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RS_Hybrid

....Andre Lamonthe....

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RS_Hybrid    122
-I''ve started to read his Tricks of the Windows game programming guru''s 2nd edition, now for some reason although i''ve seen some positive feedback on his book, i''m just wondering why people say that he doesn''t really teach you anything. Whenever i check out the MSDN, the stuff in the MSDN matches along with what he states in the book(except for the fact that Lamonthe makes his book more enjoyable). (Please don''t flame me i''m just stating an opinion and plus i''m a noob to game development) but is it his teaching style that you all don''t like or...is it something else? I prefer reading his stuff rather then read the boring MSDN which most of the time you have to dig through hundreds of different functions in there just to find what you need and for a noob, its hard to find exactly what works for you and Lamonthe seems to fix that problem (for me at least) by showing me what i need and what i don''t need. I''m not saying he''s the best but, is it really better to spend countless times digging in the MSDN just to learn the DX and Win32 API? after all you''re only learning the API, its not like you''re really programming, the API doesn''t teach you the algorithms that you need to draw a lines, polygons or other shapes using pixels, you gotta come up with formula''s to do such things and the API is only a tool and to make matters worse, the DX API is always upgrading no theory`

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Bad Maniac    252
I too enjoy Andrés books, and his style of writing. And also, having exchanged email''s with him a few times, over both topics in his books, and topics not covered, I can tell you that he definately knows what he''s talking about.

I think most people dislike him because of his way to write code in his books. They want a fully optimised, perfectly working code library from the book, so they can make a game by copy and paste, but they don''t want to learn anything.
Andrés code is extremely easy to read, and understand, it is not in any way optimised for used in a real game, and he usually states this somewhere in the book. His code is there as an example, to learn from. but to use it, you have to understand it, so you can write your own version.

This is my own personal view, nothing more.

The more I think, the more confussed I get.

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jfclavette    1058
My opinion is the other way around.

I think André code is unclear, his variables sometimes have meaningless names (on top that most of them are globals) etc.

He uses absolutely useless optimizations such as global variables ("Because they are faster") and bitshifts instead of 2^n divisions... which, in realitty, do not make sense in any beginner's code, especially since some of the algorithm he uses are nowhere near decent and could have used much better optimization themselves.

Sure, his style is light and easy to read but, after the first jokes, you grow tired of him talking about his cars and how big of a dick he has...

He is also blamed of not using OOP but I can't hold it to him, he never said he did.

Note that all refers to the "Tricks" book with the 3D spaceship on it that uses almost only DirectDraw if my memory is good. heh.


[edited by - xMcBainx on August 8, 2003 12:45:14 PM]

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sSimontis    100
It depends for me. I normally find his books enjoyable to read. He knows what he is talking about, and proves it in his writing. however, I like to know just about everything there is to know on the subject, so I find that his books lack the simple explanations I like in the for Dummies book. But Windows Game programming for Dummies looks very good. I picked it up in a bookstore and looked through it, and it is my style.

Scott Simontis
If it wasn''t for C, we''d be using BASI, PASAL and OBOL

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Ratman    181
The very first gurus book is what really got me into game programming. So I will always have a little place in my heart for lamothe. His books are straightforward and to the point. You can skim a chapter, see how to draw something to the screen, play a sound, or whatever. And I think thats what is important for beginners.

But that being said, his coding style is horrible IMO. It works for him with the type of games he writes, but I just think it would fall apart in anything more than a dig-dug clone. Like mentined above, global variables everywhere, pointless optimizations, and some very strange and flatout wrong things (I love how he includes friggin <iostream.h> in almost every file and never uses anything from it).

When someone asks me what they should do to get into game development, I usually say learn a language, get a lamothe book, write a game or two, throw the book out and buy design patterns and game architecture and design.

[edited by - ratman on August 8, 2003 1:29:25 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
There are a number of issues to deal with when talking about lamothes series of books.

The first thing you need to understand is that his books are a great first step at getting into game development, however if you own one you should not need to purchase another. Andre''s made a very bad habbit of rehashing information from his previous titles and integrating them into his newer books. A prime example of this would be the difference between Tricks of the windows game programming gurus and Game programming for dummies. Other than some minor fix''s and enhancements and the addition of a couple chapters it was virtually the same book. This is completely unacceptable people want the next step but all they recieve are steps 1-3 over and over.

