Guides & resources

Whether you're a newbie or an experienced programmer, any questions, help, or just talk of any language will be welcomed here.

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Re: Guides & resources

Postby LuciDreamTheater on Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:06 am

By resources, do you insist that they're free?

Under the assumption that resources can include books, I'll list my suggestions, but first, I'd like to plug an article I wrote about staring Dreamcast development, which can be found here. I hope to add it to gamedev.net's wiki, but I need to set some time aside to improve it before submission.

As for recommendations, I'll sort the list into two categories, books and websites.

Books:
  • Accelerated C++ -- Admittedly, I haven't read this myself, but I've heard such great things about it that I don't mind passing off a recommendation.
  • Effective C++ -- I own this one, but I actually haven't read it either. According to one of my Computer Science professors, it's essential in learning some of the more esoteric aspects of C++. From my own experience, C++ is quirky, so a book like this might be useful in the professional world.
  • More Effective C++ -- EffectiveC++(string more);
  • Code Complete -- This is a good book, especially if you believe in thorough design. I wasn't keen on technical design before reading it, but I had an epiphany somewhere on page 57: In the past, the only way I succeeded without a strong design was because I was dealing with smaller projects. If you want to go big, I suggest adopting the philosophy presented in this book. (Just to note, page 57 was an arbitrary choice, but I thought it would lead to a more poetic sentence).
  • The Book of Numbers -- This book is more about math, although it does touch on quaternions, which is directly applicable to graphics programming. I don't know much about quaternions myself, but using them can result in quick three-dimensional transformations. In comparison, linear algebra, another common approach, is said to be slower than using quaternions. I won't elaborate on the specifics because the scope of this message is limited. However, I'd like to emphasize another element of this book. It facilitates a better understanding of numbers, which might be useful in any discipline, not just programming.
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces -- It's not a programming book, but it can help those who aspire to be a designer or writer. In fact, it was made popular by George Lucas after he directed the first few Star Wars movies.
  • Programming The Nintendo Gameboy Advance: The Unofficial Guide -- While not a published book, it serves as a good foundation for GBA programming. Interestingly enough, the Dreamcast and the GBA have similar, if not identical, architectures.
  • Calculus By Howard Anton -- I recommend this book reluctantly because there are other calculus books out there that take a much gentler approach. In fact, I almost gave up calculus when I was first exposed to this book. Out of the three Calculus books that I've used, this is by far the most thorough. Normally, I don't like books that seem to "talk over the audience's head," but this book has one redeeming quality -- it draws on all prerequisite math. I feel that reading this book is like taking a crash course on algebra and learning calculus at the same time, which is important when the maintenance of skill is a goal.

Websites:
  • Gamedev.net -- In respect to game development, this has been the most useful and inspirational site that I've used. There are several articles hosted on the site, but they tend to be outside the realm of my current skillset. What's been most useful is the forums. In the past, I've submitted source code and received such strong advice that I've changed my programming habits. I've also reaped the benefits of helping others. One time, I was able to help a poster on a topic that I didn't know much about, but by inference, I was able to reach valid conclusions. After helping the individual with a rendering macro, I felt a little bit more confident about pixels, in general.
  • Lazy Foo -- If you want to learn about SDL, then I'd recommend Lazy Foo's site as a prime resource. If you take a look at his article section, he provides interesting advice about non-SDL related aspects of game development, although these tutorials are sparse.
  • Amit's Game Programming Blog -- The great thing about this particular blog is that the author, Amit, doesn't accept advertising. This implies that his collection of links is unbiased.
  • Collection of Lectures -- Another blogger, Peteris Krumins, has taken the time to compile free lecture videos from around the net. With his advice, I've started listening to them at accelerated speed. (You heard me right).
  • My Delicious Bookmarks -- Since I've started using chrome, I don't maintain my delicious bookmarks, but I revisit them when I feel the need.

I also assume that this community, at large, is familiar with dcemulation.org. If not, then I feel compelled to say that it's been the best place to learn about Dreamcast development that I've come across.

