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5.0 out of 5 stars Chill out peps, this is a perfectly good book for beginners!
First of all, this book is not an advanced book! This book isfor those who would like to start DirectX programming! True, I boughtthis book hopeing it would explain the new features of DirectX 8.0.The book did not go there by no means and it upset me at first too.Then, I started reading the book. This book explains the basics ofDirectDraw really really well... I have...
Published on April 2 2001 by Brian Hunsucker

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great For Beginners
I've read several complainant reviews about this book, and most of them make valid points. However when all is said and done this book is great for beginning 2D programming.
Many have pointed out that this book doesn't cover DirectX 8, and that is true, in fact it really covers DirectX 3. This doesn't really matter, as the aspects of DirectX have not changed much...
Published on July 2 2002 by Jack


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1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated Technology Poorly Explained, May 13 2003
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I am actually quite surprised by the large number of positive reviews for this book. It is actually a poor choice for learning DirectX.
First, it is worth pointing out that this is an introduction to an older version of DirectX that is no longer being developed by Microsoft. For those who don't know, DirectX is a package of inter-related programs that allow the game programmer to directly access a computer's video monitor, sound card, etc. DirectX has been developed constantly since it was first released back in the 90s. As of this writing (May, 2003), we are now up to DirectX 9, which is *very* different from the version described (poorly) in this book.
That actually isn't a bad thing, as long as you know it up front. DirectX 7.0 (which is what this book is really about, not 8) used something called Direct Draw for graphics, which is a lot easier to learn than the newer 3D technology that DirectX 8 and 9 emphasized. Direct Draw is no longer being developed, but it is still around for backward compatibility, and is a good place to start for beginners.
Unfortunately, the author does a poor job teaching it. First, as the author makes clear in the book, but may be less obvious to an online buyer not sitting in a bookstore flipping through the pages, you *absolutely* must know C++ and (preferably) have a copy of Microsoft's Visual C++. This is fairly standard stuff, but beginners need to know they should learn C++ first. Plus, you really should learn at least the bare essentials of Windows programming, which you can pick up from a few places - including one of the "Dummies" books, if nothing else.
True beginners may want to start with simpler packages based on the Basic language that integrate DirectX behind the scenes. Check out Blitz Basic or Dark Basic, both of which are much easier to learn than C++ and DirectX, and may be all you need. If you want to become a professional, however, C++/DirectX is the way to go, but even then these other programmers can help you learn the basic concepts in an easy/newbie friendly environment.
Once you know the basics of C++, BEFORE you buy this book, you should download the DirectX 7 (not 8 or 9) Software Development Kit from Microsoft's web site. Go straight to the help files and read them thoroughly (or at least the Direct Draw stuff), and load and run the sample programs. You should also read some very good tutorials at the GameDev web site, particularly the series of articles by Joseph Farrell called "Game Programming Genesis." All of this (the SDK and GameDev articles) are absolutely free. You should also be able to find a used, out-of-print version of Microsoft's own "Inside DirectX", which is much better than this one.
Only then, if you are still confused should you even think about buying this book. The book itself, however, has many flaws in my opinion, including:
- little or no discussion of basic Windows GDI programming. Simple stuff like drawing text, lines, boxes -- all come in handy in DirectX.
- discussion/use of only parts of Direct Draw, with little no discussion of the stuff he leaves out.
- little or no discussion of Direct Input, which provides fast access to the mouse and the keyboard.
- the game he makes uses 8 bit graphics and palettes, an older technology that is harder for newbies to learn.
- over-reliance on C++ classes and object-oriented programming. Yeah, I know some people love this stuff, but most programmers like creating their *own* classes, not trying to figure out or adapt someone else's. In most cases, the ideas he tries to get across could be done more simply.
- a whole chapter on "AI" that really only discusses the simple AI he decided to include in his game, and says little or nothing about AI more broadly (including pathfinding and all sorts of other game related stuff). There are whole book on this sort of thing, but a few pages that at least introduce them would be worthwhile in a beginners book.
All in all, if you want a lengthy, somewhat confusing book about how to make a particular game, with little or no discussion of C++, Windows programming, or DirectX as a whole (beyond the parts he uses), this is a worthwhile buy -- but only after you check out the other stuff I mentioned first.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very deceiving...waste of time., July 31 2002
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I really think that both of the directx books from Parberry are complete garbage. Unfortunately I wasted my money on one of them only to be disappointed that there was no coverage on what was stated in the title! He states that the only knowledge one must have is some C++. I'm sorry but that is wrong. He says he covers the WIN API but does such a horrible job explaining it for beginners. He even goes to the extent of listing several portions of code and for his explanation on the code he says "This is out of the scope of the book." In addition, the way that he has structured the code in the book is so horrible and sloppy! It is completely obvious that he was trying to save paper instead of making the code readable. Don't be deceived into thinking that you will really know how to make your own simple games. Parberry doesn't really offer tips on game programming. He just does what is necessary to complete HIS little example game, nothing else.
