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Raab314159

Usefullness of Game Programming Books

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Hi, Are there any people out there that are now professional game programmers thanks to "game programming books" (''Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus'' etc)? I am looking for the fastest path to professional game programming, but they say that most game programming books are only appropriate for "amateurs"...

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Is that "amateurs" or "beginners"? There''s a difference. I''ve seen some stuff by "amateurs" that makes stuff released by the industry look like something they whipped up on an Etch-a-Sketch. If you mean "beginners" not all of them fit into that category. Try the Game Programming Gems series for example. Definitely not for beginners.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Of course there are. My book shelf is full of them. Even a mediocre book can have a nugget or gem you never thought of before. And then there are those that are just plain chock full of goodness like the aforementioned "Gems".

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Most books out there cheat you from your money. Anything that teaches a specific technique is usually worthless. For example TERRAIN RENDERING BOOX AND RPG BOOKS. However, most useful books I have purchased have been Level Of Detail For Computer Graphics. Computer Graphics Principles and Practice and reference books.

Anything that teaches you mmorpgs for dummies in 24h is usually pretty worthless.

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I''m about as far from being a Pro Game Dev as one can be without being a complete dunce, but I''ll add my two cents anyway. I''ve been slowly working through Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus (lamothe) and MUD Game Programming (penton), and these books have been very helpful. The latter is narrow in scope, but I disagree with the idea that a specialized book is worthless -- Rob Penton''s book teaches important topics like sockets, multithreading, etc. And it seems to be if there''s a specific topic you want to learn really well, the specialized route is the way to go. Just look at all the fabulous, highly specific articles and columns here on GameDev.Net -- can''t tell me they''re useless just because they don''t apply to every programmer and situation.

My hardcore programming knowledge may be limited, but in my view, for any Pro or Wannabe-Pro Developer the goal should be to arm yourself with as many tools and bags-o-tricks as possible, so that you always have the right tool for the job no matter what comes up. Start with a general focus -- learn C++, Win32, DirectX, etc, etc, and then begin accumulating a wealth of highly specialized tools for the various challenges you''ll face in the industry.

****************************************

Brian Lacy
ForeverDream Studios

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"I create. Therefore I am."

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my idea of a good programming book is the one that teaches fundementals, not protocols or APIs, because unlike the latter, fundementals do not change (much). So, I usually get books on math, phsyics, algorithms (me gusta leer Gems ) and stuff like that.

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If your looking to become a professional programmer then I recomment Scott Meyers "Effective C++" series which is packed full of tips and tricks that professionals use along with why you should use them and examples.

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