Appendix B. Selecting a Game Development Tool
The programming techniques described in this book rely on the C++ programming language in a Windows environment. This means that you use C++ code to develop programs that run on the Windows operating system. In order to compile C++ code into an executable Windows program, you need a C++ compiler that targets the Windows operating system. Fortunately, there are several C++ development tools available that support Windows.
You might think that you can use any C++ compiler to build
for Windows, but in order to support Windows a compiler must include the Windows
API (Application Programming Interface)
. From a programming perspective, the Windows API is a set of unique functions and data structures that allow you to create programs for Windows. From the perspective of a development tool, the Windows API is a set of header and library files that are essential in allowing you to build Windows programs. So, you must use a compiler that is capable of creating Windows programs using the Windows API.
few sections introduce you to a few of the popular C++ development tools available for creating Windows games. All of the code examples throughout the book are
for Microsoft Visual C++, which simply means that I've included project files to make it easier to build the programs in Visual C++. I chose Visual C++ simply because it is the most widely used C++ development tool for Windows. However, if you choose to use one of the other tools, you shouldn't have any problem creating new projects within the tool and building the examples.
Project files are used to
a compiler of the source code files that need to be compiled, along with library files that should be linked into the executable program, as well as other compiler and linker settings.