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am 23. Januar 2003
Ich muß, nachdem ich zwei andere Bücher über dieses Thema gekauft habe, zugeben doch recht skeptisch an dieses Buch herangegangen zu sein, doch ich muß ganz ehrlich gestehen, dass es sich bei diesem Buch keinesfalls um das Werk eins Laien handelt, sondern um die Arbeit eines Profis. Man merk vom ersten Listing an, dass dieses aus der Feder von jemandem stammt, der weiß worüber er redet.
Der Autor vermittelt in sehr gutem und einfach gehaltenen englisch, nicht nur die Programmierabläufe, sondern liefrt auch Hintergrundinformationen über den allgemeinen Ablauf von Windows. Viele gute Abbildungen erklären weiterhin komplizierte Abläufe spielend einfach.
Wenn ich den direkten Vergleich zu z.b. Stefan Zerbst "3D Spieleprogrammierung in DirectX" ziehe so ist "Tricks of the Window Game Programming Gurus" meiner Meinung nach die bessere Wahl. Es weißt deutlich bessere Programme auf, Zerbst Programme neigen dazu zu einem undurchdringlichen Kuddelmuddel aus Globalen Variablen mit wenig aussagekräftigen Namen zu werden.
Ich möchte hier noch generell anmerken, dass jemand, der keine Programmiererfahrung in C/C++ hat mit diesem Buch keine Freude haben wird, da André LaMothe davon ausgeht, dass man der Sprache mächtig ist.
Wenn man sich für Spieleprogrammierung interessiert, würde ich empfehlen zuerst ein gutes C/C++ Buch zu kaufen und sich dann mit diesem Werk zu befassen.
[Auf CD mitgeliefert werden viele Sachen, wie z.b. der komplette Source Code, alle Ressourcen, Demo Versionen von wichtigen Appilaktionen um 2/3D Modelle Graphiken zu entwickeln,25 weiterführende Artikel, DirectX8 SDK, 2 kommerzielle Engines,2 komplette Bücher über Direcr3D und die MS Visual C++ Introductory Edition... wenn das mal nich viel ist ;)]
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am 27. Juli 2002
Bei diesem Buch merkt man von der ersten Seite an, daß es von einem Profi stammt. Einem Profi der nicht nur technisch einiges auf dem Kasten hat, sondern auch pedagogisch überzeugt. So führt er in lockerem Stil in die Materie ein und schafft es trotz diesem Stil nicht nur an der Oberfläche zu kratzen, sondern dringt tief in die Materie ein. Nebenbei gibt er noch eine Menge Tips über die Optimierung von Code, an die man als "Normalsterblicher" nie denken würde.
Jedoch sollte der absolute Programmierneuling vorsichtig an dieses Werk herangehen. Er wird nämlich höchstwahrscheinlich überfordert sein. Aber dieses Buch will gar kein 08/15 - Programmierlehrbuch sein. Es will vielmehr den engagierten Programmierer ein Wissen vermitteln, daß sonst nur sehr schwer zugänglich ist. Und dies schafft es meiner Meinung nach mit Bravour.
Auf alle Fälle ein weiterer LaMonthe den man unbedingt in seiner Bibliothek haben muss.
...aber man sollte für die Lektüre viiiiieeeeeel Zeit veranschlagen :-)
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am 19. Januar 2001
Ich habe mir dieses Buch zusammen mit Andre LaMoth's Buch "Windows Game Programming For Dummies" gekauft und bin absolut zufrieden mit dem Inhalt dieses Buches. Andre fängt praktisch bei null an und führt den Leser zielgerichtet auf die Spiele-Programmierung mit DirectX zu. Nachdem DirectX im wesentlichen vorgestellt ist, geht es erst richtig los: angefangen bei Vektor- und 2D-Grafik, über Kollisionsabfragen, bishin zu künstlicher Intelligenz (und vieles, vieles mehr!!) wird alles abgedeckt - eben alles, was man für sein eigenes erstes Spiel brauchen könnte. Die Programmbeispiele funktionieren ALLE (außer natürlich, wenn man nicht mit dem Compiler umgehen kann). Seine unterhaltsame und doch sehr informative und packende Schreibweise animierten mich, auch in den letzten freien Minuten, die ich hatte, mir das Buch vorzunehemen. Englischkenntnisse sollte man natürlich mitbringen, genauso wie natürlich C-Kenntnisse (C++ wird bei Auftreten von Andre erklärt). Insgesamt gesehen ein sehr lohnendes Buch (auch für den Preis) - macht Appetit auf Band 2.
