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3D Game Engine Programming (Game Development Series) Paperback – June 30, 2004

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1592003518 ISBN-10: 1592003516 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

At the end of the book, you will be able to program your own comprehensive game engine, including renderer, network, audio, input, and math libraries. Includes coverage describing how to implement additional tools for game programming, such as a level editor with graphical user interface. To demonstrate the power of the developed tools, this book wraps things up with a deathmatch network first-person shooter, utilizing everything from the book: engine, level editor, and performance knowledge.

About the Author

Stefan Zerbst holds a degree in Computer Science with Business Administration. Starting programming on the ancient C16 he is now the author of two best selling German books about game programming and runs the German hobby game programming community Zfx.info. He shares his comprehensive experience in this field not only through writing books but also by holding lectures about game programming at a German university.
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Product Details

  • Series: Game Development Series
  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (June 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592003516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592003518
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joey K. Hammer on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Stefan Zerbst's 3D Game Engine Programming is a 850-paged guide to constructing a modular, functional video game engine. This reference was one of the biggest reasons I became confident that I could complete a project of my own and has helped me tremendously in the design and building of an engine based upon the fundamentals of the ZFX Engine.

Even though the book does not go into detail and provide the code to all the bells and whistles of a commerical engine, it certainly outlines the basics and even provides code for testing. (I personally liked not having everything provided so that I could add my own features with a more personalized touch). Have no fear: all the basics are there to build off of!

In particular, the text guides the reader through the concepts and code needed to construct an engine that has the ability to support both DirectX and OpenGL (though DirectX is the main focus in the text), Vertex and Pixel Shaders (which is a big plus in upcoming game graphics!), and networkable players. In addition, the book brought extra possibilities such as Non-Player Characters, AI, and other various effects to the table for the reader to take note of where they could be added on to the engine. More importantly, he did do an excellent job of keeping these options (and more!) open without forcing his more ambitious readers to reprogram half the engine.

A very important thing I felt was the key to why I liked it some much was the fact that I understood how the components of the engine worked individually and as a whole to construct a functional game when I had finished the book.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By James Dunlap on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes, the book's CD had some issues. Yes, the code on the CD and the code on the book are sometimes different. That being said, show me a programming book that

1) Publishes every line of code

2) Every published line matches that on the CD

3) The code on the CD contains no errors

and I will show you a GREAT book. (BTW, this book does not exist.)

Criticizing the author for not publishing all source code is ludicrous as half the book would have had to be cut to make room, and then everyone would be complaining about not having enough content. All source code is provided and this book is NOT for beginners, so having to look at source code that was not published is not a problem.

Stefan does an excellent job of presenting a workable engine that could be used to create a modern game that could fit about any genre. He also presents methods to allow for upgrading the engine without requiring all games that use it to be recompiled. He covers many issues in the space he has and provides a workable game in the final chapter. He also shows how to implement an editor for the game (albeit a simple one), which is something I had not seen in other books.

If you are looking for a book that shows how to step into game engine programming and ALREADY know about game programming itself, then this is a good book.

If you are new to programming this book is not for (and is not intended for) you, so please do not read it and then complain when you do not understand.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Munday on December 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The book does provide a basis for understanding a 3d game engine but it leaves out pieces in its tutorials, which would fine execpt that the book is written in "step-by-step tutorial" style. If you actually follow the book as a tutorial and code along, nothing will compile. If you use your head a little, though, you can figure out the missing features on your own, either by reviewing the material on the cd or by googleing. All in all, I found the book to be OK but i am still looking for someting better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. FIORDEAN on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Like the reviewer from below, I'm trying to develop a 3d engine. I expected with patience this book, hoping that I'll get a nice engine with it from which to learn. Probably I'm reviewing this too soon, since I didn't finish reading it. The code from this book doesn't compile! I know that Mr. Zerbst is a very apreciated lecturer in Gameversity and he definitely knows a lot about 3d graphics, but this book was not ready for publication. I have the feeling that the code was written in a hurry, and thrown on the CD. I just wonder how do you think you can make money in this way? And is there anybody from the COURSE TECHNOLOGY who actually reviewed the code? After a day of work, I managed to modify/download and install things in order to make it work. The famous DeathMatch (Pandoras Legacy) crashes when launched! I debuged it and it's doing strange things with those vectors...

This book in my opinion it's like one of those bad written games. I mean a serious book has compiled binaries, nice organized file structure with sample code, and separate files for the engine.

If you are serious about making a 3d engine, jus't DON'T BUY IT! It doesn't worth a penny... You can find more serious open source things for free where to learn from!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Kirkbride on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book is unique in that it does exactly what it says it will do. Be warned however that as the book states it is not for beginner programmers who are new to Direct3D or new to C/C++ programming. However if you are familiar with the language and the API but never quite grasped the concept of fitting together all the components neccasary to make a 3D game engine then this really is the right book for you. There is not another book around as of this review that tells you bit by bit how to build a game engine and not only any game engine but a game industry standard engine the way the professionals build them.

There are a few version issues with the code on the DVD-ROM supplied. However this is always an issue if you are an intermediate programmer and familiar with C/C++ and a popular IDE then to be honest the minor issues should not be too much of a problem for you. Plus the author has even got a support website and he answers emails.

Well worth the money !!
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