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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on July 14, 2004
This book, I believe has been purchased by the wrong people. The book clearly states that it is a begginers guide and never prettended to be anything else. It basicly fills in the huge gaps from the manual. DarkBasic claims to be a very easy programing language for begginers, strange that the manual is designed for people who know what they are doing.
If you are already a programer, you should not have purchased this book. I guess many people who got dissapointed are the die hard fans of darkbasic who already knew what they were doing and expecting some advanced tips and tricks for optimising their code.
I think that this book is great for what it was made to be, a begginers guide. It teaches good programing habbits, explains things clearly and helps guys like me who have not programed since they left college 6 years ago get their act back together.
I heartily recomend this book to anybody who purchased darkbasic or darkbasic pro and had no idea where to start.
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on January 28, 2004
The title of this book should be: "DarkBasic Syntax". This book is just the DBPro help files written around some poorly written video game history. The first 8 chapters are worthless, as they are not enough for the beginner, and useless for the advanced. There are the chapters about 2D, which I will go into detail on next, and exactly 1 chapter on 3D.
Now, other people have went on about the lack of 3D in this book. Well, I didn't want to do 3D, so I bought it figuring at least it would teach me some 2D. There is NO 2D in this book! No 2D game theory, no discussion on isometric viewpoints, or discussion of anything! No 2D animation, no discussion on level creation, or when to do this or that. When a 2D command is presented, an example is given with a short little 5-10 line program. I don't care about using it in a 5 or 10 line program! I want to see how to use it in a GAME.
The one crucial chapter, the absolute epitome of 2D video game design, Sprites, is worthless. Here is the title of the chapter: "The Art of Using Animated Sprites for 2D Games". There is NO discussion of how to animate sprites!! The title should have been: "DBPro help-file Sprite Commands with no Documentation and no Discussion on Usage". I kept flipping through the book looking for any examples on animating sprites. None. I kept saying to myself, "Who would make a book on game programming without going over animation?".
There is a chapter on animation, but that is about how to load an avi file that you presumably stole from off the web (as there is no discussion on how to actually make them). I can forgive that there is no discussion on level creation, game programming theory, good programming practices, optimal coding techniques, etc., but no sprite animation!!!???? That should be one of the central themes of the entire book!
In conclusion, this book was supposed to be on "DARKBASIC GAME PROGRAMMING". There is no discussion on game programming. There is nothing in this book that cannot be found for free on the darkbasic website or help files. In fact, the free tutorials on that website are FAR more informative, because at least they mention optimal ways to take advantage of the darkbasic language, something else that this book fails to do. If you are an absolute beginner to programming, pick up a good book on beginning programming and then come back to DarkBasic. You will need it, because the example code is documented so poorly. I feel that anyone who gave this book a good review was more impressed with the excellent Dark Basic language than the presentation of it by these authors. As a graduate student in engineering, I have read a lot of bad technical writing, but this was by far the worst. I was so disappointed in this book, that I will never buy anything from the authors again, and neither should you.
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on September 2, 2003
I ordered this book after installing DarkBasic Pro on my PC. By time the book arrived, I'd had already outgrown the material.
If you have never programmed before, this book would probably be useful, as the first 200 pages cover basic programming techniques; loops, data types etc.
If you are already familiar with programming, then there is not much useful information. There are only a 50 pages on 3d programming and only a few of the relevent funtions are covered.
Mostly the book is fluff. There are shots of every screen that comes up during the install of Dark Basic.(7 pages)
"Figure 1.60 The Setup Status screen, which displays the installation progress"
I realize that the book says 'Beginners Guide', but I thought that meant it was for someone who was new to the language, not new to computers.
If you know the difference between an integer and a float, save your money.
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on April 1, 2003
Jonathan and Joshua have once again done a fantastic job on a very detailed book. This book will help you out on the basics and details that are needed when working on your programming skills.
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on March 31, 2003
Being active in the Darkbasic Community i know alot of people have waited for a book on their(and my) favorite game programming language. this book is an excellent source for people new to the Darkbasic programming Language.
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on March 30, 2003
This book is GREAT for the very beginner, but if you want to make good 3D games, do not buy this book. it barely touches on terrains and collisions. there is only one chapter on 3D games, and it is not thorough. the majority of the book is dedicated to 2D and basic "hello world" style programs. if you want to make 3D games, visit the DarkBASIC forums and skip this book.
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on March 26, 2003
I'll read any book by Jonathan Harbour, and this one did not disappoint me. In fact, I've read it three times! Jonathan and Joshua Smith do a great job of making DarkBASIC easy for beginners to use. However, this book is good for people who have some programming experience too. It starts at the very beginning, but quickly brings you to a point where you can start writing games. Two thumbs up!
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on March 26, 2003
Great book not only for beginners but also advanced programmers! Very well written by the authors!!
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on March 12, 2003
I agree with the previous commenter, that this is a really good book for beginners that are new to DarkBasic.
Jonathan and Joshua both did really excellent jobs on this title as for being able to make it easy to follow. The subjects covered are very basic, but you have to start somewhere.
And also, as for covering "real world" projects, to have tried to cover a "First Person Shooter" (FPS), or even a "Flight Sim", would have taken up a lot more than just this one volume could summize.
The topics covered are pretty much what ALL beginner's need to cover with ANY language. And After all, that is what DarkBasic is, just another development language. But one that is aimed primarily at game development.
All in all, I'd say that they [the authors] did an excellent job with "Beginner's Guide to DarkBasic Game Programming".
For those looking for an excellent introduction to this marvelous game/graphics development tool, then THIS is definitely the book you've been looking for.
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on February 10, 2003
Overall, I thought that this was an above average book. Considering the fact that there really isn't all that much DB information (gathered it one place) out there, this book brings alot of key concepts together. The authors really take a programming language and put it on a beginner's level. They make relevant comparisons to today's popular games in their examples. The only complaint that I have is that they should have included more ground-up projects like first person shooters or fight sims. Most programming or database books usually have about three "real world" projects that take you from start to finish, all based on what was taught in the book. Basically, if you are a first-time Dark Basic developer, then you need to pick this book up. Otherwise, ask someone on the forums for help or source code.
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