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Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2 (Charles River Media Game Development) (v. 2) Hardcover – February, 2005
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About the Author
Thor Alexander (California) has been working in the game industry for over twelve years as a designer, engineer and entrepreneur. He has held lead designer and senior programming positions at Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Xatrix Entertainment. He has contributed to titles such as Earth & Beyond and Freelancer as well as the Ultima Online game series. He has also contributed to the books AI Game Programming Wisdom and Game Programming Gems 3 as well as Massively Multiplayer Game Development.
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Top Customer Reviews
So you are left with some general blahblah which you could gather for free on the internet and which leaves you with the stale feeling that you just wasted your money and time and didn't learn anything useful.
Worse, some articles (like the one about distributed service approach) are simply misleading and false and may lead a novice developer astray and on a path that ends up in a dead end. If you want to learn about client server design or any form of distributed computing, don't buy this book. Buy the books by Andrew Tannenbaum which are still readily available and cost just a handful of dollars if you buy them used and I guarantee you learn more useful things about network games than from this lemon.
DON'T BUY ONE BOOK, GET THEM BOTH.
As a games programmer I wanted to branch out into a MMG and this book was one of 4 that taught me everything I wanted to know.
This book is split into 3 main sections; each section has several chapters about differant aspects of the MMP's. If you have any interest in MMP games you cannot help but to find most chapters helpful.
I will admit that some chapters bored me and I skipped them, but the amount of helpful chapters there were more than made up for it.
Each chapter has been written by a differant person and quick searches on google makes you realise that these people really do know their particular areas of expertise.
Look, if you are hoping for tips on solving a specific coding problem, this may not be the best choice of books. Instead, the articles are more useful at the architectural design level, for a new multiplayer game. Some topics seem quite novel. Like applying graph theory to study and design a game. Including at the large ["macro"] level where you might be building a community, with economic facets. Graph theory also permits a way to classify different MM games, providing a unified and consistent view. Not the sort of thing you might expect to run into in a gaming text. But the complexities of building a MM world can be staggering.
There are many more essays, touching on numerous aspects. You need to be an experienced game developer to fully appreciate this book. Which is not to say that the ideas here cannot ultimately find expression at the source code level. Just that you need to take a high level view.
The articles in this book are separated into three sections - design, engineering, and production techniques. Therefore, it isn't just for programmers - numerous development team members will find value in the book's articles. I think it's important for developers to read most or all of the articles - even those that aren't specifically intended for their position. This practice can increase understanding and communication between the members of interdisciplinary teams.
In each article, a member of the MMP development community explains his or her experience with a particular topic - telling stories in online games, automated testing, anti-cheat mechanisms, etc. While some of the technical essays supply pseudocode, most articles present examples from existing games and other ideas. Don't expect to build an MMP engine or even detailed designs based solely on the information in this book. Instead, these articles will provide insight and advice on many issues you will encounter as you plan and develop an MMP project.
Some of the essays feel a bit "thin", and the authors don't seem to sufficiently explain their topic. In some instances, the topics are simply too complex to fully examine in one or two articles. Nonetheless, the subjects in this book are important for developers to consider. For readers that want to delve deeper into a topic, most articles provide references to related information.
This book is intended for "intermediate/advanced" game developers (specifically those in the MMP industry), and my rating is based on that audience. For those unfamiliar with MMP games and/or software development, it will be difficult to appreciate the articles in this book.