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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star).Show all reviews
on December 10, 2003
I have been a software rendering freak ever since I leaned to program, so don't take my review as the average opinion. I don't want to give myself too much credit but I think my comments are more useful to the really advanced grapics programmer.
First I was impressed by the book's size, but just looking at the table of content I realized there's a lot of things in it that any programmer who even thinks about making a 3D game should already know. The other half of the book is stuffed with code listings that I find of little use while reading the theory. Maybe it's personal, and I'm saying this with the greatest respect, but I don't like the way Mr. LaMothe starts writing without "knowing where we'll end up" and the way he tries to make every math formula a "cool" magical spell. I'd liked to have seen it a bit more coherent too. Most chapters just add a bit of this and that to the previous chapter. That's of course fine for people who need to experiment a lot themselves to learn things, but I expected more of the so-called advanced 3D graphics and rasterization. Don't get me wrong it does cover some advanced tricks and it certainly makes you 'think 3D' but it's only the tip of the iceberg if you want to write a competent game.
So is it a bad book? No, not at all. Maybe I sounded too harsh because of my personal dissapointment, but I would have loved it a lot more if I read it five years ago. For starters, don't hesitate and get this book! It has the fundamentals of nearly everything in 3D game programming that would otherwise take you years to learn. All in all I'm only giving it two stars though since I believe it is generally overhyped.
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on July 23, 2003
I already bought this book hoping that it will give me insight on working with Direct3D code. Unfortunately, there isn't a single line of Direct3D code in this book. The entire book covers DirectDraw 7, and imitates all 3D graphics rendering in software mode. All the CD examples are in DirectDraw 7, the book does give you some insight and explanation in understanding 3D on how to code them in case you don't have a 3D graphics API available.
If you are programming games for the PocketPC and wanted to write your own custom 3D engine, this book is for you. This book is kind of the missing documentation for the "Doom" and "Doom II" source code.
If you want to learn the theories or get a better understanding of what 3D is, then get this book, but don't expect to see any Direct3D samples because there are none. There are no example code for it. All the code examples is emulated 3D using DirectDraw 7, not TRUE Direct3D.
I'm only keeping this book so I can use it to write my own 3D API for the PocketPC and Java-enabled cell phones.
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on January 2, 2004
if you want to get confused by a trillion optimizations in the parts where understanding is the most important, by all means get this book.
Lamothe is still stuck in the mid-70's C days. He claims C++ is "hard to teach in" because it is confusing. I think it is more confusing to him than to any modern programmer. Old C is by far more confusing in my opinion.
This book is 1700 pages long - a big chunk of it is almost pure code dump, that could easily fit on a CD (and does). The old-fashioned programming style, combined with his optimizations down to the assembler level makes the code hard to understand. I believe it is time for Lamothe to enter the 21st century with his programming style, and get out of the 70's.
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