Introduction to Game Development Hardcover – Jun 14 2005
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About the Author
Steve Rabin (Redmond,WA) is a 10-year video game industry veteran currently with Nintendo of America. Hes written AI for numerous published games and contributed to Game Programming Gems 1, 2, and 3. Rabin is the editor of the AI Game Programming Wisdom series. Hes also spoken on AI at the Game Developers Conference and holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington, where he specialized in robotics.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now... the book is VERY good for what it proposes itself: a introduction to the process of game development. Like stated on the book description ,it might be used as a text book for a introductory course. It covers all parts of the game development process, from designing to shipment, considering legal issues, such as IP, Copyrights and Trademarks, and development issues like engine programming, model creations, sound, etc.
The book is divided in seven parts:
Part 1 - Critical Game studies: This is an overview of the whole history and concept behind games. It covers the historic of games (where we came from, and to where are we going), social issues, and (my personal favorite) ludology for game development. This is a whole chapter dedicated to discuss what is fun, and how to achieve it. This chapter really made me think about a couple of things :).
Part 2 - Game Design: Expanding on the last chapter of part 1, here is explained HOW to make games fun. Issues like multiple choices, types of fun, characterization of games and such are all presented here.
Part 3 - Game programming: Languages and architecture: To me, this part didn't bring much new stuff (then again, i'm doing a PhD in computer science, so i have experience in programming). But i recognize some VERY interesting points, and possibilities shown in the first chapters. In special, the chapter that talks about Flash and Action script really got my attention.
The latter chapters about debugging, game architecture and memory I/O, are VERY interesting and offered me many insights about the game development process and needed technology.
Part 4 - Game programming: Math, Collision detection and Physics: Despite the title this part will not teach you how to implement these things in your game (well... not directly). This chapters will give a "brief" introduction about each of the topics mentioned. But be aware, while "introductory", some parts can get really complicated (like the physics part).
Part 5 - Game programming: Graphics, animation, AI, Audio and Networking: Again, lots of interesting stuff here. The chapter about graphics and animation really got me confused at some parts :)
The AI chapters are REALLY cool, and give you some interesting concepts. The only part of the book i think that lacks something is that chapter about networking: it just talks about architecture, no much about programming (but then again, i was already well versed in this topic).
Part 6 - Audio visual design and production: Ok, so we have programmers, but what about the rest?
This part describes lots of technics and areas of expertise that i didn't even know that existed :)
Musicians, composers, modelers, texturers... everything is described here.
Part 7 - Game production and the business of game: Another VERY interesting part. With tons of infos from the people already familiar with the industry. What is publisher, how to get one, why do your game costs 50 bucks when it goes to the shelves, what is Intellectual Property, how to assures yours, how to sell your game... everything is described here.
As you can see, this is book that covers a lot of ground. And one of its features that i find more interesting are the references in each chapter.
While the book just gives an introduction, the references allow the interested ones to go look in depth for a specific topic that might interest them.
Steve Rabin, the editor of the book is a ten year vet in the game industry, and is currently a senior software engineer at Nintendo. He contacted twenty seven of the world's leading game developers, programmers, and designers to do chapters on their specialty. These are not professional writers, but are actively engaged in and work for some of the best known companies in the gaming business.
Game programming is nothing without movement, so the book almost had to contain a CD. On the CD are all the animations, documents, source code, demos, etc that are referenced in the chapters. In addition are the actual images being discussed in the text. Finally there is a PowerPoint presentation that complement each chapter.
This is perhaps the most complete book on gaming development that exists.
This book is a collection of individual articles covering the whole spectrum of contemporary game development.
It covers technical aspects from programming fundamentals (compiled executables vs. interpreted scripts, and their respective strengths and weaknesses) through game physics (with great explanations, some daunting math, and sample pseudocode).
But the book is equally comprehensive in production issues: from project management (why "code-and-fix" is bad - even though far too many teams do it anyway!), through contract and negotiation issues with publishers, through timely issues like "intellectual property" (DRM) and "content management" (as in the "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" backlash).
This is an excellent book with something for everyone interested in - or working with - professional game development.
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