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Game Programming Gems
Edited by Mark DeLoura, published August 2000.

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$46.17 (34% off) Amazon.com Note: free shipping
$48.96 (30% off) BooksAMillion.com
$55.96 (20% off) Charles River Media
$64.70 (7% off) Buy.com
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Reviews from GameDev.net

Myopic Rhino GDNet Staff (rating 5.0/5.0)
There are many game programming books out there written for beginning to intermediate programmers, but unfortunately, advanced information is harder to come by, being scattered across web sites, magazines, technical journals, and in small sections of non-game-specific books. Game Programming Gems finally provides a single place where you can find explanations of advanced techniques that are actually being used in modern games.

This book covers a broad range of topics and is written by many authors, so naturally, there will be some sections that are more useful to you than others. Overall, though, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a game programmer who wouldn't benefit in some way from this book.

My only minor complaint is that although the vast majority of the chapters include sample code, not many include a complete demo. Although you can easily create your own project to dump the sample code into, it would have been nice to be able to immediate launch a demo as I read each section.

That one shortcoming isn't enough to stop me from giving this a 5 star rating. I highly recommend it to any intermediate to advanced game programmer who wants to take it to the next level.

Metorical (rating 5.0/5.0)
This book is a great addition to any aspiring game developers library. It contains a great deal of useful information presented clearly and logically.

Don't think you can just find all this stuff on developer sites! You might be able to find a good deal of it but this is a profesionally edited book which far exceeds most of the tutorials on the net.

Azrael (rating 4.5/5.0)
The closest thing to a printed game developer encyclopedia you will ever find.

For amateur game developers (and sometimes professionals) game developing is about designing a game in paper, figuring out how to put that in common algorithms and methods so you can program it, and then realising you have no idea where to start, how to solve a specific problem and much less how to put it all together. Many amateurs (sometimes professionals) find themselves so stuck they drop the project altogether, or waste months and months resourcing, theres is where this book springs into action.

The introduction of this book says it all, "Everyday we deal with problems that seem unsolvable and a deadline (thats the fun of game progrmming!) and then have to scan the web in search of a possible solution, but wouldnt it be great if we have a book we could search for the answers first?" that is the pure function of this book and it does it great.

Game programming gems is the closest thing to a troubleshooter book encyclopedia in game developing you may find, it covers almost any topic you may encounter problematic in game programming: fast math, network coding, resources, fast saves, AI, 3d pipelines, resource management, optimizations, bones, model skinning, camera control, pixel special effects and even coding styles, organization, design patterns and fast programming techniques are covered.

Many have said that this book is a "bunch of articles together" they might be, but they are so well sawn together, sometimes you will even miss when you change fron an author to another, even the writing style of some "fit" together and the subjects are divided in large chapters along the book covering *Math, *Coding, *Pixel effects, *AI, polygons , so you wont get lost easily.

Besides , If this articles are found in "any" place in the web, I have yet to found them, true some of they are, but I really dont think ALL of them are. And believe me without reading this, you are missing some very valuable info.

Amateurs might have the idea this book will teach them opengl, C or C++ and all the math involved in game programming, sorry but it wont, is not supposed to, the math level it uses (although not as advanced as other books) pressume you have knowledge of some vector math, matrices and a bit of calculus. Programming as well starts using templates and classes as soon as you get to the second article (not very newbie friendly). I recommend you read NEHE great opengl tutorials and some 3d math primer (and just a tad of calculus) before yo get here and you will be just fine with this reading.

However the book is not without its faults. Some important subjects like network coding are barely touched, other substantial knowledge like vector algebra, bezier and splines curves are not fully covered or barely mentioned and techniques that are extremely important in todays game programming like Roaming, bsp trees, portals, Hardware T&L and such are just not here.(guess we will have to look them up in the net, or wait for the next book.)

