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Learn SDL? - cdsboy - Mar 19, 2007 08:14 PM

I just finished the book "Beginning C++ through game programming", which i really liked. So now i would like to apply what i learned in that book. My problem is that i would rather go with a graphical game then a terminal one. After reading alot of posts i've desided to go with SDL. I tried searching the internet for good tutorials or books to learn. The only thing I found was Lazy Foo's tutorials. I found these hard to understand and was hoping you guys knew of a better way to learn SDL. I am mainly looking for a free way to learn it, although if you know of a must have book that is under $50 i would seriously consider going that route. Also i am not set on going with SDL if anyone knows of a differnt engine that handles graphics, timers, events, and basic sounds, that you consider easier i will check it out. Anyways thanks in advanced.

Learn SDL? - unknown - Mar 19, 2007 10:38 PM

Well I have a basic template here which gives you a window with an OpenGL view in it, and it sets up timers and key event handling. It uses Cocoa to get the window and events and so on so you will have a much more Mac like program than using SDL.
Adding sounds/texture loading etc to it is quite simple as well (You'd probably want to check out OpenAL for audio later on).
Anyway hope thats helpful, if not just get the reqiured frameworks from (the developer ones) and theres Xcode templates with them as well.

Learn SDL? - cdsboy - Mar 20, 2007 08:23 AM

I am looking for something that explains why stuff works and/or how to do it myself.

Learn SDL? - JustinFic - Mar 20, 2007 08:51 AM

cdsboy Wrote:I am mainly looking for a free way to learn it, although if you know of a must have book that is under $50 i would seriously consider going that route.

Focus on SDL:

This is a very easy book to follow, covers all the auxilliary libraries (SDL_mixer for sound, SDL_image for texture loading, SDL_net for networking, etc) and is dirt cheap to boot.

Also seconding Along with frameworks they have more up-to-date documentation (the book is a few years old, so I'm not sure if some info is now out-of-date.)

Learn SDL? - cdsboy - Mar 20, 2007 05:59 PM

Well i acually desided to go with OpenGL. So i went and bought myself the redbook. Hopefully that should get me started!

Learn SDL? - bronxbomber92 - Mar 21, 2007 12:45 PM

You do know edition 2 of that book is free?

Learn SDL? - sealfin - Mar 21, 2007 03:58 PM

@cdsboy: OpenGL is not a complete solution; you will still need another API (SDL, GLUT, Cocoa, etc) to create the OpenGL context, handle timers and events, etc.

Learn SDL? - skrew - Mar 23, 2007 12:17 AM

if your still interested in SDL check these tutorials, havent gone through them but they look alright:

Learn SDL? - Dreamer - Mar 28, 2007 02:32 PM

The best way to learn to program using SDL as the target is to go to the SDL site and read through the tutorials listed there, there is even an excellent SDL on Mac Tutorial.

Don't waste money on books BTW, in game development at least 1/2 of the stuff taught in books is either outdated, or buggy, or focuses entirely too much on theory, or teaches dangerous and sloppy programming habits.

Instead get yourself a subscription to the library at, this way you have access to hundred of books on development in general, at your finger tips 24/7 and it costs less than going to the bookstore and purchasing a single book.

If however you still want to have a nice fat doorstop to cuddle up with let me recommend the following "must haves"

#1 OpenGL Redbook
#2 OpenGL SuperBible (known as the Black Book)
#3 OpenGL Shader Development (commonly known as the Yellow book)
#4 3D Game Engine (Design/Development/Architecture) it's a series of books and you can find them at

Additionally, if you have no programming background pick up a good book on the programming language of your choice.