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Black Art of 3D Game Programming: Writing Your Own High-Speed 3D Polygon Video Games in C Paperback – September, 1995

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The definitive book for writing 3D video games in C. The only flaw: the CD-ROM is only for DOS-based C compilers. However, most of the source code is in the book, and the general principles would apply to all platforms. If you don't see more reviews listed below, be sure to click on the book's title for longer and impressive substantiation of this massive tome's merits!

From the Publisher

This unparalleled tutorial details every nuance of using the C language to create lightning-fast games with 3D polygon graphics. Step-by-step instructions guide you through every programming stage. - Covers every aspect of 3D polygon video game design, from concept to completion

- Discusses full modem communications and techniques for creating multi-player 3D video games

- Includes over 30 shareware games and demos including a shareware paint program


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1174 pages
  • Publisher: Waite Group Press (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571690042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571690043
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

André LaMothe was born in Silicon Valley, CA. He is a Computer Scientist, Futurist, Game Developer, and International Best Selling author. Mr. LaMothe holds degrees in Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science.

Mr. Lamothe has been programming and developing systems for over 30 years. Including embedded systems, text books, and PC games, he has produced over 750 products over the last three decades.

He is currently the CEO/Chief Scientist of Nurve Networks and Before founding Nurve, Mr. LaMothe was a Silicon Valley consultant and worked on projects ranging from Artificial Intelligence at NASA, to rendering algorithms at Software Publishing Corp (SPC), to Virtual Reality at Visions of Reality to name a few. He is the former founder/CEO of Xtreme Games and

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Clower on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Andre Lamothe obviously knows his material when it comes to math and Game Programming. All of the mathmatical knowledge that is necessary to perform 3D rendering etc. is present in this book, as well as several other revelant concepts.
Chapter 1 and 2: The introductory area of the book, dealing with the history of games, 2D and 3D.
Chapter 3 - 9: Mostly instruction and examples on ways to communicate directly with the computers hardware. This includes but is not limited to: The VGA Card, a Mouse, Keyboard, Joysick, Sound Card, Serial Ports and Modems. It also gives you your first introduction to the artificial intelligence algorythms required for computer based 'enemies' in a game. Interrupts are also covered. NOTE: Most of these things, communicating directly with the systems hardware, has become a cardnal sin with new versions of Windows, but it can still be done, and the concepts are essential.
Chapter 10 - 17: 3D instruction, first laying out a great foundation then beginning your first 3D graphics engine. The reader will learn how to create render and fill objects, as well as assign view positions, and 'transforming the universe' around them. All of the mathematics required for all 3D procedures (it is a lot) is included and explained. Voxel graphics are also covered, then many optimization procedures are explained and used.
Chapter 18: A program 'Kill or be Killed' using all of the knowledge you have learned. This is what you were waiting for, now you can make your own 3D games. with a bit of up-to-date direction of course.
All of the main 3D concepts are covered very well, complete with in depth explaination and examples. Lots, LOTS of source is included both within the book and in the accompanying CD.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bindels ( on October 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
It was way better than I could ever guess from the above comments. It explains about everything about making a game, no exception. It explains the basics of game environment in the first half, including making your own keyboard driver, video card driver, and even joysticks. After that, he explains about everything there is to know about 3D, without going into too much depth. He didn't explain the newest techniques, but with the info and ideas from the rest of the book you can invent those on your own. The best book I've ever read.
And also 5 stars to Amazon, for giving it with a special protective sheet, and more than a week before it could arrive. (it was overseas, it shipped last sunday and I received it yesterday, that is 5 days. The minimum would be 2 to 12 weeks) And it was so decorated, I can't wait to order again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Imagine discovering this gem back in early 1996: before the deluge of 3Dfx, RIVA, nVidia, Creative, or any other 3D accelerator card became "big business." Shortly after the public release of Windows 95, before DirectX, Direct3D, Glide, or OpenGL...indeed, before the Nintendo 64...there was this book "Black Art of 3D..." I loved it! It is based entirely on DOS programming...but what better platform for beginners to start from? The Windows API is freighteningly complicated. Andre's code is elegant. A bit out of date, of course, but highly effective for learning, or even creating a game. I have ported his 3D code into my Visual Basic programs. But I must admit, the first half of the book was most enjoyable. His treatment of the "rest of the book," covering 3D, seemed a bit of an afterthought, and was clearly an addition. The "Black Art" library was for a long time an essential part of my game programming toolkit, before I moved into Windows programming. After discovering Andre's 32-bit Watcom library on the Waite web site, I quickly purchased the compiler and began writing 32-bit extended DOS programs. What a blast! I look forward to him tackling the "Black Art of DirectX Game Programming." How about it, Andre'?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. DEATS on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when it first came out, and at that time it would have got 5 stars easy. At this point you'll have a hard time compiling any of the source example as they are designed for Borland C++/Visual C++ 1.0 (DOS version).
The thing that saves this book is the wealth of infomation building your own 3D engine. I haven't seen another book come close. Sure you could go out and by books that specialize on key areas, but this book is still the only "one stop shop" kind'a deal for 3D engine design.
You'll need to be at advanced level when you get this book, cause unless you're still running MS-DOS and have an old 16-bit DOS C/C++ compiler, you're going to have to port the code to Win32 & DirectDraw.
I'd recommend reading this author's new book "Windows Game Programming for Dummies" and then buying this book and attempting to port the code to Win32/DirectDraw.
One can only hope that Mr. LaMothe will bring us an updated version with source examples using Direct3D Immediate Mode or OpenGL.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
first: this is not outdated---you MUST know how to make the games and understand the concepts introduced in this book before you can make anything better... second: half the book is not wasted on 2D...1/2 the book is dedicated to developing a standard VGA library that will be used when the 3D engine is create---this is absolutely necessary to make sure that the reader is on the same level as the author in terms of code... third: every point made is throughouly followed with examples AND code fourth: if DOS were dead windows 95 would not run true, directx is advancing and will undoubtedly be the future of games on the windows platform, but you still need to know these basic principles when making any game... fifth: if you cant handle assembly then drop game programming... sixth: buy this book
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