Game Programming Gems (Game Programming Gems (W/CD))

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9781584500490: Game Programming Gems (Game Programming Gems (W/CD))
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For the countless tasks involved in creating a game engine there are an equal number of possible solutions. This text is a hands-on, comprehensive resource packed with a variety of game programming algorithms written by experts from the game industry. From animation and artificial intelligence to Z-buffering, lighting calculations, weather effects, curved surfaces and mutliple layer Internet gaming, to music and sound effects, all of the major techniques needed to develop a competitive game engine are covered. "Game Programming Gems" is written in a style which should be accessible to individuals with a range of expertise levels. All of the source code for each algorithm is included and can be used by advanced programmers immediately. For aspiring programmers, there is a detailed tutorial to work hrough before attempting the code, and suggestions for possible modifications and optimizations are included as well. The CD-ROM contains the source code in C and C++, completely portable to Windows and Linux, and all graphics displays which use the popular Open GL language.

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Aimed at the working (or aspiring) C/C++ game programmer, Game Programming Gems contains over 60 programming tips gathered from more than 40 working game gurus. If you want to build your own games or are simply interested in how games work, this text provides an intriguing glimpse into how the pros create state-of-the-art 3-D animation.

The guiding principle in this book is to publish the best available tips for game programming. Most of these fit into 10 pages or less. But don't let the efficient presentation fool you. Almost every one of these tips will be invaluable to any serious game developer.

Early sections concentrate on techniques for creating more maintainable, faster code. A guide to using scripts for data-driven game modules and techniques teaches you better resource management. A quick-start tutorial to the Standard Template Library (STL) will help you learn how to use these fast collection classes in your code right away. Several contributors show off strategies for better game debugging and profiling (and there is even a set of classes that can provide on-screen feedback during testing.)

The mathematical underpinnings required to do leading-edge 3-D graphics processing are also discussed. And Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques for games are explained.

Over 20 techniques for doing work with polygons (a staple of representing 3-D virtual worlds) are laid out too. You will learn a variety of important concepts such as collision detection, working with key frames, better skinning for character animation, and realistic terrain generation (including fractals). A discussion of pixel effects, with some cutting-edge ways to add more realistic lighting and shadows to your games, closes the discussion.

With its leading-edge material on algorithms used by the competition, Game Programming Gems will be a virtual must-read for anyone who works in the game industry. With code samples geared to OpenGL that should run on both Windows and Linux, this book will help developers hone their game programming skills. --Richard Dragan

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