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Master Game Development in C++ from Start to Finish - A Review of Erik Yuzwa's Book


Game Programming in C++: Start to Finish by Erik Yuzwa - A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners




If you are interested in learning how to create your own video games using C++, one of the most popular and powerful programming languages in the world, then you might want to check out this book by Erik Yuzwa. Game Programming in C++: Start to Finish is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about developing games from scratch using C++ and various libraries such as SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer), OpenGL (Open Graphics Library), and FMOD (Fast Multimedia Open Development).




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In this article, we will give you an overview of what this book is about and why it is useful for aspiring game developers. We will also summarize each chapter of the book and highlight some of the key concepts and techniques that you will learn along the way. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of what this book can offer you and how it can help you achieve your game programming goals.


Getting Started with C++ and Game Programming




The first chapter of the book introduces you to the basics of C++ and game programming. You will learn how to set up your development environment and tools, such as Visual Studio, Code::Blocks, and MinGW. You will also learn how to write your first C++ program and run it using the command line or an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).


Next, you will learn some of the fundamental concepts and syntax of C++, such as variables, operators, expressions, and control structures. You will learn how to use data types, such as int, float, char, string, and bool, to store and manipulate information. You will also learn how to use arithmetic, logical, relational, and bitwise operators to perform calculations and comparisons. You will also learn how to use if-else, switch-case, for, while, and do-while statements to control the flow of your program.


Understanding Object-Oriented Programming and Design Patterns




The second chapter of the book dives deeper into the object-oriented programming (OOP) paradigm and design patterns. You will learn what are objects, classes, inheritance, polymorphism, and abstraction in C++, and how they can help you organize your code and make it more reusable and maintainable.


You will learn how to use constructors, destructors, access specifiers, and static members to define and initialize your classes and objects. You will also learn how to use inheritance to create subclasses that inherit the attributes and behaviors of their parent classes. You will also learn how to use polymorphism to enable different subclasses to have different implementations of the same function. You will also learn how to use abstraction to hide the details of your classes and expose only the essential interfaces.


Additionally, you will learn how to implement some of the common design patterns that are widely used in game programming, such as singleton, factory, observer, and strategy. You will learn what are the benefits and drawbacks of each pattern, and how to apply them in your code using C++.


Working with Graphics and Sound Libraries




The third chapter of the book introduces you to some of the graphics and sound libraries that you can use to create games using C++. You will learn how to use SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) to create windows, handle events, and draw graphics. You will also learn how to use OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) to render 3D graphics and apply lighting, textures, and transformations. You will also learn how to use FMOD (Fast Multimedia Open Development) to play sound effects and music.


You will learn how to initialize SDL and create a window with a title bar and an icon. You will also learn how to handle keyboard and mouse events using SDL's event system. You will also learn how to load and display images using SDL's image loading functions. You will also learn how to draw basic shapes such as lines, rectangles, circles, polygons, and text using SDL's drawing functions.


Next, you will learn how to initialize OpenGL and set up a rendering context using SDL's OpenGL support functions. You will also learn how to use OpenGL's coordinate system and matrix operations to position and rotate your objects in 3D space. You will also learn how to use OpenGL's lighting model and material properties to create realistic effects such as ambient, diffuse, specular, and emission lighting. You will also learn how to use OpenGL's texture mapping functions to apply images onto your objects' surfaces.


Finally, you will learn how to initialize FMOD and load sound files using FMOD's sound system functions. You will also learn how to play sound effects and music using FMOD's channel functions. You will also learn how to control the volume, pitch, pan, loop mode, frequency, position, velocity, distance, and orientation of your sounds using FMOD's 3D sound functions.


Developing a Simple 2D Game Engine




The fourth chapter of the book teaches you how to design and implement a simple 2D game engine using C++, SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD. You will learn how to create a game engine class that manages the game loop, input, output, and logic. You will also learn how to create a sprite class that represents a graphical object on the screen. You will also learn how to create a collision detection system that detects overlaps between sprites.


You will learn how to use the game engine class to initialize the SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD libraries, and to create a window with a specified width, height, and title. You will also learn how to use the game engine class to handle events such as quitting, resizing, and key presses. You will also learn how the game engine class to update the game logic and render the graphics using OpenGL. You will also learn how to use the game engine class to play sounds using FMOD.


Next, you will learn how to use the sprite class to create and manipulate graphical objects on the screen. You will learn how to load and display images using SDL and OpenGL. You will also learn how to move, rotate, scale, and animate your sprites using C++ and OpenGL. You will also learn how to set the collision type, bounding box, and center point of your sprites.


