09 Sep

Learning C++

09. September 2011 by Alex Stanbury

bf3 I’ve decided that I need to start increasing my programming language knowledge. C++, although a pretty old language, is still the predominant language used in the gaming and audio development industry, and if I was ever to pursue a career in programming aside from what I am doing now, then it would be in one of these two areas. Therefore using my amazing powers of reasoning, I’ve worked out that I would probably benefit from learning C++.

Two things have inspired me to start learning C++; Firstly, I’ve been playing a lot of Battlefield : Bad Company 2 recently, and so have been checking out what’s coming up in DICE‘s next instalment of the franchise, the ingeniously named Battlefield 3. I’ve quite simply been blown away by what they are doing and making possible with their new game engine, FrostBite 2.0. Have a look at some of the gameplay trailers here and here and you’ll see how good it looks - it’s not just the visuals either - the sound is the best I’ve ever heard in a game and certainly wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster.

synth Secondly, I got an email the other day from a highly regarded German audio plugin company called Brainworx who mentioned they were recruiting. The list of qualifications needed included c/c++ which further fuelled my interest in learning the language. I’ve always been interested in making music and audio software in general, coming from the days of strictly hardware studios into the studio-in-a-box era where ridiculously expensive hardware is mimicked incredibly accurately in software at a fraction of the cost and can be run from a mid-powered laptop is something that is interesting and inspiring to me. I’ve always fancied writing my own VST plugin.

I’ve started off by going through a book titled Beginning C++ Through Game Programming which is a nice introduction to the nuances of the C++ syntax. geek Quite a lot of it is stuff I already know due to my knowledge of AS3 and Objective-C, but it doesn’t hurt to skim over these chapters to reassure myself I’m not missing out anything important. Once I’ve finished this book I’m gonna start making some recreations of some classic games such as Pong and Tetris, purely to get more used to the syntax. Then the real fun (?) will start, as I’m planning on learning some OpenGL and DirectX programming, which I’m sure will make me want to jump out of the window at first but is something that I definitely want to get to grips with.

Stay tuned for the next installment…might take a few years but it will happen eventually…honest…

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