Now what?

As I mentioned in the introductory post for this blog, I’m really not sure what direction I should go.  There seem to be several options:

  • I’ve had Python suggested as a good beginner’s language.
  • Visual Basic seems logical given my past history with BASIC (though it is apparently quite different from the 8-bit 80’s era language I grew up with).
  • JavaScript would be good as it’s something I could put into immediate use at my full-time job.  Though it’s more of a scripting language, as the name would suggest.
  • Objective-C might make sense, as I’m interested in developing mobile apps, and I currently own an iPhone.  Most iPhone apps make heavy use of Objective C.

I’ve decided (at least for the moment) to start with C++, for a number of reasons:

  • It is one of the most popular programming languages created.  I’d wager that the majority of commercial applications created over the past 10-20 years have been done in C++
  • From what I have gathered, it is not tolerant of sloppy coding techniques.
  • It is hard to learn.  I realize this sounds backwards for a beginner’s blog, but I figure if you can get a handle on one of the harder languages, the easier ones will be that much simpler.

I will probably jump around between different languages as my whims dictate, but for the moment I’m going with C++.

Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

So now that a language has been determined, the next step is to determine how to actually learn the language.

Late last year, I purchased Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Second Edition* by Mike Dawson. He teaches at UCLA, and was the co-designer of Dark Seed, an early 90s horror/adventure game.

I’ve always been interested in writing my own games, and learning programming via writing simple games seems like a logical way to go about it.  From a cursory scanning of the book, it seems that the example games are all text-based – which is fine with me.

I will attempt to work through the book and update the blog on my progress, without simply duplicating the content of the book.  Not sure how I will accomplish that yet, but I suppose we shall see!

(*Apparently there is a revised edition coming soon, Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Third Edition.)

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