Beginner's Guide to DarkBASIC Game Programming
||Author: Jonathan S. Harbour, Joshua R. Smith|
List Price: $59.99
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Publisher: Premier Press (22 January, 2003)
Sales Rank: 6,998
Average Customer Rating: 3.89 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 1 out of 5
This book makes me want to puke
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.
Rating: 2 out of 5
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.
Rating: 5 out of 5
GREAT FREAKIN BOOK
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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