Another fault I found is web support, there is.. well.. none, The webpage the book suggest is "a place with lots of game programming info where blah, blah, blah" is basically a (not very good) ad page.. disapointing to say the least. http://www.gameprogramminggems.com

On the other hand, the bundled CD has examples and source code from most (I think theres only 1 article without source code) of the articles in the book. It doesnt have eye popping demos but it has what you need to get your eye popping games started. (now thats a good philosophy!)

The book still does what it promises to do, it gives you a place to search for answers before anything else and most of the time finding them, and in an easy to read, fun and very practical way, Just what I've been looking for!

Overall a great book! (with some minor faults fixable by reading any dev site gamedev perhaps? =) )

Now go and get it!

Bully (rating 5.0/5.0)
I am incredibly impressed with this book. This book covers everything from memory/resource management to real-time realistic terrain generation( giving a variety of techniques to do this as well ). Lens flares, octrees and the AI section is out of this world. What can I say, other than every game developer should have a copy of this on his/her shelf. And guess what, no WIN32 primer, whoo hoo!!! And in actual fact the book does it's best to make the text as platform independent as possible. However, the beginning game programmer is likely to get nothing out of this book as it is targeted at intermediate/advanced programmers. But this is a good thing at least the book has targeted it's audience and doesn't try to be everything and the kitchen sink :) . Can't wait for Game Programming Gems 2.

CABaaL522 (rating 5.0/5.0)
this is THE book for anyone even slightly interested in game programming. BUY IT!

Codespike (rating 4.5/5.0)
Alot of books state "game programming" in their title but many times unfortunately the titles of the books should have been "direct X programming". Fortunately, "Game Programming Gems" is true to it's word it is a book focused primarily on games, so all you folks wanting to learn c/c++, openGL or Direct X then choose another book because this book will teach you techniques and algorithms specific to games. An excellent reference book if nothing else covering many topics across the board.

EbonySeraph (rating 5.0/5.0)
This book is THE definive resource for those who are just beyond beginning game programming and want to move on to stuff that is at least close to the techniques used in real games. The first three articles nail some issues I have with projects I tried or completed in the past. The book is nicely divided into sections so you can flip to a specific topic that you need knowledge in or care about. After the first section, the book gets much more advanced and some of the math needs math above intro-level Calculus. This book is a must buy for anyone who is serious or even semi-serious about game programming.

frankd (rating 5.0/5.0)
A great collection of helpful ideas. It's so hard to find books at this level between newbie and advanced. I hope there are more volumes to come.

gryu (rating 5.0/5.0)
I translated it into Korean(translated version is published 15/12/2000 in South Korea), so I read it from cover to cover, never skipped a word(or a letter). My conclusion is... "every single bit" in this book is great. Great book! ...and... Hi ZegTern, I'm Korean too. Visit my site at http://gpgstudy.com. As name says, its for studying Game Programming Gems.

Harlequin (rating 5.0/5.0)
Well, I love this book.. They´ve placed a whole gamedev library in one book! Even if it doesn´t explain every part of gameprogramming, it´ll show you the technique to do it! Really worth it! BuY it NOW!

MK42 (rating 4.5/5.0)
I really enjoyed this book. Finally something which covers some more advanced topics. I found some pretty useful pieces of code in there, but don't expect too much code ... just a few snippets here and there. The only reason this book got a 9 instead of a 10 are, that the diagrams are pretty crappy (the wavelet article for example) and (more importantly) that some of the more interesting things are just 'mentioned'. Like (again in the wavelet article) "you can use this to compress images" ... it would have been interesting to say "HOW".

Anyways, the wavelet article is just a bad example of an otherwise great book. I guess it just kinda struck me as odd, because I was searching for sources on wavelet compression at that time.

Nutter (rating 5.0/5.0)
I think the fact that I havn't been able to read it yet is testament enough to how good this book is.. I was too busy to read it when I first got it, so a coworker borrowed it, and it's been circulating my coworkers ever since, several of whom are waiting on their copies too. I think there's only 2 or 3 of the other programmers left now who havn't read it yet, so I should get a chance to read it myself soon, if I'm lucky.. :)

spacemadness (rating 5.0/5.0)
Yea this book is a must have and a good complement to Lamothe's book... it has a lot of useful tools ( like profiling your game ) and endless algorithms like path finding and physics... Also alot on class design... get this one it is worth it...

