- Series: Premier Press Game Development
- Paperback: 271 pages
- Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade; 1 edition (March 2, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931841101
- ISBN-13: 978-1931841108
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,771,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Focus On 2D in Direct3D (Premier Press Game Development) 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Focus on 2D in Direct3D® teaches you all of the tools and tips you'll need to dive right in and begin creating your own games. If you have some knowledge of C or C++ and have been searching for a guide that will take your 2D programming into the third dimension, then search no more! In this book you'll learn the skills you'll need to move from the 2D API to Direct3D. Written from the point of view of a 2D programmer, Focus on 2D in Direct3D presents the fundamentals of the Direct3D API in an easy-to-use-and-understand format. Get ready to jump into the world of Direct3D!
About the Author
Ernest Pazera is a self-taught programmer, starting at age 13 with a TRS-80. Within a month Mr. Pazera was writing video games. By age 15, he realized that he could be happy with nothing less than being a game programmer. He is one of the developers who helped create one of the most popular and respected game development sites on the Web---www.gamedev.net. He is a moderator of an isometric/hexagonal forum on the site and has extensive experience with game development. Ernest is the author of Isometric Game Programming with DirectX 7.0 from Premier Press.
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Top customer reviews
This book added alot beyond a SDK-two-sentence explanation of Direct3D objects and made me realize how much I DIDN'T know about Direct3D. The author DID cover the basics in this book (no Win32 mind you), but what happened was, the "why" and more "what" were revealed to me in this text.
The "why this enumeration is this value" and the "reason for performing this class call", etc. Alot of the details that were overlooked before in other books (I've read many) were explained well in this book, giving me the additional information I needed to push completely past a "beginner" status.
All the examples I ran compiled, and all the examples were related well with the text in the book. This book is not a monster either. It's about 258 pages and smaller in size. The author does not try to teach you the WIN32 API, so that takes a big chunk out making this a quick read.
Normally, I try to give a balanced review about a book, the good AND the bad. No book is perfect, so I will say this book is NOT for advanced programmers unless you need a good reference, but for a beginner to intermediate programmer, this is a good nugget of knowledge. Very useful beyond 2D. He does exclude alot of D3DX making you write your versions of their functions which helps in the understanding, but makes it hard sometimes in finding the equivalent D3DX functions since I choose to use them. But in searching for D3DX functions in combination with reading this book, I've noticed that I understand alot of the parameters better when using the D3DX functions! Not bad..
Great book for the beginner to intermediate programmer, and a great reference for anyone after that.
If you're planning to write a 2D game with the DirectGraphics API, however, this book is exactly what you need. There may not be a lot of words, but they're the right ones.
The first 40% of the book explains how to do everything you could do with 2D interfaces, and a little more. Copying rectangles, copying non-rectangular images, and page-flipping are explained. Added to the mix are rotation and scaling effects that were generally not possible (or at least not fast) with DirectDraw.
The next 40% gets into 3D engine details, explaining just enough to let you take advantage of Z-buffering, anti-aliasing, and lighting effects without needing you to be the Wizard of Polygons. The math review is brief and to the point.
The last 20% is something of a waste. A long chapter is spent learning how to parse a ".x" file that contains a 3D model, something that is largely uninteresting for people whose focus is on 2D (and unnecessary for everyone else). Another covers particle systems, which is interesting but completely out of place in this book. One might suspect the author was padding it out a bit. A section on text rasterization with Direct3D might have been more appropriate.
Overall I got exactly what I was hoping for. The author describes the different approaches clearly, points out areas where you can get into trouble, and for the most part stays focused on the subject at hand. The result is a book that will get you up and running with 2D under Direct3D in a few hours.
Some of the topics the author covers in this book that I found particularly useful:
- Alpha blending for 2D effects
- Z buffering (this topic is covered extensively elsewhere, admittedly; but this author has explained Z-buffering in the most lucid manner I have seen to date)
- Lighting for 2D
- Simple vertex shading for 2D
- Particle systems for 2D (very useful)
The later chapters, in particular, were extremely useful. All the code WORKS. This book was written while DirectX 8.0 was the latest and greatest, so there may be some issues with DirectX 9 and higher, but of course that's to be expected.
All in all, This book has been one of the best investments I've ever made in my game development education. Furthermore, it has been a constant companion and reference during my own commercial game development.
I especially think the book does well (for its cost) by not having a lot of useless Win32 / Generic C++ content overhead. Yes, you are expected to know a bit of this coming in, but if you don't know the basics already, you should be starting with another book.
"Focus on 2D..." also serves as an excellent reference to be able to fall back on when looking up specific information. You definitely do not need to read it front-to-back; each chapter stands on its own and covers the fundamentals needed, regardless of whether you need information on particle systems, alpha blending, textures, or other Direct3D systems.
I highly recommend added this book to your collection!