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Game Programming Golden Rules [Paperback]

Martin Brownlow

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Book Description

March 12 2004 Charles River Media Game Development
Writing computer games is hard. Games today are complex projects that involve large teams of specialized artists and programmers. These teams are perpetually pushing technology beyond its boundaries and stretching their skills to the max. To alleviate these problems, Game Programming Golden Rules presents a series of nine "Golden Rules" that help define a methodology for creating a modern game. Each rule is written as a simple principle and covered from the perspective of how it works in the overall structure of a game project. The rules cover a variety of topics from embracing C++ and scripting, to the resource pipeline, finite state machines, and optimization. The order in which the rules are presented was carefully chosen, so that each rule presents a topic that is then put to use in later rules. Many of the rules involve empowering the designers and artists to put their own content directly into the game, bypassing the need for a programmers involvement beyond the initial setup. This frees up the programmers time to concentrate on creating the systems that make the game, rather than focusing on the output of these systems. By the end of the book, you will have deeper confidence and a more profound understanding of the essential techniques of game programming and how the theory of these techniques interlocks. This is an excellent resource for the entire development team.

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About the Author

Martin Brownlow (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) has been a professional video games programmer for 10 years, and has a degree in Computer Science from University of Nottingham in the UK. He has received numerous awards for his work on both MDK and Sacrifice, including ¿Game of the Show¿ and several ¿Game of the Year¿ awards. He received a nomination for excellence in programming for Sacrifice. He also contributed to Game Programming Gems 3. He has worked for such companies as Virtuality Entertainment, Shiny Entertainment, Tremor Entertainment, Visual Concepts, and Planet Moon Studios. His latest project, Armed & Dangerous, was released for Xbox and PC in December 2003. He is currently employed at Swingin¿Ape Studios in Aliso Viejo, CA.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners. May 26 2007
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Martin Brownlow, Game Programming Golden Rules (Charles River Media, 2004)

The main thing you need to know about this book is that if you're new to programming, or you've been programming in languages that hide pointers (e.g, VB.NET or C#) and you're not terribly familiar with the pointer architecture of C or C++, you might want to hold off on buying this until you've familiarized yourself with some intermediate-to-advanced programming concepts.

Once you're on the right level for the book, however, you are likely to find it a valuable reference tool as you progress through a project. I'd suggest reading it straight through at least once so you know where to go to find that little tidbit that's tugging at the back of your mind when you're trying to figure out what you need to do to, say, optimize your rendering pipeline. After that, keep it on the closest bookshelf to your primary dev machine; you'll be referring back to it on a fairly regular basis unless you have a photographic memory. (...)
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic primer for solving "real" game problems May 30 2010
By Randolph Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First off - this book assumes a familiarity with C or C++. If pointer arithmetic makes you squirm, better hit the language basics books before picking this up. For the rest of you, this book is a valuable resource.

In a few short chapters, the book gives a good primer on some of the more difficult "real" problems beginning game programmers come across. Scripting and using scripted finite state machines is a big focus. Instead of just hooking up LUA to your C engine and using the "magic" macros, the book describes a fly-weight scripting language of your own. The coverage of the resource pipeline and assets is also very good. The book is not the final word on any of these topics, but provides a good grounding and ability to look for more information on each of them. Brownlow has a talent for demystifying some complex topics. One of my all-time favorite game programming books.

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