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am 9. November 1999
Andre Lamothe is one of the best game programming writers in terms of explaining complex matters clearly. So, this book looked like the Holy Grail of modern game programming. Well, not quite...
1) Until you get into the text itself, you don't find out that this is only volume one of a two-volume set. It is not mentioned anywhere on the book's cover, nor in any of the promotional material. If you're most interested in the 3D part (and who wouldn't be, since non-3D games are a dying breed, and good books on Direct3D Immediate Mode are practically nonexistent?), you'll have to wait until Lamothe finishes volume two. Since THIS volume shipped quite late, God only knows when you'll see THAT one. (There are some tutorials on 3D on the CD-ROM, but they're not written by Lamothe, which means that they don't have his trademark knack for explaining difficult concepts.)
2) Volume 1 is actually an extended re-write of his earlier "Windows Game Programming for Dummies." If you've read that book, you'll find that the vast majority of the topics (and the order they are presented in, such as: first general Windows programming, then GDI, then a game console framework, then COM, and finally DirectX itself) and even the "engine" source code comes directly from the "...Dummies" volume. Granted, "Tricks..." does go into a lot more detail and covers some newer features of DirectX (force-feedback, DirectMusic) that the earlier book didn't touch. Also, if you have any professional aspirations, it's a lot less embarrassing to say you picked up a technique from a book titled "Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus" instead of "Windows Game Programming for Dummies!" However, those who bought the latter volume should be aware that they're going to see a LOT of material, verbatim, for the second time.
3) Finally, there are a number of typos in the text and bugs in the sample source code. As an example of the former, look at the rotation matrix at the bottom of page 455. Owing to a bad choice of font, it has two elements missing! In terms of code bugs, look at Demo7_13 or Demo7_14. In Scan_Image_Bitmap(), the dest_ptr is being incremented by ddsd.dwWidth, when it should be by ddsd.lPitch. The fact that Lamothe has cautioned the user against making this VERY SAME MISTAKE earlier in the book adds insult to injury. (This is not unusual, by the way. I've read several of Lamothe's books, and have always found bugs in the sample source, which can be especially maddening for the student who may only know that something isn't working right, but might have no clue on how to even begin to fix it. Worse, these bugs should have been immediately apparent when the program was run, which leads me to suspect that Lamothe considers himself such a "guru" that he writes his code blind and doesn't always bother testing it before sending it out to the publisher.)
So, there you have it. Despite its faults, this book is one of the most comprehensive texts on the current iteration of DirectX (minus Direct3D), and contains other valuable information about AI, advanced algorithms and data structures, multithreading, game physics, etc. It is probably a "must buy" for anyone serious about game programming. However, until Lamothe gets around to finishing volume two, this is really nothing more than a "work in progress." Even as such, the reader had better be prepared to do some serious debugging on his or her own.
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am 22. Juli 2000
OK. So this review might be a little late and from the looks of the other reviews, it isn't even necessary. But I hope I can give you a little more detail than the average bear. So hear is my 2 cents, in a million words or less.
Well Andre LaMothe has done it again! I loved this book! Andre takes you step by step through DirectX, specifically, DirectDraw, DirectInput (with force feedback!) DirectSound and DirectMusic. As everyone has already noticed, the 3d work was delegated to the online books and articles. Adrian Perez's new book is on its way to my house, but I can't wait for Andre's Vol II! And true to Andre's form, he takes you through the current topic with understandable explanations, lot's of code and plenty of figures! Each chapter has several working demos with source code.
Andre graciously takes the bits and pieces from the demos and puts them in a library providing you with a "2D 8-bit/256 color back buffered DirectX engine that has support for any resolution, along with clipping to the primary display surface" (that's a quote). He also provides the 16 bit version of this library on the CD.
