Beginner Interested in Game Programming

ThePenguin
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Post: #1
hello,

I am new to this forum and am interested in game programming. I do not have that much skill in regular c++ (that is my chosen language) but I am slowly learning. What would be a good project for a beginner and how is programming games different then an application? I was thinking maybe making pong, but I feel a little doubted on what to do. All I have made before is text type apps so far. I am only 13 so I get a little confused by some of the things I have read. Can you help me please?

Thank you
Alex
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
First off, don't let the fact that you're 13 get you down. It's all about how much you know, not how old you are... (I'm 15, been programming since 7 or so)

Programming games is very different from an application, as performance is paramount. Nobody cares whether you can refresh the screen once per second or 60 times (usually) in an application, but in games it's the difference between 1fps and 60. You'll also have to learn some sort of animation toolkit/sprite animator/etc, as you really don't want to deal with the toolbox or whatever. Additionally, these don't usually have the nicest of APIs as they are designed for performance, not ease of use. You really need to decide on one before you can start the game. For me to answer any more questions, you'll need to say something more.

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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ThePenguin
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Post: #3
What exactly is a sprite toolkit etc. Also, what are some goods ones that I can look at? Umm, what else do you want to know?

Thanks
Alex
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Post: #4
It takes care of the really difficult stuff - like blitting to the screen, interacting with the system, and such. I use Objective-C, so I don't know much about C++ specifically, but I think I've heard stuff about SDL and SpriteWorld. Look around, and maybe someone else will reply here.

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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ThePenguin
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Post: #5
I was looking at SAT (sprite animation toolkit) and it looks interesting but I can't find the one for OS X

Alex
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Patrick
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Post: #6
SAT for OS X is still in very early alpha and it seems to only work with CodeWarrior, so unless you have CW I wouldn't bother.

here are some good links to frameworks/etc:

SpriteWorld 3.0b2 ( Classic/ OS X (Classic/Carbon) )
Languages Supported: C/C++/Pascal
http://www.spriteworld.org/bin/SpriteWor...2.sitx.bin
license: free for all use

CocoaBlitz v.0.3.0 ( OS X (Cocoa))
Languages Supported: Objective-C
http://www.variableaspect.com/experiments/CocoaBlitz/
license: free for non-profit use only

Simple DirectMedia Layer ( cross-platform )
Languages Supported: almost anything
http://www.libsdl.org/
license: free for all use, must give any changes back as open source

Sprite Animation Toolkit Carbon Alpha ( Classic - X (Carbon) )
Languages Supported: C or Pascal
http://www.lysator.liu.se/~ingemar/sat/S...-alpha.hqx
license: ???
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Post: #7
In my mind you should still learn the toolbox routines and syntax just to get a handle on how the mechanics of a different engine work e.g. spriteworld or cocoa blitz. If I had just started programming these things would seem very confusing to me because I wouldn't know how they worked. Besides you should really learn how to make your own engine even if it isn't nessecary.


P.S. Does anyone else think it sucks that you have to be 18 to be a member of ADC (Apple Developer Connection)? Im 17 and can't stand not having all of the SDKs and stuff that only members can download.

-CarbonX
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Post: #8
Annoys the heck outta me, at least until I got one... *cough*

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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Post: #9
I should just do the same thing. In fact Ill go do it right now.

-CarbonX
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Post: #10
Oh oops. I didn't mean to advocate any sort of illegal activites...

Did I? *cough*

Wow, I'm having too much fun on these forums. Time for bed...


NOOO

_cant_shut_off_computer_....

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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Post: #11
That is what I should do as well. In fact I will go do it right now.

-CarbonX
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Post: #12
Just keep on going. You'll get it.
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ThePenguin
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Post: #13
The thing is, I have no idea how to make an engine. I don't even know what they do. I guess I'll try one of those. Hmm, I see I'm going to need some more programming skills. Oh well. I don't know but I just feel extremely confused. I know about classes, but I dont really understand how to use them too well. I guess I'll need to desing everything to the last detail. I think I'm going to get the book Mac Game Programming that I saw in the store. It looked real cool.

Thanks for your replies
Alex
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Post: #14
Yeah, you really need to understand what you're doing to be able to program a game. Get a book. I've heard good things about the Mac Game Programming book that you just mentioned...

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue sky?
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Post: #15
Quote:Originally posted by ThePenguin
The thing is, I have no idea how to make an engine. I don't even know what they do. I guess I'll try one of those. Hmm, I see I'm going to need some more programming skills. Oh well. I don't know but I just feel extremely confused. I know about classes, but I dont really understand how to use them too well.

You know, it's amazing what you can do without properly understanding how things work (speaking from experience). The important thing is that you have to get your hands dirty and try things out so that you begin to realise which things you need to learn in more detail. Bear in mind that it can take a long time to learn enough to be really proficient, but it'll be worth it in the end.

Quote:I guess I'll need to desing everything to the last detail. I think I'm going to get the book Mac Game Programming that I saw in the store. It looked real cool.

I've got that book. I thought that it was curiously retro in some ways, but it covers all the stuff you need to know to get started.

Another library you might want to look at is OpenGL with GLUT. OpenGL is primarily a 3D API, but you can use it for 2D if you want to. It might seem to be difficult to learn at first, but there are a lot of good tutorials on the subject, and once you've cracked it you can do all sorts of incredible things. GLUT, incidentally, is a little framework for OpenGL applications that helps you to avoid writing a lot of boring setup code - that way you can start programming the actual game sooner.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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