- Paperback: 1088 pages
- Publisher: Sams; 2 edition (June 29, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672323699
- ISBN-13: 978-0672323690
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 235 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Tricks of the Windows Game Programmin Gurus, 2E takes the reader through Win32 programming, covering all the major components of DirectX including DirectDraw, DirectSound, DirectInput (including Force Feedback), and DirectMusic. Andre teaches the reader 2D graphics and rasterization techniques. Finally, Andre provides the most intense coverage of game algorithms, multithreaded programming, artificial intelligence (including fuzzy logic, neural nets, and genetic algorithms), and physics modeling you have ever seen in a game book.
About the Author
Andrè LaMothe (a.k.a. Lord Necron) has been programming for over 24 years and holds degrees in mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering. He has written numerous articles on the subjects of graphics, game programming, and artificial intelligence. He is the author of Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus, Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming in 21 Days, The Game Programming Starter Kit, The Black Art of 3D Game Programming, and Windows Game Programming for Dummies, all bestsellers. In addition, he coauthored Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar I and II. Mr. LaMothe has also taught at the University of Santa Cruz Extension Multimedia Department.
Last, but not least, Andrè is the founder and CEO of Xtreme Games LLC (www.xgames3d.com) and the Xtreme Games Developers Conference (www.xgdc.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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As a book that has nothing to do with 3D programming, however, Lamothe's latest work is a wonderful foray into the fundamentals (and actually a lot of seemingly cutting-edge concepts) of 2D game programming. Just don't let the "2D" part take your attention away from this book... Anyone can blit a sprite and make it move across the screen using double buffering, but few can weld together disparate components like AI, physics, game logic, and system & graphics programming into the complex whole that is a computer game. That's what this book teaches, and you'll probably want to know how to do it before you try making that 3D engine with volumetric lighting, bump mapping, and realtime reflections. Lamothe decided to split his work into two volumes for this reason; instead of scrambling to squeeze information about game programming and cutting-edge 3D graphics programming into a mere 1000 pages, he decided to make one book on game programming and the other on 3D programming.
So my only real gripe about this book is its advertising. Instead of titling it "Fundamentals of 2D and 3D Game Programming," they should have called it "Volume I: Fundamentals of 2D Game Programming," because that's what it is. Amazon.com also needs to put the actual title of the book in here--currently they think it's called "Tricks of the 3D Windows Game Programming Gurus," which is even more misleading than the book's actual title. This is probably because Lamothe's decision to split the book into two volumes was made at the last minute; but still, SAMS could've at least taken the time to change the title of the book before sending it to press.
1) Until you get into the text itself, you don't find out that this is only volume one of a two-volume set. It is not mentioned anywhere on the book's cover, nor in any of the promotional material. If you're most interested in the 3D part (and who wouldn't be, since non-3D games are a dying breed, and good books on Direct3D Immediate Mode are practically nonexistent?), you'll have to wait until Lamothe finishes volume two. Since THIS volume shipped quite late, God only knows when you'll see THAT one. (There are some tutorials on 3D on the CD-ROM, but they're not written by Lamothe, which means that they don't have his trademark knack for explaining difficult concepts.)
2) Volume 1 is actually an extended re-write of his earlier "Windows Game Programming for Dummies." If you've read that book, you'll find that the vast majority of the topics (and the order they are presented in, such as: first general Windows programming, then GDI, then a game console framework, then COM, and finally DirectX itself) and even the "engine" source code comes directly from the "...Dummies" volume. Granted, "Tricks..." does go into a lot more detail and covers some newer features of DirectX (force-feedback, DirectMusic) that the earlier book didn't touch. Also, if you have any professional aspirations, it's a lot less embarrassing to say you picked up a technique from a book titled "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" instead of "Windows Game Programming for Dummies!" However, those who bought the latter volume should be aware that they're going to see a LOT of material, verbatim, for the second time.
3) Finally, there are a number of typos in the text and bugs in the sample source code. As an example of the former, look at the rotation matrix at the bottom of page 455. Owing to a bad choice of font, it has two elements missing! In terms of code bugs, look at Demo7_13 or Demo7_14. In Scan_Image_Bitmap(), the dest_ptr is being incremented by ddsd.dwWidth, when it should be by ddsd.lPitch. The fact that Lamothe has cautioned the user against making this VERY SAME MISTAKE earlier in the book adds insult to injury. (This is not unusual, by the way. I've read several of Lamothe's books, and have always found bugs in the sample source, which can be especially maddening for the student who may only know that something isn't working right, but might have no clue on how to even begin to fix it. Worse, these bugs should have been immediately apparent when the program was run, which leads me to suspect that Lamothe considers himself such a "guru" that he writes his code blind and doesn't always bother testing it before sending it out to the publisher.)
So, there you have it. Despite its faults, this book is one of the most comprehensive texts on the current iteration of DirectX (minus Direct3D), and contains other valuable information about AI, advanced algorithms and data structures, multithreading, game physics, etc. It is probably a "must buy" for anyone serious about game programming. However, until Lamothe gets around to finishing volume two, this is really nothing more than a "work in progress." Even as such, the reader had better be prepared to do some serious debugging on his or her own.
Most recent customer reviews
As the title of this "review" states, the contents are quite comprehensive, though the...Read more