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Programming Role-playing Games with DirectX 8.0 (Game Development) [Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jan 2002 1931841098 978-1931841092 Bk&CD-Rom
How many times have you spent countless hours completely absorbed in conquering the latest role-playing game? Want to experience the thrill of creating your own captivating role-playing game? This book is your guide to doing just that. Covering everything that you need to create a role-playing game--working with graphics and combat engines, handling players, and making your game multiplayer-capable--this book provides a detailed look at the essential components of role-playing games. It begins with helpful information on story line development and design issues specific to role-playing games and then progresses to programming basics and RPG-specific gaming code. Finally, wrap up your project with valuable tips for promoting, marketing, and publishing your game.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Premier Press; Bk&CD-Rom edition (2 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931841098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931841092
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 18.7 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,267,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
Playing games is a perfect way to escape the rigors of a long, hard day-board games, video games, card games, all of us have preferences. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 23 Aug 2004
By David Burton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My own 2 cents, briefly - it covers most aspects of the game development process in substantial detail, and presents it all in a clear, friendly, well-explained manner.
The sample code is excellent, and if you want to get developing RPGs with DirectX 8.0, this is an excellent start.
Speaking as mainly a VB/Dot Net developer, I'd have been keen to see code that used C#, etc, but there's no denying that C++ is the most common language for DirectX development. If you're not familiar with C++, you'll need to familiarise yourself with its concepts to follow the code, but apart from that, what are you waiting for?
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the asking price! 12 April 2002
By A Customer
This book covers the usual C++ refresher and how to setup directX and after that is quite excellent. Covering direct play in quite a lot of detail, which was my main reason for buying the book. It also covers applying 3d techniques to 2d games. This is a book i expect to get much use out of. Not for the absolute beginner!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the lot 1 Mar 2004
By Paul
I've brought a few of these huge door stops from this particular series, and this one is the best out of the lot up to the time this one was published. Gives you a taste of everything you need to get going, and is written with humor.
Of course Direct X9 is out now, so it's a little past its sell by date now. But if you find it cheap somewhere still might be worth a look through.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all game programmers. 25 Mar 2002
By Mark A. Drake - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great book for anybody thinking about programming RPGs... And even if your not going to I would at least try to take a peak at the book and think about buying it.
First off the book assumes that the reader has a through knowledge of C programming and that you have some experience with coding. And has, like the rest of the series, quite a few pages devoted to C++... (The best thing with this book is you actually make a rpg game following the book and it's practices!)
The first part of the book covers what is role-playing, desiging role-playing games and some basic story-telling. The Jim covers basic programming with C++ as well as some engine architecture that is different from most other books - ex. Tricks from the Windows Game Programming Gurus. It introduces concepts like state managers, process managers and data packages - some great stuff for programming big games. The third part covers basic DirectGraphics concepts ("a whirlwind tour", according to the author). The code does the job really well and the concepts are well-explained.
After that the book covers information about DirectInput and DirectSound, the chapter on DirectInput includes information on programming joysticks, and other information in the book includes: wrappers for Direct3D, DirectSound and DirectInput, and followed by that, octrees and quadtrees, 2d tile engines, mixed 2d/3d engine, collison detection and so on.
The only problem I see is some of the real super newbies will see the book go at a fast rate... It has great explainations but he does move fast. And the author likes to leave out the obvious - so you have to pay attention in the beggining or you'll be turning pages back into the book to see whats up.
Basicaly, pick up this book if you are starting DirectX, pick up the book if you plan on crreating RPG games. The book is great, you'll have a working RPG game after going through the book, you will learn alot about DirectX and storytelling at that! 5 Stars.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book 22 Dec 2002
By dracoon@freemail.hu - Published on Amazon.com
I don't have many books about programming, but this one is awesome. You've got whirlwind tour to all aspect of directx before learning about rpgs. This book is a good one to start learning directx. Buy it!
Here is the TOC:
Chapter 1 - A World of Role-Playing
Chapter 2 - Exploring RPG Design Elements
Chapter 3 - Story-Writing Essentials
Chapter 4 - Starting with C++
Chapter 5 - Programming with Windows and Application Basics
Chapter 6 - Drawing with DirectX Graphics
Chapter 7 - Interacting with DirectInput
Chapter 8 - Playing Sound with DirectX Audio
Chapter 9 - Networking with DirectPlay
Chapter 10 - Creating the Game Core
Chapter 11 - Using 2-D Graphics
Chapter 12 - Creating 3-D Graphics Engines
Chapter 13 - Mixing 2-D and 3-D Graphics Engines
Chapter 14 - Implementing Scripts
Chapter 15 - Defining and Using Objects
Chapter 16 - Controlling Players and Characters
Chapter 17 - Working with Maps and Levels
Chapter 18 - Creating Combat Sequences
Chapter 19 - Getting Online with Multiplayer Gaming
Chapter 20 - Putting Together a Full Game
Chapter 21 - Marketing and Publishing your Game
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've found on this topic by far 28 July 2004
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had a specific objective in mind when I bought this book. I'm in the process of writing a hobby level multi-user RPG for me and maybe up to a hundred or so other players (not many hundreds or thousands). I have a solid background in C++, less so in DirectX.

