Game and Graphics Programming for iOS and Android with OpenGL ES 2.0 Paperback – Jan 30 2012
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From the Back Cover
Learn how to build games with stunning graphics
Striking the ideal balance between aesthetics and functionality to create a state-of-the-art game is no small feat. That's where this book comes in. If you have a decent C/C++ programming background and a basic understanding of computer graphics, you'll find that this invaluable resource includes everything you need to know in order to make quick work of creating a full-fledged game. Successful game engine developer Romain Marucchi-Foino covers all aspects of creating a game, such as loading complex geometries and textures; handling GLSL materials, sounds, cameras, and clippings; physics; pathfinding and AI; post-processing effects; real-time lighting and shadowing; working with skeletal animations; and much more. Before you know it, you'll be able to apply the knowledge you've gained from this book to create your own sophisticated game.
Game and Graphics Programming for iOS and Android with OpenGL ES 2.0:
Brings awareness to the powerful potential of OpenGL ES 2.0 in game programming
Includes helpful tutorials and real-world mobile apps to give you a deeper understanding of what works in programming
Demonstrates how to work with OpenGL features, including geometry, shaders, lighting, special effects, character animation, and more
Addresses real-time physics, pathfinding, and optimization
Zeroes in on audio and other cool and unique game programming possibilities
Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that guides you through all the techniques involved.
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About the Author
Romain Marucchi-Foino is the original author and founder of the popular mobile game engine SIO2. Formerly a desktop game engine developer, Romain is currently the lead 3D engine programmer for sio2interactive.com, the official developer of the SIO2 Engine, which powers thousands of games and 3D applications throughout the App Store and the Android market.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you are looking to learn OpenGL as the title would imply, this is NOT the book for you. The author does an OK job of teaching you how to use his SDK, but that's not what you are lead to believe the book is about. Even the back cover does not say so. In fact, the back cover also implies things such as "...handling GLSL materials, sounds, cameras, and clippings..." While in the book, o page 14, the author states "Because the purpose of this book is to present you with a straightforward approach to implementing the different elements of a game and graphics engine, I will not go into detail about the specifics of the GLSL ES language".
The projects and examples in the book start by telling you to copy a generic template he provides with the downloadable code, which might be OK if he at least once went through how to set up and use OpenGL natively, WITHOUT his SDK. The book itself would be a good companion to his SDK, but I don't like being mislead, which I feel the author did with the title and content of the book.
There are other kits out there that are easier for beginners.
However as other reviewers have noted, the code is written using an abstraction layer provided by the author (his "SDK" which turns out to be a lightweight game engine called GFX 3D) so while I found it an interesting tutorial and a good introduction to concepts that will be applicable to any modern graphics programming system, I didn't really feel that the book told me very much about OpenGL per se. If the book had been called "Programming for Windows Phone with DirectX" I'm not sure how I would tell the difference.
A better title for the book would have been "Cross platform Game and Graphics programming for Android and iOS using GFX 3D".
Now, having said that, modern graphics APIs like OpenGL can be fiendishly complex, and also much lower-level than a beginning programmer would like (thus making any Hello World program ridiculously complex) so it's very hard to write a good (i.e. short) introduction to these systems that does anything actually useful, and certainly not one that's fully cross-platform.
So they lose a star for not being clearer as to what the book was going to offer, but if you're looking for a practical graphics programming introduction and you don't have prior experience with any of these systems, then you could do a lot worse than to start with this book, especially if your goal is to get programming and not actually have to spend a huge amount of time learning the OpenGL API.
Most importantly, if you're an Android developer programming in the Windows environment, then this book will probably make you want to switch to Linux or Mac OSX. That's not such a bad thing as I learned after banging my head against the wall for a day or two.
I chose Mac OSX since that's what the author is using. Yes, I could have figured it all out on Windows, but a Unix style OS is the easiest place to write your NDK apps and when I port them to iOS it won't be such a headache.
Second, the instructions to help set up your environment using Eclipse, ADB, CDT, NDK, Sequoyah are a little sparse, but there are already a hundred tutorials out there on blogs and You Tube so it's good the author didn't tire out on that kind of thing.
Third, the code isn't perfect, but with the amount of free code you're getting here, you should invest some time to figure out what's wrong and fix it yourself. I'm truly learning with this book and I don't mind a problem here and there if it's something easy enough to solve.
Are these issues enough to detract from the overall usefulness of the book? In my opinion, no. I really like this book.
I recommend purchasing OpenGL® ES 2.0 Programming Guide to go along with this book and you should be on your way to writing games for the mobile marketplace in no time.
If you've done an internet search for anything related to game programming, it's all crap. Nothing can actually be used by someone without a college degree and years of experience to build a feature complete game.
Included with the book is a COMPLETE SDK and API for a cross platform gaming engine. Plug in your own levels, artwork, and models and voila! A game.
Nobody else takes you so close to actually having a 3D game ready to play.
It's true, the author doesn't spend hundreds of pages explaining how to implement OpenGL (If you're that interested, the included source code provides more than enough information for the semi-educated mind). What he DOES do is get you as close as possible to having a ready made game without actually making a game FOR YOU.
In fact, the author even provides the entire source code for a 3D game on his website that goes perfectly with the book. It's a zero-BS straight shot from the beginning of the book to providing you with the tools you need to publish a game VERY quickly.
It's like if someone built you a house and said "Hey, just paint it and you can have it."
You'd be like "But it's a house, the painting is the easy part."
"I know, I'm that awesome and I just wanna help you make your 3D engine related dreams come true."
If you're taking a college course and/or want to talk about "3D theory" all day long, this book isn't for you.
If you ACTUALLY want to take a little C++ knowledge and turn it into a REAL game you can start selling on an app store as quickly as possible, this is your fast track.
Game and Graphics Programming for iOS & Android is the only book that does ALL the leg work for you, providing an entire gaming engine ready for your assets.
You couldn't ask for a more powerful, useful resource.
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