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Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Second Edition [Paperback]

by Michael Dawson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Beginning C++ Through Game Programming Beginning C++ Through Game Programming 4.1 out of 5 stars (64)
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Book Description

December 28, 2006 1598633600 978-1598633603 2
Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Second Edition approaches C++ from a game programming perspective unlike any other on the market. Offering a thorough and modern introduction to C++, this book is everything that an aspiring game programmer needs in order to learn the fundamentals of C++ and game programming basics. There is no programming experience necessary. You'll begin within the fundamental steps of C++ and game programming. The book presents a small, but complete program for each new concept and a complete game program at the end of each chapter. At the end of the book, you'll create a final game project that combines most of the major topics you've just covered. Skillfully written in an easy-to-understand manner, this is a great place to get started with game programming.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real-world game industry experience, Dawson earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. He currently teaches game programming and design to students of all ages through UCLA Extension courses and private lessons. Visit his Web site at to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (December 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598633600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598633603
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real world game industry experience, Mike earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. Currently, he teaches game programming in the Game Production Department of the Los Angeles Film School. Mike has also taught game programming to students through UCLA Extension and The Digital Media Academy at Stanford. He's the author of three other books: Beginning C++ through Game Programming, Guide to Programming with Python, and C++

Projects: Programming with Text-Based Games. You can visit his website at to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! February 11, 2007
I have read C++ for dummies and this book was actually easier to read than that. Not only was the language that much clearer but it covered nearly every aspect of C++ console programming. But therein lies the one flaw. It is called C++ Through Game Programming, but the closest you can get to a game right from this book is a text-based adventure. It may seem a little misleading, but nowhere on or in the book does it mention visual/graphical work or tutorials. Great book for the basics though!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly a beginner's book: January 7, 2010
I've been programming in perl for years, but I was ready to move on to bigger and better things. Wanting to learn C++, I was in search of a 'good' programming book, whether it go to an intermediate level or just the basic fundamentals, that a person looking into learning C++ would want. What more could stick out than a programming book that not only teaches you the C++ language, but the basic tenants of game programming? Here's the 'deal'. As a person with a lot of prior programming experience, I can say this book is huge when it comes to teaching you the basic fundamentals, and I mean for you to take the word basic to its very most possible meaning. This book is a bit more on the 'technical' side, and should probably be for a person who is fairly new to programming, can't stand scanning through long code excerpts, or wants to connect the dots; if they had thrown themselves into the realm of programming in the past without taking the time to acquaint themselves with the foundations.

The first eight chapters are almost beautiful. I really enjoyed going through those simple things that you haven't seen since your first introductory programming class in college. When you get to chapters nine and ten, the book gets a little rough. It does a good job of explaining the topics of chapter nine, like dynamic memory allocation, memory leaks, etc, but it's not as thorough, so I could see that a 'true' beginner could possibly get lost. The chapter 'does' explain everything, but you have to be more careful and pay much closer attention to the words you're reading or you might be left asking 'why' in the heck some things are the way they are.

One thing this book lacks is a good, solid introduction to the C++ language.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Foothold March 29, 2009
I bought this book 3 1/2 weeks ago and just finished going through all of the material in it. As a newcomer to C++ with only a light background in BASIC, I picked up on what the author was trying to convey almost instantly. This is my second C++ book, and I can say that unlike my other book, the material contained within isn't dry and keeps you interested. While many of the examples don't actually have you program anything that is close to a game, they use terminology familiar to gamers that helps you put 2 and 2 together and imagine what other creative uses you could use the code provided for.

A word of warning however, if you read it too quickly, you may find yourself lost. Some chapters go from unbelievably easy to fairly difficult very quickly, and make some of the concepts difficult to understand if you don't grasp it the first time since the material just builds upon itself. One notorious problem in the book is Chapter 9's Exercise 1. There are many people on several different programming forums asking for help with this particular problem since the solution isn't obvious and may leave one feeling as though they're stuck in a trial and error type situation. This could be easily remedied in a classroom type setting where the professor can give feedback, but for self-study, this pitfall may cost you many hours. It is for those reasons alone that this book receives 4 stars.

Over all, this book is a good buy for the beginning programmer aiming to make it in the gaming industry and is leaps and bounds better than many other books on the subject. I would highly recommend this book to any one looking to learn C++ for the first time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Book--Uses What You Learn Right Away April 30, 2009
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the effect this book has had on my son. He is very interested in programming, and has already worked himself through half of the book. This is not normal behavior for my son, who doesn't like to read that much. The reason it is such a successful book is that it is PRACTICAL. At the end of every chapter, there is a game to build which uses the concepts that were just taught. This allows my son to really feel as if he is getting somewhere and not just reading about the topic. Great Book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent learning material February 24, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great choice for me to purchase this book and I have to thank all the positive reviews on Amazon for it. Some people were apparently confused by the title on the first edition and so it was altered on the second. This book is for people who want to learn C++ as opposed to people wanting to learn game programming. This is the perfect choice for absolute beginners. The author explains things really well and assumes you know very little about programming. His writing style is concise yet light and quite methodical, starting off with basic programming structures and building his way up to classes. This book alone will not teach you everything you need to know but it surely was an excellent introduction for me into the world of C++ and the fact it used game creation as a vehicle, this made it even more interesting for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good
Good book if you are just starting out on c++ coding but, look over everything before you start to code.
Published 1 month ago by Tabitha Carlisle
5.0 out of 5 stars it's great thanks
it's great thanks, blah, blah. it's great thanks, blah, blah. it's great thanks, blah,'s great thanks, blah, blah
Published 14 months ago by lissajous
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
The right book for you if you are learn C++.
A very well written book. After read this book you can go more deep in more advanced C++ books.
Published 19 months ago by Dom Lima
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for beginners
This is book does a good job of introducing and explaining the basic concepts of C++ and how it can apply to game programming. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Al
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay I guess
This book is not the greatest for those who have some knowledge in computer science and are looking to pick up some skills in C++. Read more
Published on September 24, 2011 by N. Hemmings
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
Bought it and flew through the chapters, with a couple of minor bathroom breaks. but overall an in credible learning guide! I'm still reading, but I'm fairly competent in c++ now.
Published on August 9, 2011 by Modified001
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This book was great throughout.
It is hard to show relevant examples through code in a beginners book but this one did extremely well at that. Read more
Published on January 9, 2011 by rob
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Second Edition
This book is well written and has easy instructions to guide you through each piece of code.
All the code examples actually worked wich is better then some of the other books... Read more
Published on December 26, 2010 by Harold
2.0 out of 5 stars Total ripoff for a Kindle book
I bought the Kindle version of this book, so there is no companion CD-ROM. When you go to the website recommended for download of files for the CD-ROM, you are immediately... Read more
Published on June 6, 2010 by Kristin L. Hanson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad as an introduction to C++
This book does a fairly decent job of introducing new programmers to various C++ topics such as data types, flow control, functions and object-oriented development. Read more
Published on May 4, 2010 by Richard Carpenter
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Topic From this Discussion
What is the best book to learn C++ programming for a beginner
In my humble opinion I believe that "C++ Without Fear" is the best I have used and I am very much of a beginner. There is a chapter devoted to "for", for what ever reason, one of my earlier down falls. There are no game coding in this book, just straight forward examples. This... Read more
Jun 18, 2010 by L. Gilman |  See all 4 posts
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