seems like I'm not the only one LOL!... And besides, I did have like a 10-15 year gap before taking up coding again. And finally, I'm Human... So shoot me ^^
  7. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    Quote: So, getting back to my point; REGARDLESS of what you want to do in the future C++ IS NOT a good starting point to learn to program. To be honest, I wasn't suggesting, for a moment that ALL beginners must learn C++. I myself came from a BASIC background (with some assembler) on old 8-bit and 16-bit machines way back in the 80's If I'm honest, I felt that such high level languages (like BASIC) hindered me somewhat when I decided to take up C / C++ several years ago. Pointers was a totally new concept for me and it was only after much "burning of fingers" did I finally tame pointers and really appreciate the power it gave me as a budding programmer. But my story is a personal one. I'm sure some got completely stumped (like me) on some of C++'s more difficult concepts (like pointers and memory allocation) whereas others may have found such concepts relatively easy to grasp at first. Your point is an opinion of course. One that, although common, I personally believe cannot be universally applied to all. But if someone who was interested in coding for the first time asked me which language they should choose to learn. I would do my utmost to provide them (or point them) to information on the most commonly used languages. This hopefully will explain to them their pros and cons, and empower them to ultimately make a choice that suits them. I think what we need here is MORE light and LESS heat. More light in terms of UNBIASED information and less heat in terms of these, ultimately useless, flame wars. Quote: It bothers me that everyone seems to think that if they don't start learning C++ from day one they are never going to get into the industry! That is certainly not my view. I myself am coming from a BASICs background remember? I merely stated that C++ is still (currently at least) the dominate language in the computer games industry. This may change of course, but in the meantime, whatever route one takes, getting to grips with C++ and to an extent C#, either initially or after learning other languages, seems to me to be a wise choice.
  8. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    Ah... There is nothing like a good 'ole flame war to warm ones cockles ^^ Yeah, as I said earlier in this (and many other) threads, these arguments are VERY old and (usually) VERY pointless! Some people like C++... Some like C#... And these situations will remain as such for ALL time... Sure, languages come and languages go... But bottom line, each individual needs to assess WHY they wish to learn one language (or a set of them) and not another. However, I fully agree... 100%, that C++ is NOT the provincial language of the elites. I'm a C++ fan, but I certainly do not claim it to be the "best" language. The most widely used in the current gaming industry yes, but not the best. Why? Simply because there IS no best language overall. Once you've established exactly WHAT you intend to do, HOW you intend to do and for what PURPOSE, then and only then can a language choice (or a set of language choices) make that "what language...?" situation a little clearer. I have consistently argued that, if one wishes to become a professional programmer, then you can't go wrong (at least for the moment) with getting to grips with C++. Sure it's not perfect and sure it's not the easiest language to learn, but neither is it the hardest. As said, it's what most if not all game companies look for when they advertise for coding specific vacancies. But that said, tool and support coders could get away (perhaps) with just learning C# say. And maybe one day C#'s influence may grow to rival that of C++ in the games industry of the future. Personally, I can't see that happening just quite yet and it remains to be seen just how this relatively "new" language (C#) will evolve over the next few years. But I find all this talk about "Don't learn C++ mate... It's too freaking hard!" to be really counter-productive. As with all endeavours of Human challenges, some will sink and some will swim. Perpetuating the myth that ALL new comers will sink with C++ is total BS. Those that know C++ relatively well had to start somewhere. We all had to write a load of "strange" code for that "Hello World" program to work and we all (I assume) jumped for joy when we saw those words printed for the first time in a console. We all (I'm sure) got our fingers completely burnt when we suffered horrendous memory leaks as we got to grips with pointers. We all (again an assumption) got completely stumped on concepts like multiple inheritance and suffered that dreaded "Diamond of Death". But as I said... Some of us survived such pitfalls and some of us did not. And those that did survive became BETTER coders afterwards. I know I did once I finally got to grips with memory leaks (and pointers). So my advice is research exactly what sort of project you want to do... Why you want to do it and the real purpose behind it... I.e. do you wish to impress your mates with simple games and demos? Then perhaps doing it with an "easier" language could be the best choice. I wrote a pretty playable Tetris clone for an ex girlfriend in Visual Basic a few years ago... It only took me an hour or so to write! Trying to do that in Win32 / C++ would have taken me considerable longer. So ask yourself questions like... Do you wish to break into the games industry as a pure coder? Currently C / C++ (and maybe even a little ASM) is the only real way to go. Do you wish to write efficient game tools for yourself or a games company? Well C# seems to be fast becoming the dominate language in this particular area although a LOT of legacy tools are still C / C++ based unfortunately. Do you wish to get to grips with data bases? Err... Wrong website mate... This is a website dedicated to GAMES (last I checked anyway!). These are just a few questions of course... But bottom line, do some extensive research first and take any advice you get, here or elsewhere, with a little pinch of salt. And if you conclude that a particular language IS right for you then go for it! Try not to get swayed or otherwise by what others may or may not say. We're all individuals at the end of the day and the day we all agree on which language is "best" (or indeed on any other matter be it politics or tastes in music) is the day that Hell itself freezes over... PERIOD!
  9. TerrorFLOP

