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Programming Linux Games Paperback – August, 2001
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From the Publisher
Gaming will continue to drive the adoption of Linux as an operating system. In fact, one game, Quake, has already indirectly contributed to the growth of Linux. Estimates are that over 60 percent of all dedicated Quake servers (for all versions on the Internet) are Linux machines.
From the Author
I start with a birds-eye view of the game industry, and explore the elements that make up various types of games. After a quick review of Linux development tools and multimedia programming toolkits, I launch into the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), several audio playback APIs (OSS, ALSA, and ESD), the OpenAL environmental audio system, the Tcl scripting library, Linux's new framebuffer device API (fbdev). I also explain how to access the keyboard and mouse under Linux. These tools provide everything you need to create games and other multimedia applications for Linux, as well as port games from other platforms.
Programming Linux Games does not cover 3D graphics programming techniques, as OpenGL programming is more or less the same under any platform. However, there is a brief explanation of how to use SDL as an improved replacement for the popular GLUT toolkit.
~John R. Hall
August 22, 2001
Top Customer Reviews
Which leads to this book. It has some of the ambience of the flashback to the 70s or 80s, when programmers in their spare time might gin up a cool game, which would then spread like a virus when word got out. Of course, you can use the book's advice to design a proprietary game. Nobody says you need give it away.
The book's code examples are in C. Not Java, please note. While Java is good for some applications, typically in gaming, performance is always an issue, as measured by latency, for example. The book also does not mention C++. Pity. C++ compilers nowadays are usually as efficient as C compilers. Plus, if you want to code a game of any complexity (over 100 000 lines, say), then C scales badly, unless you use really strict design and coding standards.
Overall, though, the book is well done. Very easy reading if you're experienced. Very little knowledge of graphics is required. The book is more about the back end design. Graphics is pushed out to OpenGL and similar packages.
even the best book will disappoint someone who is looking for something else!
If, like myself, you have some knowledge in computer science without being an expert and particularly have no expertise in Game Developping nor in MultiMedia and are yet curious about the topics then definetly go for it.
This book unveils pretty much all aspects game programming: graphics, audio, computer "AI", network gaming, etc.
Unveils, not exhausts: be warned. But this is just great when all you are after is understanding what is this about and decide eventually to dig deeper.
And everything is done with examples building up until you have developped with the author "your" first game : Penguin Warrior!
What would be great is to have a sequel with more advanced topics (3D, Scheme scripting, etc.): be many to buy it and maybe we will someday see it!
If you're new to game programming then get this book too!!! Even if you plan to start out making games on Windows, I suggest reading this book along with Lamothe's as it will help you understand game programming basics without the complexity of Windows' code. The author takes you all the way from initializing the display to a complete game by the end of the book, and even though the game was meant to be for Linux it will compile without too many modifications. Although the game in this book may be rather simple one in today's standards, it does cover all the bases including networking and game scripting, the latter of which I found very helpful. ...
I'm really only half-way through the book, but wanted type up a quick review of it so far, because now that I've hit the audio section, it has become obvious that the content is getting a little long in the tooth. The examples in said audio chapter (chapter 5, I think) will not compile as-is on current distributions (I'm on Ubuntu 11.04) without some non-trivial porting. I found an old newsgroup thread on this topic from 2004, but sadly the kind poster's link to his self-hosted corrected source was dead. After looking at the changelog for libsndfile I was able to attribute the problem to some changes to the library made back in 2001! I finally corrected that issue to find that OSS is all but obsolete these days and ALSA the predominant standard, although the book more or less paints ALSA as a bleeding edge library.
EDIT: The updates to the source code are indeed on the publisher's website. I overlooked them.
These issues aside, the book does a good job of touching on some basics of using common GNU tools like GCC and GDB, which is good exposure for the GNU development noob like myself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that I wanted to have long ago, may be not up to date, but contains a lot of experience from Loki GamesPublished 11 months ago by Fernando Briceï¿œo
I programming In C++ as a hobby. I use this book to help me get a good grapes on SDL programming. Even though this book is written for C programmers, it did not take much for me... Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by Ryan
This book could stand to be a little thicker when it comes to the actual theory on game programming, that is why it gets 4 stars and not 5. Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Martin D. Johnson
You are a newbie in Linux programming? This book for you! Not much details but enough to start dig more in this direction. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by UtkinG
I read only the "Mastering SDL" section of this book. It is a decent introduction. At the time this book was published, it was probably the best available introduction (barring... Read morePublished on November 25, 2012 by Matthew C. Hersant
The book starts off ok with a good introduction of the various API's and is ok reading up untill chapter 6 "Programming Linux Audio". This is where the book fails terribly. Read morePublished on August 14, 2004 by P. S. Bunn
Programming Linux Games is an excellent beginning to Linux and cross platform game development.
Its main deficiencies are:
detail on the libraries suggested,
the... Read more