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Game Programming

Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.

— Linus Torvalds

To follow this tutorial, you will need a programming IDE, the DirectX SDK, which, since Windows 8, is included as part of the Windows SDK, and a basic knowledge of C++.

Please note that none of the following tutorials have been revisited or edited. Most of them were written between 2017 and 2019. They might thus be outdated. There might be a ton of grammatical mistakes, the explanations might not be well written, and the code might not be optimized. Nonetheless, the demos run fine, and there is enough material for anyone to learn something new. Thank you for your understanding.

Game Programming Fundamentals

Windows Game Programming Fundamentals

Before learning how to program DirectX games, basic knowledge about Win32 programming must be acquired. In the following tutorials, a first fundamental framework for any Windows-based games is created, featuring a robust game loop with time management. The framework encapsulates all the tedious details about Windows programming, such that later, more advanced tutorials, can simply focus on their core ideas, without having to worry about being bothered by Windows.

DirectX Fundamentals

With all the nasty Windows stuff nicely hidden away, it is time to learn about Direct3D and the High-Level Shader Language to draw vertices to the screen. In addition, Direct2D and DirectWrite co-operate with Direct3D to output text to game windows.

Basic Shader Programming

The following short tutorials cover the High-Level Shading Language in more details than the previous tutorials.

Entering Flatland

Now that a robust DirectX game framework is in place, it is time to study Direct2D in more detail. We will learn how to use Direct2D to render 2D-images, starting with simple geometrical figures and working our way up to complete 2D-sprites. At the end of these tutorials, we will have a very robust DirectX and Direct2D framework, with DirectWrite and Windows Imaging Component support.

To round things off, we will learn how to handle user input, and we will add sounds and music to our framework.

User Input will be handled by Windows events for the keyboard and mouse, by DirectInput for Joysticks and by XInput for Gamepads. An event queue will be implemented to allow different application components and game entities to interact with each other.

To add sounds and music, we will have a look at XAudio2 and the Windows Media Foundation (in later tutorials, FMOD and Wwise will be introduced as well).

I can’t think of a better place to start the journey into computer graphics than Flatland itself! To fully use all the features in these tutorials, Windows 10+ is necessary.

Direct2D Fundamentals

Input System (I)

User Interface

File System

Input System (II)

Programming Patterns

Music and Sound

XAudio2 with the Windows Media Foundation

A First Game: Tetris

Playing God - Fundamental Physics

To be able to simulate a real world, it is necessary to understand the laws of physics. The following tutorials give a basic introduction to the most important concepts of classical mechanics and computational geometry. A more rigorous treatment of those concepts will appear in the “mathematics” section of this website, later on.

Basic Kinematics

Basic Collision Detection and Response

Particle Systems


(in alphabetic order)

  • Game Programming Algorithms, by Sanjay Madhav
  • Game Programming Patterns, by Robert Nystrom
  • Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 11, by Frank D. Luna
  • Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)
  • Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, by André LaMothe