These tutorials focus mainly on OpenGL, Win32 programming and the ODE physics engine. OpenGL has moved on to great heights and I don't cover the newest features but cover all of the basic concepts you will need with working example programs.
Working with the Win32 API is a great way to get to the heart of Windows and is just as relevant today as ever before. Whereas ODE has been marginalized as hardware accelerated physics becomes more common.
Games and graphics utilities can be made quickly and easily using game engines like Unity so this and Linux development in general will be the focus of my next tutorials.
Hi all, to begin with I would like to say sorry to my family and friends for my lack of social activity of late. Though I probably write as many letters and make as many phone calls as I did before I was connected to the internet, the closeness of the internet and ease of communication seems to demand a higher level of social activity which I clearly have failed to do. This also applies to anybody who wrote an email to me that didn't get a reply, I'd like to strike up a conversation with everyone who writes but I have limited time and need to concentrate on my work and other responsibilities. I'd also like to add that I am still in the process of learning the basics of computer graphics as I write these demos and cannot help with every type of graphics question that is asked and will have to leave those emails unanswered, which is far easier for me than having to write an apologetic letter each time explaining that I just don't know the subject well enough, I hope you understand.
So why am I writing a series of demos for educational purposes when I don't really have the expertise to do so? The truth is that a person rarely turns around to teach beginners the basics after they have already reached a high level of competency; especially if they aren't being paid to do so. The most likely reason is that they are competing with their peers and striving to reach higher levels themselves, but they would probably say that it is a task more suited to someone below their level. In a certain way they would be right, a high level tutor tends to give answers in broad terms that don't deal with the smaller issues. By writing the demos as I progress I am dealing with the same issues that beginners face when approaching the same graphics problems, at least that's the theory.
Perhaps you are wondering why I am releasing free demos and tutorials at all. They clearly undermine my ability to find work in this field due to the sharing of the knowledge, so why give the information away? To answer this you have to realize that the game development field has dramatically changed in a very short time. Only ten years ago, before Quake was developed, it was said that a game based on a 3D virtual world couldn't be made to work on a personal computer. The game development market was relatively small and if you knew how to program very well then you could expect to find work. These days the game development field has grown to the point where its earnings exceed those of the movie business. The art of game development has been turned into the business of game development, where its employees are expected to have a university degree in computer science before they will even be considered for employment. The universities are making a fortune selling the secrets of game development to the few who can afford it, never giving a degree to anyone who didn't pay for the privilege of being led by the hand. It was for this reason that I decided that I would learn how to make a basic first person game and give the information to other non-certified developers.
Another issue that I find unethical is that the major game development companies have found that it is far more profitable to become game publishing companies who sit back and wait for near completed games to be handed to them from freelance developers. The game publisher pays a pittance for the game compared to the profits to be made and has shifted most of the risk to the struggling developers themselves. If a game is rejected for any reason, justified or not, then it means the developers will have worked for years without earning a cent.
There doesn't seem to be much that we can do about these problems within the industry, not within the market driven constraints of the capitalist system. But if you ever do produce a hit game then perhaps you should consider trying your hand at home publishing, it may not pay as much initially but it would be a steady income, and for the most part we should just be in it for the fun of it.
Have a great time over Christmas, don't drink and drive and I'll see you in the new year *<)8-)