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Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming with DirectX in 21 Days **---

Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming with DirectX in 21 Days By Clayton Walnum
Published September 2002
List Price: $44.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $40.49

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 2,949,536
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The introductory chapters provide a solid basis in using Direct3D and DirectSound in a 2D gaming environment, providing not only the necessary theoretical discussions, but also sample programs that demonstrate the concepts discussed. Once the reader learns these basic DirectX techniques, the book leads the reader through the design and programming of a console-style computer role-playing game. As the reader builds the game piece by piece, he not only applies what he's learned about Direct3D and DirectSound, but also learns the fundamental skills needed to program games. Currently, no other book on the market covers the same material. Uses DirectX 8.

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Hmm... I've read this book. It's for a beginner. This is the first game programming book I actually read.

At first I found it pretty cool. Well, y'know, a beginner's feeling for the first time reading a game programming book and following the game code examples. It'll be a good book for beginner. But, it's not for intermediate or advance game programmers. They'll find it blunt.

It teaches use how to load bitmaps and using them to display on the screen to be displayed as rpg game, like the old time zelda of nintendo. It also touches on keyboard control using windows message and loading of sounds. (All the simple stuff)

That's all I've got to say about it
Like the previous review, this book is for a beginner.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who has learned the mechanics of C/C++, and is ready to jump into game programming. People who have already programmed games won't find this book helpful. Consider this your "intro" to game programming.

The author uses C/C++ and Direct3D (OpenGL is not covered) for 2D game programming. That's right, there is nothing three dimensional in this book (the clever reader may catch a few examples from the book, where, though the author doesn't mention it, you can edit the code and actually work with three dimensional objects. Consider this your early insight into actual 3D programming). However, that's one reason I would recommend this book to a beginner.

As you may have heard, DirectDraw, which was used for two dimensional graphics, was discontinued by Microsoft. This is because Direct3D is able to do anything DirectDraw can, plus a lot more. This book teaches the new way, the Direct3D way. This is advantageous because learning 3D programming will be a snap.

However, by now, I've read books and articles on 3D programming, and can therefore spot a disadvantage in this book. The author doesn't use conventional methods that you will use when you get to 3D programming, such as view space and world space projections. Perhaps this is because the book is a little outdated, but more likely because it is simply not required.

Regardless, I still consider this a valuable book, especially for someone that's ready to jump into game programming for the first time. You should have a good knowledge of C/C++ programming, and preferably basic Win32 programming (not required since that's the topic of chapter 3).

By the end, you will have developed a simple, 2D, top-down RPG. It's unlikely to win any awards [smile], but it's an excellent introduction to what it takes to program a game.

A logical succession to this would be the highly regarded Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0 by Frank D. Luna. However, it is recommended that you read an article or two about the rendering pipeline, since it's thrown at you pretty fast (but this really belongs in another review :P).
This book teaches nothing practical...at all. The end result is extremely horrible. To say that it is good for beginners because it teaches the basics is completely wrong in itself. It teaches nothing, it's more along the lines of "Yes, there are many other uses, but this book doesn't concern itself with them, now just shut up, quit asking questions, and copy this code down."

The only thing this book is good for teaching is familiarizing yourself with learning on YOUR OWN to set up DX with their own compilers, because this book expects you to have nothing but the one and only Visual C++ .NET.

It does a horrible job of explaining anything.