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Game Programming Gems 2 (GAME PROGRAMMING GEMS SERIES) (Vol 2) Hardcover – July 26, 2001
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This book didn't have any real networking tips, which in this day and age seems a bit odd. Hopefully there will be a gems 3 and that will include some net stuff.
It also had a few odd typos. Some of the gems were *very* short (1 or 2 pages), when it seemed like a slightly more detailed discussion would be nice.
Other than those small problems, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it to any game programmers that want to pick up a few useful tips.
The articles, or gems, included in the book cover intermediate to advanced topics in the areas of general programming, mathematics, artificial intelligence, geometry management, graphics display, and audio programming, each edited by an expert in the field. Most of the gems assume that you have a fundamental knowledge of the issues related to the topic, and get to the point quickly. As a result, on average the gems are shorter than the previous volume. Both of these things could be viewed as either positives or negatives, depending on your experience level. Regardless, almost all of the gems are well written and relevant.
Most game programming books these days come with CDs packed full of demos, source code, and other information supplementing the book. Unfortunately, the CD that comes with this book isn't one of those. It does have source code from most of the chapters, but there are very few demos and no extras (unless you count GLUT and the DX8 SDK, which I don't since you can easily get those elsewhere). However, I'd count the CD as only a minor disappointment, since the book itself is so good.
If you're serious about game development, I'd highly recommend adding Gems 2 to your library. You'll definitely find things in it that you can use.
Pick up this book if you are looking to add to your reference collection however, due to the nature of the articles and due to the price, you might find yourself heading to the library to pick up this book. In the end, a solid addition to a programming library.
I am an amateur game programmer, not a professional
In addition, many of the articles are not relevant only to games.
To get a feel for the quality of the gems I looked at the gem on "The Parallel Transport Frame". I'd encountered this problem myself when trying to get VRML extrusions to work properly. VRML extrusions use Frenet frames so fail when the curve has an inflection. I came up with the same solution as the one described in this gem, and I'm sure many others have reinvented this particular wheel. The gem accurately describes the problem and solution and if I'd had it while I was messing with VRML extrusions it would have saved me some trouble.