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Colton P.
user 12690936
Victoria, BC
Post #: 12
I'm making this thread to discuss C++!


I bought a C++ book (Accelerated C++ Practical Programming By Example) at the start of my work term and have been spending a lot of time with it lately. The book is fantastic if you already know how to program at a somewhat intermediate, and even better if you've already spent time in Vanilla flavored C like I have. Mostly command line stuff, mastering the syntax. I've been doing a lot of Project Euler problems and examples from the book. I hope to move on to SDL and maybe make pong, or something along those lines, but first I want to master OOP in C++. I've done a small amount, but not much. I'm still quite the C++ noob.

So what is your C++ story?!

A former member
Post #: 7
My C++ story? Where to start?

Well I decided real early that I wanted to get into Game Development as a career.(Think 11 years old)

I also knew that I wasn't too keen on the art side of things, so I decided to take up programming.(Best choice of my life haha)

Anyways, so when I was 11, I did some research and learned that C/C++ was the most used languages in the industry so I jumped right in. I bought a C++ book(an O'Reilley book if I remember right) and then started to learn. Little did I know pointers make no sense when you have little programming experience so I did small commandline C based games for awhile to get used to thinking programatically. When I reached the end of highschool I had most of Java learned so I decided to pick up my C++ book again and have another go.

Well, that went extremely well all things considered and I soon had a few (Object Oriented!) commandline games made. I then took the plunge into DirectX in my first year of university and had made a basic RTS with some basic LAN gameplay. (It was a terrible game, but it really helped me solidify a lot of things that weren't 100% clear in my mind yet)

Anyways after that game I moved out to victoria and since then have jumped into iPhone programming. I would love to get involved in another C++ project. I am by no means excellent C++ programmer, but having a solid foundation in Java, C and a decent amount of C++ I feel that at this point all I need is more practice.

It's a hell of a language. It causes you to want to throw your workstation out the window; but when you get something up and running successfully it's the biggest thrill I've ever experienced in programming.

A former member
Post #: 14
My C++ story was learning it in 1998, making a chess AI application, getting frustrated with graphical libraries available at the time, giving up on it, not programming for 10 years, then getting into flash. :D
user 10415939
Victoria, BC
Post #: 4
When I started, the language of choice was between C++ or Visual Basic. I chose C++ since Visual Basic wasn't free at that time. I learned by borrowing books from the public library, obtaining information from public BBS via dialup and programming demos and utilities. The first utility I wrote was a terminal based chat program, which used a shared file as the communication method and manual refresh to see the updated chat messages. Still programming C++ today. :)
Christer Kaitila (...
Victoria, BC
Post #: 11
My C++ story starts waaaay back in tha day. First I did tons of coding in old fashioned C. Then oop became a fad and I hopped onto C++ and openGL for rendering for many years.

C++ is, in my humble opinion, the new assembly language.

Absolutely not worth using for everyday development, only good for mega optimized low level situations like device drivers, and high budget rendering loops. I will humbly acknowledge that this is not a popular opinion, since no other language gets you the respect that C++ does. But I've written at least 50 finished apps for money in C++ and I would never, for any amount of money, go back to using it.

C++ is very expensive in terms of productivity. What costs more? An hour of a programmer's labour, or a millisecond of cpu time? C++ has the lowest bang for the buck of any language besides asm. You can code in js, as3, unrealscript, unityscript, etc something in one hour that would take twenty hours to code in C++. Sure, the C code will run a bit faster and take less ram. But it will 20x the labour budget to program, which is all that really matters in this day and age of Moore's law. Not Andy Moore's law, but you know what I mean. =P

C++ is also "dangerous" - it is why there are so many viruses out there due to unmanaged memory, buffer overflows, pointer math, null terminated char arrays, etc. Crash central! Memory leak mania! It is what I would call "coding on the metal", and is very old fashioned and insecure.

No modern game is programmed in C++ anymore - only the low level engines are: take any unreal game, any unity game, any normal AAA game and what you will find is that all game logic is done in a scripting language which runs in a safe, protected "sandbox" so you don't crash so often.

C++ will get you respect, just as coding a game in assembly language will. But in terms of making money, in terms of productivity, in terms of safety, in terms of hours-of-work-per-feature it is only for the truly masochistic. I would warn all newbies that C++ is like deciding to build a house by first chopping down trees and making each piece of lumber by hand using a saw and plane. Nowadays you just buy lumber and other prefab stuff.

Finally, don't get me wrong: This is an unpopular opinion and not one that matches the dev community consensus. I respect C++, I've written hundreds of thousands of lines of it and know it like the back of my hand. It is a holdover from the 1980s and will never go away.

Learning C++ is great for learning the fundamentals of programming: if you can code in C++, you can code in ANYTHING, because C++ is the second hardest possible language to use.

Forgive the rant! =D This rant comes from a light-hearted place: I have a love/hate relationship with C++. C++ is fantastic, for certain things: it is mega fast, compiles super small, and it separates the men from the boys.
Colton P.
user 12690936
Victoria, BC
Post #: 26
Anybody want to do a C++ project when the next Jam comes around? Ludum Dare?
Christer Kaitila (...
Victoria, BC
Post #: 20
I recently investigated "AIRPLAY", which is a rock solid kick ass C++ dev suite for creating Android/iOS/PC/Mac 3d games. Check it out, C++ lovers!­

P.S. Ludum Dare miniLD is this weekend...
Colton P.
user 12690936
Victoria, BC
Post #: 27
That sounds cool. I'll have to look into that for sure!
Colton P.
user 12690936
Victoria, BC
Post #: 53­

Check out this advanced C test. I got 7/16 ! :D
Geoff J.
Victoria, BC
Post #: 1
Saw this thread, thought I'd throw my quick 2 cents in.

My story: learned it in university; spent about a decade making games with it at EA; currently using it to develop medical data management software.


PRO: It's incredibly powerful.
CON: It's incredibly powerful.

The low-level power and accessibility provided by C++ comes with a lot of pitfalls. Now, a methodical, structured approach can easily avoid the majority of the pitfalls; but it takes most good developers years to build that approach, if they ever manage to.

And honestly, for most everyday programming, a better option exists. Business software, apps, indie games - C++ is overkill. There are other languages out there that are quicker to develop with and easier to manage.

When it comes to games:
- For most smaller and indie games, like I said, there's no point to using it. Nothing being written should be pushing the hardware hard enough to need that kind of power. There are exceptions of course, but the rule stands for most situations.
- Most larger and AAA games, however, are still written in C++. Big titles like that, milking the hardware is key, and nothing is going to achieve that short of c++ and asm. Sure, scripting languages are often used for the high-level presentation and logic, but in most cases that's a very minor part of the overall process.
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