From the Publisher
A great operating system for programmers and system administrators, Linux is also a great gaming platform, and the market is exploding. Linux users want to do everything under Linuxincluding playing computer games. And the Linux operating system is fast even without a fast processor, which means that even an older machine can be a great Linux gaming machine.
Gaming will continue to drive the adoption of Linux as an operating system. In fact, one game, Quake, has already indirectly contributed to the growth of Linux. Estimates are that over 60 percent of all dedicated Quake servers (for all versions on the Internet) are Linux machines.
From the Author
I wrote Programming Linux Games for the casual Linux hobbyist who wants to learn about game programming, as well as the professional game programmer or multimedia engineer who would like to gain a familiarity with the Linux platform.
I start with a birds-eye view of the game industry, and explore the elements that make up various types of games. After a quick review of Linux development tools and multimedia programming toolkits, I launch into the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), several audio playback APIs (OSS, ALSA, and ESD), the OpenAL environmental audio system, the Tcl scripting library, Linux's new framebuffer device API (fbdev). I also explain how to access the keyboard and mouse under Linux. These tools provide everything you need to create games and other multimedia applications for Linux, as well as port games from other platforms.
Programming Linux Games does not cover 3D graphics programming techniques, as OpenGL programming is more or less the same under any platform. However, there is a brief explanation of how to use SDL as an improved replacement for the popular GLUT toolkit.
~John R. Hall
August 22, 2001