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SFML Game Development Paperback – June 24, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jan Haller

Jan Haller is a Master’s student in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. In his free time, he occasionally develops games in C++. He is also interested in the creation of graphics and 3D models.

In 2008, Jan stumbled upon SFML. Since then, he has used the library for a lot of his work. One of his bigger projects was a 2D jump’n’run game, where the character has to find its way through different levels, defeating enemies and collecting various items. During the years, Jan has actively participated in the SFML community, getting a lot of insights into the development of SFML 2. He has also written a C++ library called Thor, which extends SFML with ready-to-use features like particle systems or animations.

Henrik Vogelius Hansson

Henrik Vogelius Hansson has always been in love with both games and programming. He started his education fairly early and continued on into the indie scene with Defrost Games and their game Project Temporality. He then moved on to the Paradox Development Studio, where he got to work on titles like Crusader Kings 2.

Beside the game companies, Henrik has also been very active in the SFML community and even provided a binding for Ruby called rbSFML.

Artur Moreira

Artur Moreira is an enthusiast game developer who aims ultimately to found a new game development company in his home country. He has been programming games and game-related software for over 4 years. Most of the effort in that time was put in creating an open-source game making library with lots of flexibility and portability called Nephilim, which supports all major desktop and mobile operating systems, making game development fully cross-platform and fast. Alongside with this big project, he makes his own prototypes and games for educational and commercial purposes.

Aside from the programming, he also puts some focus in creative areas such as 3D modeling, digital painting and music composing.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849696845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849696845
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm still finishing off the last two chapters, but the book and provided source code have been enormously helpful for learning much of the foundational ways in which computer games are made. At the end (mostly by chapter 7), you have a very extensible codebase for a 2d shoot-em-up style of game. The authors also make recommendations for further reading on topics that they didn't cover extensively since this is an introductory-level book (note: don't get carried away with an entity system if this is your first time making a game and you've never developed an application based on an entity system before).

This book is for people who are comfortable with object-oriented programming in general and who have at least a basic grasp of programming in C++. The SFML wiki details the C++ features you should be comfortable with prior to using the library; I would strongly recommend reviewing the wiki before purchasing this book to make sure it is something that will be appropriate for you.

The code written here is also cross-platform--I was able to compile and run the program on Linux, Windows, and Mac with only changes to the Makefile.

One minor downside: the book is not written by native English speakers, and it could use a bit more review to clean up the language. This made it slightly less readable at times, but there was always sufficient context to understand what was going on, and it's definitely not enough of an issue to make me take a star off. If you can handle C++, the minor English errors will not be a problem for you.
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Format: Paperback
Any C++ programmer that is not at all familiar with game development will be interested in this book. SFML is one of the rare multimedia library that is built with idiomatic C++(11) in mind, and work hard to keep it's scope as small as possible to be as modular and useful as possible.

The book explain a lot of very basic information about game programming, which is why I would recommend any beginner in the domain of game programming to acquire the "Game Engine Architecture" book ( [...] ) to complete the bits about how any game could be done, as there are a lot of ways to make games and it's always specific to the kind of game it is.

As someone building some very esoteric game architecture, I was pleased to see that the book keep mentioning the fact that it's all an overview of what can be done in games and they made sure to keep things simple so that basics could be understood.
I think they achieve their goal but I also think it could have been more efficient. For example I often would have prefered additional short bits of code example to illustrate several of the paragraphs. Additional diagrams would have been helpful to a beginner too.

The book is nevertheless an excellent step by step introduction to SFML which is one of the best library in it's category concerning C++. I used SFML quite a bit in the last years but I learnt far more reading the book because there is a lot of things in SFML 2.0 I just didn't knew about.

Basically, if you are interested in SFML but have no idea where to start, this is your book. If you want to start understanding game programming by practice using C++, this is also your book but after reading it you should continue with Game Engine Architecture to get more perspective on the state of the art.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A while ago I was contacted by Packt Publishing. They were looking for “SFML professionals” to review a book they had published and I assume my activity on the SFML forums and bug tracker convinced them I fit the bill. So I got a free sample and a request to review it. I don’t get anything except the ebook out of this.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the book! It’s aptly called SFML Game Development and is about exactly that. So, what is SFML? It’s the cross-platform Simple and Fast Multimedia Library for C++ that lets you easily create windows, handle their events, do 2D graphics (while allowing you to do 3D graphics using OpenGL), sound, networking and multithreading. I’ve used it in numerous small projects and some medium-sized ones and would recommend anyone starting out making games in C++ to use it. I may personally be switching over to Qt because it’s more powerful, but it’s hardly as Simple and Fast so I don’t recommend it to beginners.

So that’s SFML. You may want to use it. The book aims to teach you how. What it does not teach you is C++, and rightly so, because that’s a topic worthy of its own book, and sure enough there are plenty. (I don’t know any beginner’s books on C++ though since I’ve mostly learned through mentors so I can’t recommend any. Once you’re intermediate check out Scott Meyers.) Well, that’s not entirely true. C++ recently received a much appreciated makeover, C++11 (as in 2011). A lot of cool new features were added and the book introduces some of them where it makes sense, explaining what they do and why they’re useful. I really liked that since I had not previously looked into C++11 in depth.

But I liked the rest of the book as well.
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