Teaching C++ is like teaching no other programming language or development tool. Among the complications in designing and presenting a C++ course are: The worst fault a C++ course can have is to focus exclusively on the rules, but many courses do just that. I have seen some courses which explain every detail of every language feature drawing little distinction between important and unimportant or between good and bad. Such courses may help the student pass a certification examination, but they won't help him or her to develop high-quality software.
The value of any programming course lies in conveying a solid grasp of problem solving and good programming practice. Because of the vast range of choices in C++ that need is especially acute here. We shouldn't worry if students haven't memorized every detail of C++ syntax and semantics; they can always look something up when they need it. If they understand the purpose of each feature, the relationships among features, and how to use C++ well, they will have gotten value from the course.
From the feedback I had this year from games educators the majority say teaching C++ is an enjoyable experience. However with the release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 C++ is also an educational experience for many of the lectures with new opportunities and new enhancements to DirectX. Any many lectures have already commented that they learn something new about the subject matter each time. Given the pace of growth in the language, in related libraries, in add-on products, and in object-oriented C++ and the opportunity of Windows is pretty exciting.
Having fun Despite the daunting difficulties, a good C++ course ought to be an enjoyable and satisfying experience. More than most other languages, C++ lets us exercise creative design over a wide range of levels.
It's fun to design and build classes and other object-oriented constructs and then see them exhibit the desired behaviour.
It's fun to debate the pros and cons of alternative approaches to some problem.
One of the key issues students state is that they spend lots of time on framework design or development and not actually producing a fully operational game. Well, for all you who want to let your students experiment and develop a game I would like to make you aware of Rapid2D.
Rapid2D C++ Framework
Rapid2D is the only Game Engine that has been specifically designed for the production of Windows 8 Apps. The Rapid2D engine can be used to produce apps for Windows 8 PC, Tablet and Windows Phone 8.
Rapid2D has a unique GUI interface that makes games production fast and accessible to both the experienced and novice developer. Rapid2D is designed to be intuitive allowing the fast production of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 applications. The engine uses the widely uses C++ for scripting.
We've got a great competition for you! Make an app using Rapid2D and - provided the game meets the Windows 8 submission criteria - we'll help you publish your app to the Windows 8 Marketplace. In addition, the app that is judged to be the best by our Rapid2D team will receive a Windows 8 Tablet.
Please click here to view the terms and conditions of the competition (PDF, opens in a new window).