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Game Engine Architecture [Hardcover]

Jason Gregory
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 47.99
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Book Description

15 Jun 2009

This book covers both the theory and practice of game engine software development, bringing together complete coverage of a wide range of topics. The concepts and techniques described are the actual ones used by real game studios like Electronic Arts and Naughty Dog. The examples are often grounded in specific technologies, but the discussion extends way beyond any particular engine or API. The references and citations make it a great jumping off point for those who wish to dig deeper into any particular aspect of the game development process.

Intended as the text for a college level series in game programming, this book can also be used by amateur software engineers, hobbyists, self-taught game programmers, and existing members of the game industry. Junior game engineers can use it to solidify their understanding of game technology and engine architecture. Even senior engineers who specialize in one particular field of game development can benefit from the bigger picture presented in these pages.

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Game Engine Architecture + Game Coding Complete + Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press (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: 182,543 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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in gold 10 Aug 2009
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the dogs danglies, buy it now! 1 Dec 2009
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Informative Book 2 Feb 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having been moved to write my first Amazon review I give this book 5 stars. Got it on Kindle, some of the figures are not sized nicely ( Kindle PC ) but this is a minor issue. The book itself is excellent, very well written and easy to read but chocked full of useful information even for an industry professional. This book provides an overview of individual game engine components and interactions in enough detail to permit deeper reading with a comfortable foundation of prior knowledge. At the same time it also manages to drop plenty of useful gems. Well worth having in your games programming reference library, along side more focused books on specific areas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Video Game Book
I teach engine development and this book is good, but runs out of steam towards the middle and end (more C++ code samples needed together with assembler). Read more
Published 9 months ago by G. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing amazing amazing - a must for a game programmer
this book got me through my university degree, it has everything you will need and it is written in plain english. Read more
Published 15 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an excellent example of a text book which transcends academia and makes for an read perfect for anyone interested in the technology of game engines, game programming or... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by J. Bond
4.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to know how video games work? Read this book!
I love video games and I have been learning for a long time about how they are created. Since I already had some basic knowlegde, I was looking for a more technical source of data. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Jon Alonso Masa
2.0 out of 5 stars For 3D only
Unlike all other reviewers I haven't been overly impressed with this one. For starters make sure you're a 3d game programmer only, this book does not cater for 2D games at... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2011 by Mr. S. T. Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and well written
I work a lot with interactive media and occasionally some of the projects requires fairly complex mechanics, which is where this book came in handy. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2010 by Joshua Newnham
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant overview
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. Read more
Published on 19 July 2010 by Dan276371
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book: contains all what you need to understand Game Engine...
This book covers almost everything about game engine architechture. The author is really good writing and giving examples. Read more
Published on 9 May 2010 by Carles Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Game Engine Architecture
This book was bought as a gift, and has received high praise from my son, who is on a university games development course. Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2010 by Amazon Customer
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