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OpenGL Game Programming w/CD (Prima Tech's Game Development) ****-

OpenGL Game Programming w/CD (Prima Tech's Game Development) By Kevin Hawkins, Dave Astle
Published May 2002
List Price: $59.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $45.94

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,720,596
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

Provides thorough coverage of OpenGL for beginners, as well as how to integrate OpenGL with the non-graphics components of DirectX. Also includes chapters on special effects, physics, creating a game engine, and the implementation of a full game. Hey, it's written by 2 members of the GDNet staff, how can you go wrong? Note: Due to a publisher error, the source code was missing from the the CD in the first printing of this book. This was corrected in the second (and every other) printing since then. If you own a copy from the first printing, the source code can be obtained from http://glbook.gamedev.net

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Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
For the last 2 years, I had been trying to learn how to use Direct3D [unsuccessfully, might I add]. Eventually, someone recommended that I give OpenGL a try.

I did just that. Within hours of reading this book, I was already programming textures and lights. Very well written [with some slight typos here and there, but who cares].

If you can use C/C++ and want to program graphics, get this book.

By the way - OpenGL is exponentially easier than Direct3D. Give it a shot.

Nice job guys.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
This is really a great book for beginners !!! You can find all the basic information that you need for undestand how a game is create. I think that this book is the best starting point that you can find until now.
If you know C++ you can appreciate the last chapters where the authors presents a simple game engine.
I am disappointed for the cd : i can't find the source code. But this is a minor issue.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Just as people before put it. This book is awesome. I think my copy is a newer release copy, it has 2 CDS with it. The original which was missing the source code,etc. And a new cd with all the correct files and information. A Great buy!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
This book introduces the GLUT users to WIndows programming, so it is easy to use and understand. The run-through is great, the steps are nice, and all in all it is a great book.

I would recommend this book to any OpenGL game programmer. :)
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Very good book. Great for anyone with considerably knowledge in C++, even if you are a beginner to game and/or graphics programming. It teaches Win32, a lot of OpenGL, and other things that you will need in making a game, including particle effects, physics, and .md2 loading. I used to hate all DirectX, but now I can use DirectInput and DirectSound with ease. There are a few problems with the book though. The section on blending and lighting was a little iffy. The AI coverage is limited to the 2 pages that explain AI for the monsters in the FPS you make at the end of the book. In fact, you might find a few parts of the SimpEngine (the engine made at the end of the game) very hard to understand unless you've read the book extremely well and understand linked lists and C++ very well. Other than that, this book has my thumbs up!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
this book is simply EXCELLENT! I would have dropped the rating to 9 for it not having the source code on the CD, but I rose that back to 10 because after reading the site a little, I found it was the Publisher's fault. That is all okay now though, because I'm having them deliver a (free) replacement CD right now and everything else is GREAT. When I bought this book, I already knew quite a bit about OpenGL (and a whole lot about C++) but I forced myself to read through the simple chapters again. After reading through what I (thought) I already knew, I was amazed at the details of it and how much I was approaching in the wrong way. Thanks! you guys did a great job
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
I've just bought this book, it's very good but marred by the duff CD (although I have now downloaded the sources and relevant bits), odd glitch in source code, and some poor quality printing on some of the pages. The content however is excellent.

I would've rated this book a 9 if those flaws hadn't been present.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Very nice book indeed, it really works for me.

The source of ch20 from te website is not complete it's missing a header file. I mailed Jeff (Nehe) about it, he stated that it was all in order when he sent it to the publisher.

So basicly, tot the writers of the book: Job well done. To the publisher... Hmmm, next time don't screw up like this again. It's really anoying havind to write your own header file because it's missing in the zip file. (it's a header file of one of the simple engine classes)
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
A very good book for beggining and intermediate programmers. It explains in a very detailed manner how the math behind game programming works, and it not only teaces you OpenGL(the API) it teaches you Windows Programming, and Game Programming. After reading this book, you can easily make first person shooters(not my favorite type of game, but I now realize how easy they can be to make).

The only fault the book had was the CD, and its not big deal really because you can download all of the source code.

This book focuses only on 3D programming though. You probably could make a half decent 2D game after reading this book, but it is definetaly more towards teaching 3D.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
My friend asked me if this book is good, and the first thing that popped into my head was, "This book is a gift from God." If your intrested in OpenGL, this is the way to go.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Ok. I really want to make a different view for people to debate on, for whether or not they like the book:


  • An absolute beginner (who has some knowledge of DOS-based C++) can learn Windows programming basically from this book. I would suggest reading the win32 c++ tutorials on www.winprog.org before going to the second part of the book.
  • It teaches the basics and beyond, and can easily be used as a reference to intermediate OpenGL game developers.
  • There are very few grammatical errors, and very few (if any) errors in the code, which is always good, because in other books alot of the code is messed up and it makes it hard to learn OpenGL.
  • It teaches not only OpenGL, but Direct Sound and Direct Input. These are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for making games.


