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Beginning Game Programming 3rd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1435454279
ISBN-10: 1435454278
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Editorial Reviews


Part 1: Introduction to Windows and DirectX Programming. Chapter 1: Getting Started with the Windows API. Chapter 2: Windows Messaging and the Game Loop. Chapter 3: Tapping Into Direct3D. Chapter 4: Initializing A Direct3D Device. Part 2: Creating a 2D Arcade Game. Chapter 5: Drawing Basic Graphics (Bitmaps). Chapter 6: Using Timers For Animation and Framerate Control. Chapter 7: Drawing A Tile-Based Game Level. Chapter 8: Drawing and Animating Sprites. Chapter 9: Detecting Sprite and Tile Collisions. Part 3: Creating a 3D Artillery Game. Chapter 10: Drawing Advanced Graphics (Meshes). Chapter 11: Setting Up The Camera View. Chapter 12: Adding Lights To The Scene. Chapter 13: Rendering A Static Environment. Chapter 14: Firing Rockets and Blowing Stuff Up.

From the Author

Part 1: Introduction to Game Programming with Windows and DirectX
Chapter 1: Getting Started With Windows
Chapter 2: Listening To Windows Messages
Chapter 3: Initializing Direct3D

Part 2: The Game Programming Toolbox
Chapter 4: Drawing Bitmaps
Chapter 5: Getting Input with the Keyboard, Mouse, and Controller
Chapter 6: Drawing and Animating Sprites
Chapter 7: Transforming Sprites
Chapter 8: Detecting Sprite Collisions
Chapter 9: Printing Text
Chapter 10: Scrolling The Background
Chapter 11: Playing Audio
Chapter 12: Learning The Basics of 3D Rendering
Chapter 13: Rendering 3D Model Files

Part 3: Game Projects
Chapter 14: Anti-Virus The Game

Part 4: Appendices
Appendix A: Configuring Visual C++
Appendix B: Resources For Further Study
Appendix C: Chapter Quiz Answers
Appendix D: Additional Examples

Source code for the projects in this book may be downloaded from these book resource locations:
  • jharbour.com/forum (must create a free account first)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 3 edition (July 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435454278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435454279
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Dill on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a professional developer who's worked on a wide variety of games (including some big titles like Zoo Tycoon 2 and Red Dead Redemption), and also teach classes in game programming and game AI. I use this book as a text for half of my Introduction to Game Programming class, and have my students (who are typically sophomores, many of whom have never built a game or even used C++ before) build a 2D game from scratch in C++ in about 5 weeks.

For somebody who has never built a game before and wants to learn about how they work, this book is an excellent place to start! It doesn't really get into 3D games at all (the last couple chapters hardly even scratch the surface), but it does teach the basic skills necessary to nearly all games out there. It also teaches the basics of working with DirectX and Windows.

I have two complaints with the book (from a teacher's perspective). First, while it is an excellent place to start, it doesn't cover the full breadth of material that I need to get through in an Intro to Game Programming book. With that said, it's much more practical and concrete than other books I've look at, which is why I still use it.

My second complaint is that the code - while functional and easy to take apart and play with - is very much sort of quick-and-dirty, C-style code. For the most part it's all just stuffed into the main() function with no classes at all, a lot of global variables, and poor variable/function names.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of the reviews on this book are from the first and second editions which are from different writer and/or different language C. This review is of the Third Edition by Jonathan S. Harbour, for C++.

The book is really good, it starts into the basics of windows programming but only goes far enough so you know how to get a program running to start making directx games, which is good cause that stuff is confusing and not much fun. But the rest of the book is a blast to read and the information is priceless. As you go through the book you start building a library of your own for directx that you can use in all your projects and games even after the book is read, which gives it lasting value. The writing style is excellent and interesting, the example code just works everytime if you type it in correctly. Overall this book is perfect for me and perfect for anyone who understands C++ and wants to make games with directx.

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I've started reading multiple C++ game programming books and found that the Author clearly spells out what is needed, how to complete tasks, and most of all bug free code. It's very rare to find a book that will compile on the first go, and on VS 2010. The book takes you through the basics of getting started, then begins to teach you how to create a game. Starting out you'll begin to understand Windows Messages and what you can do with them for your game.

After you get past that you'll be moving along and starting to use Direct3D, while it's not DX11 it is however DX9. The author does an excellent job explaining why he is going to be using DX9. After you get the basics of DX down you'll then move along to Graphical uses, input from keyboard, mouse, and controllers! I really loved using the Xbox 360 controller and seeing how I could manipulate the input for my game.

Next up you'll venture on to using Animated Sprites for your game, this is something that is hard to understand, yet the author has done an excellent job with very detailed instructions and uses. Then you'll be moving along to Transforming Sprites, I had a ton of fun using the code from the book to manipulate my game sprites.

Detecting Collisions was very fun and I learned how players can walk on terrain, and it opens up so many other things such as shooting and hitting the target, even with melee weapons! Not to mention shortly after you'll be learning how to add audio to your game, and then some basic 3D rendering and you'll be provided with some model files courtesy of the compainion cd, or the authors website has the book source code.
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I have been teaching myself game development through the years This review is going to be lengthy but well worth the read.

This book delivers its promise of being for beginner programmers. It will be by the end of the 5th chapter, you will have DirectX set up for a framework and actually make a game. It is well written with a few author quirks but by the end you will know how to set up what you need for your game.

I would have bought this book sooner, but I was arrogant and getting myself confused in the DirectX vs OpenGL debate way before it would even matter, before I knew how to program a game. Don't cloud yourself with that argument when learning. It cost me a year before another programmer slapped me. If you use windows, beginning with DirectX is a no brainer because it has all you need in a tool set, which makes it easier to learn. You can always learn other libraries, but first you have to learn to make a game.

But do not buy this book thinking it is for a pure beginner. It is for a beginner PROGRAMMER. You need to know the language before you pick this book up. If you do not understand references or pointers (or accept pointers for what they are) I would say learn more C++ before you continue. If I could send my past self books, My list would have went like this:

Beginning C++ Game Programming (You need to know a language. C++ isn't the best to start with, but I did anyways. NO REGRETS)
C++ Primer (This is useful no matter what level your expertise of C++)
Beginning Game Programming (This book)
Code Complete (With bigger programs, you NEED to know programming etiquette. It saves you time and effort.)
Programming Roleplaying Games /w Direct X (This will let you make a game engine with some bells and whistles.
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