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Beginning DirectX 9 (Game Development Series) ***--

Beginning DirectX 9 (Game Development Series) By Wendy Jones
Published April 2004
List Price: $29.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $25.15

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,367,410
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

Summary:
As a beginning programmer, you've probably noticed how difficult it is to find introductory guides to game programming. If you're interested in learning DirectX and are looking for a book that helps you go beyond the 3D component of DirectX and gives you complete coverage of this amazing product, then look no further! "Beginning DirectX 9" gives you examples that build on previous chapters and culminates in the completion of a playable game.

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7 Comments

For one thing she beats around the bush and THEN gets to the end and you're wondering what she's talking about. Second some of her applications in the book are total crap, thy're full of errors!!
If your new to DirectX, then this book is the way to go to wet your feet..

The layout is very clear and concise. The author tells you what you need to know without any ambiguity. Lots of code snippets and examples.

You'll fly through this book and at the end you will have framework which will allow you to further develop games in direct3d.

Most aspects of directx are covered..
Direct3D, DirectInput and DirectSound.

Be warned though as the name suggests if your a seasoned directx programmer, this one's not for you.

Thomson/Course Technology/Premier Press/Prima/Cougar/Mellencamp is certainly working to take over the beginner's market for programming books. Short of the folks that make those condescending "for Dummies" books, I don't know of anyone making as many books aimed at newbies as Thomson. And the results have been mixed. I've seen beginner titles that I'd unhesitatingly recommend to folks getting started, and I've seen a couple of titles from 'em that I wouldn't recommend to my enemies. Beginning DirectX 9 isn't an unqualified recommendation, but it's a good book if you've got a reasonable handle on C++ and are looking for that "next step" into game development.

The structure of the book is very well thought-out, starting out the user with the logical "first step" of setting up the compiler (Visual Studio.NET) to work with DirectX, then how to initialize DirectX in code, then simple surfaces surfaces, then 3D, then DirectInput, then DirectSound, then about 50 pages that wrap all of it up into a simple arcade game. DirectPlay, DirectShow, and DirectMusic are pretty-much ignored in Beginning DirectX 9, but that's not all that much of a loss, as the author apparently chose to go for reasonable depth of coverage (325 pages) rather than trying to cover the entire world in a single tutorial. Beginning DirectX 9 is mostly about 3D. If you're looking to make a 2D game, this book will definitely help you in some parts, but there's about 150 pages in the middle that won't be of much use to you.

Big kudos to the author, Wendy Jones, for chapter organization. The chapters themselves are extremely well done and are very easy to follow, with short summaries at the beginning and end of each chapter to remind you what you will learn and what you should have learned. This kind of structure is very important in a programming tutorial, as it's important to make sure that the reader is learning what needs to be learned as the tutorial goes along. If the user misses an important piece of technology, it's likely to cause problems further down the road. It's something that should be obvious in a tutorial-style book such as this one, but far too many times I've seen organization neglected in favor of wisecracking tangents that only serve to make a tutorial more difficult than it should be.

Each chapter is finished with discussion questions (answered in the appendix, thank you very much) to further ensure that you got everything out of the chapter that you should.

Beginning DirectX 9 is not perfect. I haven't typed in the examples myself, but reading the reviews on Amazon and GameDev, it's apparent that there are some serious typographical errors in the example code. The code on the included CD is apparently much-improved (e.g. it actually compiles), so you should tread lightly when digging through the printed code examples. I'm not as harsh as the book's critics for printed typos, but it is something you should be aware of when working through the tutorial.

If you're just getting started and need a starting-point to launch your first huge game development magnum-opus, Beginning DirectX 9 will get you started. It's rather a shame that the book's got problems with the listings, because it's otherwise one of the best-organized game programming tutorials I've seen in a while.

I never had any errors buddy, maybe you need and update?

Anyways never had any problems with her's code
The book is very well organized, and keeps the reader interested. I give the book itself 4 stars. But the CD that came with my book was another story. Most of the later programs won't compile without modification, and if I attempt to run the precompiled programs included on the CD, I get the friendly Error-Message: "someprogram.exe is not a valid win32 application". Maybe it's just me, but I do not believe that is meant to happen.

So, when it come down to it, I give the book 4 stars, but I take off 1/2 a star for the problems I encountered on the CD.
I'm giving this book 3 stars, mainly because I didn't get through it. Also the I found the code on the CD differed too much from the code in the book. She would show the example one way in the book and do it totaly different on the CD.

Maybe I'm odd, but I like typing out the code from the book so I can actually take part in what I'm learning. When I ran the code it gave me some really weird issues which I couldn't get around.

I'm sure I'll go back to finish the book, but only when I can understand the parts I got stuck at.
I haven't been able to get the files from the CD-ROM. It was broken. Does anyone have a link?

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