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  1. #171
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    11
    Personally, I have kind of mixed feelings towards them.

    Like some have said, the videos alone are just not enough. I've read dozens of books by now trying to learn C++, and while the videos were very helpful with giving me a good push, they still just weren't enough.

    To me, the videos seem kind of old, half-assed, and lackluster at parts. I'm really not trying to flame the videos, as I said, they're very helpful, this was just my opinion. Some lessons would seem much more valuable than others. It seemed like a lot more time was put into certain parts, while too much time was put into some others, and then not enough in some as well. They constantly tell you to re-watch the videos over and over and over and hopefully you'll get it. I can understand that if you're just not able to really follow what they're saying and need to re-watch it to grasp what they were saying. But, for me, it just wasn't enough information to fully grasp the concept and listening to them say the same thing over and over isn't going to explain it any better or provide me with further examples when needed. That just drove me nuts every time they told me to just re-watch the videos, which they did a lot, usually multiple times in multiple episodes. I did re-watch them too, multiple times.. but in the end, it was still the same video I saw before. I just would've liked to see different ways of doing everything and different uses for some things, so then I can fully grasp what's being done, why it needs to be done, and then know different ways to get it done. Like the level generation and collision detection, etc. Ok, this ridiculously long formula makes your map, just trust us, it works ! And it does.. but seriously..? How is someone going to know how to create their own ridiculously long formulas to achieve the results they want? Not every game is a square box with random walls generated inside of it. To me, things like that should've been done a LOT better. Sure, that was a good way to create THAT game. But how am I supposed to use that in other games? Or, going from that, be able to create my own? Ugh.. Anyways, I understand some people need to just review the same content for it to stick. My opinion is that if it isn't sticking the first time around and you're assuming people will need to go over it from the start, then you should probably try to find a different way of explaining things, or provide further examples and ways of doing things. Like I said, the videos just weren't enough on their own, as others have said as well. A few good books and resources are nearly a necessity to really grasp some of the concepts, in my opinion.

    As far as saying they seem old, this is for a few reasons. I realize the language isn't REALLY changing itself, but other portions did. Newer versions of MSVC++ have changed around the interface and options a bit. A decent head on your shoulders and that's not a real issue, but to me it still showed their age, and I just prefer all of my learning materials to be as up to date as possible, because some things do change. Coding standards, new resources and libraries, different tools, etc. Aside from that, the e-mail given at the beginning of the videos for help apparently doesn't even exist anymore. Luckily these forums have proven to be very helpful, though.

    My biggest cringe with the videos, though, was that when I was done, I couldn't really do anything else. After this, a lot of people suggested multiple exercises using what I learned. Well, to me, what I learned wasn't how to use the language to make games. What I learned was how to use the language to make that Evil Monkeys game, nothing else. I didn't have a clue as to how I would go about making tic-tac-toe, blackjack, tetris, pong, etc. What I really would've liked to see is for them to take you through making multiple games. Key differences between different styles of games, showing you examples of how to go about making them, so you'll start recognizing what stays, what changes, see different ways to do things, and in the end be able to start making your own game or recreating a different classic. To me, this should be part 1 of a much more bulky set of VTMs. Re-explain the unexplained or poorly explained, or just recap giving new examples and explanations for key concepts. There just wasn't enough information given to really guide you to the path of creating your own game. Sure, you could add a different type of character maybe, or different types of enemies, etc etc to the same game, or make a game similar to Evil Monkeys or maybe a Pac-Man style game. Pong? Tetris? etc? Not with the information you find in these VTMs. Another thing, just to mention it, was that when they're talking about a game engine and powering a game and this and that, I really would've liked to see them take it a step further. Actually using a game engine to make a game, what parts of the game are actually in C++, what parts do people commonly use scripting languages etc for, blah blah. Could've covered how to go about making side scrollers, or something like a classic rpg where it'll follow you around in all sorts of directions finding new stuff, instead of just being stuck in one window. Hell, I don't even know how to make an Intro, Options, Credits, or Game Over screen after the free tutorials. Very possible it was covered in the MS tutorials, but I've no clue, the free VTMs were too lacking, leaving me scared that I might be disappointed and thinking I wasted my money. Working with multiple files etc would've been something nice too, again may have been covered, but just to throw that out there as well. I mean really, how many games that you find at the store are only a '.exe' with no other files?

