how to make a 2d sidescrolling mario clone?

MadsGustaf 101 Feb 07, 2007 at 20:28

as the topic says…

Ive been “studying” c++ in a few months now, and im not quite sure what to learn to actiully make a game, so my motivation is quite low, i mean, i realy realy want to break into the gameindustry, but im sitting with quite a few books including “c++ programming language - third edition” by bjarne stroustrup, whom is 1k pages long, and i really dont know much of the language i actiully need in games. As anyone else ive gotten “the million dollar idea”, for a few games, a 2d platform game(mario clone), a sidescrolling 2d game in 3d invitoment, and a fully 3d game, but i keep running against the wall becouse i dont know were to go, So if anyone can answer this, and point me in a direction to focus more on games( the mario clone).
ive bought these on amazon (not gotten here yet..):

Beginning C++ Game Programming (Game Development Series)
Ivor Horton’s Beginning Visual C++ 2005 (Programmer to Programmer)
C++ Primer Plus (5th Edition) (Primer Plus (Sams))
Programming Pearls (2nd Edition)
Beginning Game Programming (Sams Teach Yourself)
Practical C++ Programming, Second Edition

and im thinking of buying these:

Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX w/CD (The Premier Press Game Development Series)

Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games

Focus On 2D in Direct3D (Premier Press Game Development Series)

Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Direct X 9.0c: A Shader Approach (Wordware Game and Graphics Library)

3D Game Programming for Teens (For Teens)

Game Coding Complete

Building a 3d Game Engine in C++

More OpenGL Game Programming

Beginning OpenGL Game Programming (Game Development Series)

Game Programming All in One, Second Edition

Story and Simulations for Serious Games: Tales from the Trenches

Windows Game Programming for Dummies, Second Edition

Focus On SDL (The Premier Press Game Development Series)

any suggestions of books i should ad/remove or doing something third?
Thanks in advice :D

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TheNut 179 Feb 07, 2007 at 21:39

Do you plan on programming sometime within your lifetime? You’ve got quite a few books… err I should say quite the library. Don’t waste to much time reading. You don’t get better at something by reading theory. You need to practice, and that’s where experience comes from. Pick a single book from that pile and follow it. You can learn C/C++ while learning 3D. The two compliment each other, so use one to improve the other. Don’t jump into high tech development either. You don’t need to learn shaders yet, so focus only on the basics: Algebra, C++, and game flow. Things will pick up from there as you move along. Solving problems will come intuitively. Take advantage of the Internet too. Reading someone’s 5 page tutorial, complete with diagrams, will probably be better for you then reading paragraphs of theory.

Most important, have fun while doing it. Anyone can start a project, but only a true game developer will finish what he or she has started.

SamuraiCrow 101 Feb 08, 2007 at 16:53

I’ve gotten Focus on SDL. It may have been worth the $8 I paid for it but, having been on the the SDL newsgroup and (down at the moment), and LazyFoo’s Tutorials are very informative, so it’s probably not worth your while.

Do you want the game to compile only under Windows or be multi-platform capable? If you want it to recompile on Macintoshes and Linux boxes then forget DirectX. You’ll want to learn a cross-platform API such as SDL and/or OpenGL instead. Also, SDL is easier for 2d graphics than DirectX anyway.

Nonetheless, you have to start somewhere. If you want to see how somebody else has done a Mario clone using SDL, look into some existing projects on . They are all open-source so you can see how they did it before you start yours. is a good place to start looking.

MadsGustaf 101 Feb 08, 2007 at 19:02

Thanks, those pages looks realy helpful!
it only need to work on windows. Would it be very difficult to port it to a gba? (not my main focus, but someday when im done with it, id like to make it protabel for my friends enjoyment)

SamuraiCrow 101 Feb 09, 2007 at 18:20

Apparently SDL has been ported to Nintendo DS but I don’t know about the Nintendo Advance. I would guess that it might need more memory to work with the SDL libraries than a hardware-banging cartridge would take but if you write it with SDL it’s easy to port. The only potential problem might be endian inconsistencies in the save-position stuff other than the memory problem I mentioned earlier.

ShaunPeoples 101 Feb 15, 2007 at 15:19

If you’re into the idea of doing a 2D side scrolling game, or even beyond that for that matter check out - great resource from start to middle.