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Starting Out with Games and Graphics in C++ [Paperback]

Tony Gaddis
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 6, 2009 032151291X 978-0321512918 1
Tony Gaddis’s accessible, step-by-step presentation helps beginning students understand the important details necessary to become skilled programmers at an introductory level. Gaddis motivates the study of both programming skills and the C++ programming language by presenting all the details needed to understand the “how” and the “why”—but never losing sight of the fact that most beginners struggle with this material. His approach is both gradual and highly accessible, ensuring that readers understand the logic behind developing high-quality programs.

In Starting Out with Games and Graphics in C++, Gaddis covers the essentials of programming for a novice using the C++ language. Like all Gaddis books, it covers each and every step. Throughout the book, programming topics are illustrated with graphical examples, including full chapter long case studies that implement simple, but complete, video games. This approach insures that students remain motivated by the material, while still getting a solid CS1 foundation. Only enough game- and graphics-theory is covered for students to understand the examples.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Gaddis is the principal author of the Starting Out with series of textbooks. He has nearly two decades of experience teaching computer science courses, primarily at Haywood Community College. Tony is a highly acclaimed instructor who was previously selected as the North Carolina Community College Teacher of the Year, and has received the Teaching Excellence award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. The Starting Out with series includes introductory textbooks covering Programming Logic and Design, Alice, C++, Java, Microsoft Visual Basic, and Python.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 703 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032151291X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321512918
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for How to use DarkGDK, but... August 15, 2009
Well, I got the book on the 5th of May, 09, and read it and entered the code listings and worked through the exercises. My overall take on this book is this. I am a C++ programmer kinda new to DarkBASIC Pro and new to DarkGDK.

DarkGDK coverage
This book contained almost everything I was expecting learn about DarkGDK. Given the sad state of the documentation at hand (the .chm file especially), it answered alot of questions I had about using the various db functions. It definately jumpstarted my ability to apply what I am learning in DBPro to DarkGDK. So for me personally, this aspect of the book made it, well, not fully worth the price tag, let's say justified the purchase. :)

C++ coverage
This aspect leaves much to be desired. The book is 12 chapters long. You don't get to Arrays until chapter 10, and Strings and Files in chapter 11. So you pretty much learn the basics of procedural C using C++ for the first 11 chapters, since the strings in chapter 11 you cover are char arrays! A little ways into chapter 11 there is a section called, "Using Standard C++ Library Functions to Work with Strings." Here you learn the C string functions, ie. strlen, strcat, etc. You need to learn this since you are learning char arrays here, but you are instructed to #include <string.h> instead of the C++ <cstring>. So much for namespacing. References are only mentioned in function calls, pass by reference, and nowhere in the book are pointers discussed. Pointers are not even in the index. I don't know about you but I say they should drop $50 off the price tag for this, specifically for beginners new to C++ and the book's advertising does say "Learn C++", even on the back cover!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, on topic, and easy to use. September 6, 2009
By Big Jon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't knock the libraries showcased in this book. C++ is designed to use extensions and libraries as an integral part of the language and is not very useful without them.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone who intends to use the Dark Game Development Kit or DarkGDK. DarkGDK is a powerful (and free) games and graphics library provided to Microsoft by the good folks at "The Game Creators" in the UK. It is basically a ported version of "Darkbasic Professional", their flagship product. DarkGDK is an excellent resource for game production and Gaddis obviously chose it for some very good reasons. There may be other game libraries available for free somewhere, but this is a good one and can be downloaded from the microsoft VisualC++ download site....for free. (instructions are included in the book)

Everything needed to turn out professional game code using this book is free and downloadable....something to consider if you want to dabble in programming without unloading a bunch of money. (in fact, all the examples of graphics design use free tools too!) The price of the book is a little high, but all the supporting programs are free.

Tony Gaddis has an effective writing style. He explains extremely difficult topics well. He uses excellent code models instead of having you wade though a thousand lines of code to see his example, he obviously wrote a snippit of code specifically to teach each point. This is a refreshing difference from many other programming books.

This book covers most of the basics of C++ using the DarkGDK as an example library, but it also doesn't try to teach every single way of accomplishing something in C++.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark GDK book August 22, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My English is not native, sorry.

Well, I gave this book 2 stars because it is Tony Gaddis book which is one of the best writers I ever saw BUT this book is just about the Dark GDK ONLY.

the c++ which you will learn from this book is VERY basic and most of the book is about the Dark GDK.

the title of the book "Games & Graphics in C++" just isn't true at all.
It was true to add "Dark GDK" to the title of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good C++ beginner March 10, 2011
I understand they were trying to keep people excited about programming by jumping right into graphics, but it really sells the learner short. I am so glad that I read "Beginning C++ through Game Programming third edition" first. If you want a solid understanding of C++ and the STL, thats your book. This one leaves out so many many things, pointers is huge! How can you leave that out! I've been skimming the book and have yet to find anything on references either. It's a good book for learning the DarkGDK Library but lets just say the only reason I am reading it is because It's for one of my classes next semester for Game & Simulation Programming. I wouldnt recommend for a first read, but for bypassing directx for a while this is a good way into graphics. But I would rather write directx than have someone do it for me!

Not to dog on it entirely, I do like the well explained examples and end of test questions, very thorough in testing end of chapter. This book does leave gaps in the education if you dont have prior knowledge.
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