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blanky

[MDX] Books

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Hey guys, I was looking for some new books and I came across a couple by Tom Miller which I'm sure I'll get but most of them are pretty outdated (2003/2004). Normally I wouldn't care but seeing as DirectX is updated a lot and even more since this is MDX (work in progress), I figured I'd get something pretty updated, I'm learning/know C# 2.0. So far I've only foud one 'updated' book but it hasn't come out yet (Dont know when), Managed DirectX Game Programming ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0672326957/qid=1145159210/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-7516041-0284867?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 ). If you guys know of any other Managed DirectX (Direct3D specifically) books, that are pretty updated, not too new or anything but not full of things that wont apply to me, I'd greatly appreciate it if you told me. Thanks guys! If this one isn't out in a long while I'll get it, but if it's still a long while before it's out, then I might get one of these (still deciding, glad to have your input): Beginning .NET Game Programming in C# http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590593197/qid=1145158783/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-7516041-0284867?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 Managed DirectX KickStart http://www.gamedev.net/columns/books/bookdetails.asp?productid=313&CategoryID=8 Thanks guys.

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I have MDX Kickstart, it's not outdated yet, since it's geared toward DirectX 9.0, which is still the most concurrent SDK.

There are a few functions that have changed, but you'll have to read some additional docs for that.

Toolmaker

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Interesting, maybe it would be of best interest to the community if we at MDXInfo.com started a list of MDX books. What do you guys/gals say?

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Yeah, something like that would be very useful. I'm just going through Managed DirectX9 Kickstart and I'd like a book I can read afterwards to progress from what I've learnt. It's been on my mind for a few days, so nice timing. [smile]

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Bottom line is that all the books are currently outdated when it comes to the API which makes it confusing for beginners. Given the current MDX news I don't expect to see any new books until XNA framework because it makes no sense for anyone to release a book now. Harrison and Millers books have updated code on The ZBuffer which I try to keep updated.

The reviews on Amazon are better than anything you can put on your own website which is why I never bothered. I may one day expand the books page with a bigger description. Reviews on most websites end up being way too biased because nobody wants to upset people in their own industry when a book is crap and because web sites want to continue to get free review copies. Read Amazon for the truth!

The 1 line reviews that I send to people who ask are:
Miller, Kickstart - best for learning the API. No bad parts other than these days DDraw and DPlay is a waste of pages.

Miller, Beginning 3d programming - best for 3d engine stuff and covers stuff in the dx framework (kind of). Bad parts - the book fades rapidly toward the end. the 3rd game is not really a game don't even bother trying to drive the kart it doesn't move!

Miller(Hoskinson), Game Programming - who knows if/when this will be available (see http://blogs.msdn.com/tmiller/archive/2006/04/12/575232.aspx) but don't preorder it.

Weller, .Net game programming - best for overall game design. MDX is only the last third of the book so you can learn about games in general before worrying about 3d and vertex formats. Bad things - I hear the VB version is flawed and not well translated over to VB.

Harrison, Game Engine design - oldest and most out of date. Some nice bits in the book but I didn't find this the best read.

Wihlidal, Toolset development - I've not seen this one yet but from the TOC its not really a game programming or engine book so not really fair to compare it to the others. SInce its new I bet the code compiles just fine.

Hmmm, maybe I should just go put those comment on TheZBuffer today :-)

[Edited by - thezbuffer on May 2, 2006 12:27:56 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by John H
Yeah, something like that would be very useful. I'm just going through Managed DirectX9 Kickstart and I'd like a book I can read afterwards to progress from what I've learnt. It's been on my mind for a few days, so nice timing. [smile]


There isn't really anything you can read afterwards. Millers 2 books are good on their own but buying both feels like too much overlap and not enough technical advancement for 2 books worth of time and money.

You need to move on and look at general C++/Native DX books.

Personally I'm looking forward to the upgrade of Frank D Luna's book which will be out real soon now. Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Direct X 9.0c : A Shader Approach. Gamedev.net has a big list of these books.

