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mlmiller1983
10-20-2004, 12:57 PM
I have a copy of Lightwave 8.0(Ed.), Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, Microsoft Visual C++.Net, and the Direct X 9 SDK. I have purchased some books on game programming and graphics programming as well. Is this all I need to start learning game code and graphics programming. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks:)!!!

jasonwestmas
10-20-2004, 10:11 PM
I have a copy of Lightwave 8.0(Ed.), Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, Microsoft Visual C++.Net, and the Direct X 9 SDK. I have purchased some books on game programming and graphics programming as well. Is this all I need to start learning game code and graphics programming. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks:)!!!

First, I would decide on a game engine. Then
I would find a format solution to get all the art and animation from Lightwave into your game engine.

But before even that don't get lost in the tools, decide what the game is, what it's supposed to do for enjoyment purposes and start designing how you are going to make that a reality. :)

Martin Adams
10-21-2004, 11:44 AM
The thing that actually made me buy LightWave 3D was this book...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0240516648/qid=1098379999/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/202-4595357-3067838

I brought this book and then realised that I needed to switch from Animation:Master to something with polygon modelling, al-la LightWave. The book is geared towards LightWave which is all good.

C++ is a good choice and I presume you have decided to go with DirectX. I created a small demo in C++ with DirectX when I was at university. You can download the code and read the document here (Under '3D Room in DirectX’):
http://www.egallery.me.uk/programming.html

There will be a lot of maths to know. When I did my A-Level maths course I wish I understood the importance of matrices in game development. I'd probably have paid attention a lot more. Anyway, I recommend this book as I’ve found it to be the easiest to understand opposed to some others:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556229119/qid%3D1098380279/202-4595357-3067838

You should have everything you need to get up and running. LightWave for game models, etc (but that may come later if you're a complete beginner). Visual C++ 6.0 will do fine with the DirectX SDK. Visual C++ .NET is pretty much the same as Visual C++ 6.0 except it can handle managed C++.

As with anything in this field, the most important thing you need is time and dedication. If you don't understand anything, ask a simpler question and find the answer to that first.

If you're developing a game engine all on your own, it is very hard work. But I'm a believer in that anything is possible as I still have the ambition to do that myself :)

mlmiller1983
10-21-2004, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll check out the books you suggested.:)

Ramen Sama
10-21-2004, 06:22 PM
I would consider the Torque Game engine, which powered the Tribes games. you can purchase a license for the engine for only $100. Plus there is an 802 page book available from an independant author specifically for using the torque engine. I've got a license for it and have dabbled a little bit into it.

http://www.garagegames.com/ Link to the torque engine.

mlmiller1983
10-21-2004, 09:26 PM
I got a ton of game programming books off ebay. I intend to devote as much as my spare time to learning this stuff. Currently I am unemployed and going to college to major in science or engineering. Thanks for the link though. I appreciate it.

Traveler
10-26-2004, 03:03 PM
I have a copy of Lightwave 8.0(Ed.), Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, Microsoft Visual C++.Net, and the Direct X 9 SDK. I have purchased some books on game programming and graphics programming as well. Is this all I need to start learning game code and graphics programming. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks:)!!!

Hope you don't mind me asking, but do you have any experience with programming at all? (Could be wrong but you sound like you haven't)

If you answer that question with a big yes, then mine is that as well, yes that's about all you need.

If you answer that question with "a sure I do, I just finished a tetris clone with SDL." Then yes you're on the right track, perhaps a couple tutorials about D3D or OpenGL before you start, but sure, go for it! (http://www.gamedev.net )

If you answer that question with a "well I've done a 'guess-the-number-game' a couple days ago, does that count?" Then I'd recommend you not to start off with Direct3D. (You do know what the DirectX 9 SDK is for right?) Look up a couple dozen tutorials about directdraw (I know its old, but it will teach you lots). Try your hands on a simple game like Pong, or perhaps Tetris. (http://www.gamedev.net )

But if you answer that question with a "sure I do, I just had my 3rd Class about programming in C" Then my advice would be to put those books about Games- and Graphics programming away for a while, replace them with books about C(++) and finish those classes first.

I hope I didn't sound too rude, cause it is not intended as such. My whole point is, you should learn to stand first, then learn how to walk. To me, you sounded like you were already running. I apologize if I'm incorrect.

