23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Data Structures for Game Programmers (Premier Press Game Development) with CD-ROM (Paperback)
Let me be frank; I HATE DATA STRUCTURES. They are BORING. I'm a sophomore in a Computer Science program, and I've just finished taking a data structures course, and I barely passed it. All college Data Structure books are written for people who like to read extremely boring mathematical proofs, and I can't read that stuff. So, a friend of mine told me to get this book, so I got it on sale, and boy, I am glad.
I've bought Prima/Premier books before, and they are usually good, but also disappointing because the first 40% of the book is always an introduction on things like "a complete tutorial on direct3d" or something. Well this book is different: it gets RIGHT TO THE POINT, IMMEDIATELY. The first two chapters are ALL of the intro material (algorithm analysis and templates), then Chapter 3 jumps right into the data structures!
Okay, so arrays may seem to be a bit simplistic, so I skipped that chapter at first. The later chapters in the book are more interesting, but then I noticed in a later chapter, a reference to a complex issue in the array chapter (processor caching). So I went back and and re-read that chapter, and WHOA! He literally shows you EVERYTHING there is to know about arrays, even complex stuff like caching that a normal data structures book would never even touch!
This book is amazing; and covers TONS of topics. There's no TOC listed at this site yet, so here's a list of what it's got: Arrays, 2D Arrays, 3D Arrays, Bitvectors, Linked Lists, Hash Tables, Stacks, Queues, Recursion, Trees, Binary Trees, Heaps, Minimax trees, Graphs, AI Machines, Data Sorts, Compression Algorithms, Pathfinding (BEST CHAPTER!), and he even goes over the creation of a simple 2D game and complete map editor for it.
Every chapter is packed full of diagrams and figures, notes, and demo's. For every major concept, there is a "Graphical Demonstration" on the CD, that shows you how it works! And, for every chapter, there's also one or more "Game Demonstration"s. These show you how to integrate the data structurs into a game! The CD is so awesome that it could practically sell on its own!
The bottom line is: this book takes the boring and difficult subject of data structures, and turns them into something anyone can understand, in a fun and exciting way. 5 stars!