1430970320 Game Programming Gems 4 (Game Programming Gems (W/CD)) (v. 4) - Game Programming - Books - Books - GameDev.net
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The latest in this series of highly successful books delivers 60 new articles covering diverse game development topics. Once again, the articles are written by an impressive group of people that collectively represent a substantial amount of game industry experience. The writing style and editing is very good, as usual, with a professional but casual tone, making the articles easy to read.

Although all of the topics are relevant to game development, because they are typically very narrow in scope, your mileage will vary depending on what exactly you’re working on. This is true for the entire series. It’s likely that you won’t be reading the book cover to cover, but rather a handful of chapters here and there as you need them. This fourth volume is particularly useful in that respect because it includes a comprehensive index of the first 4 volumes

Another noteworthy change is the addition of a physics section. Given how important physics has become in game development, this is a welcome addition. It’s also interesting to see a couple of chapters that use Python and Java (though only one for each) for the sample code, rather than the C++ used for most of the chapters. DirectX is used for much of the sample code, with OpenGL being used in a few of the graphics chapters.

This volume does have a few shortcomings, which again are typical for the series. Due to the length of the articles (about 5 to 15 pages each), some of them were a bit too short to cover the topic with sufficient depth. This is pretty subjective, since many people may be satisfied with a more high-level explanation, but it seems to me that the series would be better served with a smaller number of slightly longer articles that go into greater depth.

I also think that the price of the book is rather high. True, it’s hardbound, but similar books have been published (notably, GPU Gems, which is hardbound, the same length, and printed in full-color) with notably lower prices. Since the book covers such a broad range of topic areas - only a handful of which will be of interest to you - the value of this book is diminished somewhat.

Despite the price, this book is still an important part of any complete game programming library. If you have the previous volumes, you’ll want to pick it up for the index if nothing else.
This is a really good book, the articles are great again. But the price is too high for only a collection of articles. There are only a handful color plates (GPU Gems has the whole book with colored plates!) and not every chapter has its own example program.

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