Martin Adams
10-26-2004, 03:31 PM
On the topic of C++ specific coding, I would also recommend you take a look at Exceptional C++ (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201615622/qid=1098825295/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-2985005-5365269) as this covers a lot on writing exception-safe code, class mechanics, and memory management. However, this is for the more seasoned C++ programmers though.

Another good book which is specific to C++ and geared towards game development is C++ for Game Programmers (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1584502274/qid%3D1098825406/026-2985005-5365269). This covers when to use object-oriented programming, templates, exception handling, performance, memory allocation, plug-ins and some other stuff. Again, this is for the seasoned C++ programmer as well.

Something that I haven't quite got the grasp of yet is buying books on a need to know basis. I like having a library of game programing books and just don't have the time to read them. Game programming is a large subject when you take into account series of books that cover DirectX, OpenGL, Animation, Terrains, Physics, Game Math, AI, Sound, Game Scripting. That doesn't even cover books on C++, Java, C# etc. If its a 3D game then also books on learning 3D (a la LightWave).

But as mentioned, if you're new to programming, then start small. Learn how to program C++. Then learn how to program graphics. Then learn how to program simple 3D objects in DirectX or OpenGL. Then learn how to load LightWave models, etc. Then learn how to light your 3D scene. Then learn how to texture your scene. Then learn how to maneouver around your scene. Then learn how to animate your scene ...
you get the idea ...
And finally learn how to make a game.

One of the most important things you need to learn at the same time is the math behind what you do. That's the most important thing you really need to understand when programming games. It may not be easy, but its far from impossible.

But remember though, its a lot of fun and the satisfaction of producing the little details as you go is extremely rewarding. Just keep focused and keep progressing :)

mlmiller1983
10-26-2004, 05:34 PM
Hope you don't mind me asking, but do you have any experience with programming at all? (Could be wrong but you sound like you haven't)



To answer your question yes I have. But its very limited. I have taken classes at my college but only up to OOP. Haven't taken data structures or algorithms classes yet.

I hear you and no offense taken. I'll take your advice. Thanks

I guess I might of bought some of books for nothing. I see what you are getting at first learn the basics.

Traveler
10-27-2004, 03:28 AM
I guess I might of bought some of books for nothing.
I wouldn't say that. I'm pretty sure they'll come in handy sooner or later. It's just that when you're programming a game, you want to focus on the game related problems, for instance how to implement a collision detection routine, and not about why nested while-loops aren't working or why the program does doesn't compile. (silly examples I know, but I've seen lots of people asking these kind of questions in gamedev forums).

When you feel comfortable with coding, try something simple like pong, or perhaps tetris or a breakout clone. It will teach you lots. (Again, you should see how often I've seen people write, "hi, I'm writing a mmorpg, but I can't figure out how to let my map scroll, can you help me?" :) )

You may also want to look for a game programming library where lots of code has already been done for you, like user input, sound, graphics etc, so you don't have to worry about that anymore (trust me, as a beginner, you don't even want to :) )
I myself am using Delphi and because of that I don't have that much experience with C/C++ libs, but I know Allegro (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/) is quite popular and so is SDL (http://www.libsdl.org/index.php) (both are free).

Hope this helps

Joker II
10-27-2004, 03:58 AM
@ Martin Adams, thanks for the links to those books and the advice!

@ Traveller, same goes to you for the wise words :D guess I'll have to finish evening school in programming before I start tackling those Mathematics for 3D hey ;)

Sorry to intrude into your tread mlmiller :)

See ya,
Joker ;)

mlmiller1983
10-28-2004, 09:36 AM
@ Martin Adams, thanks for the links to those books and the advice!

@ Traveller, same goes to you for the wise words :D guess I'll have to finish evening school in programming before I start tackling those Mathematics for 3D hey ;)

Sorry to intrude into your tread mlmiller :)

See ya,
Joker ;)



No problem. I am in the same boat. I have to wait until I finish some more programming and math courses before I tackle game programming.

I am actually considering attending Art Institute of California - Orange County. Its only 7 miles from the University of California Irvine. I plan on majoring in BS Information & Computer Science at UCI and BS Game Art & Design at Art Institute of California.

turbo
10-28-2004, 11:59 AM
My previous post (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=29037) answers your question from the perspective of cross platform and affordability.

If you want cross platform, Direct X is not the way to go.
If your focus is making a game, choose an engine, don't try to build one.

Defining your game is the first step.