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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    0
    wow! welcome to 3dbuzz! i hope we can answer some questions once in a while, you seem rather versed in programming already
    i already have a question
    you see; what knowlage and experence i have in programming is not well reflected in my math knowlage/skill. i have been programming C++ for nearly two and a half years, C# for about two years, and along the way i have become aquanted with the syntax of VB/VB.net, perl and a bit of java. in addition i am well along the lines of fully understanding the class library in .net, and i do have some D3D/DI (i have never used DS or DP) experence. however, one of my long tem goals is somthing along the lines of a 3D rasterizr, and a short term one being a GUI system in D3D; but even the simple view/transformation matrix baffles me to say the least. i understand what it is - but i have no idea how to use that information, to, lets say, map a mouse click on to a tilted 2D plane (for UI stuff). in non-visual apsects, i have much interest in programing a scripting language. thanks to Game Scripting Mastery, i am capeable of implamenting my own system (of which i have lots of cool ideas), but the problem is i dont know where to start with optimization, which is nececary becuse in addition to desktop apps, i plan on using it for resource intensive situations.
    i am currently in geomitry and i have taken algerbra 1, but with exeption to the appendicies of Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, i have no other experence.
    now, on to my question how will i go about self pacing myself and eventualy be lead into the higher levels of math? what is your suggestion? or do you think that i should wait to be taught it eventualy though high school & collage? (i have no illusions that time is not importent, and will understand complex concepts right off the bat...)

    thanks to whatever insigt you can give

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    16
    redshock, Welcome happy to have you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    21
    Hey METALHEAD1992, it sounds like you are on the right path. The best thing to do at your level right now is to learn as many tools that you can such as languages and their syntax, learning the hottest APIs and so forth. As you increase your education in high school and college, you will be able to expand your knowledge in math, physics, algorithms and so on. In a sense, you're learning the tools before you use them. Although there's nothing wrong with knowing every language in the world, you should put a big focus on learning the differences between C and C++. Java isn't quite there yet for professional game development, and C# is a little ahead but it won't go any further than tool development. You'll see tons of middleware games coming out with C# games, but the big games can be considered still C/C++ for many years to come. So, there would definitely be a focus in C/C++ if you want to go into the game industry, but definitely still learn Java/C# for your tool development (map editor etc.). What might even be cooler is the new C++/CLI because you can use C++ and use .NET pretty much like you would with any other API. The idea is your .NET app can directly talk to your C++ program. There is no interoping etc. Tools are definitely a good thing to have available to you, but be sure you're using it for the right task. Later on you'll find the tool is the least important of getting the project done, but for a job or project, you would determine what your tools are going to be to get the job done. The rest is detail. To get ahead, it would be a good idea to pick up Tricks and a few math books that focus on 2D development overall. There's a ton of stuff in algebra that fall into 2D, so be sure to keep an extra eye out in your math classes and wonder how this can be used for your 2D games. 3D games are just another dimension, so it'll carry over.

    About self pacing yourself, you have to want it. If you find yourself programming & studying with hours flying by unnoticed, you have what it takes. What is most important is getting an education. While you do that, it's a good thing to pick up Tricks 1 & 2 so you can educate yourself on how graphics work too and actually implementing what you learned in school. Jumping to any graphics API later in the future is really easy, so don't worry about the latest technologies right now. My last tip is don't wait! I wish I started learning this stuff when I was younger, so if you can replace some free time with some study time, you're on the right path. I hope this helped with your question! Good luck with everything, and keep me contact if you need any help.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3,666
    I hope it is ok that i chim in a question:

    I am starting to learn java, because I hear for someone completly new to programming it helps build good practices and such. My question is: Is it best to start with just one language or is taking on two ok? Also is there a place where i can learn fundamentals for all languages and/or the logic for them. I am starting college classes but I want to be ahead rather than behind so I wanted to start getting my feet wet. Thanks for any advice and Welcome to the site.

