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Game and Graphics Programming for iOS and Android with OpenGL ES 2.0 Paperback – Jan 30 2012


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Amazon.com: 23 reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Completely misleading March 1 2012
By W. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is completely misleading. Instead of "Game and Graphics Programming with iOS and Android with OpenGL ES 2.0", it SHOULD have been called "Game and Graphic Programming with the Author's Own SDK".

If you are looking to learn OpenGL as the title would imply, this is NOT the book for you. The author does an OK job of teaching you how to use his SDK, but that's not what you are lead to believe the book is about. Even the back cover does not say so. In fact, the back cover also implies things such as "...handling GLSL materials, sounds, cameras, and clippings..." While in the book, o page 14, the author states "Because the purpose of this book is to present you with a straightforward approach to implementing the different elements of a game and graphics engine, I will not go into detail about the specifics of the GLSL ES language".

The projects and examples in the book start by telling you to copy a generic template he provides with the downloadable code, which might be OK if he at least once went through how to set up and use OpenGL natively, WITHOUT his SDK. The book itself would be a good companion to his SDK, but I don't like being mislead, which I feel the author did with the title and content of the book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bad Title - Not OpenGL 2 Dec 19 2012
By Talung - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I basically never even got through the first chapter and could see that this book is not about programming OpenGL 2.0, but about using the authors graphics kit written in c++. In order to use this with Android you need to jump through hoops.

There are other kits out there that are easier for beginners.

Really dissapointed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A good learning resource Feb. 15 2012
By Jeff Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers iOS and Android development and gives a pretty decent game engine to program along with the book. It starts out with rendering a quad and goes pretty quickly from there explaining 2D and 3D projections, physics, effects, lighting, model loading, building a scene, skeletal animation and sound. It's not total hand holding, but it's enough to get you there and the book isn't an overwhelming 600 pages of bloat. Instead, 286 pages which is more in line with what I have time for.

Most importantly, if you're an Android developer programming in the Windows environment, then this book will probably make you want to switch to Linux or Mac OSX. That's not such a bad thing as I learned after banging my head against the wall for a day or two.

I chose Mac OSX since that's what the author is using. Yes, I could have figured it all out on Windows, but a Unix style OS is the easiest place to write your NDK apps and when I port them to iOS it won't be such a headache.

Second, the instructions to help set up your environment using Eclipse, ADB, CDT, NDK, Sequoyah are a little sparse, but there are already a hundred tutorials out there on blogs and You Tube so it's good the author didn't tire out on that kind of thing.

Third, the code isn't perfect, but with the amount of free code you're getting here, you should invest some time to figure out what's wrong and fix it yourself. I'm truly learning with this book and I don't mind a problem here and there if it's something easy enough to solve.

Are these issues enough to detract from the overall usefulness of the book? In my opinion, no. I really like this book.

I recommend purchasing OpenGL® ES 2.0 Programming Guide to go along with this book and you should be on your way to writing games for the mobile marketplace in no time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Serves a purpose as a tutorial, but not as a reference text Aug. 17 2012
By Dr Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
At a price point of $25 to $30, it is fairly priced. I think the list price is too high for what you get. It is one of the thinnest wrox texts I have come across at only 286 pages. I do agree with other reviewers that it should have had much more content. I see that the author does not have much programming experience (4 years) and it kind of shows based on the content of the book. Still, the writing is pretty good for what it is and maybe the author will learn something from the harsh reviews this book has been getting. In terms of content, I suppose I did get something from this book. It introduced OpenGL in game programming applications for iOS and Android. It did provide some tutorials to show by example (could have used more though). It introduces geometry, shape, and animation. Again, it could have gone into more detail, but for an introduction it seems OK. I wouldn't rate it as highly as some of my other Android programming books. I don't have as much criticism as others do about the use of the SDK. I think for an introductory text, this is fair, but I agree with some reviewers that it is unclear that the book is an introductory tutorial and not a reference book that that a programmer will return to again and again for new insight and knowledge. As an introductory book, this is something that you will go through once as a learning experience and then move on. If you are looking for a complete reference text, keep looking, but if you are looking for some very basic examples of code to play with and kind of get your feet wet, then this might fit the bill. It could inspire someone to keep learning game programming. I think this is the kind of book that is best to buy after skimming through it first to see if it meets your expectations. If it does, then buy it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not bad for what it is, but maybe not what you expect Aug. 16 2012
By Gavin Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a comparatively short book (about a half-inch thick, ~280 pages) which consists of a series of step-by-step programming tutorials that are applicable to graphics/game programming.

However as other reviewers have noted, the code is written using an abstraction layer provided by the author (his "SDK" which turns out to be a lightweight game engine called GFX 3D) so while I found it an interesting tutorial and a good introduction to concepts that will be applicable to any modern graphics programming system, I didn't really feel that the book told me very much about OpenGL per se. If the book had been called "Programming for Windows Phone with DirectX" I'm not sure how I would tell the difference.

A better title for the book would have been "Cross platform Game and Graphics programming for Android and iOS using GFX 3D".

Now, having said that, modern graphics APIs like OpenGL can be fiendishly complex, and also much lower-level than a beginning programmer would like (thus making any Hello World program ridiculously complex) so it's very hard to write a good (i.e. short) introduction to these systems that does anything actually useful, and certainly not one that's fully cross-platform.

So they lose a star for not being clearer as to what the book was going to offer, but if you're looking for a practical graphics programming introduction and you don't have prior experience with any of these systems, then you could do a lot worse than to start with this book, especially if your goal is to get programming and not actually have to spend a huge amount of time learning the OpenGL API.

G.


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