By Frank Luna
Published February 2012 List Price:$49.95, Your Amazon.com Price: $36.29
Amazon.com Sales Rank:74,864 Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
This updated bestseller provides an introduction to programming interactive computer graphics, with an emphasis on game development using DirectX 11. The book is divided into three main parts: basic mathematical tools, fundamental tasks in Direct3D, and techniques and special effects. It includes new Direct3D 11 features such as hardware tessellation, the compute shader, dynamic shader linkage and covers advanced rendering techniques such as screen-space ambient occlusion, level-of-detail handling, cascading shadow maps, volume rendering, and character animation. Includes a companion CD-ROM with code and figures.
GDNet Staff Review:
Boy, times have changed. Seems like five or so years ago I couldn't go a month without getting a new phonebook-sized tome promising to teach me DirectX Everything. Mostly it is attributable to DirectX settling down. No longer is it a system furiously re-inventing itself on a yearly cycle to keep up with the latest hardware. Direct3D is more mature, and the tutorials have correspondingly matured and are no longer following DirectX on a one-year cycle.
Introduction To 3D Game Programming with DirectX 11 is the latest Direct3D tutorial in a no-longer-crowded market. While it is big at around 850 pages, it only covers Direct3D. The loss of competition has improved this kind of book. No longer do we get breathlessly-titled products promising to teach you everything from C++ to Direct3D to DirectSound to networking and get you fully up to speed in two weeks. Instead we are now getting more useful books that provide less shallow coverage of a narrower topic. I can honestly say that this is the first DirectX book I have found that covers its topic comprehensively. It starts out with a short discussion of vector and matrix math and then gets right to the business of displaying objects. Pictures and diagrams are plentiful and are high quality.
As for prerequisites, I would recommend a decent background in C++ and knowledge of Visual C++ version 10. It assumes you know C++ and only gives you enough of a tutorial on the IDE to write the code included in the book.
This book will not teach you how to write a DOOM clone in two weeks. But, frankly, the books that did promise such things ten years ago could not do that either. This is a long-form and very complete tutorial on Direct3D, and it is the best one on the market covering that topic. If you want to build a DirectX-based game, get this book and learn the other technologies (sound, joystick, network) elsewhere.