    C++ or C#

    These "What language is best?" threads always have the potential to escalate into something much more (i.e. a flame war) so OP, I'd do some research on BOTH languages first for yourself. Personally, I'm a C++ fan. I've used this language for a few years now and that obviously means that any advice I give you would be biased. However, I hear C# does have some merits, to which I'm warming up to. Namely in creating game tools (which you'll probably need for any major projects you intend to create anyway!). So perhaps learning BOTH could be a wise choice. I've seen C# code and a lot of its syntax is based on C++ so the transition between the two languages isn't that great (although deep down they are quite different in many aspects). But if time is of the essence, and you only want to get down and dirty learning ONE language, then I'd choose C++. C++ is by far the dominate language in the video games industry and there always seems to be a shortage of proficient C++ programmers. So long term you just can't go wrong if you master C++. My 2 cents.
  10. TerrorFLOP

    Dumbing Down?

    Quote: "powerful" being a relative term in this case. In any case, do you need a jet engine to power a lawn mower? Only if you're Tim Taylor. Powerful, in the context of this thread, as being that which enables one to write highly efficient, optimized, high performance code. The sort of code that generally drives most of the major games today. As the great John Carmack once said "The Speed of Light Sucks!", and hear hear to that! When it comes to developing games there is absolutely nothing wrong in pure, unadulterated power! Quote: Just because C# is easier to learn doesn't disqualify it from being an acceptable tool to use in game development (see below). You misunderstand me. I certainly did not say C# was useless. FAR from it. I for one am even beginning to contemplate using C# to write tools for programming projects, since I know writing similar, GUI driven tools would take me AGES in C / C++ and I'd much rather spend my time on project development and less on tools development. I did almost choke on my pretzel when I read that C# bawks at pointers, but then I quickly came round to the idea that, although not good enough yet (in my opinion) to write the sort of demanding games we play now, C# does have its uses in areas where high performance isn't your number one concern. And last I checked, a lot of commercial games out there DO require that high performance (along with various other ingredients of course). Well C# is Microsoft's baby and I'm sure they'll be throwing a lot of money at C# so that, perhaps one day, it can truly compete with C / C++. But that day is NOT today. Quote: Following your logic here we should all still be learning assembler. After all C++ is "much easier to learn, but not as powerful", right? A simplistic analysis of course, but not one that I was thinking of. The current gaming industry has adopted, for the most part, C / C++. Assembler is still used of course, in those rare situations where needed. C# is fast becoming a great option for game tools. And let's not even get started on the entire litany of modellers, art packages, sound and music apps etc etc that are out there to simply make developing games a damn lot easier than if we all had to communicate to our computers in 0s and 1s. So sure. I have NOTHING against tools. I never did. But I do believe in using the right tools for the right job. As I mentioned before, easy to learn, high level languages have been around for a long time. But they simply were not the right tools for our predecessors. I'm not saying BASIC sucks... Actually, scratch that, it does suck LOL! No all I'm saying is we must use the BEST tools for the RIGHT job. Despite the current flak it’s getting right now, C / C++ IS the tool of choice, in my humble opinion, for writing the critical code areas in modern, high performance games. I'm not saying C# is not up to it (and I'd rather we didn't turn this into yet another language war). All I'm saying is that right now, C / C++ is the best we've got when it comes to that delicate balance of critical optimized code and time constraints. Sure, we could try coding more in assembler, but compilers these days are doing a fine job in making such requirements very, very rare. A similar analogy would be that we could create bit mapped pictures by directly accessing a buffer and drawing onto it a pixel at a time. But you could achieve exactly the same effect, in a fraction of the time, using Paint Shop Pro and simply downloading it all direct to a DX surface. So again you're trying to catch me out on TOOLS but modern C / C++ compliers ARE the right tools for the right job (99.99% of the time). Quote: Again, your logic here