STVOY (rating 5.0/5.0)
This looks great for programmers, designers and game artists alike. A real must have.

TheEarl (rating 5.0/5.0)
This looks great for programmers, designers and game artists alike. A real must have.

Zaei (rating 5.0/5.0)
Wonderful book. Unlike many Game programming books, it actually focuses on the "game" part, and not just the graphics. There is just enough there, but it also has sections on AI, Programming techinques, and any of the things that are essential to making games.


Reviews from Amazon.com

Paul D Tozour from Austin, TX USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
A First-Of-Its-Kind Introduction to Game Programming, September 16, 2000
This book is hands-down the best book yet published on game programming. I have yet to find any other book that begins to approach the excellence of Game Programming Gems in terms of the breadth and depth of the subjects covered.

GPG will serve as an excellent introduction to a broad variety of game programming techniques for those new to the industry, and an invaluable desk reference and for more experienced game developers. As a 7-year industry veteran, I can't count the number of times the techniques in this book would have proven useful in the past.

Of particular interest are Steve Rabin's excellent chapters on the A* algorithm, the cornerstone of (most) pathfinding in computer games. These chapters go far beyond the explanation of the algorithm itself and serve up a host of rare and valuable insights for getting the most out of your pathfinding in an actual game environment.

I have no doubt that this book will have a significant impact on the state of the art in the game development community, and one can only hope that this book is only a hint of what's to come.

Jacob Marner from Denmark (rating 4.0/5.0)
Shiny gems for all levels of game programmers, October 24, 2002
This book is a collection of articles with game programming as the common theme. It does not cover game design so don't get disappointed about this. The articles cover many of the subjects concerned in game programming and are divided into the following categories: General Programming, math, AI, Geometry and Pixel Effects.

Some articles are introductory articles in their field and some are true gems that actually give information that cannot be found anywhere else. The introductory articles are good for those who don't know a field and allows an easy way to learn about it - one that gave me real new insight is Pete Isensee's introductory article about metaprogramming. Of course, if you already are an expert in the discussed field then the article will not bring anything new.

The articles are of highly varying quality. Some are excellently written and some not worth the paper they are written on - but all in all this book is a must-have for any game programmer.

The articles are also targeted and different reader groups. Some are pretty and easy to understand while others require advanced college math and physics to follow. To beauty of this is that beginners can grow with the book and understand more and more of it as they learn more - while getting an idea of what the field of game programming has to offer.

This book cannot be recommended as a book for beginning programmers or people new to game programming. They should read other books first. However, for the serious game programmer it can be highly recommended.

If the book only contained its good articles I would have given it 5 stars, but as it stands now it can only get 4.

Dave Mark from Intrinsic Algorithm, LLC (rating 4.0/5.0)
A fantastic "a la carte" tool kit, March 10, 2003
Written by a lot of the top professionals in the industry, each section in this book is like sitting in on a roundtable session at the Game Developers Conference. The contributors here are not giving you just theory that you can think about... they are providing TOOLS that they use in a manner that makes it easy for YOU to use in YOUR code.

The only drawback is that there is so much covered in so many different disciplines. You are buying the graphics and networking sections even if you aren't doing graphics and networking. The only way around this would have been to split the books by area... such as Charles River Media did with the "AI Wisdom" book. However, if you cover a lot of areas in your game programming, this book will touch on all of them!

I am personally using the "State Machine Language" by Steve Rabin (Nintendo of America), the gem on implementing a simple singleton class, and will be doing a variant on Steve Woodcock's "flocking" gem. Could I have done these myself? Possibly. However, by using the code on the CD and dropping it into my game project, I have recouped the purchase price of the book at least 1000:1! That's not a bad ROI.

