I'm coding my own engine design right now and, being new to everything, and having created my own brew as to how 3D data is stored, I need some help with basic functions. Basically, I need, well, the utter basics to allow me to mess around "live" with my code. I need to be able to display a window, get sizing info of the window, display coordinates and draw lines in between coordinates, take keyboard, mouse, and gamepad input, etc etc. I especially need to be able to use the window, take H/W ratio and pixel values, and use it to draw lines (and manipulate the lines) in between coordinates that I'm storing in arrays. The really simple stuff; however, I'm not using "traditional" 3D data (that's where my own design comes in), so I need to be able to take existing functions and use them for my own deals. Simple stuff... Just the basics of barfing a window up and being able to see things live and edit them live when inputting code. I'm just getting familiar with various game APIs, and I'd like really specific direction to navigate the sea of 'em out there.
Thanks for any help!
You might look into SDL, a commonly used library for 2D and 3D graphical apps and games. It can handle the details of getting a window on screen, receiving input etc. and is a lot simpler to use than the bare Windows API or other platform APIs. For graphics, SDL itself only provides 2D image loading and blitting (i.e. sprites), but it can also give you access to OpenGL to do hardware accelerated 3D graphics.
You could also look at the NeHe tutorials on OpenGL (click the "Lessons 01-05" and other links on the right side). These show how to use the Windows API directly to create a window, get OpenGL running, and do some basic input handling.
Or, if Direct3D is more your thing, you can certainly find plenty of tutorials online about getting that up and running in a window as well.
Finally, you might want to pick up a book on OpenGL or D3D, instead of relying on internet tutorials. That might give you a smoother and certainly more complete introduction to the subject.
Do you have a preferred API/APIs library? I'm developing my prototype code for an online-based game "portal" which I'm sure will use client-server structure vs. flash or "webgame" format stuff. I'm trying to get a handle on potential issues which, well, I don't know if they're actually issues, but things like different browsers, PC and Mac OSes...etc. I don't know how much those things would really affect a site like mine, but I would like to adapt my prototype code to a language and API set(s) that would smoothly run independently of browser and OS. Or at least, run on the major ones.
Have a look at my website for a bunch of video tutorials that explain each step of the process: http://www.marek-knows.com/downloads.php5?vmk=gameEng
I start off the series with nothing but an empty project, and by the time you are done you'll have a functional game engine you can use to create a 3d game like Ghost Toast:
You rock marek. That looks like a goldmine. Thanks a million, I'm certainly going to cruise your site a bunch.