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Detcefni

Recommended Books to create game engine?

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I have several years of knowledge in programming C++ (2d games and such), but now I want to step it up a notch and begin learning how to create a 3d game engine.. From what I have researched and learn over the week, the best would be using DirectX. I have seen lots of books, on the gamedev.net listing and amazon, but I do not know which books to get.. I see some good books, but most reviews state they don't explain how to go about actually making an engine, but rather explain mathematical stuff and concepts. So my question is, do any of you know any good books creating 3d game engines that allows a nice engine to be built (explains the steps and processes to making one), and will allow high polyed models to be used (3dsmax etc), and not look like original quake / half-life 1. PS. I have looked at the book listings, but it's sort of hard to find out the right book for me, especially since there's always negative and positive reviews. I simply want to find a book that will teach me how to go about creating a 3d engine using directX and c++. Also, I have several years modeling experience with Maya and 3dsmax, so this will help when it comes to making models and importing them in to the engine that I will build.

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Original post by Detcefni
So my question is, do any of you know any good books creating 3d game engines that allows a nice engine to be built (explains the steps and processes to making one), and will allow high polyed models to be used (3dsmax etc), and not look like original quake / half-life 1.


You probably won't find one, creating an engine can be a huge undertaking. You should ask yourself if you want to make an engine or a game. If you want to make a game you should consider leveraging some of the tools already out there such as OGRE or Irrlicht (both are free). They are both capable, here are some projects using OGRE and Irrlicht (you can make some pretty things with them). There is even a book that was recently published for getting started with Ogre (I haven't read it though, so I can't comment on how good it is).

However, if you're more interested in making a simple game for educational purposes, I found Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0c: A Shader Approach by Frank Luna to be a good introduction to DirectX and HLSL. Though it is more geared toward learning how to use the API than it is to making a finished game. A good companion to it would be something like Game Coding Complete 2nd edition by Mike McShaffry (which is largely DirectX oriented).

You also probably need to get comfortable with 3D math, Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics by Eric Lengyel and 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development by Fletcher Dunn and Ian Parberry are both excellent.

However in the event you do want to make an full fledged engine, I found 3D Game Engine Architecture by David Eberly to be an interesting read - though be warned that if you aren't comfortable with 3D graphics and math it would be a very challenging read - depending on your comfort level with C++ and 3D i'm not sure if I would recommend it.

I also found Introduction to Game Development edited by Steve Rabin to be a good read. It is mostly an overview of game development and has very little much source code, but it touches on most of the areas you need to know. One of the important things to be aware of in game development is that this book is almost 1000 pages long and it is just an introduction. There are entire books that are dedicated to the material covered in each chapter of this book - which is one of the reasons I suggest using something like Ogre if you want to make a good looking 3D game (it would save you a lot of time and effort).

Real-Time Rendering (2nd Edition) by Tomas Akenine-Moller and Eric Haines should definitely be on your list of books to eventually buy. But I would suggest waiting until you're a bit more comfortable working with 3D before you pick it up. The book also has a companion website that is filled with useful links.

And finally, the Game Programming Gems, GPU Gems, and ShaderX series of books are worth taking a look at at some point.

Hopefully that wasn't too overwhelming (definitely a longer post than I had intended on writing), but that's largely the reality of what you'll need to look at to make an engine from scratch with better graphics than games like the original Quake or Half Life 1 (though if you less complex game you wouldn't necessarily need to be familiar with everything above).

My advice would be to either use something like OGRE or something listed at DevMaster's Game and Graphics Engines Database. Evaluate a few of them and see if any of them suit your needs. They will abstract a lot of the low level details away from you (for instance they will take care of the DirectX or OpenGL calls for you), so you won't need to know as much to get started actually making a 3D game).

You also mentioned that you have a few years of modeling experience, you might want to try to find a team working on a game and contribute those skills to it. There's always people around here looking for artists. [smile]

[Edited by - Will F on November 15, 2006 11:06:09 PM]

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