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Introduction to Game Development [Hardcover]

Steve Rabin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 14 2005 Charles River Media Game Development
Based on the curriculum guidelines of the IGDA, Introduction to Game Development is the first book to survey all aspects of the theory and practice of game development, design, and production. The book, which might be used as a text for introductory courses or as a comprehensive reference for game developers and designers, is divided into seven independent parts: Critical Game Studies, Game Design, Game Programming (Languages and Architecture), Game Programming (Mathematics, Collision Detection, and Physics), Game Programming (Graphics, Animation, Artificial Intelligence, Audio, and Networking), Audio Visual Design and Production, and Game Production and the Business of Games. Twenty-seven of the leading game developers, programmers, and designers have contributed chapters that discuss state of the art principles and techniques from the game development industry. The accompanying CD-ROM covers tutorials, animations, images, demos, source code, and Microsoft® PowerPoint lecture slides that reinforce the concepts presented in the book. This is a must-have resource for anyone looking to understand the entire game development process.

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About the Author

Steve Rabin (Redmond,WA) is a 10-year video game industry veteran currently with Nintendo of America. He’s written AI for numerous published games and contributed to Game Programming Gems 1, 2, and 3. Rabin is the editor of the AI Game Programming Wisdom series. He’s also spoken on AI at the Game Developers Conference and holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington, where he specialized in robotics.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introductory text Jan. 21 2006
By A Customer
This is a great book to introduce interested students to serious game development. Just about all major areas of development are covered; from design patterns, to architecture, AI, and project management. Everything is clearly explained, however, my only gripe with this text is that it does sacrifice some depth of it's topics for breadth. This is expected though, since to cover all of the topics it does in depth would result in a mammoth sized book; however, I felt that certain chapters/topics could have been dropped altogether. The chapter on game design covers studies what it is that makes games fun, and how to brainstorm etc. Personally, as a lifelong gamer I just feel that if you have no ideas as to what makes a good or bad game, you're in the wrong business in the first place. It would have been nice to see some content trimmed in favour of slightly more technical and in depth articles. Overall though, highly recommended! By far the best game development book I've purchased.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good look around the game development discipline Sept. 1 2005
By Augusto "KhaoticMind" da Silva - Published on Amazon.com
First of all, for those that think that this book is about game programming: it is not (just to let some of you guys warned).

Now... the book is VERY good for what it proposes itself: a introduction to the process of game development. Like stated on the book description ,it might be used as a text book for a introductory course. It covers all parts of the game development process, from designing to shipment, considering legal issues, such as IP, Copyrights and Trademarks, and development issues like engine programming, model creations, sound, etc.

The book is divided in seven parts:

Part 1 - Critical Game studies: This is an overview of the whole history and concept behind games. It covers the historic of games (where we came from, and to where are we going), social issues, and (my personal favorite) ludology for game development. This is a whole chapter dedicated to discuss what is fun, and how to achieve it. This chapter really made me think about a couple of things :).

Part 2 - Game Design: Expanding on the last chapter of part 1, here is explained HOW to make games fun. Issues like multiple choices, types of fun, characterization of games and such are all presented here.

Part 3 - Game programming: Languages and architecture: To me, this part didn't bring much new stuff (then again, i'm doing a PhD in computer science, so i have experience in programming). But i recognize some VERY interesting points, and possibilities shown in the first chapters. In special, the chapter that talks about Flash and Action script really got my attention.

The latter chapters about debugging, game architecture and memory I/O, are VERY interesting and offered me many insights about the game development process and needed technology.

Part 4 - Game programming: Math, Collision detection and Physics: Despite the title this part will not teach you how to implement these things in your game (well... not directly). This chapters will give a "brief" introduction about each of the topics mentioned. But be aware, while "introductory", some parts can get really complicated (like the physics part).

Part 5 - Game programming: Graphics, animation, AI, Audio and Networking: Again, lots of interesting stuff here. The chapter about graphics and animation really got me confused at some parts :)

The AI chapters are REALLY cool, and give you some interesting concepts. The only part of the book i think that lacks something is that chapter about networking: it just talks about architecture, no much about programming (but then again, i was already well versed in this topic).

Part 6 - Audio visual design and production: Ok, so we have programmers, but what about the rest?

This part describes lots of technics and areas of expertise that i didn't even know that existed :)

Musicians, composers, modelers, texturers... everything is described here.

Part 7 - Game production and the business of game: Another VERY interesting part. With tons of infos from the people already familiar with the industry. What is publisher, how to get one, why do your game costs 50 bucks when it goes to the shelves, what is Intellectual Property, how to assures yours, how to sell your game... everything is described here.

As you can see, this is book that covers a lot of ground. And one of its features that i find more interesting are the references in each chapter.

While the book just gives an introduction, the references allow the interested ones to go look in depth for a specific topic that might interest them.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Complete Game Development Book Available July 8 2005
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
This huge book is the best attempt yet to cover virtually all of game development while still maintaining the depth necessary to truly understand and appreciate the state of the art as it exists today. The book is based on the International Game Developers Association Curiculum Framework.

Steve Rabin, the editor of the book is a ten year vet in the game industry, and is currently a senior software engineer at Nintendo. He contacted twenty seven of the world's leading game developers, programmers, and designers to do chapters on their specialty. These are not professional writers, but are actively engaged in and work for some of the best known companies in the gaming business.

Game programming is nothing without movement, so the book almost had to contain a CD. On the CD are all the animations, documents, source code, demos, etc that are referenced in the chapters. In addition are the actual images being discussed in the text. Finally there is a PowerPoint presentation that complement each chapter.

This is perhaps the most complete book on gaming development that exists.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview, great details July 23 2005
By paulsm - Published on Amazon.com
"Game development" is no longer a one-man job: it's now a collaborative undertaking not unlike a film production: with producers and designers and a whole team of specialized craftsmen.

This book is a collection of individual articles covering the whole spectrum of contemporary game development.

It covers technical aspects from programming fundamentals (compiled executables vs. interpreted scripts, and their respective strengths and weaknesses) through game physics (with great explanations, some daunting math, and sample pseudocode).

But the book is equally comprehensive in production issues: from project management (why "code-and-fix" is bad - even though far too many teams do it anyway!), through contract and negotiation issues with publishers, through timely issues like "intellectual property" (DRM) and "content management" (as in the "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" backlash).

This is an excellent book with something for everyone interested in - or working with - professional game development.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! A good reference July 11 2005
By Johnny Hopkins - Published on Amazon.com
I just ordered the book last week and I am impressed. The chapters were very detailed and readable. I am having a few issues playing the CD in my laptop, but it is only a minor issue to me. Even though the price is steep, you get the wisdom of game industry veterans. I think this is a great textbook for an introductory college course on game development.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A weighty text based on the curriculum guidelines of the IGDA Oct. 3 2005
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Any library serious about catering to computer game developers will find the weighty, extensive updated second edition of Introduction to Game Development to be a key acquisition. It is divided into seven independent sections, each featuring articles written by experts in their field, and covers all the basics of game design, programming languages and physics, audio visual design, and more. The editor is a software engineer at Nintendo: his professional background lends to an outstandingly well detailed survey of the entire field of game programming.
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