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Game Engine Architecture Hardcover – 15 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (15 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568814135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568814131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 19.6 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


A 2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
This course resource provides an excellent, comprehensive look at every major system and issue related to modern game development … a must-have textbook for computer science, software engineering, or game programming majors, amateur hobbyists, game 'modders,' and game developers.
—A. Chen, CHOICE, January 2010

… it looks like most of the critical areas and concepts are touched on. … it looks like you’ll have some reasonably deep understanding of the elements that go into making a game engine. Quite an impressive work, and I know of nothing else in this area that is so detailed. 
—Eric Haines,, July 2009

Jason Gregory draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to create a complete and comprehensive textbook on the theory and practice of game engine software development. Informed and informative, replete with examples for every aspect of the game development process, and fully accessible to aspiring game engine developers as well as a very useful reference for even experienced technicians in the field, Game Engine Architecture is an invaluable, thoroughly 'user friendly', and highly recommended core addition to personal, professional, and academic Computer Science reference and resource collections in general, as well as gaming engine design instructional reading lists in particular. 
The Midwest Book Review, September 2009

The book contains a huge amount of data on specifics to consider when developing a game engine.
—, November 2009

Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory has been named a finalist for the Game Developer's 2009 Front Line Award.
—PR Newswire, December 2009

About the Author

Jason Gregory has worked as a software engineer in the games industry since March 1999, and as a professional software engineer since 1994. He got his start in game programming at Midway Home Entertainment, where he worked on tools, engine technology and game play code for Hydro Thunder 2 (arcade). He also wrote the Playstation 2/Xbox animation system for Freaky Flyers and Crank the Weasel. In 2003, Jason moved to Electronic Arts Los Angeles, where he worked on engine and game play technology for Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. Jason is currently a Generalist Programmer at Naughty Dog Inc., working on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Jason also teaches courses in game technology at the University of Southern California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Maddison on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
After reading countless books and information on websites based on game engine design and architecture, this, to me, is the definitive book written by a professional, for beginners, hobbyists and other professionals alike. The way the author seems to seamlessly blend information that is useful to the less experienced and information that is crucial to all is possibly the best I've seen in any computer book, let alone one of the game development genre (of which I own dozens).

If you're even remotely interested in game engine architecture, or games in general, or even large-scale modular c++ systems, this is a compelling, if almost unputdownable, read. If you're an experienced developer and are looking to get into games or game engines and understand the finer details but not how engines pull everything together, this will answer practically everything.

One of its best attributes is that you don't have to trawl through endless pages of dreary engine code. There are snippets of code in the book, but they are snipped and presented in context and in such a readable fashion that they seem to blend into the prose and most definitely add just enough splashes of technical colour. A lot of books on engine architecture seem to concentrate more on coding the individual components, with little time spent on how everything fits together. The author has worked on AAA titles and gives regular insights into how things were done on those titles.

Most of the computer books I've read, especially in the game genre, have me searching for the author's email address to ask for clarification on certain areas. This author seems to have the nack of explaining things perfectly.

If you're about to invest in some literature about game engine architecture (this isn't a cheap book, hence the use of the word 'invest'), my advice would be to have a look at this one first.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kalle Kaivola on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jason Gregory has done an epic feat in crystallizing a very broad and complex subject matter into an elegant book that is both understandable and fun to read. He explains the peculiarities of game programming in a way that is very approachable to even a less experienced programmer to approach. It is clear that he takes joy and pride in both his actual programming work but also passing his knowledge on to others. Of particular note (and something of a challenge) is that he is able to provide both high-level introductions into the various topics and at the same time provide key tidbits of information for final optimizations. The way he alternates between the two without losing the reader is remarkable. He seems to write books in the way he preaches people to code - keep it simple.

I highly recommend this both to starting game programmers and members of other disciplines such as production, QA and design who want a better understanding of what lies underneath the hood of a game. Even if you're not going to code your own engine, the insight into the basic problem sets in game engine architecture should serve you well.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Gilbert on 1 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
In this book, the authors share with us a wealth of experience and knowledge on how cutting edge game engines work from the outside in, as opposed to the inside out approach of most beginners books. I've read just about every game programming book there is, and I have to say that never before has there been a book that so perfectly describes how all the pieces fit together in a modern game engine.

This book does not come with a CD-ROM, so beginners beware, you might actually have you use your code and brain something! There is plenty of inlined code in the text of the book to explain the fundamentals of many topics, but the implementation details are left to the reader - an exercise I think most professionals reading this book will prefer. References are given for all the topics discussed, so it is easy to find the resources you need to decide on your own implementation. Instead of providing code to a game engine, the authors describe different approaches, drawing on knowledge of the open source OGRE graphics engine, the Unreal 3 Engine and the authors own experiences working pn proprietary engines at Naughty Dog and Midway.

There is so much knowledge in this book, but it did skim over audio and multiplayer subsystems, even though references are given, it would have made for a fascinating insight should they have included those topics, but alas they did not make it in. I can only hope that there is a sequel and that they decide to cover those topics.

All in all I would say that overall this book has a place on any developers bookshelf. In fact I would say it should be made essential reading for game developers everywhere at any level. Even if the authors do skim over some topics, there is such a wealth of knowledge to be earned just by learning from the authors profound insights, and it makes for a fascinating read for those who are interested. This one gets 5 stars from me and a permanent place on my desk next to me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard276371 on 19 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm mainly writing this to address a complaint about this book that I've seen elsewhere: that this book is too high level and doesn't go into enough detail with specifics.

I'd say that is the beauty of this book, and why it stands out. There is already no end of books about low level maths and algorithms, but very few on the overall structure of an engine. For once, here we have a technical book with information you can't find on the internet!

This book is a great overview of all components of a game engine - not just the commonly over analysed rendering aspect - and how they all fit together. As an wannabe indie developer, who hasn't had the experience of a professional game company, it's great to read insights into the naughty dog internal engine and other professional engines. I'm reading through this book and constantly having "aha!" moments with respect to my own game engine.

My only minor complaint would be that there are some very basic bits near the start of the book, however I can easily overlook that considering the value of the rest of the book, and I am sure an absolute beginner would find those initial bits very useful too. And having these basics does make the book a complete overview, and remind an experienced developer of things he may have forgotten.
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