Cutting-edge computer games rival the best that Hollywood has to offer in visual effects, musical score, and pure adrenaline rush. But games are a form of entertainment unlike any other; they can keep players glued to their monitors for hours on end. What sets games apart and makes them so engrossing is interactivity. In a computer game, you don’t simply sit back and watch a hero fighting against all odds, you become the hero.
The key to achieving this interactivity is programming. It’s programming that allows an alien creature, an attack squadron, or an entire army to react differently to a player in different situations. Through programming, a game’s story can unfold in new ways. In fact, as the result of programming, a game can respond to a player in ways that the game creators might never have imagined.
Although there are literally thousands of computer programming languages, C++ is the game industry standard. If you were to wander the PC game section of your favorite store and grab a title at random, the odds are overwhelming that the game in your hand would be written largely or exclusively in C++. The bottom line is this: If you want to program computer games professionally, you must know C++.
The goal of this book is to introduce you to the C++ language from a game programming perspective. Although no single book can make you the master of two deep topics such as C++ and game programming, this book will start you on your journey.