I'm going to try and give you a good idea of what is in the book (beyond regurgitating the table of contents). So if you don't want to read this, just buy the book! You won't regret it.
The book is for new comers to DirectX. But, even if you are a DirectX guru, you may still want to get this book for its chapters on AI and Basic Physics Modeling.
The book is divided into 4 parts.
Part 1 is "Windows Programming Foundations" which I really enjoyed because I don't program in Windows (I'm a Unix weenie). If you already know how to program in Windows, you can skip part 1. But I suggest you check out the end of chapter 4. Andre gives you a complete Windows shell for all of your future game needs. All you have to do is fill in the Game_Main() function. And get this, you will write your first game in chapter 1!
Part 2 is "DirectX and 2D Fundamentals" which has a great intro to COM (did you know DirectX was a COM library? Now you do!). Part 2 is the heart of the book with chapters 5 - 10 covering DirectDraw, Bitmapped Graphics, Vector Rasterization and 2D Transformations, DirectInput with Force Feedback, DirectSound and DirectMusic. This part of the book is about 2D Game programming with DirectX.
Part 3 is "Hardcore Game Programming" Chapters 11 - 14 are sweet! Andre covers Algorithms and Data Structures, which, in my opinion, are what make or break a well designed piece of software.
Memory Management and Multithreading cap off chapter 11. The rest of part 3 is the much acclaimed AI and Physics Modeling chapters.
Get a load of this. Andre covers: Deterministic AI Algorithms, Tracking Algorithms (so your missile can find it's target), Evasion Algorithms (so your plane can get away from the missile), Patterns and controlling game components with scripts, Patterns with Conditional Logic, Modeling Behavior State Systems (to include modeling personalities), giving your game components memory (so they can "remember" things) and teaching them how to Learn from other components (as well as from the player), Planning and Decision Trees, Pathfinding (getting around those obstacles), Advanced AI Scripting, Artificial Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms (way out there stuff) and Fuzzy Logic (with 6 sub technologies on fuzzy logic). AND THAT IS JUST ONE CHAPTER! Granted though, this chapter grazes these subjects but in a way that makes you say "Whoa!" Part 3 ends with chapter 13, Basic Physics Modeling (Oh, Andre, Morpheus did not tell Neo to "Follow the white rabbit." That message was from Trinity :) )
Part 4 is the Appendices, which covers what is on the CD, Installing DirectX and Using the Compiler. It also has a nice little Math and Trigonometry Review, a C++ Primer, a list of Game Programming Resources and, finally, (drum roll) an ASCII Table which every programming book should have but rarely does.
Whew!
I honestly don't believe I have ever seen such complete coverage of Game programming in one book. Albeit, 2D Game programming.
Now, the biggest complaint about this book is the lack of 3D material. And I have to agree. Even though the CD covers 3D game programming with online books and articles from other authors (and Andre), the "and 3D Game Programming" should have been left out of this books title. Authors and publishers must understand that a books title makes a promise. Ergo, 4 stars.
Gotchya's: dmusic.lib, dsound3d.lib are not on the CD (or did I do something wrong?)! (They didn't get installed with DirectX). Consequently demo10_5 cannot link (it needs dmusic.lib). I don't think dsound3d.lib is used in the book.
Oh! Andre, what the heck is "<BG>? "
So thats it. Like I said at the start, just buy the book. And when your done with it, "you'll feel right as rain." :)
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am 12. Januar 2000
Too many people are upset that this book does not hand hold them from no programming experience to making top quality games - please! Game programming is one of the hardest kinds of programming there is, and no one can jump from "Hello World" to Quake in the time it takes to read a book. That is like taking a high school class in physics and expecting to learn enough to debate Kip Thorne on the latest theories.
There is also criticism that the title is misleading. I agree it is, but that is probably not the fault of the writer. Computer book authors usually have little input on cover design or the writing on it. They may get lucky enough to see it before the book is printed. NEVER buy a computer book based on what the cover says. Look at the inside. That nice big book on Direct3D could just be 80% "Appendix A - List of All Functions".
