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Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, Second Edition Paperback – December 28, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1598633603 ISBN-10: 1598633600 Edition: 2nd
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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 www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.
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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 (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,521 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 four 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 www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Louis Ingenthron on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Knepper on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Gall on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D0G HAIR on October 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. I am fairly new to programming and have been trying in vain to find something that "clicks" for my brain. this book was it!! the author's method of explaining things is very clear and in very plain English. the book is put together very logically so you could use this as a complete beginner and start making programs right away. all that being said i think the biggest advantage of this book over others i have used is the fact that the examples are fun, which may not seem like a big deal but believe me, it is. would you rather< as a beginner, try to drag yourself through pages and pages of "hello world!" and accounting problems. or would you rather create "Game Over!" programs and figure out how to fill the players inventory with swords and battle axes. I suppose if you are into accounting that is your prerogative, but i found learning about classes in relation to spaceships much easier to understand.

things to note:

this is not a book that will teach you how to make pretty graphics or sounds. it is only to teach the basics of c++ and does so in the context of game programming. all of the programs you will make will be in the console window.

if you have no interest in creating games this book is probably not for you as it has a lot of hints and real world tips for real world game programmers.

this book really is for the absolute beginner so someone who is already accustomed to programming may find the first half of the book quite tedious.
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