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Looking for books. (DirectX/Game AI/3D Math)

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Hi everybody, don't know if this really belongs in the beginners forum but I felt like it should after all. I've searched the forums looking for good answers to the question but I want my own personal answers so I can ask follow-up questions if needed. I've been studying C++ for a year now and will in next term move to the next step in school which is 3D using DirectX and AI programming. Since school is soon to be out for summer I'm planning on getting myself a head start reading up on these subjects on the spare time I will suddenly have. So if anyone could recommend me a good book for starting writing 3D with DirectX that has enough information for me to actually get as far as I can with only one beginners book. I'm also looking for a good AI book for game programming that has good examples that gives me the possibility to learn AI programming good enough to be using it in games. Third of all, I've studied enough 3D Math in school this year so feel certain that I would be able to do this but I'm still looking for a complement for my skills. So a 3D Math book for game programming that is both for novices and up to intermediate or even advanced would be great.

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Original post by Alatar
Hello,

Some DirectX books that I thought were helpful are:
Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0c: A Shader Approach (there is also a non-shader version)

and for DirectX 10:
Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 10.

For AI you might look at the AI Game Programming Wisdom series.


Thanks for your quick answer.
I looked at the "A Shader Approach" earlier today but that thing "shader approached" made me wonder what does that mean (or what is the difference between the two now since there was a regular one to)?

The AI books looks interesting, but should I start with the latest book (since it's the newest) or start from the first one when buying this?

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Look at wikipedia's page on shaders.

The Shader Approach book would, obviously, use these flexible shaders and the programmable pipeline, while the non-shader book uses the fixed-function pipeline.

Just so you know, if you get the DirectX 10 book, most of it is done with shaders.

Edit - For the difference between the fixed-function and programmable pipelines (quote from the Shader Approach book):
Quote:

Basically, the fixed-function pipeline is where you set different device states to control how geometry and pixels are processed. In the programmable pipeline we write short programs, which are executed on the GPU that control how gemoetry and pixels are processed. The fixed pipeline is so-called because tehre are only a fixed number of device states...


The programmable pipeline (shaders) is obviously more flexible because you program how the geometry/pixels are processed and you aren't limited by the number of device states.

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Original post by Alatar
Look at wikipedia's page on shaders.

The Shader Approach book would, obviously, use these flexible shaders and the programmable pipeline, while the non-shader book uses the fixed-function pipeline.

Just so you know, if you get the DirectX 10 book, most of it is done with shaders.

Edit - For the difference between the fixed-function and programmable pipelines (quote from the Shader Approach book):
Quote:

Basically, the fixed-function pipeline is where you set different device states to control how geometry and pixels are processed. In the programmable pipeline we write short programs, which are executed on the GPU that control how gemoetry and pixels are processed. The fixed pipeline is so-called because tehre are only a fixed number of device states...


The programmable pipeline (shaders) is obviously more flexible because you program how the geometry/pixels are processed and you aren't limited by the number of device states.


Thanks for the explanation.

Thanks, I'll be looking in to both DX10 and the DX9 Shader version of the book then and see which looks the best.

Which would you choose if you were me?

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I have the DX9 Shader Approach book, and it's excellent. I'm an experienced programmer, but very much a beginner at C++ and working directly with DirectX, and found this to be an excellent introduction which took all the intimidation factor out of it.

Artificial Intelligence for Games by Ian Millington is an excellent one volume guide to AI. He's widely regarded as a bit of an expert on AI, but again, he writes a very readable book that doesn't overwhelm you, and covers a broad selection of topics within AI without falling into the common trap of brief introductions and no detail. It's a big old book, just about 900 pages, and very good value.

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I would go with the Shader Approach because, for one thing, it covers skinned meshes and the DirectX 10 book does not. Also, I think DirectX 10 only works on Vista, but DirectX 9 works on both XP and Vista.

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