But there are lots of small mistakes in the book - simply knowing there are will save a lot of trouble. The math derivations are particularly troublesome - there are a number of times that negative signs or reciprocals were not shown. McMillian should have sprung for a better tech editor (fat chance for that).
This is currently the best book on Windows Game Programming in existence, and I would not expect better ones anytime soon. Writing computer books of this quality is hard work and the money the writers get is not worth it for most qualified programmers. We are just lucky that LaMothe lives like he is constantly on speed (if you met him you know what I am talking about). To get anything out of this book you need to know C(C++), some basic ideas about graphics, algebra. And not to be afraid of coding on your own.
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am 14. Oktober 1999
This book was a bit of a dissapointment. In over 1000 pages LaMothe covers the very basics of 2D graphics, physics, and AI. The sample game at the end of the book has physics effects as advanced as friction, and graphics as advanced as the 'roids' demo that comes with the SDK. (So yes, it is an 'asteroids' clone).
The book, be warned has NO information about 3D programming.
There are two 'online books'... One of them on 3D graphics. It includes next to no sample source, and covers non-realtime graphics like raytracing a little too much for my tastes. All of the information contained in it could be found in Foley Et Al.
The other book is on D3D IM. This book is basically a reprint of the sample files, in fact to explain certain concepts like lighting and multitexture the author {who by the way is not LaMothe} simply copies and pastes the sample source files that come with the SDK, boldfacing the important pieces of code.
Granted, what it covers it covers well. Anyone who has never programmed Windows or DirectX 6.1 will like this book. If you're new to programming, you might be more interested in LaMothe's other book, Windows Game Programming for dummies. This book is almost identical to the first, except twice as long.
If you're interested in 3D concepts, advanced physics, and AI you couldn't find in one of his other book (save the enjoyably long discussion on Fuzzy Logic), look elsewhere.
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am 25. November 1999
A lot of people are complaining about the lack of 3D info. This is entirely unwarranted because if you do any research at all, they say that there is 3D stuff on the cd and that LaMothe will go over it in Volume II.
I have both his original Gurus book and his Windows Dummies book. By the time I got this one I already knew a good deal of game programming, but this book was most definitely not a waste of time! All the stuff that was in Dummies is in here and explained more fully as well as for DirectX 6.0 (Dummies was some strange hybrid of 1.0 and 5.0). For those who haven't seen it in a while, or never quite got there, he also explains basic Linear Algebra in a very straight-forward manner. In addition he has chapters on physics and stae-of-the-art artificial intelligence(Fuzzy Logic and Neural Nets!). The physics chapter is very important because the next time I see a Mario clone where you float to the top of your jump, float back down to the bottom at the same speed, and can change direction in the middle, I'm going to blow chunks all over my computer!
Anyone who knows C and some C++ can pick up this book, learn Windows programming, and make a game within a month or two. Face it, as a beginning programmer, or even an advanced lone programmer, you're not going to write the next Quake. This book will make sure your game at least doesn't stink.
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am 9. Januar 2000
I've been waiting to jump from the Xlib/OpenGL world to the world of Windows graphics programming. With this book the transition was easy. The book is a great read and covers everything I needed to get started. Mr. LaMothe. . . I'm now ready for the 3D stuff in Volume II.
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am 12. Oktober 1999
I'm disappointed by the fact that the cover says Fundamentals of 2D and 3D Game Programming...when the 3D will be in a second book. Some of it is on the Disk, but still.... Misleading... Also, it says on the book that it uses the latest DirectX. It covers 6.0 and mentions 7.0. If your're using the latest DirectX you should be using 7.0, not just talking about it. Don't you think? Also, what's with the <BG> all over? Are we on-line chatting? I don't think so. Quit with the silly comments and give me some meat! Anyway, this is a good book if you are beginning programming and want to start programming games. As an experienced Windows Programmer I find a lot of the assumptions about Windows Programming are wrong, but, just my opinion. If you know very little about game programming, then this is a good book to start with. If you know a lot about 2D game programming and want to learn about 3D then wait for book 2.
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