Finally, you will learn how to create a collision detection system that detects overlaps between sprites. You will learn how to use a simple algorithm that compares the bounding boxes of two sprites and returns true if they intersect. You will also learn how to use a more advanced algorithm that compares the pixel values of two sprites and returns true if they overlap. You will also learn how to handle collisions between different types of sprites, such as player, enemy, bullet, and wall.


Creating a Breakout Clone Game




The fifth chapter of the book shows you how to use the game engine and sprite classes to create a Breakout clone game. You will learn how to add features such as bricks, ball, paddle, score, lives, levels, and power-ups. You will also learn how to test and debug your game using breakpoints, watches, and logs.


You will learn how to create a brick class that inherits from the sprite class and represents a brick in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of bricks and initialize their positions, colors, and collision types. You will also learn how to destroy bricks when they are hit by the ball and increase the score accordingly.


Next, you will learn how to create a ball class that inherits from the sprite class and represents a ball in the game. You will also learn how to set the initial position, direction, speed, and image of the ball. You will also learn how to bounce the ball off the walls, paddle, and bricks using simple physics formulas. You will also learn how to reset the ball when it falls off the bottom of the screen and decrease the lives accordingly.


Then, you will learn how to create a paddle class that inherits from the sprite class and represents a paddle in the game. You will also learn how to set the initial position, size, and image of the paddle. You will also learn how to move the paddle left and right using the keyboard or mouse input. You will also learn how to adjust the angle and speed of the ball depending on where it hits the paddle.


After that, you will learn how to create a score class that displays the current score and lives on the screen using SDL's text rendering functions. You will also learn how to load and use custom fonts using SDL's font loading functions. You will also learn how to update the score and lives whenever a brick is destroyed or a ball is lost.


Next, you will learn how to create a level class that loads and displays different levels of bricks from text files using C++'s file input/output functions. You will also learn how to use different symbols in the text files to represent different types of bricks with different colors and properties. You will also learn how to advance to the next level when all bricks are cleared or restart from the first level when all lives are lost.


Finally, you will learn how to create a power-up class that inherits from the sprite class and represents a power-up in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of power-ups and initialize their positions, images, and effects. You will also learn how to drop a random power-up from a destroyed brick and activate its effect when it is caught by the paddle. You will also learn how to implement different types of power-ups, such as extra life, multi-ball, big paddle, and sticky paddle.


Developing a Simple 3D Game Engine




The sixth chapter of the book teaches you how to extend the game engine class to support 3D graphics using OpenGL. You will learn how to create a camera class that controls the view of the scene. You will also learn how to create a mesh class that represents a 3D model composed of vertices, normals, and faces.


You will learn how to use the camera class to set the perspective projection and the view matrix using OpenGL's matrix functions. You will also learn how to move, rotate, and zoom the camera using the keyboard and mouse input. You will also learn how to use the camera class to switch between different camera modes, such as first-person, third-person, and free-fly.


Next, you will learn how to use the mesh class to create and manipulate 3D models on the screen. You will learn how to load and display 3D models from OBJ files using C++'s file input/output functions and OpenGL's vertex array functions. You will also learn how to move, rotate, scale, and animate your meshes using C++ and OpenGL. You will also learn how to apply lighting, textures, and materials to your meshes using OpenGL's lighting and texture mapping functions.


Creating a Space Shooter Game




The seventh chapter of the book shows you how to use the game engine, camera, and mesh classes to create a space shooter game. You will learn how to add features such as spaceship, enemies, bullets, explosions, stars, and HUD. You will also learn how to optimize your game performance using frustum culling, vertex arrays, display lists, and texture compression.


You will learn how to create a spaceship class that inherits from the mesh class and represents a spaceship in the game. You will also learn how to set the initial position, orientation, speed, and model of the spaceship. You will also learn how to control the spaceship using the keyboard and mouse input. You will also learn how to fire bullets from the spaceship using the spacebar key.


Next, you will learn how to create an enemy class that inherits from the mesh class and represents an enemy in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of enemies and initialize their positions, orientations, speeds, models, and behaviors. You will also learn how to move the enemies towards the spaceship using simple AI algorithms. You will also learn how to fire bullets from the enemies using a timer.


Then, you will learn how to create a bullet class that inherits from the mesh class and represents a bullet in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of bullets and initialize their positions, directions, speeds, models, and types. You will also learn how to move the bullets along their directions using C++ and OpenGL. You will also learn how to detect collisions between bullets and other objects using bounding spheres.


