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Programming Linux Games: Building Multimedia Applications with SDL, OpenAL, and Other APIs [Paperback]

Loki Software , John R. Hall
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2001 1886411492 978-1886411494 1

Programming Linux Games discusses important multimedia toolkits (including a very thorough discussion of the Simple DirectMedia Layer) and teaches the basics of Linux game programming. Readers learn about the state of the Linux gaming world, and how to write and distribute Linux games to the Linux gaming community.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (1 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886411492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886411494
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 18.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Loki Software, Inc. ports best-selling PC games to Linux. Loki supports several Open Source development projects, including OpenAL(tm), a cross-platform 3D-Audio Library, and SDL MPEG Player Library (SMPEG), a general-purpose MPEG video/audio player for Linux.


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In 1991 a Finnish university student named Linus Torvalds began working on a new operating system in his spare time. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glansing an amazing span of topics 5 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mr Hall does have style.You sit and wait for him to get to more advanced topics, and before you know it you have learned a lot. This book sports code that is so vell commented that it is like reading prose.
The number of topics covered is amazing. This is also where he fails to reach up to the last two stars. He doesn't cover the topics as deeply as I would have wanted, and also he covers topics that might be self evident to the seasoned linux programmer. However this book also comes at a nice price, so I'll add one more star for this excellent "get-you-started-on-linux-game-programing" book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs updating 19 July 2004
By Nodoid
Format:Paperback
While chunks of it are rather good (the engine design in particular was excellent IMO), the material has been let down by there not having been a second edition of the book which had the problems with the sound code fixed.
The idea for game timing was "interesting" to say the least...
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading 1 Mar 2004
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The computer game market is dominated by dedicated game console platforms, like Sony's Playstation and Microsoft's XBox. But the steady rise of linux on fast, cheap hardware and the parallel rise of an open source community leads one to wonder if there are alternatives.
Which leads to this book. It has some of the ambience of the flashback to the 70s or 80s, when programmers in their spare time might gin up a cool game, which would then spread like a virus when word got out. Of course, you can use the book's advice to design a proprietary game. Nobody says you need give it away.
The book's code examples are in C. Not Java, please note. While Java is good for some applications, typically in gaming, performance is always an issue, as measured by latency, for example. The book also does not mention C++. Pity. C++ compilers nowadays are usually as efficient as C compilers. Plus, if you want to code a game of any complexity (over 100 000 lines, say), then C scales badly, unless you use really strict design and coding standards.
Overall, though, the book is well done. Very easy reading if you're experienced. Very little knowledge of graphics is required. The book is more about the back end design. Graphics is pushed out to OpenGL and similar packages.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Linux and beyond!!! 23 Aug 2001
By "vikingchieftain" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time. I can't say that I'm into Linux games per say, but I am definitely into cross platform ones and SDL(Simple Direct Media Layer)which is covered in the book is the ticket to getting there. My only previous gripe with SDL was the documentation or lack thereof, which while the documentation is getting better this book does an excellent job of covering SDL from the ground up. If you want to write cross platform games then this book is for you!
If you're new to game programming then get this book too!!! Even if you plan to start out making games on Windows, I suggest reading this book along with Lamothe's as it will help you understand game programming basics without the complexity of Windows' code. The author takes you all the way from initializing the display to a complete game by the end of the book, and even though the game was meant to be for Linux it will compile without too many modifications. Although the game in this book may be rather simple one in today's standards, it does cover all the bases including networking and game scripting, the latter of which I found very helpful. ...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book: jsut make sure it is the one you are after 21 Nov 2001
By Bruno A Nitrosso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First and foremost: make sure this is what you are looking for,
even the best book will disappoint someone who is looking for something else!
If, like myself, you have some knowledge in computer science without being an expert and particularly have no expertise in Game Developping nor in MultiMedia and are yet curious about the topics then definetly go for it.
This book unveils pretty much all aspects game programming: graphics, audio, computer "AI", network gaming, etc.
Unveils, not exhausts: be warned. But this is just great when all you are after is understanding what is this about and decide eventually to dig deeper.
And everything is done with examples building up until you have developped with the author "your" first game : Penguin Warrior!
What would be great is to have a sequel with more advanced topics (3D, Scheme scripting, etc.): be many to buy it and maybe we will someday see it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning walkthrough for game programming 22 Dec 2005
By Andrew M. Matta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There aren't enough books written about game programming for Linux. Although this book is dated (A lot of API evolution can occur in 4 years), it is probably the best introduction I have seen so far. The book walks you through the creation of a simple, but full-featured game using mostly cross-platform APIs. It is elegantly written and easy to understand. Because of how much the libraries have changed, you will not be able to use all of the code directly, but it should not be difficult to look up the new function calls in the respective libraries' online documentations. It would be great if someone could write an update of the book. This book is not a one-stop place for all you need to know, but it is a good place to start and get you thinking. After reading the book, you should know what to look for to learn more.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent but could have been much better 13 Mar 2003
By Riccardo Audano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had high expectations from this book, coming as it was from a
company specialized in porting the most complex games to Linux.
Unfortunately it seems that the fall of Loki has brought down this book with it. As other readers have said it is a good SDL
primer (covering just the basics). Other APIS are mentioned but just ina cursory view. There is a whole chapter dedicated to the code of a sound player software whoch is really out of place here.. it looks more like the author stuffed it in since he for some reason had developed it and he thought it was marginally relevant.. A good point is the book is about a working 2D game, Penguin Warrion ( a spaceship against spaceship typical game ) but the game development is not properly explained.. it loks like the book is an appendix to the game and not the contrary... in short to really learn something you must go and scan the code on your own...
With a little bit more affort and time to give the book more depth and solidity it could have been a great beginner's text..too bad!
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