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Question submitted by (28 June 1999)

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  Hi. I am very interested in game programming, but I don't have any experience with any of the tools of the industry. I am desparately in search of any resource that will get me started in game/3d programming. However, I have been unable to locate anything that starts from the most basic level. I know raw C++ (I have MSVC++ 5.0 and DirectX5 SDK) but only have UNIX console programming experience. Where should I start this learning process? Do I need to know Win32?? MFC??  

  In a lot of ways I came from the same background having experience programming the Amiga and UNIX systems before really moving into DOS and Windows, and its not that bad even though it looks like there is a lot more that has to be done in a Windows program. I would suggest picking up the book "Windows Game Programming for Dummies" by Andre Lamothe and trying to ignore the "for dummies" part of the title, as its just a license of a franchise name.

From all the beginners at Windows/DirectX programming that I have spoken to, which have been numerous, I have received really good reviews each one. Many of them had read a few other books previous to this and still really not gotten the concept behind programming in Windows and using DirectX, which says quite a lot.

I think its important to keep in mind that if all you want to do is program games in Windows as a hobby, and in some cases professionally , you really don't have to learn all ins and outs of Windows, you just need to learn the proper initialization and error handling techniques which will naturally come after using bases of code provided for you in examples.

In my experience it took very little to go from programming in DOS/UNIX environments to working on games in Windows as I just initially ignored all the Windows commands by copying what I saw in examples and once it was working, using the framework to create games. After all, the game is really independent of the OS and API after you have an interface between the game and the OS.

When you do want to learn more about Windows there is always plenty of information out there to do so in a more traditional manner.

Response provided by Geoff Howland

This article was originally an entry in flipCode's Fountain of Knowledge, an open Question and Answer column that no longer exists.


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