Learn the basics of Windows programming by programming the famous game Breakout

WinBreakoutC++ a program using Microsoft's Windows API

Project started April, 13 2015:  additional information for WinBreakoutCPlusPlus, a demo Windows program with a repository at github.com/ebobtron/WinBreakoutCPlusPlus.  If you have questions or would like to help with this project contact me at ebobtron at aol dot com.

The header files and libraries used to build this project are part of the Microsoft Windows 7 Platform SDK and I use a recent version of the open source IDE Code::Blocks.  The project is compatible with Visual Studio 2013 and it's variants.  Are you a student or hobbyist?  Then look into Visual Studio Community 2013 a low or no cost development option.

Step One: The Window and It's Support.

The code below will show a window, this is how we get started. Try it.

Here is an entire windows program.  It will open a window titled WinBreakoutC++.  There is not much to it, lots of the words are larger than you maybe accustom to. Setting up an IDE or Integrated Development Environment can be more difficult.  If your not set up with an IDE and the Win32 libraries like those that come with the Digital Mars compiler contact me at the above link.

If your using Visual Studio open a new project with the application wizard, the result should be very similar to what is shown below.

My efforts here are probably redundant considering Microsoft's Learn to Program for Windows in C++ which I highly recommend but you're not likely to send them an email and get help.  Although if you try hard they have forums and other methods of helping users.

The following code will need to be linked to the static libraries listed below after compiling to create the executable.

  • user32
  • gdi32
 *    main.cpp
#if defined(UNICODE) && !defined(_UNICODE)
#define _UNICODE
#elif defined(_UNICODE) && !defined(UNICODE)
#define UNICODE

#include <tchar.h>
#include <windows.h>

/**  Declare the Windows procedure  **/
/**  this is a prototype of a function like any other prototype  **/

/**  Make the class name into a global variable  **/
/**  note the TCHAR wide character for Unicode  **/
TCHAR szClassName[ ] = _T("Student Project");

/**  this is "main" like any other main in C/C++  **/
int WINAPI WinMain (HINSTANCE hThisInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                    LPSTR lpszArgument, int nCmdShow)
    HWND hwnd;      // this is the handle for our window 
    MSG messages;      // messages to the program are stored in this structure
    WNDCLASSEX wincl;      // structure for the windowclass 

    /** The Window structure here is where windows are customized  **/
    wincl.hInstance = hThisInstance;    // from argument in WinMain
    wincl.lpszClassName = szClassName;    // the class name we created
    wincl.lpfnWndProc = WindowProcedure;    // this function is called by windows 
                                            // note the prototype above 
    wincl.style = CS_DBLCLKS;      // catch double-clicks - google.com 
    wincl.cbSize = sizeof(WNDCLASSEX);      // common memory management stuff 

    /**  Use default icon and mouse-pointer  **/ 
    wincl.hIcon = LoadIcon (NULL, IDI_APPLICATION);      // when we define one
    wincl.hIconSm = LoadIcon (NULL, IDI_APPLICATION);      // again
    wincl.hCursor = LoadCursor (NULL, IDC_ARROW);      // stock windows arrow
    wincl.lpszMenuName = NULL;      // for when we define if ever, none for now
    wincl.cbClsExtra = 0;      // no extra bytes after the window class 
    wincl.cbWndExtra = 0;      // no extra bytes after structure or the window instance

    /**  add a custom background color(inside our window) defaults is an ugly gray  **/  
    wincl.hbrBackground = CreateSolidBrush(RGB(255, 255, 255));  // white

    /**  Register the window class, and if it fails quit the program  **/
    if(!RegisterClassEx (&wincl))      // catches mistake from above    
        return 0;

    /**  The class is registered, let's create the program window  **/ 
    hwnd = CreateWindowEx (        // more options
           0,                      // extended possibilities  for variation 
           szClassName,            // Classname 
           _T(" WinBreakoutC++ "), // Title Text 
           WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW,    // default window 
           CW_USEDEFAULT,          // Windows decides the position 
           CW_USEDEFAULT,          // where the window ends up on the screen 
           330,                    // The programs width 
           500,                    // and height in pixels 
           HWND_DESKTOP,           // The window is a child-window to desktop
           NULL,                   // No menu
           hThisInstance,          // Program Instance handler
           NULL                    // No Window Creation data 

    /**  Make the window visible on the screen  **/
    ShowWindow (hwnd, nCmdShow);

    /**  Run the MESSAGE LOOP it will run until GetMessage() returns 0  **/
    /**  the heart beat of a windows program leave it alone             **/
    while (GetMessage (&messages, NULL, 0, 0))
        /**  Translate virtual-key messages into character messages  **/ 
        TranslateMessage(&messages);  // again google.com
        /**  Send message to WindowProcedure  **/

    /**  The program return-value is 0 - The value that PostQuitMessage() gave  **/
    return messages.wParam;   // you are correct the MSG structure element wParam
                              // is zero 

/**  This function is called by the MESSAGE LOOP function DispatchMessage() above  **/
LRESULT CALLBACK WindowProcedure (HWND hwnd, UINT message, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)

    PAINTSTRUCT ps;      // define a structure variable object
    HDC hdc;      // define a device context handle         

    switch (message)      // handle the messages   
        case WM_DESTROY:    // our window has been closed
             // put any future clean up code here                         
            PostQuitMessage (0);      // send a WM_QUIT to the message queue
        case WM_PAINT:    // window contents need painting or repainting
            hdc = BeginPaint (hwnd, &ps);      // get device context for our window 
        /*  output text to the window  */        
            TextOut (hdc,      // the handle to the device context
                     80,       // start position from left of window
                     40,       // start position from top of window
                     "this is the main window...",      // the test to display
                     23);      // number of character to display
            EndPaint (hwnd, &ps);      // release or free the hdc
        default:      // for messages not trapped above 
            /*  default window procedure to provide default processing for  */
            /*  any window messages that we do not process                  */
            return DefWindowProc(hwnd, message, wParam, lParam);
    /*  any break reached in the above switch statement arrive here  */
    return 0;  

download the above file main.cpp

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