Game Coding Complete
||Author: Mike McShaffry|
List Price: $39.99
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Paraglyph Publishing (01 May, 2003)
Sales Rank: 3,796
Average Customer Rating: 4.19 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Good intro to undercovered topics
The title of this book suggests two things to me. The first is that it provides a complete guide to game coding. The second is that it fills the same role for game programming that the book Code Complete fills for programming in general, i.e. a journeyman's book that fills in the gaps left in introductory texts and broadens your knowledge to prepare you to move on to more advanced topics. Unfortunately by trying to do the former (which I don't think is possible in a single book), it falls a bit short on the latter, resulting in a (very) good book rather than the great book it could have been given the author's impressive background.
First, the bad.
It seems that the author never really decided what his audience is. Parts of the book (e.g. the introduction to 3D graphics) are written for total beginners, while others (such as the overview of game engines - all of which cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to license) are really only relevant to experienced professionals. The author/publisher really should have picked an audience and stuck with it.
Some readers will be annoyed by how platform-specific this book is, which really isn't apparent from the cover copy or even the other reviews. All of the code samples use DirectX, and there is a lot of space dedicated to Windows-specific information. Granted, Windows and DirectX are by far the most popular choices for PC-based game development, so this won't be an issue for most readers.
And now for the good.
The best parts of this book were those covering topics that typically get overlooked in other game programming books, namely things like pointers and memory management, scripting, creating automated build enviroments and code/resource management, debugging, and notably the entire section on production, scheduling and testing. Although some of these topics are covered in other books that are not specific to game development, putting them in a single volume and exposing game developers to them early on is a Good Thing.
Although the sample code was fairly sparse, what he did provide was extremely useful, in particular the resource file implementation, random number generator, and scene graph.
Finally, props to the author for maintaining a website and actively supporting this book. As an author myself, I know how much work is involved in doing so, and I recognize that it reflects the author's desire to really help people and not just sell books.
In conclusion, my overall impression of this book was very positive. It's marred by a few shortcomings, but overall, I think that most new game programmers will benefit from it.
Rating: 5 out of 5
One of the best (and I buy 'em all)
I just wanted to weigh in with my thoughts on this book. I really enjoyed it, no I loved it.
I have an addiction that involves buying every darn programming book released on Amazon. Many (most?) of those books sit on my over-stuffed shelf barely dog eared. I tend to browse the books I own or just mark useful chapters.
Not so with this book! I read it cover to cover. I loved the real world advice, the conversational style, the war stories and the pragmatic advice on non coding aspects of game development like estimates, scheduling, QA etc...
I got the same feeling of enlightenment when reading this one that I did a all those years ago when I read the classic book "Code Complete".
Great job Mike. I hope it is selling well so we can hear from you again especially on topics like AI and Sound.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Not just another coding book... check the web site and see..
Quite frankly, this book kept me going in game programming when I was about to give up in frustration.
I've bought many game programming books over the years, and two authors stand out... Mike McShaffry and Andre LaMothe. This book is incredibly valuable as a reference and as a guide. Quite honestly, I wonder who paid the guy who wrote the "Spotlight Review" to dis it so badly, or who he paid to get his opinion in the spotlight.
But here's a test you can take for yourself... go to http://www.mcshaffry.com/GameCode and see how Mike McShaffry is *still* helping folks who've read his book, (or anyone who post on the site for that matter). He's still giving *free* advice on his book's forum, when most other authors won't even respond to an email.
In response to those who objected to the author's "coding opinions":
Yes, the guy has an opinon - he's entitled to. What do you expect from a book? "well, this is probably wrong, and I don't really know what I'm talking about, but the publisher paid me a lot of money so I have to say something." Give me a freaking break! OF COURSE the book is full of opinions - that's what books are!
Just one caveat - it doesn't teach you C++. It assumes some experience, meaning you can take the coding advice and apply it to suit your own style. It does assume a basic level of professional ability in other words.
· Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus-Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization
· C++ for Game Programmers (Game Development Series)
· Game Scripting Mastery
· Core Techniques and Algorithms in Game Programming
· Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0