Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
An excellent resource
on January 4, 2001
This book is ideal for the garage developer or the hobbyist. If you are a professional artist or 3D modeller, I doubt you'd find anything of interest here. I am writing this from a solo game developer who wants to be able to create the graphics for my games, and this is exactly the book I wanted.
The book focuses on 2D sprite graphics, and does an incredible job of covering this subject. It begins by discussing image file formats, and the various pluses and minuses of each. From there, it lists the features you need in a graphics tool, and then evaluates dozens of programs using this feature set.
From here, he moves directly into production, color theory, palettes, sprite animation, and fonts. Throughout the focus is very much hands-on: how you get the work done, not abstract academic issues.
Finally, the book concludes by walking through the design of an entire game. This is not a brief overview; it's 80 pages long, with lots of examples.
The author doesn't presume you are on a million-dollar project. The tools reviewed are generally priced in the under $100 range, and there are a number of shareware and freeware tools.
The CD comes with a ton of demo versions of the software reviewed, plus a lot of sprite art.
It's not a Windows-only book; he also covers DOS, Mac, and Linux, and makes obvious attempts throughout to show you how to be cross-platform with your graphic resources.
The chapter on design techniques. Too many people just dive in without any planning, and get frustrated.
He doesn't spend much time talking about high resolutions; in fact, almost everything focuses on 640x480 or 800x600. In these days of 19" monitors and 1600x1200 desktops, it would have been nice to get some info.
There's info on DOS and Windows 3.1. While I guess you can make an argument for a DOS game these days, Windows 3.1 is a completely dead platform and a waste of time to develop for.