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Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition Paperback – March 12, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1598635287 ISBN-10: 159863528X Edition: 2nd
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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.
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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: 0.8 x 7.2 x 8.8 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: #1,094,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By David Nelson on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By Yorik van Havre on 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 By W. Riddle on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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By Inácio Ferrarini on October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an former 2D programmer hobbist, I found a hard time moving to a 3D space. I tried other OpenGL books, but, this book was the first book that was able to kept me interested (and motivated in learning) to the end. The source code is well written in C++, well documented and it is easy to follow (even when the code is non-trivial, like heightmaps, lights and normals, etc) providing basic and usefull classes. The complete source code, textures, shaders are contained in a CD wich comes along with the book.
My personal objective was to learn how computer graphics work, in order to be able to understand more complex 3D APIs and tools, and it was fullfilled by this book.
This book also shows how to create code that runs the same way in different machines (time-based rendering, instead of frame-based rendering).

Note: On Visual C++ Express 2010, when I opened/converted the solutions from the CD, I had to remove the other two referenced projects (I think they were created by CMake) and adjust the path for the source files (they referenced an absolute path, different than my project's path). Besides that, everything worked as a charm, even better than expected.

The source code works perfectly for both Windows and Linux (I still don't have a Mac nearby for testing).
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Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition
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