One piece of advice that I'd give is that, if you have the free time to read, do it. It'll help you in the long run. I'm realizing its importance too late in life, especially now that my schedule is on the verge of being overwhelming.
Last edited by MarauderIIC on Sun May 03, 2009 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: linked from OP
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby MarauderIIC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:10 pm

No, I don't insist that they're free. However, it is a big help to the new programmers in the community when they're free.
I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the book would not be destroyed as I had planned.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby MarauderIIC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Last edited by MarauderIIC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:36 pm, edited 36 times in total.
Reason: sorted unsorted, link to anothrguitarist's post. Added mllarson's dead trees, added Vortex's video recommendation, added andrew's links

I've also added "Added to OP" tags on the posts I added to the original post for my own indexing.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby Aeolus on Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:34 pm

AntiRTFM is helpful for beginners, but i suggest some good beginning books off amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1874416265: The beginners guide to C++ excellent quality used, $5.10.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0672327112: Sams teach yourself C++ in 21 days. Excellent Quality used, $10.00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931841438: C++ programming for the absolute beginner. Perfect quality used, $13.00
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby programmerinprogress on Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:49 pm

if we're recommending books now, I would definately recommend a book called C++ A Beginners Guide by Herbert Schildt, he's a very competant instructor (he differs from other authors I find, because he makes use of the Standard Function Library(using headers such as <cmath> and <cctype>) in his examples, it gives you a much broader perspective of how you can apply the techniques you use in the language, this book also covers I/O and bitwise operators, which is something I seldom find in a beginners guide)

He is also much less OO focused than many other authors, the reasoning for this is I believe he was probably an avid C programmer before C++ was created, but nonetheless you get a lot from this book if you're starting out.

I'm also working on his more advanced book now, but I don't want to comment on that since i'm not very far through it yet.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby Aeolus on Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:50 pm

Programmer, Sounds like a good book. Links please?
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby programmerinprogress on Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:56 pm

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think I can program pretty well, it's my compiler that needs convincing!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now a joke to lighten to mood :D

I wander what programming language anakin skywalker used to program C3-PO's AI back on tatooine? my guess is Jawa :P
(That would probably explain why C3-PO is so camp as well :P)
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby Aeolus on Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:01 pm

Thanks mate, Added to my list of books to buy on next paycheck.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby andrew on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:20 pm

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Re: Guides & resources

Postby Spikey on Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:39 pm

DevIL (Developer's Image Library) aka OpenIL.
Supports 27+ image formats plus filters and saving, etc.
It's like Photoshop for opengl... sort of. Anyway it's pretty cool and worth checking out.
http://openil.sourceforge.net/

Edit: Oops, meant to post this in Free development utilities. Well in that case, here' a link I have bookmarked:

The Game Creator's Forum: Programming Tutorials, Guides, and Resources:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=41073&b=20
Last edited by Spikey on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby MarauderIIC on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:03 pm

I officially give you permission to cross-post that to viewtopic.php?f=13&t=387 if it applies.
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby herby490 on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:25 pm

There is the full book C++ A beginners guide here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/cc305129.aspx
well i'm pretty sure it is the whole book except for the table of contents. Tell me if i am wrong.

Edit: Added to OP -- Mar
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby MarauderIIC on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:43 pm

Made some updates but didn't update the fact that I did in the OP :)
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby Kros on Sun May 03, 2009 2:25 pm

Mar, might you be interested in adding Project Euler (http://www.projecteuler.com) to this somewhere? Not sure if it would be relevant but, I found it to be a great help with expanding my understanding of mathematics and it made me think a lot about some programming specific problems.
Last edited by MarauderIIC on Sun May 03, 2009 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: projecteuler.net added to OP
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Re: Guides & resources

Postby avansc on Sun May 03, 2009 3:02 pm

Kros wrote:Mar, might you be interested in adding Project Euler (http://www.projecteuler.com) to this somewhere? Not sure if it would be relevant but, I found it to be a great help with expanding my understanding of mathematics and it made me think a lot about some programming specific problems.


wrong link genius
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