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OpenGL Game Programming Book

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IMHO, it''s worth the $40 I paid for it before it was published, but it''s not worth the current price that Amazon and Fatbrain are selling it for right now. I really wanted to give LaMothe another try(yes I know he''s not the principle author but his influence is apparent). Don''t let the size of the book fool you. At 816 pages and that table of contents, it sounds like quite a source for OpenGL and game programming information. However, roughly half of the book is source code listings(that are not included on the CD) with some book text dedicated to comments in between functions. This book reads a lot like those web pages people call "tutorials" when they provide a brief explanation and a lot of source code but never really explain anything very well. There are some definite gems of information in this book but quite frankly, there are better resources on the internet. If you want some real books about this book''s subject, these three are my favorite: "Game Architecture and Design", Andrew Rollings, Dave Morris; 742pg; The Coriolis Group; ISBN: 1576104257 "Game Programming Gems", Mark DeLoura; 600pg; Charles River Media; ISBN: 1584500492 "OpenGL 1.2 Programming Guide, Third Edition", Woo, Neider, Davis et al; 800pg; Addison-Wesley Pub-Co; ISBN: 0201604582 Yes, combined they are more expensive but they burst with information that you can use. Dodger_

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Well, some of what you said makes sense, but the rest of this sounds like a flame post with no evidence. First of all, the ''tutorial'' nature of the book makes things *a lot* easier for some people. Second of all, the source isn''t on the CD by accident (see many of the other posts), but you can go to http://glbook.gamedev.net to get it.

Also, I love the book selections you gave personally, but Game Programming Gems, and the Red Book are a little to advanced for some people... Whereas OpenGL Game Programming takes you step by step through programming OpenGL stuff in Windows. Perfect for your average newbie.

------------------------------
Trent (ShiningKnight)
E-mail me
ShiningKnight Games (I had to make one up, to fit in with the rest of you )
Project: Writing tutorials and code for my OpenGL Game Programming series
OpenGL Game Programming Tutorials

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ShiningKnight:
So have you actually read the book? I''m a complete newbie to 3D programming and do not know where or how to start. I have a book but it''s really hard to put into games.

I''d probably best be looking up tutorials of NeHe but if there''s a better (or easier) way...

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I live in the UK and am still waiting for Amazon.co.uk to ship the book to me. I hate waiting for this when I see other people all ready have it. Has any other UK users received the book yet?

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It''s not meant to be a flame, it''s just meant to be a warning to others who may be interested in buying this book, that they can find better sources. I disagree about the OpenGL Programming Guide being too advanced for new users. The redbook is very straight forward and starts out very simple and has lots of examples. It also acts as a reference later on, as the programmer''s knowledge grows. I suggested Game Programming Gems because that books gets the reader thinking. They may not necessarily be able to do everything in it but that''s not the point of my recommendation. That book has a lot of interesting things in it to think about and ask questions about. I have a real problem with books that use source code as filler to bulk up the book to make it look more attractive on the shelf. I know that it was an accident that the source was not on the CD but it was a very careless one. Any new programmer that picks up the book and then can''t find the source on the CD is going to be upset and maybe even a little put off by it. For every one of us that reads and posts in this forum, there are at least five people who want to write games out there who do not. Try to keep that in mind. Oh, and here''s another good book that I think is quite suitable for beginners:

"3D Games, Volume 1: Real-time Rendering and Software Technology", Alan Watt, Fabio Policarpo; 800pg; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201619210

If the rest of the series of this line of books turns out as well as this one, then there will be a place on my bookshelves for them.

Dodger_

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Darkor: Yes, I have the read the book, and it is *great* for beginners. Its writing style is very similar to NeHe''s tuts if you like them.

Dodger: Well, I agree that it is not worth the $60.00 list price. I agree that the Red Book is ok for *some* beginners. Others may not like it though. But, everyone should have a copy of it sooner or later. I really want to get Game Programming Gems myself, I just haven''t had the money lately. And "3D Games, Volume 1: Real-time Rendering and Software Technology" is another great book.



