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help trying to get started programming
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Konedima
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:49 pm    Post subject: help trying to get started programming Reply with quote

theres probably another thread somewhere on the board about this, but i'd like to make my own game (probably in... what language does moonpod use? c++ isn't it?). now i know that since i know nothing about programming i won't get results instantly or even soon, but can someone point me to what software i'd need (preferably free) and tutorials to get me started?
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 138



PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on how complete of an API you want. If you want to pick and choose, then for a renderer I would suggest Ogre3D, if you want a complete package, you may think about modding an existing game. There are tons out there though, google game api's and such similer things.
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Hamish
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about C++, but for single beginner developers I would recommend Blitz Basic 3D www.blitzbasic.co.nz or for something even simpler with no programming, Multimedia Fusion www.clickteam.com. It really depends what kind of game you want to make, but Blitz Basic 3D has saved me an enormous amount of time on the programming side leaving me to concentrate on the art for the most part.
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to like the programming side of things, I *like* making the api and interface. I do programmer art when I have to overall. Razz
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use the VisualC++ compiler as do most of the big code shops so it can be useful if your long term aim is to get a job, but as other people have said there are much easier ways to get a game done. I think it is possible to download the compiler from Microsoft for free, it was at one point anyway. There are free editors out there that could call into it if you don't like make files and command line parameters (I know I don't).
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starscape junkie



Joined: 15 Jun 2003
Posts: 177
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im perfectly happy with my Dev-C++ using SDL/OpenGL for graphics, but i have 3 years programming experience. For a beginner you might wanna cut your teeth on something simple and get the hang of everything before getting into a full blown programming language.

/thread derail /rant

I just started my first year of college, and it looks like this semester its going to be an expensive daycare center, god forbid they teach anything practical. I cannot belive I have taught myself the equivilent of two years of college from the internet, and yet I need a degree to get a decent job Evil or Very Mad

/rerail thread /endrant

So....yeah, if you want to make your own game, use something that caters to that, if you want to learn programming, teach yourself C or some other language.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'd pretty much second what everyone has said. If you want to make games yourself but have no previous experience, then check out blitz. If you are looking to get a job then you need to learn C++ and get a demo together.

If you want to learn c++ on the cheap, I hear good things about codeblocks - which can also interface with the freely downloadable Microsoft compiler.
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 363
Location: London, UK



PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there's a free 'express edition' of Visual C++ 2005

http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/visualc/default.aspx

you get the full Visual Studio IDE, I think. It's still a beta, though. I don't know what'll happens to the express editions when VS2005 is launched, I've heard either they continue to be free or they'll cost $49. I haven't tried all the competition but I'm a big fan of the Visual Studio IDEs in general - they're easy to use and very well polished. And, more importantly, the built-in help is first-rate.

Depending on what kind of games you want to make there are some free frameworks you can get hold of, e.g. Popcap's 2D framework, or for $100 or so there's a well established 3D framework on Garagegames (derived from the Tribes 2 engine). If you're willing to go open-source (which is no problem if you're never going to distribute your game) then you can get the Quake 3 engine under GPL and there's loads of other types of game engines open-source on Sourceforge.
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happymonster



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
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Location: Nottingham, UK



PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are a beginner at programming and are looking more at 2D games then I would recommend the Allegro Library. It is what I use myself and I recommend it for the following reasons:

Totally open source with no licence restrictions at all.

Still under active development both to fix bugs and to develop into a new version.

Versions available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and Dos.

Comprehensive documentation, examples and source code.

Fully featured library, covering graphics, sound, keyboard, mouse, joypad, configuration files, unicode string handling, and much more.

Also very importantly, an active user base and forum which can be very helpful for beginners and for general help.


I hope that helps! Smile
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Weeble
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're going to code in C++, bear in mind that you can't rely on the language to force you to write good code. You can write some terrifyingly bad code in C++. And don't rely on the examples you work from being good examples. Actually, that's probably a better question. What would... umm... I guess it's really just Poo Bear to ask now, unless Goober is lurking. What would you recommend as good books for learning C++, object oriented programming, good practice and good style?
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James



Joined: 28 Nov 2002
Posts: 153
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not read it myself, but Accelerated C++ is supposed to be a pretty good book for learning the language. It apparently uses the standard C++ libraries from the start (so teaches "string" before "char*", for example) which would probably make it more straightforward for a beginner to actually start producing code that does useful stuff. A lot of books seem obsessed with link list classes and sorting routines and the like, which you just don't need to write yourself these days*.


* Okay, there are reasons to want to, but not if you're writing something that's not hugely performance or memory critical, especially on a PC.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alright right now i'm downloading visual c++ 2005 express edition and allegro - i guess first i should try something simple like pong (so thats what i'm going to do)
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you are starting:


You need a reference and a lot of people make the obvious suggestion The C++ programming language by Bjarne Stroustrup. In reality it isn't that readable, nice to have around for the more complex questions. I rely a lot more on the Visual Studio help system which in turn is really just pulling data out of the MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vclib/html/_crt_printf.2c_.wprintf.asp

Thinking in C++

Using Borland C++ (this really dates me doesn't it, probably not that good a recommendation these days, its a bit old)

Once you know what you are doing then:

Writing Solid Code

Effective C++

Effective STL

Design Patterns

You should also make it your mission to always have one new book you are reading, try and get through each one every month or two. It really is important to keep exposing yourself to new thinking. It isn't that expensive because you can buy them second hand on ebay or amazon.

You end up reusing a small set of functionality you are familiar and comfortable with and the smaller that is the harder it is to get things done. If you don't read about the STL you might remain quite happy with using raw char data to store and manipulate text your whole life. You'll get the job done ok, but you'll always be creating more bugs than you should be, code will probably offer less features than it could have done and you'll work more slowly than is necessary. You could read about the STL grok the importance of standardised containers and not reinventing the wheel and instead pick up a nice stand alone string class. It doesn't matter what you end up reading as long as you expose yourself to a wide varied diet of teaching - some of it will rub off.
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ravuya



Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 5
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
Once you know what you are doing then:

Writing Solid Code

Effective C++

Effective STL

Design Patterns


Code Complete is another great book to tack onto that pile. I found it immeasurably useful for improving my quality of code while reducing the complexity. I think the author also has a book on rapid development which might be a good one to pick up.
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gnat



Joined: 12 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flash or python (with pygame) would be both good choices too. Easy to learn, fast results, fairly capable etc.. Razz
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