seems to be learn the more difficult language because it's "better" (in some undefined way) for you. Why not support assembler then? It is generally perceived that lower level languages are "better" than high level ones when it comes to code performance and optimization. However "better" could also mean user friendly and easy to learn. If that is your idea of "better", then perhaps we should simply stick with BASIC and be done with it. "Better" has different meanings depending upon the context. The context in which I used that word "better" is as follows: Those predecessors of ours, could have just stuck with BASIC but they didn't. Not because it was "easy", but because it simply wasn't the right tool for the right job. Namely getting computers, which were primarily business machines at the time, to do amazing stuff for which our multi-billion dollar gaming industry is now based. So when I say "better" I mean "right-tool-for-the-right-job". It just so happens that the current "right-tool-for-the-right-job", aka C / C++ for high performance apps, IS a little difficult for some people to grasp. But then, so was assembler way back then in the 70's and 80's. So until a language comes up that can match or even outperform C / C++ where it matters, then what is the alternative? Quit and jump into another language which, although "easier", slightly underperforms in comparison with C / C++? Quote: If that were the case, the gaming industry wouldn't exist, would it? After all, creating games is one of the hardest types of software development out there. You've just reinforced the crux of my argument. If our predecessors thought that assembler was just too damn hard and had given up, then Life in this 21st century would be quite different. But they stayed the course and thus gave rise to this industry that we all now enjoy. Now run forward a few decades to our time. C / C++ is a damn sight easier to learn than assembler, but again we hear the muffled cries that it's just too damn difficult. What SOME of us need to do is stay the course too, at least until a better language comes up that can match C / C++ to a very high degree, in a similar way that C / C++ currently matches assembler to a high degree. I accept that if we keep on extrapolating this model far into the future, then I guess computer languages will always get progressively easier and easier to learn, especially as the underlying technology improves. But I really don't think we're quite there yet and I fear that if we DO make this move now, we'll be making it not because the alternative is necessarily any "better", but because simply it's "easier". And given that my rant was aimed at things more general than coding, I was trying to make the point that "easy" isn't always "better". I was under the assumption that as each generation passes, the Human Race grows more and more capable and intelligent. Well... Right now, we've stalled somewhat. Quote: I think you're missing the point. It's not about "dumbing down" the industry, it's about money. Yes, the gaming industry is an industry and like all other industries has to be profitable to survive. With games taking upwards to a couple of years and millions of dollars to create, doesn't it make sense to look for a solution that helps lower the time and cost?!? Your logic here seems to say "No, let's just keeping pumping more money and man-hours into creating games even though tools are becoming available to help us avoid it". That strikes me as completely illogical. Again, you've taken me out of context regarding the use of tools. I'm all for tools. The RIGHT tools of course. But you're right of course. Money. One word. A myriad of different meanings and consequences. The gaming industry has indeed gone corporate. Not like in my hay day where software houses were a heck of a lot smaller. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. I'm no great fan of Microsoft or corporations in general. I am all for creating better tools however, but not replacing tools that are, for the moment at least, doing a great job at creating highly optimized code in critical areas for high performance apps, with inferior ones. I guess we'll have to wait and see how the future plays out. C++ has such a seemingly huge number of haters that when Java hit the scene, people left C++ in their droves... Only to come back to C++, grudgingly, some years later. It's a FAR from perfect language of course, but in its area of expertise (high performance code), it IS currently the best tool for the job, given the prohibitively time consuming constraints of assembler. In any case, in order to get into the industry these days as a coder, you going to need, for the time being at least, C++ in most situations.
  11. TerrorFLOP

    Dumbing Down?