    Lastly, I couldn't bring myself to buy the full set. I still may buy a membership now that it's been added there, and watch them, but I couldn't bring myself to pay full price. The first few videos were too lacking in my opinion, and the price was for breaking out of console applications to windows and using OpenGL. While yeah, cross platform etc, so more customers for them. But I assumed there would be a DirectX version first, just because it's more of the 'standard' from my experience, when it comes to gaming. Nearly any game you grab off of the shelves lists DirectX 9.0c+ blah blah as a requirement. Personally I just can't think of any popular games that're only OpenGL, although I'm sure they're out there so don't spam me dropping titles, I don't care. Having OpenGL as an option, while DirectX being default? That, however, I can think of a few. From the gaming perspective, it just seems much more widely used and mainstream. I even asked a few much less nerdy friends which they were more used to hearing about, just to make sure it wasn't just me. Suprisingly the people I asked were less informed than I figured though lol.. None knew what OpenGL was, and two weren't even sure what DirectX was lol.. Either way, I haven't made it to that portion of programming. I've heard they're similar but different blah blah, and I'm sure if you learn one then the other one wouldn't be as hard, etc. Personally I'd just prefer to start with what's commonly used and maybe learn the other, not start with one knowing I'll more than likely learn the other and forget about the first. Again, I'm not trying to flame, this is just my opinion from my limited experience, it's granted that I'm very ignorant on the topic in general, I'm just throwing out my thoughts from where I'm sitting and what I think at this point, so please don't take offense if you're a hardcore OpenGL guru or something, I'm sure you could still do things in OpenGL that I can still only dream about doing in DirectX at this point and be able to fully prove and defend OpenGL's capabilities to no point. I'm simply just saying that I personally would've preferred to start with what I am more familiar with seeing in the games I play if I'm going to try making them.

    That being said, and trying to end my rant with that, they're still very good tutorials in comparison with others, despite my above critique. They cover a lot of basics quickly and in a fun manner (as most other 3DBuzz VTMs do) but still quickly guide you towards doing the good stuff. They helped clear up some topics that were confusing in books for me, which are much less entertaining than VTMs. But at the same time, some parts I felt that books did a better job. To sum it up, they're good videos, but they're not as good or as informative as some of the other 3DBuzz VTMs I've watched. I personally think they could've done a better job and covered more than was, but unfortunately didn't. I'm hoping in the back of my mind they'll be re-done, updated, or expanded on, but there's still a lot to get from the current lessons. At the very least, they're worth a watch (or a few), just in the end you'll need other learning materials to get anywhere they didn't take you. Between these VTMs, many books, and a few years of on and off studying, I'm still probably only a beginner at best, because as I said I'm completely lost when it comes to trying to recreate pong, tetris, or something of the sort. Who knows, I might just be an idiot, hopefully they'll work better for others than they did for me, different people learn better in different ways.. Oh well =\
    Last edited by rawrrrz; 01-26-2009 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #172
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by rawrrrz View Post
    I've read dozens of books by now trying to learn C++, and while the videos were very helpful with giving me a good push, they still just weren't enough.
    Well your problem might be that you're only reading books and only watching videos. What do I mean by that?

    Well, just reading books alone is not going to make you a programmer. Just like watching videos alone won't really make you a programmer.

    You have to sit down and program every bit of code you get your hands on from these videos and the books you've read. And you need to try to understand them, don't skip over sections you don't understand (especially the first two introductory levels). Compile code, see if it runs. Then change or add some of your own code, re-compile it, see what that does. Thru trial and error you learn and can get a sense of the big picture, or most importantly the concept of programming.

