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lazypixel

OpenGL Hawkins/Astle OpenGL Books

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Hi, I'm a first year student on a computer games development course in which we will soon be studying OpenGL. I figured it would be good to get a head-start and become familiar with the subject before the lectures start next semester, so I've been looking into getting a good book. I've got a fairly good grasp of C and have done some basic OpenGL stuff before (spinning cubes and the like) using online tutorials but I really hate that way of 'learning', i.e. copy and paste 15 blocks of code and then pat yourself on the back while you watch the pretty colours! I've done a search on these forums and found that the above book "OpenGL Game Programming" by Kevin Hawkins and Dave Astle seems to get a lot of praise. I gather these guys are GD.net head honchos too? Is this still to best book for starting out or is there an alternative now? I spotted this newly released book in the books section, by the same authors. Suprisingly I can't find any information about it on the forums. Could someone tell me what the deal is with the two books? I notice Beginning OpenGL Game Programming is a lot thinner, does it still cover a fair amount of material in comparison to the older book? Given that it's by the same authors, is it a more up to date and refined version of the earlier book? Basically, I'm just asking which of the books will serve to provide me a solid introduction to understanding and using OpenGL and also help me to get a few simple but complete game demos off the ground. I don't want to go way in-depth and buy an expensive book that wont be useful for a year. Your help is appreciated, Thanks. [edited by - lazypixel on April 20, 2004 12:37:20 PM]

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In my opinion, I own OpenGL Game Programming and I like it a lot. It covers many game programming aspects, but doesn't go deep in it. This way, you'll know how to do many things in OpenGL and if you want to go deeper in a subject you can search for more information. For example, the terrain demo is very basic, it takes a heightmap, create a terrain with a triangle strip, add some basic water that go up and down and voila ! No fancy stuff. If you want to look at the sample code that come with the book, you can find it here. This might help you choose if you want it or not.

hope that helps !
Matt

edit: wrong link for cd sources

[edited by - lemurion on April 20, 2004 12:33:47 PM]

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Thanks for the help Matt. Looking at some random code from the book I can tell it's definately well above the quality of code I can churn out myself without help but I can at least follow 90% of what I've seen.

I guess I'm wrongly assuming that OpenGL Game Programming is automatically more complicated and in-depth just because it is a more substantial book. However, the fact that the new book is by the same authors and newly published makes me a bit hesistant still. The title Beginning OpenGL Game Programming also seems appropriate for what I'm after. Please could someone tell me whetherthis new book matches or surpasses the suppoedly great original?

I guess it's win/win really, but I might as well save some money and purchase the newer book if it's any good.

[edited by - lazypixel on April 20, 2004 12:54:16 PM]

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iirc Dave has said that the new book covers everything in the old book just without the Win32 stuff at the start of the old book, which cuts alot of pages, plus the new book is updated as well.

Basicaly, go for the new book, its an improvement over the old one.

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