C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 7: Debugging

C++ Fast-track

C++ Fast-track for Games Programming Part 7: Debugging

This episode covers debugging. We will see how an application can be halted at any time or at a specific line and how we can inspect variables to verify that everything works as intended. Debugging can be a complex process but we’ll limit ourselves to the basics of breakpoints and following program flow, while keeping an eye on variables.

Continue reading

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 5: Conditions

C++ Fast-track

C++ Fast-track for Games Programming Part 5: Conditions

This tutorial is about the condition commands C/C++ has which allow you to make automated decisions in your program. You already used conditions when you did loops (perhaps without realising it), but in this episode we will look at more explicit conditions.

Continue reading

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 4: Sprites and Loops

C++ Fast-track

C++ Fast-track for Games Programming Part 4: Sprites And Loops

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!

Continue reading

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 3: Variables and Functions

C++ Fast-track

C++ Fast-track for Games Programming Part 3: Variables

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.

Continue reading

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 2: The Template

C++ Fast-track

C++ Fast-track for Games Programming Part 2: The Template

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.
Continue reading

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 1: Getting Started

C++ Fast Track

C++ Fast Track for Games Programming Part 1: Getting Started

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.

Continue reading

Volume Tiled Forward Shading

Volume Tiled Forward Shading

Volume Tiled Forward Shading

In this post, Volume Tiled Forward Shading rendering is described. Volume Tiled Forward Shading is based on Tiled and Clustered Forward Shading described by Ola Olsson et. al. [13][20]. Similar to Clustered Shading, Volume Tiled Forward Shading builds a 3D grid of volume tiles (clusters) and assigns the lights in the scene to the volumes tiles. Only the lights that are intersecting with the volume tile for the current pixel need to be considered during shading. By sorting the lights into volume tiles, the performance of the shading stage can be greatly improved. By building a Bounding Volume Hierarchy (BVH) over the lights in the scene, the performance of the light assignment to tiles phase can also be improved. The Volume Tiled Forward Shading technique combined with the BVH optimization allows for millions of light sources to be active in the scene.

Continue reading

Transformation and Lighting in Cg 3.1

Lighting with Cg 3.1

Lighting with Cg 3.1

In this article I will demonstrate how to implement a basic lighting model using the Cg shader language. If you are unfamiliar with using Cg in your own applications, then please refer to my previous article titled Introduction to Shader Programming with Cg 3.1.

This article is an updated version of the previous article titled Transformation and Lighting in Cg. In this article, I will not use any deprecated features of OpenGL. I will only use the core OpenGL 3.1 API.

Continue reading

Rendering Primitives with OpenGL

Rendering Primitives

Rendering Primitives

In this article, I will examine multiple methods for rendering primitives in OpenGL. The first method I will look at is using immediate-mode rendering to render simple primitives in 3D. Another method of rending primitives in OpenGL uses vertex arrays. And finally I will also examine the use of display lists to generate a set of render calls that can be executed at another point in time. The reader is expected to have a basic understanding of programming techniques in C++. If you want to know how you can get started with OpenGL, you can refer to my previous article titled [Introduction to OpenGL].

Continue reading