Book Image

SDL Game Development

By : Shaun Mitchell
5 (1)
Book Image

SDL Game Development

5 (1)
By: Shaun Mitchell

Overview of this book

SDL 2.0 is the latest release of the popular Simple DirectMedia Layer API, which is designed to make life easier for C++ developers, allowing you simple low-level access to various multiplatform audio, graphics, and input devices.SDL Game Development guides you through creating your first 2D game using SDL and C++. It takes a clear and practical approach to SDL game development, ensuring that the focus remains on creating awesome games.Starting with the installation and setup of SDL, you will quickly become familiar with useful SDL features, covering sprites, state management, and OOP, leading to a reusable framework that is extendable for your own games. SDL Game Development culminates in the development of two exciting action games that utilize the created framework along with tips to improve the framework.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
SDL Game Development
About the Author
About the Reviewers


Creating games in C++ is a complicated process requiring a lot of time and dedication to achieve results. A good foundation of reusable classes can speed up development time and allow focus to be on creating a great game rather than struggling with low-level code. This book aims to show an approach to creating a reusable framework that could be used for any game, whether 2D or 3D.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting started with SDL, covers setting up SDL in Visual C++ 2010 express and then moves onto the basics of SDL including creating a window and listening for quit events.

Chapter 2, Drawing in SDL, covers the development of some core drawing classes to help simplify SDL rendering. The SDL_image extension is also introduced to allow the loading of a variety of different image file types.

Chapter 3, Working with Game Objects, gives a basic introduction to inheritance and polymorphism along with the development of a reusable GameObject class that will be used throughout the rest of the book.

Chapter 4, Exploring Movement and Input Handling, gives a detailed look at handling events in SDL. Joystick, keyboard, and mouse input are all covered with the development of reusable classes.

Chapter 5, Handling Game States, covers the design and implementation of a finite state machine to manage game states. Implementing and moving between different states is covered in detail.

Chapter 6, Data-driven Design, covers the use of TinyXML to load states. A class to parse states is developed along with examples for different states.

Chapter 7, Creating and Displaying Tile Maps, brings together everything from the previous chapters to allow the creation of levels using the Tiled map editor. A level parsing class is created to load maps from an XML file.

Chapter 8, Creating Alien Attack, covers the creation of a 2D side scrolling shooter, utilizing everything learned in the previous chapters.

Chapter 9, Creating Conan the Caveman, covers the creation of a second game, altering the code from Alien Attack, showing that the framework is flexible enough to be used for any 2D game genre.

What you need for this book

To use this book you will need the following software:

  • Visual C++ 2010 Express

  • Tiled map editor

  • TinyXML

  • zlib library

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at beginner/intermediate C++ programmers who want to take their existing skills and apply them to creating games in C++. This is not a beginner's book and you are expected to know the basics of C++, including inheritance, polymorphism, and class design.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "We can include other contexts through the use of the include directive."

A block of code is set as follows:

void Player::update()
  m_currentFrame = int(((SDL_GetTicks() / 100) % 6));



New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Right-click on the project and choose Build.".


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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