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Learning Windows 8 Game Development Paperback – October 25, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Michael Quandt has been working with games, from XNA to DirectX to Unity, as a hobbyist and professional for four years. He has spoken at local game development conferences and workshops while working with Microsoft Australia as a Technical Evangelist. Since then he has contributed to the translation of multiple major franchise games to the Windows Store platform, and continues to work with local developers and students to get them involved in game development and bringing their best to the Windows platform.
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Top customer reviews
Starting with the first chapter, I had difficulty following the content in the book, though the issue wasn't with reading the code, but from being outdated.. One of the first issues I had with the book is that it doesn't specified what version of Visual Studio that we'd be using. It says 2012, but on the link provided there are only links to 2013 or 2010. Since you can only install 2013, you then need to figure out what version of VS2013 to install (Windows, not Windows Desktop). Then on top of that, when you try to create a new project following the instructions in the book there does not exist a template that has a file mentioned.
That being said, you can tell a lot of care and attention went into the book as there are pages upon pages of explanations and how Windows 8 development is different than others and dives deeply into DirectX at the very beginning. It's a bit of a shame that the barrier to entry from the first two chapters is so high, because the rest of the chapters are very streamlined and easy to follow with the final chapters more showing the possibilities of what can be done using Windows 8 and makes a good case for its usefulness.
I do commend the author for providing code samples of the projects; however, the code samples from everything after Chapter 1 fail to compile when retargeted to Windows 8.1, which is a shame since the book only came out 2 months ago. The issue mainly involves linker errors which are simple enough to fix, but since the book is targeted towards those learning Windows 8 having them be required to go into the settings without being taught seems a bit much.
That being said, there is a lot of good information in the book and for those still working with Visual Studio 2012 and just Windows 8 this could be a great resource. Be aware that there may be grammar and/or spelling mistakes and when in doubt look at the sample projects provided as the editors may have altered/adjusted content in the book. Also, if the author were to post fixed VS2013 projects and some slight modifications to the book to make it work with current systems I think it would be great too!
If I had to rate it, I'd give it a 3.5/5, so I rounded up.
Full disclosure: I received a free evaluation copy of the ebook for this review.
Throughout the book, the author presents comprehensive technical information and lessons in a coherent manner, and provides good explanation of the well-formatted code examples. I was pleased to find a good introduction for game loops, graphics, swap chains and the graphics pipeline.
The author also uses to good effect, the DirectX Tool Kit that helps with writing DirectX 11 code in C++. Those experienced with developing games using XNA will find some familiar classes and patterns used throughout the book as well.
The rest of the technical coverage on input, gameplay, sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, inclinometer, GPS, light) are more than ample to help you include all the features you need in your own Windows 8 game. I also liked the more Windows 8-centric sections, such as Live tiles and sharing on new media.
The book rounds off with good coverage on how to get your Win8 app on the Windows Store and other ways of monetizing (vs selling).
Some gotcha's to watch out for: Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 since the book was published, so you may find the templates described in the first chapters do not really match those you find in Visual Studio 2013. The good news though, is that the code samples from the website will open in Visual Studio 2013, and will compile and run. It would be nice if the author could update the website by providing a list of differences in working with VS2013 (the code and samples were built with Visual Studio 2012), so that folks can work through the examples using VS2013.
In all, a good book that provides good, sound technical coverage into building a Windows 8 DirectX 11.1 game.
You'll learn how to use DirectX 11 to build a 2D space game throughout the entire book. Once you're on your way to completing your game development, the book also has a section on getting the game into the windows store and the way of selling successfully.
My background is in iOS development and when I found this book, I was looking for a book with clear examples and sample code to help port my current game to the windows platform. I found that this book was useful for this accomplishment and I constantly reference it when I run into road blocks that relate the the examples they provide.
If you are an applications developer but also want to get your hands dirty with game development on windows 8 platform, this is a good book to start off with!