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How bad is this book?

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The Zen of Direct3d Game Programming It has gotten bad reviews...which I didn''t know till after I bought it. To me the book seems great so far, but having no prior expierence in graphics programming I do not know what tecniques to avoid. For now I just want to learn 2d and do some basic games using that. The next chapter starts using 2d with DirectX, up till now its been using the GDI. So to anyone that has read this book, do I continue and just keep in my mind that things can be done other ways (as with everything in life)? or, do I get a different book before I get to far?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Personally, I would recommend against the book. The problem is that you don''t know enough to separate the good parts from the bad. There are lots of other books out there - why cloud your thinking?

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Yes, I did find lots of bad reviews for this book, although I totaly disagree with them now. I thought it was a great book to learn on! I am now very good at 2D and 3D games, this book basicaly brought me into the world of graphics (DirectX).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I read the book *after* I already had considerable experience with D3D. From that point of view, I found the book very bad.

The problem with people learning from a bad book is that they are not in the position to know how bad it is.

It''s not a horrible book, but it''s probably the worst I have seen personally.

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Anyone want to recommend a better book of the same level? I actually bought Beginning Game Programming with D3D (title?), but after a couple chapters I returned it for Zen, and find it a much better read.
Of course, I am in the same boat...I''m an experienced engineer, but a beginning game programmer, so I don''t know *what* exactly makes this book bad.

Why didnt you experienced guys like it?

-c

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The bad part is the way Walsh teaches you how to do 2D graphics with Direct3d. Using IDirect3DDevice8::GetBackBuffer along with IDirect3DSurface8 and IDirect3DDevice8::CopyRects is a horrible way to do 2d. The proper way is to either 1. Use Tetured Quads(the best way to go nowadays), 2. Use ID3DXSprite(basically #1 wrapped up by D3DX), or 3. Forget about D3D and learn DirectDraw(DDraw is easier to learn and understand, but you have to do a lot of thing by yourself[drawing lines,loading images, etc...], plus, DirectDraw is becoming outdated). Most people will tell you(and their right) that #1 is the way to go, because you can take advantage of the amazing hardware acceleration of today's cards(== huge speed boost), and use D3D's special effects(like alpha blending), while still being 2d.
In conclusion, you can safely ignore Part III of the Zen book(except for the setup code and maybe the FPS code ), because it is pure crap.

p.s. Yes I have this book
EDIT: Now that I think of it, the Chapter on Quake-style consoles might be worth a look as well.
------------------------------
BASIC programmers don't die, they just GOSUB and don't return.

[edited by - GarlandIX on August 28, 2002 3:09:27 PM]

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TO a new person to 3d Zen of Direct3d isn''t that bad but it just leaves ya hanging, and fixing his bugs his good for practice it''s not a BAD book but not really good I give it a decent buy it for like 30 dollars or less if your a noob it''ll be helpful if you aren''t the ndont buy it. I''d suggest you to buy Game Programming All In One. Then get that programming RPG games book.

Eric Wright o0Programmer0o




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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Personally, I would recommend against the book. The problem is that you don''t know enough to separate the good parts from the bad. There are lots of other books out there - why cloud your thinking?


I thought the book was good for beginners. I guess you have a point there, sometimes we don''t know enough to tell. So how does one overcome this? In order to know, you have to learn, but if you don''t learn the right way, you won''t know what''s good. So you keep on running in circle.

So, which book is considered "good"? Is learning from books a good way to learn game programming? Is it better if one takes some courses? Or is it just about experience, the more you mess with it, the better you are.

Thanks.

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Personally, I though the Zen book was really good, it is about the best book I have brought so far (excluding Tricks; by Lamothe). I can''t wait for the second part to come out, "Zen of Direct3D II: Back with a Zengeance" which is out next March I think? Anyway its on amazon.co.uk (no reviews yet obviously).

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actually, are there any other suggestions on a book that teaches how to do 2d w/ D3D? I learned DirectDraw w/ LaMothe's Tips and Tricks, but I'm seeing that DDraw is fast becoming outdated. I'd still like to do more with 2d, and it seems like it would be a good way to ease into 3d.

[edited by - awwnelson on August 28, 2002 6:34:20 PM]

[edited by - awwnelson on August 28, 2002 6:34:54 PM]

[edited by - awwnelson on August 28, 2002 6:35:38 PM]

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