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Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition [Paperback]

Luke Benstead
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 12, 2009 159863528X 978-1598635287 2
Are you a beginning programmer just getting started in 3D graphics programming? If you're comfortable programming in C++ and have a basic understanding of 3D math concepts, "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition" will get you started programming 3D graphics for games using the OpenGL API. Revised to work with the latest version of OpenGL, OpenGL 3.0, this book is perfect for programmers who are new to game development or new to OpenGL. New skills and concepts are taught using step-by-step instructions, with end-of-chapter exercises for testing and reinforcement. From creating a simple OpenGL application, to applying texture mapping, and even displaying 2D fonts, you'll find complete yet concise coverage of all the newest features of OpenGL as they apply to 3D graphics for game development. And by the end of the book, you'll be able to apply your new-found knowledge of OpenGL to create your very own games.

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Editorial Reviews


Note from the author: I've noticed that some readers are still experiencing trouble with the source code. If you have downloaded the files from the website and are still having trouble, you can contact me (@kazade) directly on Twitter. --Author

Note from the Publisher:Corrected project files and image files from the book's accompanying CD-ROM can be found under "Downloads" on the Course Technology PTR website here: You can search for the downloads using the book's title, ISBN, or author.We apologize for any inconvenience these errors may have caused.

About the Author

Luke has been programming OpenGL and C++ for 7 years. He graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2002 with a Bsc(hons) Degree in Multimedia Programming and an HND in Software Engineering. At Portsmouth he was also awarded the Climax Prize for Best Interactive Technology Project for an OpenGL modeling application. Luke is an active member of the community and co-maintainer of He currently works as a software developer in London.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (March 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159863528X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598635287
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
I was extremely excited about this book. I was around when NeHe first started up but was working exculsively on DirectX. That website was such a resource it was amazing. I bought their book wihtout question and started working with it and reading it.
First problem was the source on the CD. The project settings are messed up so you have to rebuild the projects. Not a huge deal but kind of annoying. This stuff happens. A quicker fix is to go to: [...] and search for the book - downloads. Then you're good.

The Positive:
They go into all the stuff you need to know about general openGL and they cover what's being removed and added in the new openGL model. This is very helpful and guides you on what you should use in your applicaitons so you have an easy transition to gl 3.1. They also cover things like text, and GLSL.

The Negative:
I am amazed that they call this a "Game Development" book. It's a shorter GL reference book and thats it. They show some terrain generation and that's about as far into *game* development you get. If you need a very complete GL reference you're probably better off witht he openGL "Redbook". If you know some GL and just want a simple reference then this is better since it's shorter.

The VERY Negative:
After reading this book for awhile I was blown away and pretty mad I even bought it. The guys from NeHe have always been good and writing solid tutorials and complete examples. The book simply says, "Here are the functions you need to call, here is how you use them, go look at the source code.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a basic reference book for entering the openGL world December 23, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I'm getting more and more involved with computer graphics programming and I was interested in digging in something lower-level like OpenGL. I am no professional programmer, just hobbyist, I know python fairly well now and am just beginning to put my fingers into C++.

So, what I wanted was basically understand how OpenGL works, be able to follow with my limited C++ knowledge and also get a couple of yummy and well organized pieces of code to explore. This book fullfilled those 3 topics perfectly.

Some of the critics the others reviewers made may be true, for ex. that the example code doesn't correspond exactly to the examples in the book, but I didn't find that a bad thing, I saw the code more like "real-life" examples to explore, practice & tweak after you learned some theory in the book.

My very small knowledge of the C++ language didn't give me too much problem, the book focuses on explaining how you do things the opengl way and not on building working programs. For example it says things like "In OpenGL, this is how you must build a triangle: you first build an array with the vertices coordinates, then pass it that way". I had a bit of difficulty understanding a couple of specific programming topics at the beginning of the book, but the author himself doesn't extend much on those parts.

So I think you must not consider this book as a practical manual for building games, but rather a theory book about openGL, but a theory book made with a quite practical approach. It doesn't talk much about 3D geometry itself, but focuses on making you understand "the OpenGL way", with small tricks, examples, and the well-known experience of the NeHe people.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not that great December 12, 2009
I bought this book to help towards my understanding of OpenGL for college. And in my experience, this book is ok, but not that great.

- The book explains most of what you need to know about about OpenGL functions, data types, etc.
- It's one of the few books out there that actually has you build something like a game at the end of the book.

- Code on the CD is different from what's in the book. A lot of the different code is explained through very vague, 1 sentence comments. Stuff that's not even mentioned in the book.
- This is another "teach you about this subject" books, instead of the preferred "follow along and learn" books. What I mean by this is they will tell you how to make changes, but not where to put the code and in what file. It's up to you to either guess, or go through the different source code to try and figure it out.

Overall, I'd give it a 3/5. It explains OpenGL well, but don't count on the source code to help you. It will just confuse you more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for! April 11, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a guide on writing platform-specific OpenGL, or to write your own multi-platform code without being bogged down by extra libraries like GLUT, this is the book you want. I'm not sure why everyone else rated this book so low. It filled in the gaps that every other OpenGL book and online tutorial missed. Loved every page of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpfull January 6, 2011
I am taking a openGL class right now and have found this book a very good supplement to my teachers lectures.
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