Want a real book on programming games? Try Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus (2nd Edition) by Andre LaMothe.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great For Beginners, July 2 2002
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I've read several complainant reviews about this book, and most of them make valid points. However when all is said and done this book is great for beginning 2D programming.
Many have pointed out that this book doesn't cover DirectX 8, and that is true, in fact it really covers DirectX 3. This doesn't really matter, as the aspects of DirectX have not changed much. In fact one of the only major differences between DirectDraw3 and DirectDraw7 is the RestoreAllSurfaces() function. The simple fact is you can upgrade to DirectDraw7 easily enough, and if you want to use 2D programming there is almost no reason to use Direct3D8 (often refered to as DirectX Graphics), as DirectDraw is perfectly satisfying for 2D programming.
On the plus side, this book covers a lot about the theory of game programming, and his methods are not at all bad.
I can say that his sound manager was not too profroundly great, and that DirectX 8 should have been used for that, and I would have prefered that DirectInput would have been used. But DirectInput is easy enough to learn from the tutorials included with the SDK, and the same is true for DirectMusic (which is fine for sound effects in a non-3D Sound environment and not just music). The author also used 256 color (using a palette) throughout the book (and only higher color depths in an appendix at the end), and he probably shouldn't have done that.
When it all comes down to it, this book is a good guide to game programming, and if your new there is now reason to even hesitate to buy it, unless of course you don't know the C++ language.
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1.0 out of 5 stars How to bitblt in directx 7 (don't buy), July 3 2001
By 
S. Peleg (Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I bought this book hoping to learn a bit about DirectX and game programming, and I received a complete book about how to BitBlt.
Searching for DirectX 8 stuff.... Not found.
Important points:
1. The book wastes many chapters on how to use a bitmap in DirectX. This matter should occupy one chapter (two at most).
2. There is nothing else beside bitmaps, no graphic methods (2D drawing).
3. He teaches how to use the joystick with API calls, when there is direct input, a god gift for using user controls, and improved (simplified and enhanced) in DirectX 8.
4. Silly algorithms.
5. Although almost every one have a powerfull computer with a lot of memory (since it got so cheap) the auther takes many sentences to explain why to use low-resolution images and (for god sake) MONO 8bit 22khz wave files. This will make you game very very ugly.
I'm not an advance programmer yet most of the information this book provides in intuitive and should not take a complete book.
There are articles all over the Internet on most of this stuff, and bit hard work with the MSDN tutorials and examples (yes there are examples with the DirectX SDK, check them out!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chill out peps, this is a perfectly good book for beginners!, April 2 2001
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
First of all, this book is not an advanced book! This book isfor those who would like to start DirectX programming! True, I boughtthis book hopeing it would explain the new features of DirectX 8.0.The book did not go there by no means and it upset me at first too.Then, I started reading the book. This book explains the basics ofDirectDraw really really well... I have been doing 2D games for awhile and I was shocked at all the stuff I learned. This book teachesyou how to write you own code from the ground up! This does not teachyou how to use the author's game engine. There is none and I believeit is best to know how to program from the ground up anyway. For allyou new to DirectX programming, this book is for you. You should befamiliar with MSVC++5.0-6.0 and the lang C++. For you that knowDirectX and are comfortable with it...This book probably will not bewhat your looking for unless you would like to refresh some skills.The only reason the book says With DirectX 8.0 is because that was outwhen the book was being written. The books whole idea is based onbeginner programmers who would like to move into the gaming industry!I really enjoy the book and think you would too. .... I have heardrumors that the author might be releasing a 3D book on DirectX 8.0sometime as soon as this summer ....
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't use DirectX 8 in the title..., March 28 2001
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I WISH I had read the ... takes on the book before purchasing this waste of paper... I do however like the author's sense of humor and style of writing... I must say I hate books that promise one thing and deliver something COMPLETELY different... What's worse? if that "something else" is 5 years behind and considered dead by the industry...
More accurate title for this book: "Learn Computer Programming using archaic techniques and DirectX 7"
As far as content? There is absolutely NOTHING here of use... Let's see: DirectX8 is NOT used anywhere in the book... Proper construction of the new Direct3D combined interface to DirectDraw and Direct3D is missing... Where are the new scene switchers and page flippers in DX8?
Now, here's the funny part: The book's demos are in 256 color PALLETIZED graphics! Hmmmm.. The book promises the use of a cutting edge API to do what programmers were able to do 5 years ago... Even Microsoft admits, in their Direct3D book and the DirectX Complete title, that the use of the pallet is pretty much DEAD...
Now, to the other idiots knocking the book because it doesn't cover 3D topics: Use a little common sense... How many pages are in this book? Is that enough to cover the math of matrices, vectors, and physics of 3D programming AND cover the numerous interfaces of Direct3D??? Go read the industry standard: "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practices" by Foley et all...
I'm almost ashamed to review this book so poorly, but out of all the books I have purchased and reviewed on, this books absolutely sucks...