Which leads me into the second problem. In Andres'' latest book Tricks of the windows game programming gurus 2 Andre focus''s on Software rendering. And lets face it people software rendering started to slowly die out after the voodoo 1 video card hit the market. Yes you can learn alot about 3d theory doing a software renderer, howevever once you introduce a 3d accelerated video card into the mix you now have to re-orient yourself to the way things work with this hardware. And believe me they are completely different. If you want to learn 3d theory I''ll point you at the books Real Time Rendering, Principals of Computer graphics. If you want to learn software rendering let me point you at the bible of software rendering, Michael Abrash''s The Black book it costs $20 on amazon so save yourself $30.

Andres'' also built up a boat load of pre-conceptions which are based on how the game industry used to think of things 5-10 years ago. Things such as "Don''t use inheritance" or "C++ is slow" and his quick optimization techniques are virtually useless if you don''t know where the bottle neck in your application is. Times have changed, C++ is now used in the majority of the game industry and if C is used it''s typically used with an Object Oriented approach.

In my opinion Andre''s completely lost touch with the Gaming industry. The proof is in the pudding, his newly released book is a re-hash of technology that was widely used durring the Quake 1 and Voodo 1 era, his console project is based on technology that was new over 10 years ago. Yes it is possible to learn some things from his books which is why I still reccomend Tricks of the windows game programming gurus 1 as the first book for any intrested game developer. However after finishing this book I often reccomend the following books in order to make the budding game developer into a better, more educated, and well rounded programmer:

C++ for game programmers.
Real Time Rendering (first or second edition)
Computer graphics Principals & practice.
Any book by Jim Blinn.
Design Patters (commonly refered to as the gang of 4 book)
Code Complete.
3d Game engine design.
Game programming gems 1 & 2 (3 sucks).

These are the books which contain the information needed for all those kids who want to make it in to game industry. Andres books are a first step if all you do is stay on the first step you never get any where.

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RS_Hybrid    122
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
There are a number of issues to deal with when talking about lamothes series of books.

The first thing you need to understand is that his books are a great first step at getting into game development, however if you own one you should not need to purchase another. Andre''s made a very bad habbit of rehashing information from his previous titles and integrating them into his newer books. A prime example of this would be the difference between Tricks of the windows game programming gurus and Game programming for dummies. Other than some minor fix''s and enhancements and the addition of a couple chapters it was virtually the same book. This is completely unacceptable people want the next step but all they recieve are steps 1-3 over and over.

Which leads me into the second problem. In Andres'' latest book Tricks of the windows game programming gurus 2 Andre focus''s on Software rendering. And lets face it people software rendering started to slowly die out after the voodoo 1 video card hit the market. Yes you can learn alot about 3d theory doing a software renderer, howevever once you introduce a 3d accelerated video card into the mix you now have to re-orient yourself to the way things work with this hardware. And believe me they are completely different. If you want to learn 3d theory I''ll point you at the books Real Time Rendering, Principals of Computer graphics. If you want to learn software rendering let me point you at the bible of software rendering, Michael Abrash''s The Black book it costs $20 on amazon so save yourself $30.

Andres'' also built up a boat load of pre-conceptions which are based on how the game industry used to think of things 5-10 years ago. Things such as "Don''t use inheritance" or "C++ is slow" and his quick optimization techniques are virtually useless if you don''t know where the bottle neck in your application is. Times have changed, C++ is now used in the majority of the game industry and if C is used it''s typically used with an Object Oriented approach.

In my opinion Andre''s completely lost touch with the Gaming industry. The proof is in the pudding, his newly released book is a re-hash of technology that was widely used durring the Quake 1 and Voodo 1 era, his console project is based on technology that was new over 10 years ago. Yes it is possible to learn some things from his books which is why I still reccomend Tricks of the windows game programming gurus 1 as the first book for any intrested game developer. However after finishing this book I often reccomend the following books in order to make the budding game developer into a better, more educated, and well rounded programmer:

C++ for game programmers.
Real Time Rendering (first or second edition)
Computer graphics Principals & practice.
Any book by Jim Blinn.
Design Patters (commonly refered to as the gang of 4 book)
Code Complete.
3d Game engine design.
Game programming gems 1 & 2 (3 sucks).

These are the books which contain the information needed for all those kids who want to make it in to game industry. Andres books are a first step if all you do is stay on the first step you never get any where.



