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Game Programming Gems 5 (Game Programming Gems (W/CD)) (v. 5) Hardcover – February 28, 2005
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4.2 Dynamic Grass Simulation - Just how does grass move when the wind is blowing
5.7 Rendering Gemstones - you can see through them, you can see highlights
5.2 Let it Snow - And how does the appearance of snow change if you are moving through it.
There is no question that the main driving force for faster computers is to make for more realistic gaming. And the faster computers allow more sophisticated programming to be done to make the grass wave realistically.
This is probably not a book you're going to sit down and read from cover to cover. You'll probably scan through and read the ones that are applicable to just what you need to do next. But then in a couple of weeks, in a couple of months....
I only purchased this book in 2012, but still I'm interested in a lot of the information. For some graphics-related articles, you have to be careful that things haven't become easier/better in the mean time, but even then, the content is often already so advanced that it still helps, or advanced enough to implement and still be happy with the results.
While the article I originally purchased the book for didn't really help me as much as I had hoped, there is nonetheless a wealth of other information in this book that may prove to be useful to the budding game developer.
Most of the info in this book could probably be obtained by searching the internet, but it's nice to have it all in one package.
Also note that since this book was published in '05, some of the info may already be somewhat outdated, especially those articles pertaining to graphics hardware techniques, which a significant portion of the book is devoted to.