3D engines allow programers to focus on making their games, instead of re-inventing the wheel.
If you are a computer programmer interested in computer games, you’ll want to make the jump from console-based programs to graphically-based programs. This is a challenging step, since it will involve applying everything you’ve learned about object-oriented programming to understand the complexities of 3D engines, a set of libraries that allows you to program 3D games while focusing on your game. DirectX is one such popular 3D gaming engine for Microsoft Windows.
1. Learn to program in C++. C++ is the workhorse language of modern game development, as of the early 21st century. While newer, higher-level programing languages have been used to develop games for Internet-based platforms, C++ is most commonly used for PC gaming. DirectX integrates with Microsoft’s C++ development platforms, and utilizes the object-oriented programming concepts you will learn while acquiring the language. Knowing develop C++ programs for Windows is an essential prerequisite for making 3D games with DirectX.
2. Download and install the current version of the DirectX software development kit. It can be found in Microsoft’s download center, and contains the libraries you need to use the DirectX 3D engine.
3. Read about COMs (Common Object Model) and the rendering pipeline. These are two core ideas for understanding, and using, DirectX. COMs are the individual objects, or components, that together make up the 3D environment you create. They are important for building your 3D environment, and proper understanding of them can allow you to make maintaining your game over its lifetime easier by being able to release update patches, instead of entirely new programs. The rendering pipeline is the series of steps by which the code you write for your 3D environment is translated into images on the computer screen. These are two important principles to form a framework for the specifics of using DirectX.
4. Read about the 3D coordinate system, 3D models, and how they are constructed, shaded and colored. These are basic concepts in building 3D objects, and combining them into full environments. DirectX is a library that allows you to construct 3D objects, but you first need know the details of what you want the 3D engine to render.
5. Learn create windows and put shapes in them. Once you know all these things, you will know the basics of using DirectX.