After that, you will learn how to create an explosion class that inherits from the mesh class and represents an explosion in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of explosions and initialize their positions, scales, models, and lifetimes. You will also learn how to animate the explosions using C++ and OpenGL. You will also learn how to play sound effects for the explosions using FMOD.


Next, you will learn how to create a star class that inherits from the mesh class and represents a star in the game. You will also learn how to create an array of stars and initialize their positions, sizes, colors, and models. You will also learn how to move the stars along the z-axis using C++ and OpenGL. You will also learn how to create a parallax effect for the stars using OpenGL's depth testing function.


Finally, you will learn how to create a HUD class that displays information such as score, lives, and health on the screen using SDL's text rendering functions. You will also learn how to load and use custom fonts using SDL's font loading functions. You will also learn how to update the HUD information whenever a bullet hits an object or an object is destroyed.


Conclusion and Further Resources




In this article, we have given you an overview of what Game Programming in C++: Start to Finish by Erik Yuzwa is about and why it is useful for aspiring game developers. We have also summarized each chapter of the book and highlighted some of the key concepts and techniques that you will learn along the way.


By reading this book, you will gain a solid foundation in C++ and game programming, and you will be able to create your own 2D and 3D games using various libraries such as SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD. You will also learn some of the best practices and design patterns for game development, as well as some of the common challenges and solutions for game optimization.


If you are interested in learning more about C++, game programming, or related topics, here are some further resources that you can check out:



  • cplusplus.com: A website that provides tutorials, and examples for C++.



  • GameDev.net: A website that provides articles, forums, blogs, and resources for game development.



  • Gamasutra: A website that provides news, features, and opinions for the game industry.



  • OpenGL: The official website of OpenGL, the open standard for cross-platform 3D graphics.



  • SDL: The official website of SDL, the cross-platform library for multimedia and game development.



  • FMOD: The official website of FMOD, the cross-platform library for audio and music.



We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you want to get a copy of the book, you can download it for free from this link. Happy coding!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the topic:



  • Q: What are the prerequisites for reading this book?



  • A: You should have some basic knowledge of C++ and programming concepts, such as variables, operators, expressions, control structures, functions, arrays, pointers, and classes. You should also have some familiarity with game development concepts, such as game loop, input/output, graphics/sound, collision detection, and game logic. You should also have access to a computer with a C++ compiler and an IDE (such as Visual Studio or Code::Blocks), as well as the SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD libraries installed.



  • Q: How long does it take to read this book and complete the exercises?



  • A: It depends on your reading speed and coding skills, but it should take you around 20 to 30 hours to read this book and complete the exercises. Each chapter has a summary, a quiz, and an exercise at the end to help you review and practice what you learned.



  • Q: What are the benefits of learning C++ and game programming?



  • A: C++ is one of the most widely used and powerful programming languages in the world. It offers you low-level control over memory management and performance optimization, as well as high-level features such as object-oriented programming and generic programming. It is also compatible with many other languages and libraries, such as C, Java, Python, SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD. Learning C++ will give you a solid foundation in programming and enable you to create applications for various domains and platforms.



  • A: Game programming is one of the most fun and creative forms of programming. It allows you to express your imagination and create interactive experiences that can entertain and educate others. It also challenges you to solve complex problems and optimize your code for efficiency and quality. Learning game programming will improve your logical thinking, mathematical skills, and artistic sense.



  • Q: What are some of the challenges and limitations of this book?



  • A: This book is not meant to be a comprehensive or definitive guide to C++ or game programming. It only covers some of the basic and intermediate topics and techniques that are relevant for creating simple 2D and 3D games using SDL, OpenGL, and FMOD. It does not cover some of the advanced topics and techniques that are used in professional game development, such as networking, multi-threading, physics engines, artificial intelligence, user interface, animation, particle systems, shaders, and so on. It also does not cover some of the alternative libraries or frameworks that are available for game development, such as SFML, GLFW, GLUT, DirectX, Unity, Unreal Engine, and exploration to learn more about these topics and techniques.



  • Q: Where can I find the source code and resources for this book?



  • A: You can find the source code and resources for this book on the CD-ROM that comes with the book, or you can download them for free from this link. The source code and resources include the full source code of the tools, libraries, and games that are used and created in the book, as well as some additional examples and exercises. You can also find some screenshots and videos of the games on this YouTube channel.



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