Focus On SDL Paperback – Nov 18 2002
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About the Author
Ernest Pazera is a self-taught programmer, starting at age 13 with a TRS-80® . He is one of the developers who helped create one of the most popular and respected game development sites on the Web. He is a moderator of an isometric/ hexagonal forum on the site and has extensive experience with game development. Ernest is the author of Isometric Game Programming with DirectX® 7.0 and Focus On 2D in Direct3D from Premier Press.
Top Customer Reviews
sets out to do.</p>
First off, let me say something about SDL -SDL is easy! While it's got a couple of quirks here and there, SDL is a very well organized and very easy to learn library for games. And <i>Focus on SDL</i> realizes this.
It doesn't try to make a simple subject complicated by ignoring the big picture to focus on minutiae. The main tutorial starts out logically with a discussion of starting up and shutting down SDL, followed by creating your main window, followed by placing bitmaps on the window, followed by event-handling, followed by playing CD-audio and video, followed by the joystick, and finally finished by threads and timers. In other words, it goes in about the order you'd need to go to write a simple game. Go figure.</p>
If you haven't figured out yet, this is a good book for beginners. It takes an easy-to-learn library and makes it even easier to learn. There aren't any code-listings for the obligatory breakout-clone in the text,
but by the time you get to page 150, you should have no problem figuring out how to structure a game from what you've read.</p>
The next 75-odd pages of <i>Focus on SDL</i> are focused on
the most important SDL add-on libraries.Read more ›
No more. Ernest Pazera has written a most excellent reference to SDL. This book covers not only SDL graphics, but all of the many other features -- audio, threads, and the add-on libraries such as SDL_ttf and SDL_net. And he does this in 300 pages. Your foot can survive having this book dropped on it, unlike most programming tomes. Your life can survive taking the time to read it cover to cover.
If you are looking for an alternative to DirectX and its pages of initialization code that make you want to tear your hair out by the handful, SDL is the way to go. If you are using SDL, this book is the way to go. I only gave it five stars because Amazon.com's rating system doesn't go to six.
My biggest disappointment is that there is no coverage of OpenGL at all. My attraction to SDL is to use as a base platform for OpenGL coding. A chapter on OpenGL integration would have won a fifth star from me.
I would like to have seen more advanced and in-depth coverage. Maybe another chapter or so on implementing an example game using the framework given to us in the final section.