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Last checked May 6th, 2005.
$44.07 (37% off) Amazon.com Note: free shipping
$48.96 (30% off) BooksAMillion.com
$51.76 (27% off) Buy.com
$55.96 (20% off) Charles River Media
$69.95 (0% off) BarnesAndNoble.com
Reviews from GameDev.net
Myopic Rhino GDNet Staff (rating 5.0/5.0)
Like the first volume, Game Programming Gems 2 features an exceptional collection of articles written by a knowledgeable group of authors, most of whom are well-known and respected in the area they write about. This series (the third volume is already underway, as are related books focusing on AI and design) isn't intended to be a complete guide to all aspects of game development, but rather, a resource you turn to when you need help with a specific problem. As such, the series truly shines, and this volume is a worthy follow up to the first.
The articles, or gems, included in the book cover intermediate to advanced topics in the areas of general programming, mathematics, artificial intelligence, geometry management, graphics display, and audio programming, each edited by an expert in the field. Most of the gems assume that you have a fundamental knowledge of the issues related to the topic, and get to the point quickly. As a result, on average the gems are shorter than the previous volume. Both of these things could be viewed as either positives or negatives, depending on your experience level. Regardless, almost all of the gems are well written and relevant.
Most game programming books these days come with CDs packed full of demos, source code, and other information supplementing the book. Unfortunately, the CD that comes with this book isn't one of those. It does have source code from most of the chapters, but there are very few demos and no extras (unless you count GLUT and the DX8 SDK, which I don't since you can easily get those elsewhere). However, I'd count the CD as only a minor disappointment, since the book itself is so good.
If you're serious about game development, I'd highly recommend adding Gems 2 to your library. You'll definitely find things in it that you can use.
DeltaVee (rating 5.0/5.0)
This book is required for any serious game developer's library. It complements the first volume nicely and provides a good basis for some fairly advanced stuff.
Grugnorr (rating 5.0/5.0)
Very nice!. I even liked it more than the first volume. If you are at intermediate-advanced level: buy it!. Otherwise, it is not for beginners...
Reviews from Amazon.com
Tim Lambert from Sydney, NSW Australia (rating 5.0/5.0)
Not just for games, December 8, 2003
You don't have to be programming a game to find the gems like the ones for rendering and geometry useful.
To get a feel for the quality of the gems I looked at the gem on "The Parallel Transport Frame". I'd encountered this problem myself when trying to get VRML extrusions to work properly. VRML extrusions use Frenet frames so fail when the curve has an inflection. I came up with the same solution as the one described in this gem, and I'm sure many others have reinvented this particular wheel. The gem accurately describes the problem and solution and if I'd had it while I was messing with VRML extrusions it would have saved me some trouble.
A reader from TERNI, TR Italy (rating 5.0/5.0)
The best EVER, August 20, 2001
The biggest source of knowledge in game development, condensed in more than 70 useful chapters and pratical examples. Don't miss to have in your personal library.
A reader from Vilnius, Lithuania (rating 5.0/5.0)
just great!, August 4, 2001
I'd like recomend this book to everyone, who is interested in game programming and esp. to those who has the fisrt book. It is full of gems for developers, everything is clearly written (expet a few chapters, maybe). you wiill definetly find what you need in this book!
i want to thank authors for another great book! (i'm waiting for game programming gems 3;)
Joshua K. Goldshlag from Cambridge, MA United States (rating 4.0/5.0)
Great book, just missing a few things..., August 8, 2001
I like this book a lot, though it isn't quite as good as the previous edition (partly because the first one was great)
This book didn't have any real networking tips, which in this day and age seems a bit odd. Hopefully there will be a gems 3 and that will include some net stuff. It also had a few odd typos. Some of the gems were *very* short (1 or 2 pages), when it seemed like a slightly more detailed discussion would be nice.
Other than those small problems, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it to any game programmers that want to pick up a few useful tips.
Michael Delp from San Diego, CA (rating 5.0/5.0)
ridiculously amazing book for the game developer, January 28, 2002
This is an incredible book that covers topics ranging from text parsers to audio engines. It also comes with a cd so I can put the great text parser in my game without typing a line. How sweet is that?
Official Barnes & Noble Review BarnesAndNoble.com
Bill Camarda - Barnes & Noble Professional Reviewer
The first volume of Game Programming Gems helped break down the walls of secrecy in the game development industry, where programmers have often been loathe to share their best techniques. Mark DeLoura cajoled some 40 top game developers to participate, and the result was an eye-opener. Now, he's back with even more great ideas, in Game Programming Gems 2.
To begin with, you'll find more than 20 "general programming" techniques: optimizing C++ games, protecting yourself from "DLL Hell," adding a drop-in debug memory manager, stack winding, and a nifty approach to using web cameras, to name a few. Highlights from the book's math section include improving IEEE floating point performance, determining inverse trajectories, and creating smooth C2 quaternion-based flythrough paths.
You'll find a big bundle of attractive AI techniques (influence mapping, strategic assessment, terrain reasoning, and how to manage the tendency of fuzzy logic systems toward combinatorial explosion, to name a few). Graphics display, geometry, and audio are also well represented, with an emphasis on squeezing maximum performance out of the available resources.
We'll never have enough hardware to quench our thirst for speed and reality, but Game Programming Gems 2 is the next best thing.