If you are a game programmer, the book will be of value to you. Should you but it? Ask yourself how much YOUR time is worth... if you can save yourself hundreds of hours for ~70 bucks why even hesitate?

jorge h f faria from Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil (rating 5.0/5.0)
The Guide, March 18, 2002
Before you buy any "I want to be the next John Carmark/John Romero/Sid Meyer/Roberta Willians/Rick Goodman/Big Game Guru" book please check this book. Clever and deep reading removes many spots from "conceptual idea" to "ready to market game"

Definetely recommended.

Roy B McCammon from Austin, TX United States (rating 5.0/5.0)
More Than Games, December 19, 2001
My cohorts and I develop real time control software for embedded applications running on microcomputers with minimal resources. It turns out that many of the "gems" in this book are directly usable. As a team building exercise and to increase our software savvy, we take turns presenting mini-seminars on software topics. This book provides many such topics. Recommended, and it's fun.

valthon from Poulsbo, WA United States (rating 4.0/5.0)
Lots of useful little ideas, July 2, 2001
The gems in this book cover a good variety of topics with a spread from beginner to advanced complexity. While you won't use them all at the same time and you may already know some of gems, the book is a valuable addition to any game programmer's library for both reference and the occasional new idea.

Dave Astle from GameDev.net (rating 5.0/5.0)
Definite must-have, May 22, 2001
There are many game programming books out there written for beginning to intermediate programmers, but unfortunately, advanced information is harder to come by, being scattered across web sites, magazines, technical journals, and in small sections of non-game-specific books. Game Programming Gems finally provides a single place where you can find explanations of advanced techniques that are actually being used in modern games.

This book covers a broad range of topics and is written by many authors, so naturally, there will be some sections that are more useful to you than others. Overall, though, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a game programmer who wouldn't benefit in some way from this book.

My only minor complaint is that although the vast majority of the chapters include sample code, not many include a complete demo. Although you can easily create your own project to dump the sample code into, it would have been nice to be able to immediate launch a demo as I read each section.

That one shortcoming isn't enough to stop me from giving this a 5 star rating. I highly recommend it to any intermediate to advanced game programmer who wants to take it to the next level.

Eric L. DeBrosse from Middletown, OH United States (rating 5.0/5.0)
Great Collection of Graphics Techniques, April 13, 2001
Mark Deloura seems to really know 3D. He has put together a great collection of techniques that every game programmer should know. The topics covered are very broad, containing input from many contributers in the field of game programming. The book contains lots of example code and useful math formulas.

Mark A Drake from Virginia (rating 5.0/5.0)
Game Programming Gems, a Game Programmer's Bible, March 28, 2001
What a book! Whether you are just getting around to game programming, thinking about it, or already doing it, this is one book that needs to be on your library shelf. This is a one of it's kind book that deals with some of the most frustrating topics their can be in game programming.

Simulating water and liquids, AI techniques, messages, lens flares, lighting and texturing, body motion equations and randoms and more are talked about in this book, and the best thing is that it is explained and exampled within a few pages (most of the time).

This is like taking most of the articles out their on the net and sticking them inside of a book and selling it, except that everything is explained better, and nicer, for beginners to advanced programmers. If you even THINK about game programming, you'll want to pick this book up! Can't wait for Game Programming Gems II !

A reader from Eugene, OR, USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
Amazingly helpful book!, February 4, 2001
I've been programming with OpenGl for quite some time, entirely self-taught, and I have got to say, this book easily beats the rest into the ground. Although heavily geared toward advanced programmers, it is an invaluable resource to those who want to learn how to do convincing effects and programming strategies. Another word of warning is that the Mathematics chapter requires, for the most part, a good mathematical background, but it is explained clearly. Some truely mind-blowing techniques are discussed and explained in this book, such as underwater caustics and glass simulation, as well as a few things that made me slap my head to my forehead and say, "Duh! Why didn't I think of that!", like the chapter on ground plane shadows. An incredibly good book on the subject, but definately _not_ for beginners. I highhly recomend it.