    Look, let me tell you my story:

    Around ~8 years ago I too have tried to read many C books and tried to understand programming, but it never got me anywhere. The reason was that I kept skipping code because I thought that I understood how the code works, and sometimes I would skip portions of text like some definitions which I did not understand, hoping that I would not need them or that I will understand them at some later time.

    In November 2008, someone on another forum posted a nice little app which can load Pascal scripts into a game and change the way it plays (Worms Armageddon, a pretty old game but still fun). The app itself had some code examples which I took a look at. As I was reading thru that code I said to myself, Pascal looks kind of easy, why not give programming another chance?

    I picked up a few Pascal tutorials, and after a while it amazed me that after all these years I finally started to understand the big picture and it only took me a couple of tutorials. After 6 weeks of various tutorials and experimenting with code I stumbled upon 3dBuzz.com again (which I used to visit a long time ago on my 56k ) and I found the free Delphi tutorials. Basically Delphi is to Pascal what C++ is to C. In just over 2 weeks of watching the videos I already had the knowledge to build basic windows-based apps. The tutorials were focused around a simple game, but also an mp3 player. After the tutorials were over, I started implementing my own functions like mp3, m3u8 playlist extraction, conversion, shuffling between tracks and lots of other functions as well.

    Next I wanted to try C++ again. 3dBuzz was yet again here to help with their free C++ videos. And here is what made the difference. Because I knew the concept (even if I didn't yet have extensive knowledge yet), I could pretty easily take the concept from Delphi and apply it to C++. The videos started very easy for me. The Level1 and Level2 videos made perfect sense to me. Level 3 was a bit more complicated, sometimes I would have to rewatch a video again, but it was for my own good. I wasn't going to skip a lesson without understanding what I coded in.

    Of course, some concepts in C++ like pointers were still a bit blurry for me, but now that I had this great push from the videos I could go read a book about C++ and start tying things together.


    So my point is basically this:

    The most important thing to learn as a beginner is the concept of things. The concept of functions, variables, types, loops, pointers and many more concepts which gradually become more clear to you as you learn them one by one.


    If you have difficulties with these videos, maybe you should consider some of the following:

    - Try to learn a simpler language instead that will help you pick up the concepts of programming in a quick manner. You have the option of using Delphi which 3dBuzz also has VTM's for. Or maybe a language such as Python, which 3dBuzz also has some VTM's cooked for. Remember that the important thing for a beginner is to learn the concept, it doesn't matter that much for what language you start with.

    - If you've watched the videos, but want to learn more then you should try reading a good book on C++. I'd recommend C++ Primer which is an excellent C++ book for beginners. Remember: Reading alone doesn't make you a programmer, you need to type that code in or at least try to compile it and see what it does, but also try to change it and re-compile, see what it does.


    As for your arguments that these videos are too old or too light:

    As far as I know 3dBuzz has newer VTM's focused on C# and XNA which might please you better if you're interested in getting into (XNA) game programming fast. But there's no getting around coding and solving difficult problems. That's what programming is all about. You won't always have a person at your shoulder telling you how to do things right, you will have to learn to do these things by yourself.


    And you don't have to take the advice solely from me, there are programmers with dozens of years of experience who can give you better advice then I can. Take a visit to http://www.gamedev.net/reference/start_here/ - this site has some very good resources on almost anything concerning game programming and is oriented towards beginners as well as experienced programmers.

  3. #173
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    26
    The vtm are just great, very powerful learning tool if I may say that. Yea the books are great but still hard to find a good one...and also we learn easy if we use other senses than reading it right? I love it and I think this is really awsome and it did tough me alot and now I'm trying to be more advance into this programming. Thanks 3Dbuzz

    thumbs up!

