So I'm now familiar with C++ concepts however I'm unsure how to start programming graphics. None of my books cover this; I don't know why! So which is the easiest that I should learn... DarkGDK, OpenGL or something else?
Through research, it seems that Allegro is one of the easier ones that has to do with graphics and game programming. I am a beginner learning C++ but planned to learn some Allegro later on.
But check out this youtube channel, it should be helpful
I would personally recommend taking a look at SDL.
SDL is very strait forward, it's easy to learn, and requires little code to get a basic window up and running with a few sprites.
It also has some pretty cool secondary libraries for things like audio and networking.
Definitely give SDL a shot.
I also recommend SDL because it is easy to set up with openGL.
If you are going to be programming with openGL, you will have to figure out out to bring up a window in the operating system and do all the window management stuff such as resizing the window and moving it. There are some libraries such as QT and GLUT that will make this easier for you, but SDL's window management system is very strait-forward and allows you to do other stuff like play sounds.
SDL is really cool because it allows you to very easily (and cost effectively) set up a window and then link openGL into it so you can use openGL functions rather than SDL functions. So you can set up a simple framework with SDL, and then do all your 3D rendering in openGL with barely any additional code.
ummm... i havn't installed Allegro yet, I can't really help you that much.
But in the video play list I put above, click on the first video.
Beginner's Guide to Game Programming Ep1 Part 1 Introduction
about 3:30 she talks about how to install Allegro....
sorry that is the best i can do.
Furthermore I would recommend to download and install the game Cube 2: Sauerbraten (www.sauerbraten.org). This game is written in C++, and it uses OpenGL and SDL, so exactly the things you are looking for. For me, it is very useful.
Yeah, you have to be pretty good at programming and command-line compiling to get Allegro installed (easy on Linux than windows, but they do have binaries for you). As for SDL there is this set of tutorials that come highly recommended: http://www.lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/
Dark GDK locks you into developing for Windows platform only. Allegro, SDL, and SFML lets you develop a game and with little effort you can port it around Linux, Windows, and Mac. Some of them offer mobile devices like the iPhone and such.
If you don't have an hour then don't bother messing with programming as it takes more than that to do. Also, that tells you what libraries you should look into for different aspects of game development. If you are serious about game development and game programming, then you will make the time to watch it.
I don't want to come across as an asshole, but after 14 years of doing this, I've learned that if you are serious about programming you MUST make the time to learn everything possible about your area of interest or you will forever be a beginner. You also run the risk of getting burned out on it. Programming takes a lot of time no matter what you are doing, unless you are sitting around doing hello world applications in different libraries because then it would take a matter of minutes.
BHXSpecter is right. If you are really serious in Game Programming, then you'll have the hour to watch the video. Programming takes ultimate skill to master. I've been using C++ for two WHOLE years now, and I'm still not so great at it.
May I ask just... How long have you been programming?