Excellent Argument!! I''m glad you''ve brough all those points up, because honestly i didn''t really know where to go but for some reason i thought that his book tricks 2nd edition wasn''t too bad. Now i understand things better and thanx for the recommendations! I''ll definately buy those books because I''ve started to build a tiny small code/game library (not that i have many books but i''m starting). I''d like to say thank you for clearing up the idea very well for me. Also I was wondering...i''ve often heard that using virtual functions is slow, although i am a noob whenever i''m building a basic game, do you think it''d hurt if i used virtual functions. I know how to use polymorphism but should i use that in my code as well? I did read from his books that he said "Don''t use multiple inheritance" but i mean since the C age is slowly dissappearing will i get any performance decrease in my games for having such things in there. I''ve been wondering exactly how do you learn to know when to optomize your code. As a noob, i don''t have those skills. Also I''d like to know, how do i learn about for instance function overheads...or loop overheads because i''ve been running through his book and also through this forum and i notice that sometimes people will speak about function calls. Whenever you keep calling a function or loop, it crushes the cpu...first what''s that all about, i do know the basics of c++ but the books that i''ve read don''t contain anything about function overheads, but i do know about the Stack and how function arguments are loaded on the stack and such...a clarification there would greatly help. Last but not least, what do you guys think about the MSDN. I mean, i''ve heard people say "Well i prefer learning from the MSDN then the books" honestly i find the MSDN to be cryptic, and confusing. Maybe its because i''m not familiar with it, but do you have any guidelines, or suggestions?

no theory`

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by RS_Hybrid
Excellent Argument!! I''m glad you''ve brough all those points up, because honestly i didn''t really know where to go but for some reason i thought that his book tricks 2nd edition wasn''t too bad. Now i understand things better and thanx for the recommendations! I''ll definately buy those books because I''ve started to build a tiny small code/game library (not that i have many books but i''m starting). I''d like to say thank you for clearing up the idea very well for me. Also I was wondering...i''ve often heard that using virtual functions is slow, although i am a noob whenever i''m building a basic game, do you think it''d hurt if i used virtual functions. I know how to use polymorphism but should i use that in my code as well? I did read from his books that he said "Don''t use multiple inheritance" but i mean since the C age is slowly dissappearing will i get any performance decrease in my games for having such things in there. I''ve been wondering exactly how do you learn to know when to optomize your code. As a noob, i don''t have those skills. Also I''d like to know, how do i learn about for instance function overheads...or loop overheads because i''ve been running through his book and also through this forum and i notice that sometimes people will speak about function calls. Whenever you keep calling a function or loop, it crushes the cpu...first what''s that all about, i do know the basics of c++ but the books that i''ve read don''t contain anything about function overheads, but i do know about the Stack and how function arguments are loaded on the stack and such...a clarification there would greatly help. Last but not least, what do you guys think about the MSDN. I mean, i''ve heard people say "Well i prefer learning from the MSDN then the books" honestly i find the MSDN to be cryptic, and confusing. Maybe its because i''m not familiar with it, but do you have any guidelines, or suggestions?

no theory`


With all these questions you have I''d suggest you pick up C++ for game programmers as your next book. It contains all the information you require on virtual function overhead, examples on how to profile your applications, and other things such as a efficent memory manager for your games among other useful information. I''d explain it here but I honestly don''t have the time right now. So goto the store & take a look at the book.

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theObserver    122
Umm interesting thread.

My first game programming book was Jim Adams Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX. It wasn’t the best choice to pick as a pure game novice because he didn’t explain the basic concepts very well leaving me feeling like a cut and paste programmer and I was soon forced to seek help from internet tutorials to supplement the knowledge in the book. After reading about half way thought the book, I was forced to leave town for a month for work.

When I returned I decided to restart my game programming endeavors by buying new book, hopefully one offering better cover of the basic concepts. I settled on LaMothes'' Tricks of the windows game programming gurus , second edition. And I feel that I picked the right book. He explains the basic concepts well and while I do become tired of his comments after a while, they do serve to keep the going light. And I would have no hesitation in advising anyone else wishing to learn game programming to buy the book.

However after saying that, I very quickly found myself rewriting his code into the C++ style of Jim Adams. But overall, I am happy that I took the time to buy the book.

