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OpenGL Game Programming w/CD (Prima Tech's Game Development) 1st Edition

66 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0761533306
ISBN-10: 0761533303
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin Hawkins received his master¿s degree in Software Engineering and his bachelor¿s degree in Computer Science from Embry-Riddle University. He is currently a software engineer at Raydon Corporation, where he is part of the Software Architecture team, developing new software architectures and techniques for the company¿s simulation product line. Along with Dave, he is co-founder of and co-author of OpenGL Game Programming. Besides the technical and engineering stuff, Kevin was drafted to play professional baseball by the Cleveland Indians in the 2002 Amateur Draft, but decided not to play. He enjoys playing guitar, reading, surfing, golfing, working out, and playing with his dog, Jak.

Dave Astle received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah, where he specialized in graphics, artificial intelligence, networking, and compiler theory and design. He has been programming games professionally for several years, and is currently a senior engineer in the Gaming and Graphics group at QUALCOMM Inc. He is the cofounder and Executive Producer of, the leading online community for game developers. He is the co-author of OpenGL Game Programming, has contributed to several other game development books, and has spoken at industry conferences, including the Game Developers Conference. When not absorbing radiation from his monitor, Dave enjoys music, reading, skating, collecting rhinos (not real ones¿ yet), and playing with his five kids. He lives in San Diego, California.

More to Explore
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Product Details

  • Series: Prima Tech's Game Development
  • Paperback: 808 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761533303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761533306
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jordan on June 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've read several OpenGL books, and this one ranks with the best of them. The best thing about it, though, is that it's not just an OpenGL book, it's a game programming book, so not only will you learn OpenGL essentials, you're learn how to specifically apply them to games.
The book is very easy to read and understand. It's been written in such a way that I think even someone with no experience programming games will be able to pick it up and soon be able to create a simple 3D game.
In addition to the OpenGL coverage, the coverage of DirectInput and DirectSound is some of the best I've ever seen. The chapters on special effects and physics were of particular interest, as were the chapters on engine design and the final creation of a game.
Whether you're just getting interested in game programming, or have been doing it for a while but don't know OpenGL, you need this book.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book covers a broad range of game programming areas, with specific sample code provided both in print and on a CD.
What the book cover and abstracts fail to emphasize is that despite the "OpenGL" in the title, this is a rather Microsoft Windows specific book in many aspects. A considerable portion of it is spent talking about Windows specific APIs like DirectSound, and most of the examples use Windows event handling. It's probably hard to avoid the former issue, as there are no platform independent APIs for high quality sound, but many of the examples would not have suffered from being written using GLUT event handling.
Overall, the book is written in a sensible style that may be more accessible to some readers than the "official" OpenGL manuals. However, the areas that I had independent knowledge on (Math and Physics), I noticed numerous mistakes and sloppy reasoning, which may or may not extend to the areas that I can't verify independently.
Not overly valuable to me as a non-Windows programmer who has read the "official" tutorial volume, probably quite a bit more valuable to a Windows based programmer with little prior OpenGL experience.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Kilgard on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Finally, a book on OpenGL programming specifically for games! This book fills an important gap in any OpenGL programmer's bookshelf. Some of the most popular 3D games for the PC, most importantly Id Software's Quake series of games, use OpenGL as their 3D rendering interface. Now programmers that want to learn about OpenGL game programming have a place to begin.
This book explains OpenGL in the context of other PC programming interfaces such as DirectInput and DirectSound. It also explains practical game-oriented programming tasks such as loading animated Quake2 models.
Recent OpenGL features such as multitexturing are also explained. Multitexturing is really important for dynamic game lighting effects and extra realism.
While other books such as the OpenGL Programming Guide and Reference Manual explain the OpenGL API in more detail, this book explains OpenGL in the specific context of game development on the PC.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about PC game programming. While you may be learning about OpenGL for programming games, you should also be aware that OpenGL is the industry-standard 3D graphics API for professional 3D graphics applications and is the only truly multi-platform standard 3D API available. OpenGL is supported on Windows, Apple, Linux, and Unix workstation platforms. This makes knowledge of OpenGL an important asset for any computer programmer.
I am pleased to have been asked to author the foreword of this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John on April 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
The authors of the book are good, they really know their stuff. The thing about this book that I can't stand is charging [enough money] for the basics of graphics programming maths that are found in any other maths or graphics programming book. The introduction to WIN32 and WinMain, together with the repetition of setup code to initialize the main window and contexts make the book a lot thicker than it actually is. Most of the technologies mentioned in the book are given a mentiion and a little explanation. To be fair, game programming is a big topic and there are many fields of knowledge to cover. Squeezing it into one book rather than a series or collection is not easy. This means it must be tailored to a specific audience. Is this book written for you? If you know nothing about programming or graphics, this could be the book for you, then most likely you'll like the book. Are you willing to part with [money] in exchange for a basic tutorial? The think I like so for about it is that it is accurate and written with a good style. Please browse a copy of the book before buying it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Warren M. on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has many things going for it. Its advanced texturing, Win32 programming, and physics sections shine. The engine design section is concise and well-assembled too.

It also has some flaws. The particle engine is sorely lacking in terms of examples and somewhat in its flexibility. I really wish the guys had spent more time on comprehensive material on the different types of matrices, though the matrix math section is good despite this. Texture coordinates needed more coverage. It would have been very nice for them to have used SDL or another cross-platform library for input and sound, because one of the main purposes of OpenGL is portability, and DirectInput/Sound lock you into the Window platform. Also note that the first printing books have no source included(...).
This has been corrected in successive printings.

It may seem like I'm tearing this book apart, but I assure you I'm not. Most of the flaws I mentioned were very minor in comparison to the brilliance of the good points. This book was the sole impetus for my finally buckling down and learning OpenGL after months of trying. It has volumes of useful information for any skill level, and I would most definitely recommend it as a first read for anyone interested in using OpenGL for games.

Warren 'zealouselixir' Moore
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