Starting Out with Games & Graphics in C++

Tony Gaddis  
Total pages
November 2012
Related Titles


Tony Gaddis’s accessible, step-by-step presentation helps beginning students understand the important details necessary to become skilled programmers at an introductory level. Gaddis motivates the study of both programming skills and the C++ programming language by presenting all the details needed to understand the “how” and the “why”–but never losing sight of the fact that most beginners struggle with this material. His approach is both gradual and highly accessible, ensuring that students understand the logic behind developing high-quality programs.

In Starting Out with Games and Graphics in C++, 2e, Gaddis covers the essentials of programming for a novice using the C++ language. 

The Second Edition has been completely revised to provide students with more knowledge of standard C++, while retaining the interesting examples and exercises that students latch on to. Now organized in two parts, Part 1 covers the fundamentals of procedural programming using standard C++. To inspire student productivity and reinforce the core objectives of a strong CS1 foundation, Gaddis covers graphics and game programming using C++ and the App Game Kit in Part 2. Part 2 also covers file I/O and introduces object-oriented programming.


  • Concise real-world examples that students understand and relate to foster motivation and retention.
  • Full games are used as examples to motivate students' interest in programming concepts.
  • A late-objects approach insures that students grasp programming fundamentals before moving on to more powerful object-oriented concepts.
  • A variety of exercises in each chapter encourage students to put concepts to work as they are learned. Source code is provided so students can run the programs themselves.
  • Full-colour graphics insert helps students better visualize how their own graphics should look.

New to this Edition

  • Completely Revised for More Thorough Standard C++ Coverage
    The 2nd edition of this book is a complete revision of the first edition. Reviewers of the first edition overwhelmingly expressed that their students needed more knowledge of standard C++ to be adequately prepared for subsequent courses. To address this concern, the 2nd edition is divided into two parts: Part 1 (Chapters 1 through 6) covers the fundamentals of procedural programming using standard C++. Part 2 (Chapters 7 through 11) covers graphics and game programming using C++ and the App Game Kit. Part 2 also covers file I/O and introduces object-oriented programming.
  • Use of the App Game Kit Tier 2
    Another change in the 2nd edition is the use of the App Game Kit Tier 2, instead of the Dark GDK. The App Game Kit is the latest development environment from The Game Creators. It is designed to create games for Windows, as well as a variety of smartphones and tablets. The App Game Kit is available in two 'tiers.' Tier 1 provides an integrated development environment that supports a BASIC-like programming language. Tier 2 provides a C++ library that is compatible with Microsoft Visual C++ 2010. In Part 2 of this book we use the App Game Kit Tier 2, along with Microsoft Visual C++ 2010. (Although the App Game Kit is a commercial product, The Game Creators provide a free trial version that includes Tier 2. The trial version is not time-restricted, but it does display a small watermark on the screen. You can use either the trial version, or the full commercial version with this book.)


Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Introduction to Programming with C++
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Computers and Programming
  • Chapter 2: C++ Fundamentals
  • Chapter 3: Decision Structures and Boolean Logic
  • Chapter 4: Repetition Structures
  • Chapter 5: Functions
  • Chapter 6: Arrays
  • Part 2: Graphics and Game Programming with C++ and the App Game Kit
  • Chapter 7: Using the App Game Kit with C++
  • Chapter 8: Input, Animation, and Sound
  • Chapter 9: Text, Collisions, and the Vulture Trouble Game
  • Chapter 10: Using Files and Arrays with the AGK
  • Chapter 11: Object-Oriented Programming
  • Appendix A: Downloading and Installing the Required Software
  • Answers to Checkpoints (available online)


Tony Gaddis is the principal author of the Starting Out with series of textbooks. He has nearly two decades of experience teaching computer science courses, primarily at Haywood Community College. Tony is a highly acclaimed instructor who was previously selected as the North Carolina Community College Teacher of the Year, and has received the Teaching Excellence award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. Tony, Haywood Community College 1981 Business Administration and 1985 Electronic Data Processing graduate, was selected as Outstanding Alumni Recipient for 2012 for the college. His Starting Out with series includes introductory textbooks covering Programming Logic and Design, Alice, C++, Java, Microsoft Visual Basic, and Python.

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