    I've been a teacher for almost 14 years now and a game enthusiast and "bedroom" coder since I was about 8. I've always had an interest in writing software and studying science and mathematics, but now, as I get older, I'm starting to see that this relentless trend towards "easy" and "dumbing down" is seriously becoming totally detrimental to our way of Life. Hear me out a sec... I am going on a rant but let me bring to your attention one recent point that was highlighted in the news recently. The Imperial College of London, a great institution, 5th in the World I might add (I did my Theoretical Physics M.Sc. there) has now stated (along with other institutions) that it cannot differentiate between the "good" students from the REALLY "good" students. With record numbers of students attaining the highest grades, year on year, here in the UK, people have been wondering, for some time now, that our once great educational achievements, are becoming way too "easy" and that things are continually getting "dumbed" down. Is there any merit to this? Well, as I teacher I have to say absolutely YES. I taught at a prestigious Sixth Form college last year. The students were all pretty affluent. Coming from expensive private, public and boarding schools. In my first year A level maths class, most of my students attained grade As or Bs at the high GCSE level. But could these same students solve a simple quadratic equation? Hell no! Such issues in the gap between GCSE and A levels were apparent for sometime. So what was our government’s solution? Introduce the Core Mathematics 1 module, which, in my estimation, is nothing more than high level GCSE (only the last 2 chapters can be classified as A level topics). Let me be clear here... We virtually have a GCSE maths module as an A level. If this is not dumbing down then I don't know what is. More to the point, I also found that the majority of the home grown (i.e. UK) students had such a lack lustre, lazy and apathetic approach to their maths courses, that I found myself having to literally do their own damn maths problems for them! Suffice to say that the majority of them flunked Core (GCSE) Maths 1 and I had to transfer the two bright students that I did have (BOTH overseas students) to the fast track maths class as there was no way in hell the rest of my class could even begin to attempt the next level (Core Maths 2). When compared to the overseas students, mainly from the Far East, there was simply no contest. The overseas students were simply in a class of their own and when I keep on hearing about Britain lagging behind their counterparts in the maths and sciences, I am simply not surprised one bit! I don't know about you guys but, maybe I'm getting old, it just seems that today, especially here in the West, we seem to be living in a World of instant gratification, to the point that even educational excellence must also be instantly attainable with the minimum of effort! For the first time in our History, girls are actually outperforming boys in MANY subjects, including those "traditional" subjects of maths and science. Science labs, in particular Physics and Chemistry, are in decline in MANY of Britain’s' universities. In the media, mindless music and equally mindless television reigns supreme. I can't remember the last time I actually watched a half-decent science documentary on the box. It's all tripe like Big Brother (please God help me!), Hollyoaks, East Enders (which let's face it, is utter CRAP these days), X Factor, Come Dancing, Location, Location, Location, programs about surgery and looking beautiful, programs about programs (aka the top 100 best "whatever" TV scenes of all time)... Yada, yada, yada... Ah the list of shite goes on and on. In fact, thanks largely to the Internet; rumours are abound that TV these days is sooo bad, that its days are numbered... And it's really not hard to see why... TV sucks! But anyway, I'm getting a little off the track here. No people. We're dumbing down... We're getting fatter, lazier, crazier and violent. Always seeking that "quick fix" solution, a lot of us just can't be arsed these days. And this attitude transcends EVERYTHING. Our relationships, our kids, our jobs, our education, our health... EVERYTHING. I suppose the only thing that seriously focuses our minds these days is MONEY. Well, look at the crap we're in now. Britain has record debt levels and America is in pretty bad shape! All thanks to all that cheap credit so that we can all own 3 houses and go off and pollute the planet 10 times a year to get completely rat faced in some cheap holiday resort (or 2nd / 3rd home) somewhere, just so that we can brag about it to our friends. Anyway, I've only just touched upon the surface of course. There are HUGE problems everywhere and as far as I can tell, the majority of us seemingly couldn't be bothered. As a budding programmer myself, who has put in a HUGE amount of time, energy and resources into what I see to be a very productive and creative hobby, I am also starting to see a "dumbing" down trend here. Now, before you start shooting me, I've read quite a few articles here and there in gaming magazines (like Games TM or Edge). One quite recently did interviews with a gaming company, who had a few members who graduated from those so called "Gaming Degrees" a few