    -Jennfier
    "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -Thomas Jefferson


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    21
    Java is a fine language to start with, and I noticed even colleges teach it nowadays to teach pure OO (object-oriented) concepts. It would be wise to take on two or three when you feel comfortable with one. The trouble with learning an abstract language first (pure OO) is that it is often harder to dig deeper later, like taking on C/C++. If you start with C/C++ first, it's easier to grasp. Then any language after that is a peice of cake. If you knew a java window was 10 lines of code, and a C/C++ window with the Win32 API was 50-80 lines of code, would you want to use C/C++ later now that you are a java mastermind? Why take the time? Java abstracts a ton of tasks, so yes it is good for the beginner, but it may initalially train your mind to think abstract and rely constantly on libarary calls aka methods just to do anything. Each language has different tasks that they exceed in. If you're doing games for a future career, C/C++ is your answer and you should go ahead and start using it. Otherwise, Java is a good answer that can still pull off some nice graphics.

    The best way to learn any language all at once is learning algorithm development. It is a natural language... like what steps did you take to get to school in the morning? How did you sort those numbers in your head, and how can you explain that sorting order in plain english step-by-step before you program it in your favorite computer language? You'll learn that in college but right now just pick a language and find websites that discuss algorithm development such as sorting numbers etc. to get ahead. Knowing these things are much more important than the language being used, so if Java works for you, definitely keep on using it but feel free to branch out.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3,666
    Thanks for the info: So maybe you should not learn both C++ and Java at the same time. I am just curios do you think that is a poor plan?

    -Jennifer
    "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -Thomas Jefferson


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    21
    Well, there are two directions you can go: you can either learn Java and get use to it first, then branch out to C/C++ so you don't get confused over the syntax and different methodologies which sometimes happens. Or, you can try learning both at the same time if it doesn't hurt your progression with projects. After learning one, it is often easy to grasp others. If this is your first language, I would probably stay with one for now. For example, learning how Java's generics work as opposed to C++'s STL templates are heavily different but do a similar task. So, I suppose it is up to the beginning programmer and how much he or she can take on at once. I hope that cleared up your question
    Last edited by redshock; 10-02-2006 at 01:18 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3,666
    Thanks again, yes that did help. I will prob focus on Java for a week or two and then perhaps branch out to C++. I will let ya know how it goes.

    If I don't progress at all with Java then I will hold off on starting off anything new yet.(no use confusing the brain more)
    "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -Thomas Jefferson


  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    763
    When designing the engines / games / general software within the game industry, how much do you rely on things like UML layout and that way of preparing the actual code process?

    I'd guess that the more experienced game programmer would know what he wants, and therefor he doesn't need that much of a map beforehand - and the inexperienced will need way more thinking.

    What preparing steps do you/your company take before diving into the actual coding stage?

    Do you use a mix of C++ and C for your game development? I'm already starting to get troubles with the limitations of C++. Member Function Pointers are one of them.

    Do you think general computer science would be a great way to go, if you'd want to dive into game programming later in the career, or should one take some more specialised route from scratch?

    And welcome to the forum.
    I didn't mean to do it.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    21
    Hey rev'en, thanks for the welcoming. There is definitely a large portion of documenting before we program. It can be from UML to hundreds of pages of documentation. When you're doing your first few programs, there isn't much of a need for a whole lot of documentation, but a few sketches will do here and there. Say you're writing a game like Pong, and you don't need 300 pages, but you would most likely write down what the levels are like, how do you win, what are the obstacles, and so forth. Writing these things down help you have a plan before you start programming away. The beginners usually don't do this, but professionals do often. Usually an entire game or software tool would be written up entirely before even writing a single line of code. Even with your smaller projects, it is definitely a good thing to learn how to write UML etc. for your program. If you show your design to an interviewer and say you did this before programming, it is very impressive.

    I often use C++ these days so our design is object-oriented, although not every line of code follows object-oriented patterns. C++ is pretty much a mix of paragims, and the system you're programming for won't always be O.O. making C++ the perfect tool because you can take on other paragims and write your own O.O. wrappers. I don't use C strictly anymore, but depending on the system, there are some times when you have no other choice, so knowing the differences between the two languages is very benefitial. If you ever want to try it, open a new empty project in VC++ and create a new .cpp file but call it "program.c". It will create a C application for you so you can practice around with it.

    Computer Science is definitely the way to go. If you want to define it, it is a broad degree that is based on the science of algorithms. A game programming degree at Digipen etc. may get you a entry-level job, but if you want to advance and/or get a higher salary the company will often require you to get a higher education. It really depends on what you want in the future. A degree focused on game or computer programming locks you in to one field the rest of your life, but a computer science degree with training outside of school in graphics, etc. will help your future be quite broad in possibilities.

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