This tutorial is about two things: sprites and loops. Sprites will get you on your way to making interesting stuff move on the screen, whereas loops will help you write less code to do more. On with the show!
The previous tutorial introduced you to the template. You can now draw some lines and print some text in all kinds of colours, but that’s clearly far from the goal of making actual games, where bullets wizz past in glorious 3D and enemies flank you in the smartest ways. To get a bit closer to that, we’ll take the static coordinates from last time and make them a bit more flexible by using C++ variables and functions. We’ll need that for the next part, which is all about loops, sprites and other bouncy things.
As you noticed in the first article, setting up a project in Visual Studio can be quite a task. And we didn’t (nearly) touch all the settings that you can adjust for a project either. To make your life a bit easier, we will use a project template from now on. This template is simply a directory that contains all the files that you need, with all the settings tuned just right for the kind of programs that we will be building in this series. The template also contains a bit of code that you need for most projects, so that you don’t have to type it yourself. This code aims to take away the platform specific things from you; i.e. it opens a window, lets you draw to it, and updates it for you. Sounds simple, but really it isn’t. Windows operating system can be quite a nightmare to deal with properly, and since that’s just not the core of game development, we felt it’s best to take care of that once and for all. The result is the template.
Welcome to the first article in the Programming C++ Fast Track tutorial series! These tutorials are designed to take you from zero to a decent entry level in a somewhat smooth fashion. We start at the absolute basics: all that you need to get started is a laptop or PC, a fair bit of time, and quite a bit of dedication.