years ago. Anyway, the jist of the article was that, time and time again, the coding quality of candidates, interviewed for potential jobs, simply wasn't up to scratch. I.e. they could NOT code! A lot of them also criticized, to a point, the quality of their gaming courses and said that the experience simply did not equip them enough for the industry. In fact a lot of them quipped that they got "lucky". There is a huge drop out rate for such courses (and I'm guessing their lack of coding skills and maths played a vital part) and some in the industry are now beginning to seriously question their merits. Part of me thinks that once again, some people who embark upon these courses, are out there looking for that "quick fix" solution to get them into the highly skilled and competitive gaming industry, rather than say, spend a long time spanning many years learning how to code properly. Some of those interviewed in the article even said that they preferred dedicated coders who were self-taught over many years and who learned straight C / C++, as opposed to some fresh faced gaming graduate who was perhaps a "Jack of all trades but Master of none". How these gaming courses can equip someone who has virtually no coding experience, within a few short years, is quite baffling. Coding remains to be one of the toughest challenges but one of the most rewarding, and I personally don't wish to see this highly technical area get dumbed down along with mathematics, the sciences and everything else. Yes... C / C++, the number one choice languages used extensively throughout the industry, ARE difficult to learn. They DO take time, a LOT of time to master. And I think that's probably one of the reasons why, right now, these languages seem to be getting a bit of a bashing these days (at least that's what it feels like here to be honest), with people hailing the much easier to learn, but not as powerful, C# language or XNA. No language is perfect, and I too have my particular issues with C / C++ but NOT because they are difficult languages to learn. The greater the challenge the greater the rewards I'd say, and I have nothing against those who wish to pursue "easier" languages. Such languages have HUGE merits in other, non-gaming areas of the software industry. But designing and developing modern computer games has always been a challenging field. Even though BASIC and other high level languages have been around for aeons, it was thanks largely to small groups of highly skilled and dedicated people, who rose to that very difficult challenge and wrote primarily assembler back in the GOOD old days, that have basically helped to usher in this new age of computer gaming. We now have very powerful compliers (a lot of them FREE), fast quad core CPUs, an abundance of cheap memory, dedicated sound and graphics cards and HUGE resources (both online and in books) that can enable us to write games on a whole new level. So some may argue that the bar has been raised. Well it has, but so has the tools that we have at our disposal that our predecessors would have died for back in the day. With a certain amount of will and determination, anyone can now write good software. But alas, as I keep hearing not only in the classroom, but in general society at large, that if something is "difficult" to do, then it's not really worth the bother. Well yes, high performance coding IS difficult to do but I really think it IS worth the bother. I just hope that, with all this dumbing down going on all around us, this great gaming industry of ours does not follow suit. Wishful thinking...? Perhaps.
  12. You could try using the performance counter. QueryPerformanceFrequency and QueryPerformanceCounter are the two routines you need. On GHz CPUs, the performance counter can read intervals of time on the order of nano-seconds. Of course this may be a little too sensitive (and thus leave you with the original problem), but with a little tweaking here and there, you could easily measure delays of microseconds or fractions of milliseconds without much difficulty.
  13. TerrorFLOP

    C++ help

    Well off the top of my head, I suspect that the problem may lay in "operator precedence". I.e. your function call GetSoundFiles() gets called first, then the array element GetSoundFiles() is accessed, then the member selection comes into effect GetSoundFiles().file_string() and then finally the member selection via pointer globalFileDirectories->GetSoundFiles().file_string(). This should be the order of things. So perhaps the introduction of some brackets, to force the correct order, may be called for here...
  14. Mmmm... If you're talking like say, the minimap in WOW for instance, then off the top of my head, my first hack at this problem would probably be to create a much smaller, but identical terrain. And since this would be just a map, perhaps a "flat" terrain, which is then partially rendered to the screen as the players map. This map could of course be created during startup (or development) and since it's small, the mesh could be easily optimized since vertices would be close to each other. Just a rough idea...
  15. TerrorFLOP

    Windows API - file system

    Here's a start... File I/O Functions This is a link from MSDN, so it should serve ALL your needs.
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