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Spencer Grey's Profile

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Helpful Votes: 33

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Unity 3.x Scripting
Unity 3.x Scripting
Price: $14.59

1.0 out of 5 stars Give it a pass, January 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Although a fair bit of 3.x script is still relevant in 4.x, and although there are a few interesting ideas buried between the covers, the book is basically a wreck. The authors are probably fine programmers but they are in no way good teachers and their lack of English skills hampers their communication. The code formatting is poor and the chapters and examples do not build in a logical manner. Absolutely not for beginners. Experts won't need this and Intermediates might be able to limp their way through. With so many other Unity books on the market, do yourself a favor and go get one of those.

Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game
Game Physics Engine Development: How to Build a Robust Commercial-Grade Physics Engine for your Game
by Ian Millington
Edition: Paperback
Price: $50.36
48 used & new from $41.47

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, practical and up-to-date, August 26, 2010
I will keep this review short and sweet.

I have been programming games of one sort or another for 25+ years. On my shelf are 10 books on game physics and a foot-high stack of magazine articles. This book is the best, most clear, practical treatment I have ever come across. It makes the mathematics and concepts digestible, and examines and weighs the trade-offs that go into any engine. The sample code is simple and ready for implementation in languages besides C++.

The author clearly discusses issues around implementing a physics engine on everything from a console system to mobile devices.

A fine resource for medium to advanced programmers.

Essential XNA Game Studio 2.0 Programming
Essential XNA Game Studio 2.0 Programming
by Allen Sherrod
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.88
42 used & new from $0.41

3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, March 3, 2010
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I found this book to be an odd beast in the XNA programming book world (my credentials: I believe I own all or nearly all the books available in this category).

First off, let me say that you shouldn't worry about the book being XNA 2.0 and the current version being 3.1 -- the book focuses on things that didn't really get affected by the update. So if you want to know about XNA Zune programming seek elsewhere, but the basics are in here.

So on that topic: the book starts out extreeeeemely basic (with some fluff added), things like listing the packages included in the framework, reviewing 'what are the parts of a game?', and reviewing simple 3d math. That would be fine if it was targeted at pure beginners, but after covering some meat-and-potatoes stuff like sprite batches and 3d primitives it launches into esoteric territory that is interesting, but certainly beyond 'essential xna,' things like creating an achievement system, difficulty system, networking, etc.--things that will leave a beginner far behind.

To its credit I was happy to see the book deal with StorageDevices and things to do with Rays and Planes in XNA, I found these topics to be skimped on in other books.

So overall, it's neither fish nor fowl. If you're a beginner I think you are likely to hit a wall midway through the book. If you're intermediate or advanced you'll glaze over for much of the book, but perhaps enjoy 2-3 chapters. You decide if that is worth the price.

Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed
Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 Unleashed
by Chad Carter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $40.05
88 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Foundation, February 22, 2010
I was all-around impressed with the depth and clarity of this book as compared to many other game programming books out there, both XNA and not.

It should be smooth sailing for an intermediate programmer while still accessible to the motivated (& patient!) beginner.

The code examples all work and, for the most part, are interesting. You wind up with a simple, but extensible 3D game.

It did not give it maximum marks for two reasons:
* I didn't think the chapter order built up concepts as logically it might have, and the code examples always show you methods before showing you the variable declarations. This is a small point, but the practical outcome of this is that you cannot 'follow along' with the text and how the examples continually working. Minor, but frustrating for me at least.
* The book is trying to be 'all-things-to-all-people,' and jam in everything possible, although it is by no means a reference-style book. Realistically speaking, there is a world of different in the issues you wrestle with to develop a PC game vs. XBox vs. Zune, and I would have preferred a series of smaller, more focused books.

Microsoft® XNA™ Game Studio 2.0: Learn Programming Now!
Microsoft® XNA™ Game Studio 2.0: Learn Programming Now!
by Rob S. Miles
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.79
114 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars You Can Do a Bit Better, September 22, 2009
The book is extremely beginner-oriented and, IMHO, trying to teach too many things at once:
* programming / C#
* game design
* XNA framework

In so doing, it can't really delve into any of these topics in a meaningful way. I also found the sequence of topics presented to be somewhat out of order (e.g., multiplayer games before simple 2D sprite graphics). I have experience teaching game programming to kids with Java and Flash, and I know the importance of presenting things in the right sequence, so they build.

The code examples are disconnected and very much toy examples with the closest thing to a 'game' being a game of 'Concentration' towards the end of the book.

There are many good beginner books available on each of the individual topics above, and I suggest trying to learn more about each in isolation before bringing them all together. Also, the complete beginner might be better served trying to learn to program games in Flash.

Learning XNA 3.0: XNA 3.0 Game Development for the PC, Xbox 360, and Zune
Learning XNA 3.0: XNA 3.0 Game Development for the PC, Xbox 360, and Zune
by Aaron Reed
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.83
116 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Learning Tool, September 22, 2009
I have a shelf of XNA books and bookcases full of other books on game programming. This book deserves to be there. It is well written and particularly suited for the intermediate-level game programmer. I would suggest that you have at least a small amount of programming and/or 3D knowledge before diving into this one.

It gives explicit details of how to use the code in the book (as opposed to some books where the authors do a lot of hand-waving), and it builds logically from beginning to end--resulting in a plausible 3D space shooter that you can build on.

It covers platform-specific issues for PC, Xbox 360 and Zune (including networked & split-screen games), and does so with fun little touches of humor.

Graphics Programming With Java Second Edition/Book and Cd-Rom (Graphics Series)
Graphics Programming With Java Second Edition/Book and Cd-Rom (Graphics Series)
by Roger T. Stevens
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $1.98

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Mark, April 4, 2000
Mr. Stevens does indeed have a deep knowledge of graphics, but less so of Java and, shall we say, the Java 'way.'

I have already seen most of the solutions and algorithms put forth here in Mr. Stevens' previous books (C-oriented). They have been somewhat updated to take advantage of Java's graphics capability.

If you are looking for a first book to help you begin to understand graphics, fine. This is for you, and Java is probably a good language for that.

However, if you are looking to become a better _Java_ graphics programmer, use other sources. Many of the programming idioms here seem like holdovers from procedural programming days.

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