My Game Programming Book List

This is a discussion on My Game Programming Book List within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Me and my friend are trying to learn game programming so I looked around and found a list of books ...

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    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    My Game Programming Book List

    Me and my friend are trying to learn game programming so I looked around and found a list of books that might get us some skills. I wanted to run it past you guys so you can tell me if this is a good list. Should I not read some? Maybe suggest another title? Thanks, here's the list:

    Beginning C++ Through Game Programming, 2nd Edition to start us off on the absolute basics, then Game Programming All in One, 3rd Edition to teach us 2D programming with Allegro. Then maybe Code Masters (EDIT: Actually, it's Code Complete)to help with properly organizing code and projects. After that, a host of DirectX tutorials to break us into the 3D stuff. For example: Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9, Ultimate Game Programming With DirectX, Programming Role-Playing Games with DirectX, and finally Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX. All the books are highly rated by critics and programmers. After all that we'll get some more specific titles like AI and such. What do think?
    Last edited by Trennto; 07-02-2008 at 10:48 PM.

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Are you proficient at C/C++ already? Games are one of the hardest applications to develop, so you should have a strong programing foundation before attempting a 3d game. Have you written simple games, like tic-tac-toe, guess the number, etc.

    Intro to DirectX 9 is a great title, We have 2 copies at work and I have a copy in my personal library. The section on programming in HLSL is simply amazing. For foundation texts, I recommend Tricks of the Game programmign Guru's et al. There is a version for windows games as well.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Tricks of the Game programmign Guru's
    I do not in any way recommend this book. It's old, outdated, and teaches some very bad concepts. There are far better titles available for beginner's than this. Frank Luna's Intro to Directx9 game programming which I believe you have in your list will serve you much better. On the OGL side I'm sure there are good books for beginners as well. I do not know of any off hand but that is because I use Direct3D.

    Another very good book is Game Code Complete, 2nd ed. This books goes far beyond other books and tells you exactly what you need to get a game off the ground. It covers core concepts like resource management in depth which most books just leave out. Focus here is on concepts but there are samples and a fully working game with the book that is built off of the information in it. Extremely good book and good treatment of the overall picture of game programming.

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    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Are you proficient at C/C++ already? Games are one of the hardest applications to develop, so you should have a strong programing foundation before attempting a 3d game. Have you written simple games, like tic-tac-toe, guess the number, etc.
    The first books teach the foundations of C++ from the ground up. It's funny, I'm currently reading the first book (Beginning C++ Through Game Programming) and I just did tic-tac-toe and guess the number right before reading this...

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    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Another very good book is Game Code Complete, 2nd ed.
    Actually the Code Masters on my list was a typo (fixed), it's actually Code Complete (Also second edition). Is that the title you were referring to, or is there one specificly for games?
    (EDIT: I found the a book called, "Game Coding complete, 2nd Edition" here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781932111910/, is this the one?)
    Last edited by Trennto; 07-02-2008 at 10:54 PM.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Yep that's it. Very good book.

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    Game Coding Complete's good, but hard to find. It hasn't been reprinted in a while so you can only get it off Amazon for > $100. He's finding a publisher for the third edition so that should be available soon. You should work on mastering the C++ syntax before opening that book anyway.

    I'll comment on the books I own.
    "Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX"
    This is good, but a bit outdated (uses the deprecated DirectPlay among other aspects), and since good (Half Life, Halo) FPS's are difficult to program the book is hard to apply to smaller projects.

    "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9"
    I have the "A Shader Approach" edition of this book, which I would recommend because FVF will soon be completely outdated. Great book though.

    "Code Complete 2nd edition"
    Great book, but I would rank it for intermediate level programmers. you should have a fair amount of project building experience to be able to fully appreciate this text. So buy it, but only read it once you are getting ready to put together things larger than guess a number and tic tac toe (a considerable bit larger).

    You've got a good list of books there, as far as AI I recommend "Programming Game AI by Example" by Mat Buckland. And then if you want more from there, buy the AI Programming Wisdoms in order (the later ones benefit from the earlier ones). I'm not sure if you need that many DirectX books either, Frank Luna covers about everything to get you started in his.

    I'm ordering "Effective C++" by Scott Myers, and "Real-Time Collision Detection" by Christer Ericson currently. Having a collision detection reference will be nice, and I wish I didn't wait so long.

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    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    Sounds good. I saw the "shader's approach" version of Intro to Directx but I thought it as a different book, I think I'll get that one instead. Also, do you know if I need both Code Complete and Game Coding Complete, or just one?

    I'm currently reading Beginning C++ and it's going great (doing all the tic-tac-toe stuff). After that, I have All in One purchased and I've peeked into. It teaches completely how to do 2D games with Allegro, which will get me started on 2D. After that either Game Coding Complete or Intro to Directx (shader's approach). Then I'll look into the collision detection and AI books you mentioned. I dont think I'll be purchasing all those directx books (could you point out those that I would benifit best from?) and I was wondering if there are any other things that I missed?

    Thanks
    "Never be afraid to try, remember...
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    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    If you're looking to get started with OpenGL, I'd recommend "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming". Excellent book on the subject.
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
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    Mac and OpenGL evangelist.

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    do you know if I need both Code Complete and Game Coding Complete, or just one?
    Can't say, I've only read one. Game Coding Complete has a surprisingly active forum here at which you could probably find out.
    http://www.mcshaffry.com/GameCode/
    However after reading "Effective C++" by Scott Myers for just a short while, I would recommend it over Code Complete. It covers similar material, but with concrete code examples, and very dense information. It's a thrill to read. I would summarize it as a book for the intermediate C++ programmer who wants to learn to use the language clearly and effectively (hence the name).

    could you point out those that I would benifit best from?
    I think you're fine with the "shader approach" book. It's pretty comprehensive.

    and I was wondering if there are any other things that I missed?
    These will be enough to get you started, when you are in the trenches you might find that you need a more specialized book.

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