Jonathan DeCarlo from Watertown, Connecticut USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
An instant classic!, January 2, 2001
This book is a must-have for all who are serious about game programming. The book is a collection of some choice articles concerning game programming. One warning, however, is that these articles were written by professionals to (for the most part) professionals. If you are just starting out in the game programming field, be warned that the purpose of this text is not to teach you how to program games, but rather techniques for producing effects, good AI, etc. A better book for the beginner would be Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus by Andre LaMothe.

A reader from Austin, TX USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
Add another book to the close bookshelf, November 15, 2000
This book has finally replaced Graphics Gems I as the book that spends the least amount of time on the bookshelf. Everybody around the office who has spent time with it loves it. Well worth the cost.

Jeff Simon from New York, NY USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
Fantastic! Reminds me of why I love programming games..., September 27, 2000
Wonderful adaptation of the popular Graphics Gems series - every chapter in this book leaves me wanting to whip up some code to test out what is taught. Very technical subject matter that spans a wide variety of topics from AI to 3D to physics. Most highly recommended game programming book I've yet seen -- I'm already waiting anxiously for GPG II, III, and IV :).

Mark O'Hara from Urbandale, IA USA (rating 5.0/5.0)
Top Notch: The BEST book I've ever seen on Game Programming, September 13, 2000
Relevent, real and jammed with good info. Good stuff for beginner and experienced people alike. Written mostly by guys who are actually in the biz as opposed to guys who just write books. Two words: Buy It! Puts all other game books to shame.

Desmond Fernando from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada (rating 5.0/5.0)
Superb, A great resource, September 8, 2000
If you're in the Games industry or you want to get in, this book is definitely a must have. This is a smart book by really smart authors - I know, I've worked with a couple of them (Y.King and J.Fretias at EA Canada). This book will prove invaluable for future projects. Every section of the book has something useful, from 'Programming Techniques', 'Artificial Intelligence' to 'Pixel Effects' and its all 100% revelant. I look forward to the rest in the series.

Nathan S Martz from West Lafayette, IN United States (rating 5.0/5.0)
Wow, wow, wow, September 6, 2000
What a fabulous book. As a relatively new game developer, I continue to find this book to be invaluable. It seems like almost everything that I need to know is at least touched on. It's already saved me a great deal of time by teachning good software engineering practices and program structures -- stuff that would have taken me weeks of failure to learn on my own.

A reader from Portland, OR United States (rating 5.0/5.0)
Uncovering a GEM....., August 23, 2000
Wow...this book covers so many areas. In AI alone, it covers A*, an FSM machine class, Game Trees, 3D movement and pathfinding, flocking, fuzzy logic, and a neural-net primer. It contains other great algorithms on real-time shadows, real-time terrain generation, interactive simulation of water surfaces, wavelets, and many other topics. Definitely a good book to own if interested in game programming or 3D graphics in general.

A reader from san diego, ca (rating 5.0/5.0)
fuzzy logic, August 16, 2000
The whole book is a great resource, my fav chapter being the ones on fuzzy logic and AI. Should you ever need to learn about fuzzy logic, or just need a refresher course, the article by mccuskey is a great place to turn. The examples are clear and the explanations are clear and witty. Who knew such a subject could be made fun to learn?

Richard Sim from Adelaide, Australia (rating 5.0/5.0)
Very good and worth every cent!, August 18, 2000
Well, the fact that the Contents alone are 13 1/2 pages long should give you a good hint that this book covers a LOT of stuff! Although it doesn't go into great depth in some places, it does tell you what you need to know to get what it does cover done, and has plenty of code, along with descriptions of what the code does, mathematical formula's, illustrations where necessary, etc.. One thing that should be noted about this book on Amazon, is that the "table of contents" link on the left is pretty inaccurate, the book covers a lot more than what's listed there.

Overall, I have to say that this book will save me a lot of time and headaches, and I recommend it to anyone who is also in the industry, or who wants to be. It's not that the stuff the book covers can't be found elsewhere, or on the web, but it's all in the one place, so it saves time. You should also remember that this is only the first book in what will be a series, just like the Graphics Gems series, so there's more to come, and I plan on buying them all if they're anything like this one.

 
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