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Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers **---

Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers By Wendy Stahler
Published April 2004
List Price: $69.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $48.68

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,243,791
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

Whether you're a hobbyist or a budding game design pro, your objective is probably the same: To create the coolest games possible using today's increasingly sophisticated technology. To do that, however, you need to understand some basic math and physics concepts. Not to worry: You don't need to go to night school if you get this handy guide! Through clear, step-by-step instructions, author Wendy Stahler covers the trigonometry snippets, vector operations, and 1D/2D/3D motion you need to improve your level of game development. Each chapter includes exercises to make the learning stick, and Visualization Experience sections are sprinkled throughout that walk you through a demo of the chapter's content. By the end of the volume, you'll have a thorough understanding of all of the math and physics concepts, principles, and formulas you need to control and enhance your user's gaming experience.

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this book teaches basic math and physics that a game developer needs to program simple games..
the book consists of chapters about geometry (points,lines,circles,..etc) and chapters about classical mechanics ..
the source code which comes with the book is very good for illustrating math and physics formuales into real demo..

i give it 5 stars,because of its beginner level..

Graph the equation y = 3.

Pick three x values, such as 0, 1, and –1. When you plug them into the equation, you get the three ordered pairs (0,3), (4,3), and (–4,3). Actually, no matter which x values you choose, the corresponding y value is always 3.

Plugging in 0,1, and -1 for x into the equation 0x + 1y = 3 gives you (0,3), (1,3), and (-1,3), NOT (4,3) and (-4,3). It's hard to read a book who's author can't keep things straight in the same sentence.


Graph of –3x + y = 4.

And her solution:


Here you can see that she draws the line 3x + y = 4 instead of -3x + y = 4. Is this just another honest mistake? Who cares. Point is, this book is worthless.

I don't mean to rag on the author like this, but come on! I don't dare read more of this book. What will happen when I come to something that I don't already know? From what I've seen so far, I'll be spending extra time unlearning the mis-information in this book. I recommend you stay clear of this disaster.

I agree with the more critical review of this book. Quite simply, anybody who has had high school level algebra will feel horribly patronized by the overall writing style, mostly because of how the book assumes very low cognitive abilites from the reader.

I skipped through the easiest chapters and found later material of interest, but in these sections I found the same condescending attitude, lack of depth in explanation, and absence of programming ability. Honestly, this is just a basic algrebra/physics book at the high school level, which just draws from programming instead of real life cases for examples.

Anybody who is serious about physics or programming should skip this book.
To be fair, the other reviewers that have been vitriolic about this book were more awake in their maths and physics lessons at school than I was. So now, when I want to go back and actually learn the basic maths and physics as a foundation and with a view to doing hobbyist game programming at some point in the future, I find this book to be a great help to get started. I don't feel patronised because it has been almost 20 years since I dozed off in those maths and physics lessons, and having not had much practical need to use that theory in day-to-day life since then I don't remember much of that teaching now. So I think I am part of the intended target audience.

It is true the book is peppered liberally with sloppy mistakes, and the errata that you can download from the publisher's website does not catch anywhere near enough of the mistakes for my liking. This is partly a symptom of poor production standards on the publisher's part, and the blame should not lie solely on the author's shoulders. On the positive side, these mistakes are detectable if you work through the examples and do some research, so it could be said that the mistakes encourage more thought and more scepticism in its readers.

To summarise, it is frustrating as a reader that this book could have been so much better with a little more care on the author's part, and with better copy-editing and proof-reading when the book went into production. This reviewer would have given more stars if the book had been put together with more attention to detail. Shame on you, New Riders/Pearson Education, it's not as though you can't afford to take more care when producing technical books...