- Paperback: 290 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (March 12, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159863528X
- ISBN-13: 978-1598635287
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition 2nd Edition
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Note from the author: I've noticed that some readers are still experiencing trouble with the source code. If you have downloaded the files from the website and are still having trouble, you can contact me (@kazade) directly on Twitter. --Author
About the Author
Luke has been programming OpenGL and C++ for 7 years. He graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2002 with a Bsc(hons) Degree in Multimedia Programming and an HND in Software Engineering. At Portsmouth he was also awarded the Climax Prize for Best Interactive Technology Project for an OpenGL modeling application. Luke is an active member of the gamedev.net community and co-maintainer of nehe.gamedev.net. He currently works as a software developer in London.
Top customer reviews
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So, what I wanted was basically understand how OpenGL works, be able to follow with my limited C++ knowledge and also get a couple of yummy and well organized pieces of code to explore. This book fullfilled those 3 topics perfectly.
Some of the critics the others reviewers made may be true, for ex. that the example code doesn't correspond exactly to the examples in the book, but I didn't find that a bad thing, I saw the code more like "real-life" examples to explore, practice & tweak after you learned some theory in the book.
My very small knowledge of the C++ language didn't give me too much problem, the book focuses on explaining how you do things the opengl way and not on building working programs. For example it says things like "In OpenGL, this is how you must build a triangle: you first build an array with the vertices coordinates, then pass it that way". I had a bit of difficulty understanding a couple of specific programming topics at the beginning of the book, but the author himself doesn't extend much on those parts.
So I think you must not consider this book as a practical manual for building games, but rather a theory book about openGL, but a theory book made with a quite practical approach. It doesn't talk much about 3D geometry itself, but focuses on making you understand "the OpenGL way", with small tricks, examples, and the well-known experience of the NeHe people. If you already know a bit of spatial geometry (how 3D coordinates work, how vectors work, etc), it will help you greatly.
After reading the book my idea about OpenGL is that it is really, a bare, salty and undigest piece to eat. Everything must be done a certain way, not another and it is sometimes very counter-instinctive. But I also realized that OpenGL is the true foundation behind almost any other higher-level application, library, method, game or anything else realted to 3D that I have encountered. Things I encountered in some games, in Coin3D or in Blender suddenly make sense. I knew how you apply a texture on an object with your favorite 3D app already, but I know now how it works internally, and I have a good idea on how I could write a shader myself to overwrite the standard way...
So I enjoyed much this book, and probably will come back to it often as time passes.
Bad/broken source isn't uncommon and though annoying, isn't a big deal. But the total lack of support shown for this book is amazing. Most authors have a website for their books. This guy has a picture of the book and a table of contents and nothing else. The publisher gives a link to an offsite download for the fix, that doesn't 'fix' anything. They leave you with no where to turn and a book that refers to source that you have no chance in hell in getting to work without already knowing what you need to learn.
I'd give it a negative star if I could, it was a complete waste of money. Given time, I've no doubt you can get the source to work, there's plenty of opengl sites to fill in the gaps. However, I bought the book so I wouldn't have to go to these sites. Save yourself some money and go to these sites or find another beginners book.
First problem was the source on the CD. The project settings are messed up so you have to rebuild the projects. Not a huge deal but kind of annoying. This stuff happens. A quicker fix is to go to: [...] and search for the book - downloads. Then you're good.
They go into all the stuff you need to know about general openGL and they cover what's being removed and added in the new openGL model. This is very helpful and guides you on what you should use in your applicaitons so you have an easy transition to gl 3.1. They also cover things like text, and GLSL.
I am amazed that they call this a "Game Development" book. It's a shorter GL reference book and thats it. They show some terrain generation and that's about as far into *game* development you get. If you need a very complete GL reference you're probably better off witht he openGL "Redbook". If you know some GL and just want a simple reference then this is better since it's shorter.
The VERY Negative:
After reading this book for awhile I was blown away and pretty mad I even bought it. The guys from NeHe have always been good and writing solid tutorials and complete examples. The book simply says, "Here are the functions you need to call, here is how you use them, go look at the source code." And when they do show pieces of examples they are using varaibles that are not declared ahead of time so you have no idea what they are, they call functions and other pieces of code that are not explained and bottom line, there isn't ONE complete example in this book.
How in the world did the guys from NeHe go down this path? This is an awful book unless you just want the bare minimum functions listed to you. If you want working examples you can build up you must go to the CD. I travel a lot and use the flights and driving/riding time to read and keep up in the graphcis world. This book is practically useless in that context. I say go online, read tutorials and find examples to teach you whats new in gl 3.0 OR if you are interested in game development, find a GL book that teaches this.