------------------------------
Trent (ShiningKnight)
E-mail me
ShiningKnight Games (I had to make one up, to fit in with the rest of you )
Project: Writing tutorials and code for my OpenGL Game Programming series
OpenGL Game Programming Tutorials

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Best beginner book for ogl: OpenGL Superbible 2nd Ed.

As for the new book. 60 is asking alot, but the book is good. I have it, and have NO problems with it. Infact, it teaches concepts that are brought up but never explained in most tut''s. Such as the basic 3D concepts in the beginning. I consider it an inredible resource, well worth what I paid for it. That was 40 though. It also is the first book I have seen to combine windows/directX/openGL. That is amazing. It''s hard to put togeather seperate books on these subjects. Do not flame the book (wanted or not, it is a flame), people worked hard on it, and almost everyone I know thinks it''s awsom. If it''s too beginner for you, or not enough analasys (not beginner enough for you), then go out and get another book. If you feel that you can do better, go write your own book. But don''t say the book is bad, be nice and say it''s not the kind of book you personally like.

Alex Broadwin
A-Tronic Software & Design
-----
"if you fail in life, you were destined to fail. If you suceed in life, call me."
"The answer is out there."
"Please help, I''m using Windows!"

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Speaking as an OpenGL newbie, I''d have to say that the book was easy to absorb, and greatly useful as a learning tool; it was an excellent complement to NeHe''s tutorials.

A good chunk of the (thick) book dealt with non-GL topics, which initially cooled my interest, but the latter chapters are varied enough such that you''re likely to find *something* useful.

The $60 selling price is a bit steep. If you''re a hobbyist who enjoys digging about the Web for such info, then by all means, give it a pass. However, given the sparsity of info on the Web, it may save you plenty in terms of time/hassle/sanity.

Although someone with a good grasp of GL would probably find little of use here, I would certainly recommend it to fellow newcomers.

Browse it over some coffee at Borders before you buy.

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If www.bookpool.com gets some more in the book is $36. I also noticed that amazon had a used one for sale.

I am a newbie to OpenGL and game programming and I got this book because of the engine and game that is built with the book. I know that it is a ''simple engine'', hence the name SimpleEngine, but for a newcomer this is great because it shows you how to build a game with an engine. I am finding this to be very good for me.

Eastwood

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quote:
Original post by Dodger_
I really wanted to give LaMothe another try(yes I know he''s not the principle author but his influence is apparent).



I couldn''t let this slide. LaMothe was the series editor, but he had almost NOTHING to do with the book. The only thing in the book written by him was the bit at the beginning. About the only other influence from him was that he insisted that we include the first several introductory chapters.

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While the book is rather good is there NO source code on the CD just empty zip files, adn to make things worse do they not always put all the code in teh book but refere they to the source code that doesn''t exists.

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quote:
Original post by tesanders However, given the sparsity of info on the Web, it may save you plenty in terms of time/hassle/sanity.



Or you could use google Anyway, once you find NeHe''s site (which has a list of probably the best sites on the net for OGL stuff) finding what you''re looking for becomes more of a filtering process than a search!

quote:

Although someone with a good grasp of GL would probably find little of use here


Yes, to quote part of the book "unless you''re already an OpenGL guru, in which case, what are you doing reading this?"

I bought the book in the hope that it would contain some complex stuff - as it is I''m very disappointed. Perhaps calling it "Beginner''s OpenGL Game Programming" would have been a better idea? It''s a great book for newbies, but if you''ve ever done 2D/non-GL 3D game development, worked through NeHe''s and Nate''s tutorials, read the Red Book and looked at the stuff on Opengl.org, this book is not going to teach you anything.

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I bought the book on www.bookpool.com for $36 + $4 shipping, and I like it a lot personally. If you like NeHe's stuff you'll like the book.

The code that's not on the CD can be found here if you're looking for it.

Edited by - Supernova on June 25, 2001 12:32:17 PM

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quote:
Original post by kolpo
While the book is rather good is there NO source code on the CD just empty zip files, adn to make things worse do they not always put all the code in teh book but refere they to the source code that doesn''t exists.


The book''s source code can be found in the link given two posts above and at glbook.gamedev.net. Prima screwed up during production and never put our source code on there. Since this only applied to the first batch of books printed, all books printed I think after July 1 will have the source code on the CD, along with some fixes for errors in the book itself.

