Sep 222009

I’ve taken a short break from web design and its related study for the pursuit of knowledge within the realm of game programming.  I picked up an old book that I bought quite a while ago (and when I bought it, it was old).  The book was published way back in 1999 but I’m sure the knowledge within its pages is worth something.  In any case its a start.

The name of the book is “Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus – Fundamentals of 2D and 3D Game Programming” – Written by Andre LaMothe.  I read through the first chapter and after a bit of a struggle I got the 10-year old code (originally designed for an earlier version of DirectX and VC 6.0) to finally compile and got to enjoy about 2 minutes of a classic breakout clone called “Freakout.”

The first chapter details the basic concept of a game loop and “good” programming practices to make code more efficient.  I am a little skeptical of the practices, however, as they emphasize the simplification of certain structures reducing the overall readability.  It also suggests in some cases to reduce the amount of inheritance between classes, limit the length of input variables (in favor of global variables and void functions)  and to actually place dummy variables in structures so that the object will adhere to an overall size of 32 bits.  I’m all for enhancing the efficiency of code wherever possible but, not at the expense of good design practices.  Also, as hardware technology is getting much and much better I’m having a hard time  believing that the same rules would apply 10 years into the future.

Next, in the book I am to tackle some Win32 programming concepts.  I have limited knowledge thus far of any kind of Win32 programming.  So this should be a load of fun.  Thanks for reading, and check back often to see what I’m up to.