Ultimate Game Programming With DirectX Paperback – May 11 2006
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Chapter 1 Overview Chapter 2 Introduction to Direct3D 10 Chapter 3 Shader Model 4.0 Chapter 4 Shading and Surfaces Chapter 5 Advance Texture Mapping Chapter 6 Game Math Chapter 7 Direct Sound Chapter 8 XACT Audio Chapter 9 Direct Input and XINPUT Chapter 10 3D Models Chapter 11 Animations Chapter 12 Introduction to Lighting Chapter 13 Advance Lighting Chapter 14 Shadows Chapter 15 Creating a Top-Down Shooter Chapter 16 Conclusions Appendix A Resources Appendix B Answers to Chapter Questions --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Allen Sherrod is an experienced author in the field of video game development. Allen's past works include two editions of Ultimate Game Programming with DirectX, Ultimate 3D Game Engine Design and Architecture, Game Graphics Programming, and Data Structures and Algorithms for Game Developers. Allen has also contributed to the Game Developer's Magazine, the Game Programming Gems 6 book, to the Gamasutra.com website, and is the creator of www.UltimateGameProgramming.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was asked on very short notice to teach a Game Development class at a local college. So off I went to Borders to find a textbook. After some digging, this is what I picked out. The features that recommended it to me where that it included the source code, and over the course of the book it promised to build a fully functional game.
Here's what I found instead:
* I would guess from his terminology that the author has never worked at a game company. He just doesn't know the lingo - or he's worked somewhere so remote from my own experience that his lingo is completely different. Also, based on the quality of his code and the quality of the resulting game, he wouldn't survive a second at any game company out there. He wouldn't make it past the phone interview. If you are considering a career in game development, do NOT follow this person's example or you won't even get in the door.
* The code is the most horribly written I have ever seen. I would expect better out of anyone who has ever taken any sort of class on object oriented programming - or worked on any sort of project employing more than one person. The best way to describe it is poorly written C code written in C++. The spacing is non-standard. That variable names are horrible. For many of the programs, it's all in the main.cpp file. Global variables everywhere. Hardly any use of classes, and where they are used they are monolithic and poorly designed. Ugh.
* The book is frequently innaccurate. It needs an errata list badly - but if there is one, I haven't been able to find it. For example, in chapter 1 he tells you that you only need 1 line of code to enable z-buffering. After talking to colleagues and looking on the web, I was able to get this to work (I'm an AI guy, not a graphics guy) - but he was missing 4 of the 5 lines needed to make it happen.
* The book also tends to be incredibly light on details. It tells you the DirectX functions you need to call (mostly) and the specific values to plug in - but not what the functions do, or what the other possible values for their paramaters are, or how the parameters affect the output. The style of the writing is also incredibly informal - it sounds like something written by a 10th grader. Granted, if the quality of the content was solid I wouldn't care about this - but added to the poor content it makes the whole thing feel unprofessional.
* The quality of the final game is what I would expect out of a high school project (at best). The collision detection is horrifically buggy. The characters don't animate or move at all (although my understanding from looking at the book is that they're supposed to). The code won't compile under VS2005, only VS2003. It also won't run without a game controller plugged in to the computer - but it doesn't appear to actually use the game controller. He's been promising since the book came out to post the fixes for those last two problems on his web site, but I couldn't find them.
All in all, this book is an embarassment. I'm sorry I made my students spend the money on it - and now I'm scrambling to find material to teach my class, because this book hasn't delivered anything close to what it promised.
- Well organized.
- Good examples.
- The TEXT is easy to read.
- The code can be complied, built, and run without
The Bad :
- The code included on the CD-ROM doesn't always
match the code covered in the text. Sometimes
little changes have been made, but at other times
ENTIRE functions appear out of nowhere.
The Ugly :
- The author's coding practices and techniques are
HORRID. They are by far the worst that I have ever
come across in any computer science book that I
have ever read. His rare use of spaces makes the
code very difficult to read. Also, the names that
he gives his variables are nothing short of
ludicrous. Many of them make absolutely no sense.
In my experience, people who write code that is this hard to follow, have very little experience working with other programmers. This is a guy who has a computer information systems degree from DeVry and I'm guessing is only a hobbyist at best. Don't get me wrong, there are some good DirectX points made in this text, but the heart of any programming text is always the code.
I purchased another book awhile back: Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX - very well written and organized.
Ultimate Game Programming has a lot of "bugs". The program as you go along seems to fall apart, what is in the book isn't exactly the same as the code provided on the CD Rom. The author leaves out information as to what header files are required, where you should place some of your code. As said before the key failure is the difference in code from book and Rom.
Aside from the bad points. Good points. I do like the some code in the pages provided, even though I must realize it might be different on the Rom. Mainly because I'm using another book and this to help solidify my DirectX concepts.
So considering I have the Microsoft documentation, another book from the same publisher on programming in DirectX and now this, I have to really research and piece everything together.
The coding is really night and day too. The book by Vaughn Young, really sticks to appropriate coding practices, while this seems quickly written.
The book presumes no game experience, but as stated does presume that you already know C++, so should be classified as an intermediate level book. The book is divided into three basic sections: the first is an introduction of DirectX and the Direct 3D API; the second section covers game mathematics and collision detection, input detection and sound; finally it covers model building and animation.
The creation of a game is by no means an easy task. This book, however is a great primer on the techniques and skills needed to do good games.
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