Visual Basic Game Programming with DirectX
||Author: Jonathan S. Harbour|
List Price: $59.99
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Premier Press (02 January, 2002)
Sales Rank: 96,632
Average Customer Rating: 4.11 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
Not quite what it says
As a Visual Basic die-hard, I got very excited about this book when I saw it. The prospect of expanding Visual Basic by using DirectX was just too much to pass on. Unfortunately, the title is a bit deceiving. The author spends the first chapter discussing a history of video and computer games, which is interesting to some, but, in my opinion, out of place in a technical book. The author assumes that you know little or nothing about Visual Basic and walks you through the installation process and provides an overview of the language. This may be useful for some, but I felt that someone who was new to the language would probably not pick up a book on a more advanced topic such as DirectX. After this, the author spends several chapters discussing antiquated graphics techniques that do not involve DirectX at all. These chapters were the biggest waste of space, in my opinion. I read through them all, thinking that all this information was a prerequisite to DirectX programming, but I was disappointed to learn that this is not the case. The author informs the reader at the end of it all that he is merely presenting a different method to give the reader more options. While I can appreciate the effort to provide multiple solutions to a problem, the book is supposed to be about programming with DirectX. There are a multitude of books out there that will teach you how to use these other graphics techniques, and anyone who was interested in learning these techniques would pick up one of those books.
That being said, when the author finally does begin discussing DirectX, the material he provides is a solid introduction to using DirectX with Visual Basic. He provides a good overview of how to use all components of DirectX, and the source code that comes with the book provides useful examples of the techniques being demonstrated. There are four complete games that come with the book also, although actually only two of them use DirectX as a base for their graphics. Reading this book will also provide you with a level of familiarity with DirectX that you will be able to use C++ DirectX books and translate the code contained therein to Visual Basic. At the end of this book, you will be in a position to design and program your own simple game using DirectX.
In short, be aware of what you are getting. If you have little or no experience with Visual Basic and would like to learn game programming using this language, this book is probably worth picking up, although you will probably need to suppliment this information with another source on the Visual Basic language. If you are looking for a comprehensive tutorial on DirectX, I suggest looking elsewhere.
Rating: 1 out of 5
A real waste of cash....
I got this book hoping that it would get straight to DirectX and 3D game programming. Instead I open up the book and find that the author had friends with Atari ST and Amiga 500 computers! Wowee! I thought that perhaps he was just giving a little bit of background on old computer games, but no, his story about the grand old days of his youth and how he was an arcade nerd go on and on. Instead of going straight into DirectX this book first tells you how TO INSTALL VISUAL BASIC!!!, and then starts at the very beginner level of programming with a program called "Chunky Pixels". From then it moves on to more advanced graphics tequniques using the windows API and BitBlt. It finally goes into DirectX on page 374 but it dosent go into anything 3D, instead it goes into DirectDraw and even more boring techniques of drawing 2D graphics. The book finally gets into a 3D game after 960 PAGES!!! Even then the only thing that the author does is make a dumb 3D pong game...
Rating: 2 out of 5
Missed the Mark
Admittedly I am a novice, but it seemed to me that the author spent way too much time and space on old, outmoded ways of graphics programming and not enough on current 3D methods. The coverage on the 3D seemed spotty and "jumped around" a lot. His style is personable but there seem to be a lot of unexplained gaps. Maybe VB does work, but when I consider the time I spent on refreshing my VB skills and then plowing thru this book, I wish I had bitten the bullet and done the C++ route with another title.
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