Now that I am nearly finished laMothe book my thoughts are turning towards what book to buy next. I have the same questions as RS_Hybrid so I will make sure to take a look at C++ for game programmers before I make any decision.

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nswan    122
Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization - was going to be the next book I was going to buy but now I''m not sure. What other book could i get to learn direct3d as i''ve been learning directdraw with game programming for dummies.

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WiseElben    250
He sounds cool. Mabey I''ll buy on his books. He is THE ONE who is making XGameStation.

I never ever understand MSDN. Ever.




WiseElben.com - Game programming tutorials, articles, and community.

E-mail:wiseelben@wiseelben.com
AIM: WiseElben
ICQ: 299127026

[edited by - GameDev Staff on September 27, 1989 9X:58:97 XMS] For violating Article 43 Page 456 Paragraph 251 Line .042]

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WiseElben    250
quote:


In my opinion Andre's completely lost touch with the Gaming industry. The proof is in the pudding, his newly released book is a re-hash of technology that was widely used durring the Quake 1 and Voodo 1 era, his console project is based on technology that was new over 10 years ago. Yes it is possible to learn some things from his books which is why I still reccomend Tricks of the windows game programming gurus 1 as the first book for any intrested game developer. However after finishing this book I often reccomend the following books in order to make the budding game developer into a better, more educated, and well rounded programmer:



So thats why the XGameStation is 16bit...

Mabey he's just writing these books for money. I mean, look at how many of 'em he has out.

Anonymous Poster: I'll check out your suggestions.
EDIT:
quote:
Game programming gems 1 & 2 (3 sucks).
Are they sequals or just remixes?




WiseElben.com - Game programming tutorials, articles, and community.

E-mail:wiseelben@wiseelben.com
AIM: WiseElben
ICQ: 299127026

[edited by - GameDev Staff on September 27, 1989 9X:58:97 XMS] For violating Article 43 Page 456 Paragraph 251 Line .042]

[edited by - WiseElben on August 8, 2003 7:47:09 PM]

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twix    636
quote:
Original post by WiseElben
He sounds cool. Mabey I'll buy on his books. He is THE ONE who is making XGameStation.


Have you seen the video on the project website? It's so sad; I can't help but feel sorry for him. He's obviously inescapably trapped in the 80s.

[edited by - twix on August 8, 2003 7:57:38 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Game programming gems 1 & 2 (3 sucks).


I disagree, although 3 doesn''t have Gems that are as immediately useful as 1 and 2 (especially 1, which has a lot of "foundation" articles), it is in many ways a more interesting read because of it.

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Dralion    122
I've looked at LaMonthe's books and in many of them he seems to suffer from a terminal case of "Windows-itis". Relying excessively on VC++ and DirectX.

I've been half-tempted to buy a book on developing games using LINUX as the code may work better for me.

PS. I am considering picking up an X-Station as a Christmas present.

You''ve never seen anyone like me, and you''ll never see anyone like me again!

[edited by - Dralion on August 9, 2003 8:52:35 AM]

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twix    636
quote:
Original post by Dralion
I''ve looked at LaMonthe''s books and in many of them he seems to suffer from a terminal case of "Windows-itis". Relying excessively on VC++ and DirectX.


What is "excessively"? Either he uses DirectX, or he doesn''t. And if he uses DirectX, it follows that he must use Windows. Whether you like it or not, as of now "alternative" OSes are a completely negligible factor in the gaming market. When you come right down to it, Windows and consoles are all that matters.

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Sir_Spritely    122
I worked off his old Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus book. I found this book a fantastic wealth of knowledge and an amazing resource for initially getting into game programming.

I am now also going through his latest book Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus. There is so much information in his books it is amazing.

However! After spending time learning C++ and the more modern approach, learning DirectX9 and 3D programming from other sources I now spend my time questionning rather than learning from his new book.

However one question stays with me whilst going through his book, that being is this actually currently how software developers create their latest games?

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Dralion    122
quote:
Original post by twix
What is "excessively"? Either he uses DirectX, or he doesn''t. And if he uses DirectX, it follows that he must use Windows. Whether you like it or not, as of now "alternative" OSes are a completely negligible factor in the gaming market. When you come right down to it, Windows and consoles are all that matters.


Maybe what I meant to say is he relies on VC++ too much. I know you can program DirectX w/o VC++. The version of Dev-C++ I use has DirectX templates on board.


