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4.0 out of 5 stars Decent; significantly better than both Gems1 and Gems3, July 20 2003
By 
John Doe (Bloomsbery, MO, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
I have already exterminated in my reviews here Gems1 and Gems3; now I gotta say something about this one: it is, believe it or not, much better than those two. Although not entirely devoid of pretentious sermonizing about "patterns" etc., this book offers a highest content-to-bs ratio of all three in the series; the articles are actually interesting, stimulating, and useful. When I say "useful" I mean applicable even outside the games development. There's some sound in the book, a lot of interesting math-related things, AI, a few curious assembly tricks ("stack winding"), good bibliographies (the only part that's good in all books of the series) -- all stimulating and suitable for borrowing in many design contexts. This is the only book in the Games Gems series that is suitable for purchase blindly off the net.
One thing (ultimate nitpicking) that's still annoying about it is writing style, replete with failing diction and humourless -- for example, the authors thoroughly earnestly call their little essays "a gem", as "in this gem I'm going to cover this and that". Of course, a "gem" is not a technical term, it's a normal English word, and it either means a real gem, or a metaphor for something of extremely high value. And so it appears that the authors have an a-priori huge opinion about their work. Which, in addition to being inappropriate (judgement of this kind is better left to the reader), is not what they mean. They simply mean "this article". Speaka Englisha? Anyone? Editors? Hello-o.
OK, having thus satisfied my deep-seated hatred of self-satisfied geekdom with their attendant lack of feel for words, I end my review on a positive note -- it's a decent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars definitely worth the money, Nov. 21 2001
By 
Dave Astle (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
Like the first volume, Game Programming Gems 2 features an exceptional collection of articles written by a knowledgeable group of authors, most of whom are well-known and respected in the area they write about. This series (the third volume is already underway, as are related books focusing on AI and design) isn't intended to be a complete guide to all aspects of game development, but rather, a resource you turn to when you need help with a specific problem. As such, the series truly shines, and this volume is a worthy follow up to the first.

The articles, or gems, included in the book cover intermediate to advanced topics in the areas of general programming, mathematics, artificial intelligence, geometry management, graphics display, and audio programming, each edited by an expert in the field. Most of the gems assume that you have a fundamental knowledge of the issues related to the topic, and get to the point quickly. As a result, on average the gems are shorter than the previous volume. Both of these things could be viewed as either positives or negatives, depending on your experience level. Regardless, almost all of the gems are well written and relevant.

Most game programming books these days come with CDs packed full of demos, source code, and other information supplementing the book. Unfortunately, the CD that comes with this book isn't one of those. It does have source code from most of the chapters, but there are very few demos and no extras (unless you count GLUT and the DX8 SDK, which I don't since you can easily get those elsewhere). However, I'd count the CD as only a minor disappointment, since the book itself is so good.

If you're serious about game development, I'd highly recommend adding Gems 2 to your library. You'll definitely find things in it that you can use.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference and guide, May 3 2003
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
Game Programming Gems 2 is a collection of short articles detailing various aspects of computer game design. Personally, I found the first half of the book to be very helpful while the second half, on rendering and audio techniques, was too brief and lacked the depth to be of much use. However, the first half, covering general game programming technique and mathematics has proved very useful to me in my amateur game programming endavours.
Pick up this book if you are looking to add to your reference collection however, due to the nature of the articles and due to the price, you might find yourself heading to the library to pick up this book. In the end, a solid addition to a programming library.
Note:
I am an amateur game programmer, not a professional
In addition, many of the articles are not relevant only to games.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for games, Dec 8 2003
By 
Mr T. Lambert (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
You don't have to be programming a game to find the gems like the ones for rendering and geometry useful.
To get a feel for the quality of the gems I looked at the gem on "The Parallel Transport Frame". I'd encountered this problem myself when trying to get VRML extrusions to work properly. VRML extrusions use Frenet frames so fail when the curve has an inflection. I came up with the same solution as the one described in this gem, and I'm sure many others have reinvented this particular wheel. The gem accurately describes the problem and solution and if I'd had it while I was messing with VRML extrusions it would have saved me some trouble.
Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, just missing a few things..., Aug. 8 2001
By 
J. GOLDSHLAG (Arlington, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
I like this book a lot, though it isn't quite as good as the previous edition (partly because the first one was great)
This book didn't have any real networking tips, which in this day and age seems a bit odd. Hopefully there will be a gems 3 and that will include some net stuff.
It also had a few odd typos. Some of the gems were *very* short (1 or 2 pages), when it seemed like a slightly more detailed discussion would be nice.
Other than those small problems, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it to any game programmers that want to pick up a few useful tips.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the beginner..., June 19 2002
By 
Dennis H. Shimkoski (Chantilly, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
If you are new to game programming, I don't recommend buying this book. You'll probably get frustrated.
I also advise against running out and getting one of those black and green books (you know, the series 'edited' by LaMothe). You're A LOT better off with Schaum's outlines on probability, linear algebra, calculus, physics, etc. You can buy 5 of those books for the cost of one of the LaMothe books.
After you have the basic math/science skills, game programming will become MUCH easier and this book will actually make sense to you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just great!, Aug. 4 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
I'd like recomend this book to everyone, who is interested in game programming and esp. to those who has the fisrt book. It is full of gems for developers, everything is clearly written (expet a few chapters, maybe). you wiill definetly find what you need in this book!
i want to thank authors for another great book! (can't i'm waiting for game programming gems 3;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars ridiculously amazing book for the game developer, Jan. 28 2002
By 
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
This is an incredible book that covers topics ranging from text parsers to audio engines. It also comes with a cd so I can put the great text parser in my game without typing a line. How sweet is that?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best EVER, Aug. 20 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
The biggest source of knowledge in game development, condensed in more than 70 useful chapters and pratical examples. Don't miss to have in your personal library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Aug. 4 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Game Programming Gems 2 (Hardcover)
Fast shipping and exactly as described :P
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Game Programming Gems 2
Game Programming Gems 2 by Mark DeLoura (Hardcover - July 26 2001)
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