Kevin

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quote:
Original post by UsernameInUse

Yes, to quote part of the book "unless you're already an OpenGL guru, in which case, what are you doing reading this?"

I bought the book in the hope that it would contain some complex stuff - as it is I'm very disappointed. Perhaps calling it "Beginner's OpenGL Game Programming" would have been a better idea? It's a great book for newbies, but if you've ever done 2D/non-GL 3D game development, worked through NeHe's and Nate's tutorials, read the Red Book and looked at the stuff on Opengl.org, this book is not going to teach you anything.




Understandable. We cut out about 4 or 5 chapters because it was getting so damn big. There are more 'advanced' topics that we wanted to cover, but if we had the book would have been around 1200 pages. The problems with that are a) the original target was 700 pages, b) Prima wouldn't go for it, c) we had to cater to the largest possible audience, and d) we had a deadline quickly approaching.

Someone also mentioned we lacked in the engine part toward the end, and I can agree with you. I wrote those chapters with very little time to spare before the deadline, plus I knew we were way over the target page count, so I did the best I could. At least I did give an explanation as to how everything works, which alot of people don't even bother doing.

Anyway, the hard part was covering enough OpenGL and enough game programming without going too far over 700 pages, and because of that, we ended up having to cut out the more advanced things that we wanted to cover. Overall though, the two of us (Dave and I) are happy with how the book turned out. We honestly feel that it's the best book out there to help people get started with OpenGL - even with the CD source mixup - and we hope that most people feel the same way. Maybe in a future time we can do a followup to the book and cover the more advanced topics that we were originally planning to cover. Or maybe someone will just beat us to it.

Kevin

(edited because I screwed up the quoting above)

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Mind sharing what the more advanced topics would have been?
My book is in the mail (B&N didnt ship it for like 72 hours...). Can''t wait
Oh and are there any "mission critical" errors in the book that a newbie might really screw up bad on/with?

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quote:
Original post by Khawk
We honestly feel that it''s the best book out there to help people get started with OpenGL - even with the CD source mixup - and we hope that most people feel the same way.


I''d agree with that - as I said it''s a great book for newbies. I''ve already recommended it to a couple of people I know who were just starting 3D game programming.

I look forward to a sequel

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I agree that OGL Superbible 2nd ed. is a great resource for beginning OpenGL coders, well worth the $50 I spent on it. Some of the examples are buggy, but overall it presents the information with more explanation and depth than the Red Book.

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I love the book, I had reservations about paying the 60 dollars for it, but i''ve been happy with it thus far. I like how the book is layed out and everything, I would also love to see some of the more advanced topics you had to cut out, maybe in another book or on some articles here on gamedev. Preferably the latter because my wallet appears to be somewhat anorexic since buying the book

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Well, let''s see if I can remember all of the topics. I think I still have the list on my laptop somewhere, but alas, the laptop is nowhere near me right now.

So, some of the advanced topics that we would have liked to cover:

  • Multiplayer - more specifically, we originally planned to cover Winsock multiplayer programming, but then as time shortened we slipped to DirectPlay, and then as time shortened even more we dropped multiplayer altogether. While maybe this isn''t considered an "advanced" feature, it''s something we took out before release.
  • OpenGL Buffers - much more extensive coverage was planned
  • Extensions - in particular the latest NVIDIA extensions for the GF2/3.
  • OpenGL optimizations - we were planning on devoting an entire chapter for optimizations with OpenGL, specifically for games.
  • The SimpEngine - the SimpEngine wasn''t going to be so simple, and there was going to be a much more detailed explanation of it.
  • Curves and Surfaces - more detailed coverage.
  • Level Loading - just something simple
  • Portals, Quadtrees, Octrees - at least 2 of them
  • Selection and Picking - I''m still somewhat disappointed I didn''t include this. It was one of the topics I really wanted to have in there, so sorry if anyone else was disappointed about not having it covered.


  • There''s something I''m missing, but I can''t think of it at the moment.

    Kevin

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    Thanks
    A 2nd installment of the series (Advance OGL Game Programming?) with those topics would be a sure buy for me
    Or just posting that stuff online ( just an idea :D )
    Anyways thanks for a great book!

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