You''''ve never seen anyone like me, and you''''ll never see anyone like me again!

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Myopic Rhino    2317
quote:
Original post by WiseElben
quote:
Game programming gems 1 & 2 (3 sucks).
Are they sequals or just remixes?
Neither. Each is a collection of unique articles. There''s no repetition between volumes.

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Rishtar    122
My first game development book was Lamothe''s isometric game programming with directx (forget the exact title), which was given to me as a Christmas present. I found the book to be ridiculously easy to follow, and extremely helpful. I did have a basic knowledge of the WIN32 API already, so that might have had a significant effect on my learning time, but now I''m doing stuff on my own that he didn''t even mention in his book, using MSDN for additional info and the power of my own brain. Nothing makes me prouder than thinking of something I haven''t seen yet and getting it to work, sometimes on the first try. In short, I think Lamothe''s books are meant to be the first step, since from what I''ve seen and what you all say, all of his books are pretty similar. At least the one I have teaches a little bit of Direct3D, though I find it a bit hard to follow. That might just be me though.

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OrangyTang    1298
quote:
Original post by Rishtar
My first game development book was Lamothe''s isometric game programming with directx (forget the exact title), which was given to me as a Christmas present. I found the book to be ridiculously easy to follow, and extremely helpful.


You mean this book? Thats not one of Lamothe''s, the author is Ernest Pazera, mod of the isometric forum here. A good book though

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iNfuSeD    128
What is everyone''s problem with lamothe? i''m sure the coding he uses in his books are not what he actively uses in his own projects. Its ment to be easy to read and understand.
The first programming book i ever bought was Windows game programming for dummies. Sure alot of the information is old and out dated but its still very useful study material to get a feel for how things should be done... and i think that is exactly what LaMothe intended it to be.
His books have helped countless number of noobs get an introduction to game developing and that is one of the hardest things to introduce, it being such a broad field. The man has given more to the community of game development than most of you have. His heart is dedicated to the growth and flourishing of the art and you people feel a need to come out and bash him for it. I''d like to see you write as many books as he has, redundant information or not. Sure He''s making money off them but have you noticed how he funds events such as the XGDX? Its all coming back to the community in the long run. Chill out and find something else to argue about. We''re hear to learn about programming.. not about how much people are jealous of LaMothe''s success.
Hard work pays off yea know

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twix    636
quote:
Original post by iNfuSeD
What is everyone's problem with lamothe? i'm sure the coding he uses in his books are not what he actively uses in his own projects. Its ment to be easy to read and understand.
The first programming book i ever bought was Windows game programming for dummies. Sure alot of the information is old and out dated but its still very useful study material to get a feel for how things should be done... and i think that is exactly what LaMothe intended it to be.
His books have helped countless number of noobs get an introduction to game developing and that is one of the hardest things to introduce, it being such a broad field. The man has given more to the community of game development than most of you have. His heart is dedicated to the growth and flourishing of the art and you people feel a need to come out and bash him for it. I'd like to see you write as many books as he has, redundant information or not. Sure He's making money off them but have you noticed how he funds events such as the XGDX? Its all coming back to the community in the long run. Chill out and find something else to argue about. We're hear to learn about programming.. not about how much people are jealous of LaMothe's success.
Hard work pays off yea know

WTF? You'd think that you were Andre with the defensiveness of that post. Nobody's bashing LaMothe, they're pointing out what's wrong with his books. There's nothing wrong with that. Even if he ever actually reads this, I would assume that he can handle reasonable criticism. I'm sure he doesn't need you to handle it for him.

[edited by - twix on August 10, 2003 11:10:16 AM]

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Myopic Rhino    2317
quote:
Original post by OrangyTang
quote:
Original post by Rishtar
My first game development book was Lamothe''s isometric game programming with directx (forget the exact title), which was given to me as a Christmas present. I found the book to be ridiculously easy to follow, and extremely helpful.
You mean this book? Thats not one of Lamothe''s, the author is Ernest Pazera, mod of the isometric forum here. A good book though
Thanks for mentioning that. I''m sure I speak for Ernie and every other Premier author when I say how aggravating it is to see people refer to our books as LaMothe''s books, when in most cases, he had very little to do with them.
quote:
Original post by iNfuSeD
Sure He''s making money off them but have you noticed how he funds events such as the XGDX?
He''s not funding the XGDX, Premier Press is.

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