What does he teach in the previous version of the book that includes the DirectX 7 SDK? WinG?
It looks like no one is going to do a book on DirectX 8 anytime soon, and not that its really needed, but nVidia has published their wonderful presentations on Vertex and Per Pixel Shading tutorials online! ...Developer relations
-Moe
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1.0 out of 5 stars Yet another worthless book., March 26 2001
By 
Dave Eberly (Redmond, WA United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
I was hoping that some day we would see the demise of the long list of books of the form "Tricks of the Computer Game Experts Written for Dummies and Learnable in 7 Days" (subtitle: You want to be a game programmer; we want your money). Add this book to the end of that list, soon to be followed by other worthless books that also have little content, but apparently catch the eye of aspiring game programmers. The first warning is on the cover page: "Ian Parberry, Ph.D. / Foreward by Melanie Cambron, Game Recruiting Goddess". Be wary when an author must flaunt his degree, as if somehow that makes the book good. And "Game Recruiting Goddess"? Give us a break. Well, the preface is entertaining--ramblings about life in academia with an argument to support why the author is qualified to write a book on game programming. Not convincing. Having experience working for a game company would be more convincing.
The second warning on the cover is the phrase "Condensed and updated version of Learn Computer Game Programming with DirectX 7.0". When you get to Chapter 1 "Read This First", here is where you get your surprise. From the book: "This book is a short, inexpensive version of the author's book Learn Computer Game Programming with DirectX 7.0. If you already own that book, then don't buy this one. (*) This book does not contain Chapters 13-15." The new appendices "Now What", "High Color and Resolution" (new BMP file reader), and "AVI Movies and MIDI Music" (play an AVI, play MIDI music) are not significant. The CD includes DirectX 8.0 SDK (it is downloadable from Microsoft...). Nothing to warrant purchasing the book.
Regarding the content, this book has nothing to do with anything 3D; it is a simple presentation of a few basic DirectDraw concepts. Chapter titles: Read This First, Displaying the Background, Page Flipping, Full-screen Animation, Sprite Animation, Sprite Clipping, Parallax Scrolling, Artificial Intelligence (not even close to what real game programmers call AI), The Game Shell, Sound (play .wav files), The Mouse, The Joystick. The fact that the book has DirectX 8 is irrelevant. There is no discussion of old things such as camera models, lighting, texture effects, etc. There is no discussion of new things such as pixel shaders and state blocks.
Given how well the book appears to be selling, I suspect a lot of aspiring game programmers believe they are getting a good buy; that is a shame. For those who have not yet bought it, save your money and purchase something with real content from a book company with a reputation for delivering quality computer texts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not really about DirectX 8, April 19 2001
By 
Glenn Watson "deepdene" (Mooroolbark, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
DirectX 8 herald a new era of the API. It was a complete re-write. DirectDraw and Direct3D were combined into a easier and more powerful API called DirectX Graphics. This release also means that you'll be able to take your programming beyond the PC, to the Dreamcast and the X Box.
Unfortunately this book doesn't take advantage of the new API at all. Basically it's just a rehash of the author's previous work Learn Computer Game Programming with DirectX 7.0. Apart from having a few less chapters this book touches on nothing in the significant upgrade. It would of been better if they called this book "Re-released book about DirectDraw 7 with just a few chapters missing".
If you want a real book on DirectX 8 Graphics get "Beginning Direct3D Game Programming" by Wolfgang F. Engel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first introduction to game programming, March 8 2003
By 
Meesters Ludo (Geel, Antwerp Belgium) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
Well, I agree this book is not perfect.
Nevertheless, I gave it 4 starts because:
- it gave me an insight in general game logic
- it gave me a general idea about DirectX
- it gives you a fairly good grasp on general animation
- and last but not least: by reading this book, I learned OOP
But beware: I highly recommend that if you want to buy this book,
you should have at least 1 year of programming experience, preferably in assembly and C. Furthermore, it would be nice that you have some experience with DOS VGA programming (under mode 13H for example). Some knowledge of algorithms and a basic understanding of the WIN API message passing concepts are needed, too.
If you don't comply with these requirements, I agree that reading this book is a complete HORROR ;).
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first introduction to game programming, March 8 2003
By 
Meesters Ludo (Geel, Antwerp Belgium) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 with CDROM (Paperback)
Well, I agree this book is not perfect.
Nevertheless, I gave it 4 starts because:
- it gave me an insight in general game logic
- it gave me a general idea about DirectX
- it gives you a fairly good grasp on general animation
- and last but not least: by reading this book, I learned OOP
But beware: I highly recommend that if you want to buy this book,
you should have at least 1 year of programming experience, preferably in assembly and C. Furthermore, it would be nice that you have some experience with DOS VGA programming (under mode 13H for example). Some knowledge of algorithms and a basic understanding of the WIN API message passing concepts are needed, too.
If you don't comply with these requirements, I agree that reading this book is a complete HORROR ;).
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