  • The book doesnt teach 2D game programming, basically at all. I believe this is important to make an OpenGL book good, because, there are no 2D OpenGL books out there. For this I give the book minus 1 ;)
  • The source code was missing on the cd, but that's not big deal because you can just download it.
  • The only other con is the mathematics on chapter 3. It doesn't teach the mathematics well enough, but I didn't lower my rating because of this, because the book wasn't meant to teach you mathematics it is meant to teach you OpenGL.[]

I suggest this book to anyone who wants to learn OpenGL, and how ant to make 3D games, I must repeat again 3D games. BUT, if you read this book, it will be much easier to learn 2D OpenGL, because this teaches you the game programming behind it also:). Good Luck to anyone else reading this book!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Ok I have finally recieved my book! =) I can tell you this much it ROCKS! The first chapter you are introduced to the win32API. I find this easy to follow and understand. Next you go into OpenGL and that is where I am at right now and find it very well wrote. I will have to say this much, readers should know a fair amount of C++ before reading this book! But then again this book isn't here to teach you C++ just OpenGL coding. Well worth the $$. So what are you waiting for go and pickup a copy today!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
The book is simply awesome. It's a thorough reference that's essential to anyone beginning in OpenGL development. Topics are explained well and aren't made to sound more complicated than they really are. I'd give it a 10 but I have to bring it down to an 9 cuz the source code consists of 21 empty zip files. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN DOWNLOAD THE SOURCE CODE?
Editor's note: Source code is available at http://glbook.gamedev.net for those books that have empty zip files.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Brilliant book, but a pity I had to download the sourcecode.

(There are also some other great books in the series).
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
I haven't bought this book, yet, I'm saving up my money first. So instead, I've been cracking the book open at the local bookstore, and it's already answered tons of my questions. First Rate.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Yeah, great book for learning OpenGL although it does require a good understanding of C++. But this should be expected because the books purpose is to teach the reader the OpenGL API.

It covers most things that you could possibly need, to develop in OpenGL. What makes it better is that it is one of the few books to cover OpenGL from the perspective of a games developer and therefore is useful for showing how to implement OpenGL's features into a game. The book also teaches the reader how to implement the none-graphical features of DirectX into a game.

I think this book is great and in combination with Nehe's site have helped me understand OpenGL.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
This is simply top notch material, just what I needed. Everything is easy to follow and I'd say it's now the best openGL book out there! tricks of the wgpg: DirectX :: OpenGL game programming: OpenGL get a copy asap!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
This is an excellent book. Very much to-the-point so not exactly for a real beginner, but if you have the aptitude you can pick things up fairly easy. Be warned though, there are a number of errors ranging from simple grammatical/spelling errors to errors in the code snippets (most likely an oversight -- which makes me wonder where the technical editor was). Once again, you should have a semi-decent understanding of at least C to be able to see these code flaws. But overall, this makes for excellent learning material. I hope a 2nd Edition comes out soon fixing the typographical errors (as well as the CD).
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
The CD was made by NeHe but I'm pretty sure it wasn't his fault there is no source on there, but the publishers! They forgot to put it on there after Jeff finished the CD :)
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
I finally got my hands on a copy and this book is great! Good job Kevin and Dave! My CD does have empty zip files as well, but that is ok. If you want to learn how to use OpenGL then buy this book!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Hello OpenGL brothers of the world. This is TheSupremeCan and I'd like to say this book is wonderful. I've been programming for only 3 years, because I'm only 15, but this book is a great step. However the CD sucks, or at least my copy. The source code is missing and the DirectX 8 sdk doesn't work. I'd like to see this fixed.

-editor's note: the source code is available online.
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
I'll give the book 5 stars but the CD I'll give 3 stars because all the SOURCE CODE is missing!!! Why? NeHe said he made it himself and that is was sooo good. Yeah all the demos and sdk's but hwere's the source???
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
The book is great and easy to read. The only problem i found was that the source code never showed up on the winzip files. Is anyone else having this problem? I hope they plan to fix it if it is a problem w/ the cd and not just my computer! But besides that a really good book!!!!
Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Well i too have ordered my copy of this book, i hope it delivers what is promised but it looks damned good, and especially because jeff from nehe has been working hard on the cd along with many other people.

Update to come when i get my book over here in the UK.

Dec 31 1979 06:00 PM
Thank you, God! And I mean that with all sincerity. A book that finally understands the needs of those who have little idea of how to program graphics. OpenGL is the ideal language, at least for me, to code graphics, and with this book I feel like a serious 3D programmer. A great writing style that simplifies concepts that other books somehow make difficult. Those of you who wish to know some DirectX (apart from Direct3D) will also benefit from this text, but only in relation to OpenGL.

Very helpful commented clear code with compiled executables incase you can't install the SDK correctly. The thing that prevent it from getting full marks is the fact that the source for the examples has to be got online, but I will forgive them for that! ;)
The authors expertise shines through with the clarity and simplicity of the text. I wonder if id software will hire me with my flash demo created with the knowledge gained from this book???

Save yourself some cash, buy this single book on OpenGL coding with C/C++ under Win32 and also save yourself months of time!