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JSamson

Good books to start with?

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Hi all,

Could somebody recommend good books/articles to start with for game development? I've been working as a C++ developer for a while so I'm fairly confident with the language (+ a range of other languages) and I've done a degree in Maths. So I'm looking for good books which don't spend most of the book on basic maths/C++.

I've found a few books that look interesting, but I wanted to get opinions on if they would be suitable before buying them (I'm open to any other suggestions):

* Introduction to DirectX (Frank Luna)
* Game Code Complete (Mike McShaffry)
* Game Engine Architecture (Jason Gregory)

I'm not expecting to make a game in a week, just books that would send me in the right direction so that in a few years time I might have a tiny game :p. I've also done 3D Modelling as a hobby for a few years so I'm not bothered about books covering that side of things.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

[Edited by - JSamson on July 5, 2010 9:18:40 AM]

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Introduction to DirectX Shader Approach (Frank Luna)

Is very recommended :) I think you should go for it.

There is also Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX Second Edition which got me going (but the other one taught me more advanced concepts, and it starts from zero too, both will teach you DirectX but different ways to use it and different things around it)

And Advanced 2D Game Development is really good but it's only 2D.

Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX will get you to actually be able to build a game engine and a game. It has problems for example the SDK its using is old and a lot of the functions are no longer in the new SDKs. You can still use it, just install the old SDK and then learn the changes.. It is mostly in Sound anyways, DirectSound was changed to XAudio 2.

The Introduction by Frank Luna is really good but it won't show you how to build an engine or a game. It will give you all the tools to do so and you'll just need to connect the dots. It will also give your far more advanced knowledge into graphics and it too starts from 0, so it's just a matter of choice what to focus on.

I'd recommend to get both of them :)

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Thanks for the reply, I went to pick up the Frank Luna book, and saw Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX Second Edition pre-owned for £1.99 so I bought them both.

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Game Coding Complete is a mixed bag. There is plenty of good information; however there is also a fair amount of what I'd consider bad information, and unfortunately there is enough of it that I wouldn't recommend the book. If you do pick it up, know that there is a fair amount you'll have to unlearn eventually.

I highly recommend picking up Game Engine Architecture at some point. Large portions seem to be geared primarily to programmers who have spent time writing small games and are transitioning to working with or developing medium to larger scale engines. That being said there is probably still enough info geared toward beginners to make it worth picking up, especially by the time you are wanting to put 3d objects on the screen. Game Engine Architecture is easily the best book I've seen on the range of topics it covers.

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I'm only a few chapters into Game Coding Complete but I actually quite like what I have read so far. I have been reading it alongside Game Development Tricks of the Trade and both seem to say the same stuff so I would be interested to hear Drakonite's issues :-)

These are not programming books but they do cover many topics that many other books dont - directory structure and source control being some.

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A fair portion of Game Coding Complete is outmoded information, primarily. The latest edition may have corrected some of these errors, but I haven't had time to review it in-depth. It isn't a bad book, but I would not call it out as a recommended book either, necessarily.

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It's been around 2 years since I've looked at Game Coding Complete (and it might have even been the first edition), and at the time I was specifically looking at it to recommend (or not) for a few friends. Unfortunately I can't remember any specifics from the book.

As jpetrie said, it's not a bad book; in fact I recall the majority of it being perfectly ok.

However there were some bits of information I felt were outdated, incorrect, and/or misguided. In my opinion there were just enough of those bits that I wouldn't recommend the book.

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