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supo

Is Lamothe's new book Tricks 2(the 3D Book) good for me?

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My experience in programming is limited to beginner to intermediate knowled in visual basic and beginner level in C++. I want to buy a book and I am thinking of Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus-the new book from Lamothe. I like to get into the meat of things and prefer learning by diving in straightaway. I have gone past learning things like If...Then... and Else and so on Is this book too difficult for a somebody like me. Does it really take things from the beginning? I have already an introductory C++ book and currently reading Game Programming all in one. Pls advice. I know there is the earlier Tricks 1 covering mainly 2D FROM lAMOTHE but I am thinking of diving straight into the main stuff.

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The book assumes that you are already have tons of experience with C, and have previously worked on 2D games. At least, that's what the introduction says.

[edited by - twix on July 3, 2003 8:13:45 PM]

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I really love LaMothe''s books,but I don''t know if this is a dive-in sorta book. It won''t teach you directX or OpenGL or anything like that, it teaches alot of the kind of stuff thats INSIDE directX, or Direct3D anyhow... so its not for the faint of heart. Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, also by LaMothe, might be a better start IMHO. Also, while Tricks of the 3D...2 is the official sequal to Tricks of the 3D...1, its in many ways the interim spiritual sequal to Tricks of the Windows...1 until the official sequel arrives.

Ravyne, NYN Interactive Entertainment
HTTP://nyn.studio42games.com

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The book assumes competent C abilities. It also assumes the user is familiar with common 2d techniques and optimizations, and some other general areas that only come with experience. Absolutely the best book I've ever read. However, most likely a horrible choice if you have no experience in C and more relevantly, graphics. As another posted mentioned, the original Tricks of the Windows game programming gurus would likely be a great first book, though.

[edited by - haro on July 3, 2003 8:36:01 PM]

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quote:
Original post by TheOne1
when you say C, do you mean both C or C++?


As Andre says, "C+." Basically all the code is procedural and mixes C and C++ (like local declaration of the counting variable in for loops (C++) and using printf() (C)).

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Thanks for all the advice. I think I am getting the idea. It looks like Tricks 2 assumes a lot beyond beginner level knowledge of C++. I will go for the Tricks 1 book.
What I haven''t had mentioned is whether Tricks 1 starts things form the beginning.
Thanks to all

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Tricks 1 starts from the beginning and goes into quite a bit of detail. Some implementations are left "up to the reader" though so you''ll have to work alot while reading it, which is also a good thing in my mind.

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quote:
Original post by Spearhawk
How is his coding style in this book? I really didn''t like the way his BOB engine from WGPFD was structurate (everything in the same file etc).



With all due respect this is one of the most illogical reasons to dislike a book, or an author. These books aren''t there for you to cut and paste into your projects. The author''s implementation is there as a sample implementation and nothing more.

If you can read the code, then its more than sufficient. I''d actually prefer pseudocode so that arguments like this couldn''t even arise in the first place, but the author might make mental slips while writing the pseudocode which ''real'' code prevents from happening.

If you want to know about the ''style'' of the code in the book then be ready for a blast. I''ve found at least 20 contradictions between what is stated in the book and the ''source code'' on the CD. One was obviously updated after the other. I assume the CD code was updated after the book was completed and he wanted to polish things up.

I have written an entire software renderer now, and am proud to say I have not used a single line of his code. I personally don''t like his naming or formatting coventions, and most importantly -- You don''t learn anything unless you do it yourself. Even though it might seem trivial to write up a C++ matrix class, vector class, etc, etc.. it is actually extremely educational even if done for the Xth time.

In all, if anything. Complain that the concepts aren''t well explained or that things are left conceptually vague, but there is no reason to ever complain about the sample implementations. They''re there for reference, and more commonly -- idiots who want to cut n paste their way to Quake 6.

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quote:
Original post by haro
With all due respect this is one of the most illogical reasons to dislike a book, or an author. These books aren''t there for you to cut and paste into your projects. The author''s implementation is there as a sample implementation and nothing more.


I didn''t say I disliked the book (I do, but that''s most likely casue I ended up with a badly translated copy, that fell apart on me. That and the fact that you weren''t actuly "taught" much, just how to use his BOB engine, not how to write one), I siad that I disliked the BOB engine.
The reason I asked if his coding style was still like that is becasue I find it easier to read and understand code who''s author has a simelar coding style to me. I certanly don''t plan to cut and copy the code, after all this book is about understanding not achieving, but if I need to look things up I would rather look in a tidy, corectly named h/cpp file than in "everythingIsHere.h/cpp".


--
Spearhawk Productions
Project Andromeda

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quote:
Original post by supo
Thanks haro, But what do you think about the book. Was it helpful(and by how much?) in writing your software renderer?


About 101% helpful. All of the math, theory and information on perspective calculation, clipping techniques, etc, etc.. were all combined in one source. I couldn't have asked for more and this is all just in the first 700 pages of the book, its an 1800 page book. TOT3DGPG is the best books I've ever read and is loaded with practically all requisite information on 3d graphics and in one source.


[edited by - haro on July 5, 2003 7:42:17 PM]

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The book is excellent so far IMO. I''ve found the demos very useful as well.

Authors'' coding styles is something you have to deal with as always. K&R had their style, R. Stevens had his and all his extra little routines, etc etc on-and-on.. so-on-and-so-forth. The important thing is the information, which this book is by no means lacking.

Personally, I like LaMothe''s humorous style and I easily filter out his every now and then ''self-aggrandizement'' and treat it more as humor than anything.


.zfod

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