I'm also a fan of David Eberleys engine books (though they are a little dry and text book like), Game Gems, GPU Gems and ShaderX series. In fact I am hopelessly addicted to geek books and will proably die with over half of them unread :-)

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Yeah, I looked at Tom's other book and thought the same really. I actually decided to learn Managed DirectX first as unmanaged DirectX looks a bit nightmarish. I thought it'd be easier to get nice and comfortable with MDX first and then take the step back to unmanaged. I was sort of that I could read another MDX title, but there doesn't appear to be too many on the market. Maybe I'll just have to make that step a bit sooner than I'd hoped. :) It's just finding the right book I guess.

The Gems series looks very interesting. The only thing that's stopped me buying them already is that I don't feel I have enough experience to really get much out of them yet. I'm still finding my feet in this scary 3D world. [wink]

Quote:
Original post by thezbuffer
I'm also a fan of David Eberleys engine books (though they are a little dry and text book like), Game Gems, GPU Gems and ShaderX series. In fact I am hopelessly addicted to geek books and will proably die with over half of them unread :-)


Haha, that sounds very familiar. I've got lots of web-related books here that I've not read cover-to-cover. Mainly PHP/PERL books but even a book about javascript. I never ended up really needing them as I worked quite a lot, which resulted in gaining a lot of experience on the job. I should really get rid of them. It's starting to look like a disused library in here!

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Quote:

I've got lots of web-related books here that I've not read cover-to-cover.


Omg me too, practically all my books; my OpenGL red book, my 'beginning game programming with opengl' book, my 'beginning directx9 game programming second edition' book, and all sorts of other books. The only ones I've read are language books.

Thanks guys, that was very very helpful, thanks thezbuffer.

Quote:

Wihlidal, Toolset development - I've not seen this one yet but from the TOC its not really a game programming or engine book so not really fair to compare it to the others. SInce its new I bet the code compiles just fine.


Saw that one in Barnes and Noble, I think it's the one you're talking about, the new one right? Uses C# and MDX, it looks nice, I'll definately get it after I get familiar with the API. So it looks like Miller's KickStart will do, thanks guys!

Quote:

You need to move on and look at general C++/Native DX books.


Yeah, I have them. The thing is, I'm really liking C# and it's rapid developement speeds, plus, it's very convenient. And I've asked about this many times, analytically comparing C# and C++, and since I'm just starting on DirectX, I think C# wouldn't hurt, the speed isn't that dramatic for me, who doesn't even care about the speed (I'm just learning), but yeah I have native DirectX books and they look scary lol, I mean, I'm sure I can learn it, but I keep asking myself 'is it worth it'? Spending time in C++ writing something like that, when I'll probably never finish, when in C# I'm sure I will, and it'll be enjoyable at the same time.

I'm sure C++ has got it's uses, as well as those with DirectX, and it's a great language, but I think that for this case, this situation, I'll go with C# (of course there's nothing wrong in learning native C++ directx after :P )

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Yeah, I've certainly enjoyed MDX with C#. The API seems very well organised and generally everything is very easy to find. The naming conventions make it all even easier. Now that I've got some kind of foothold in DirectX, albeit with a hell of a lot of questions I need to get the answers to, I'm pretty sure it would make learning unmanaged DirectX a whole lot easier; at least I hope so.

All the best with it anyway, blankdev. Oh and thanks ZMan for the comments regarding the books. I only just noticed them. :)

P.S. The only portions of code I've noticed are outdated, in regards to MDX Kickstart, are the use of Commit() (Commit was removed from the API?) on lights and SetPosition/GetPosition (these two methods were replaced by the Position property, which you can get/set) on individual vertices in VertexBuffers. Having said that, there may be more as I can't upgrade to the latest DX SDK version as I'm on Windows 2000 (booo hiss @ XP only :-(). Plus I'm only on Chapter 7. Either way, the fixes are all pretty simple.

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