  4. #174
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1
    I've just finished the C++ vtm volume 3 and found a couple of bugs. First the castSpell function does not look if we are facing a wall in which case the fireball will erase the wall as someone already pointed out. I propose the following solution:
    Code:
    void Mage::castSpell(void) {
    	// we have to check that we are not creating a fireball in a wall tile.
    	int xpos = int(pos.x + facingDirection.x);
    	int ypos = int(pos.y + facingDirection.y);
    
    	if (isValidLevelMove(xpos, ypos)) {
    		Fireball *temp = new Fireball(level, drawArea, SPRITE_FIREBALL, 
    			(int)pos.x + facingDirection.x, (int)pos.y + facingDirection.y, 
    			facingDirection.x, facingDirection.y);
    
    		level->addNPC((Sprite *)temp);
    	}
    }
    Second, you are not supposed to decrement an iterator so I would suggest a while loop and using the erase method which returns a new iterator:
    Code:
    void Level::update(void) {
    	std::list <Sprite *>::iterator iter = npc.begin();
    
    	while (iter != npc.end()) {
    		(*iter)->idleUpdate();
    
    		if ((*iter)->isAlive() == false) {
    			Sprite *temp = *iter;
    
    			delete temp;
    			iter = npc.erase(iter);
    		} else {
    			iter++;
    		}
    	}
    }
    Anyway thanks for the tutorials. I found them really cool and interesting.

  5. #175
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    little rock arkansas
    Posts
    3,482

    Talking

    there are also a few other fixes for the VTMS in the Thread of Information look there if you get stuck as well
    ME WANT AGENTS ME WANT AGENTS ME WANT AGENTS

  6. #176
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Aberdeen, UK
    Posts
    248
    I just bought the C++ Complete VTMs and received them today. Watching volume 2 now and I'm absolutely loving this!

    I'm more of a Java programmer (university level) so I think I'm safe saying I know about programming, but not about the almighty C++. I've always wanted to learn it; reading books and trying tutorials online, but for some reason it just wouldn't "click". So I thought about looking for video tutorials to see if somebody explaining the code line-by-line would help. Luckily, I remembered 3DBuzz has such the thing and now that I'm on my holidays I would pick it up. Sure, variables, functions, etc. are similar to Java, but I now have a better grasp with structures, destructors... and pointers (they still make me shudder though). In all, I'm glad I bought this and can't wait to try the OpenGL examples! Thanks again, Buzz!

    Oh, correct me if I'm wrong (or this has been mentioned before), but in VTM 2.5 (classes), Dan says destructors work as "First in, first out" (FIFO). Shouldn't it be "Last in, first out" (LIFO) since dansLocation was created LAST, but destroyed FIRST?
    Last edited by zigmat; 06-30-2009 at 10:17 AM.

  7. #177
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    92
    I just watched the intro video for the first issue, and let me tell you that this is the best training series I've ever watched. Usually I have so much troubles when I try to learn something on my own because I have a really short attention span. I'll watch a whole ten minute video and then wake up from a daydream. This series doesn't do that at all. I didn't lose interest at all during the video.

    The only reason I just watched the first video is because I'm currently trying out XNA, and I want to finish the basics of that before I move on to C++. I figure it'll help out a bit.

    I've already learned so much more than I expected just from an intro video. When people just drone on and on in video tutorials, I don't learn anything, but now I know what std is, what all the colons are for, how you can stop using std:: in every cout statement, what cout is, etc. because you guys are such great teachers.

    As soon as I get the money I'll become a member sponsor, and I don't doubt that I'll remain a member sponsor, because these videos are just so great!

    I wish I could express myself more and thank you more for this. You guys are amazing. I just wish actual school teachers/college professors were more like you guys.

  8. #178
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    13

    WOuld like to Download game assets

    I am on VTM 5. I think the DVDs have been very good. They present a lot of information and as you go throught the DVD you will see that they touch on many concepts that need to be understood, like inheritence, polymorphism, etc.
    The only complaint I have is that I think the graphic files should have been included with the DVDs. or given a download link.

  9. #179
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    14
    After reading this i deffinatly think this could work for me because thats how i feel now like this might be to hard but it looks like everyone had fun and it really did the job if the free videos work i will get the whole package.

    what softwares do you need for the complete c++ tutorial?

  10. #180
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    3
    I came back to 3dbuzz after years and tried VTM3- intro to game-dev. it was just amazing. I'm a newbee c++ programmer but managed to port it to linux with ncurses, sdl library and a remake of kbhit.h which I found over internet... thank you

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