I've bought many books on game programing to help me with this process and to my surprise I've found this one simply amazing while most of the others I've found to be little more than expensive doorstops. :)

Like all the books of this nature, I read it in very much a "pick and choose" manner, focussing on chapters I liked and extracted code from the CD for places where it helped me. I found the material covered and, more importantly, the code representation of that material to be extremely helpful in my coding process.

I believe the tips and code the book provides (which all compile and provide very reasonable and practical applications for the ideas demonstrated) saved me (literally) hundreds of hours of research (not to mention trial and error) finding methods that work and work well and covered all of the core componenets I would want in a role-playing game. It covered multi-player over the internet, 2d and 3d rendering in directX, how to construct combat, spells, chat, and inventory systems and a variety of other items.

Naturally, I had to do a lot of customization to make the game do what I wanted it to do and I had to merge several of the ideas discussed into my own framework (for example the multi player network section is covered more or less stand alone where clearly other parts of the book need to be integrated with it to form a real game), but the result is I have a basic game up and running in a fraction of the time it would have otherwise taken, which no other book has ever really brought me.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've read so far 4 Jun 2002
By David G. Ashworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book delivers as promised. By the end of the book, you have a full working RPG mini-game that should help any developer get past the beginning stages. This book doesn't do everything for you. It puts you on the map. If a reader takes the time to understand the given code and READ the book, there will be gains to be had.
The author does go into some basic ideas at the front of the book, but I don't feel the technical material covered is enough to completely educate a pure novice and is too simple for an intermediate programmer. Although ineffective, I don't subtract from my review ratings for additional information.
I felt the author's technique was pretty well thought in this regard however. Someone reading the book finds the foothold where they first understand everything easily. This allows the author and reader to find the common stride needed for the reader to move forward.
There is some issues with the book code that had to be solved, but the author has a website with all the changes. The big problem is more Microsoft's fault rather than the author's. The book was released with DirectX 8.0 and the MS team decided to change a few things with DirectX 8.1. Not to worry, the author has updated his entire book code with an easily downloadable patch.
In Summary,
Best book I've read so far. From Graphics, Sound, Networking, Input and much more, this monster of a book will make you a better game programmer if the time is spent with it. (Beginner to Intermediate C++ knowledge required. A small trip through the DirectX SDK tutorials a plus.)
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, good buy for intelligent game programmers. 13 Jun 2002
By Michael J. Micai - Published on Amazon.com
OK, first off, I have not been fond of Lamothe, or the PrimaTech series in the past. Everyone knows by now that you can get most of the information in the older ones straight out of the DX docs. I almost totally built my first 3d engine in this way, straight from reading through the DX docs and looking at the samples. Now, that is where I find this book shines. I had a few things that I needed some extra help on that are not well documented elsewhere, and I found it here. Advanced topics such as collision detection, skinned meshes, and more are all here.
I will admit, I will probably never read the entire book. It covers the standard n00b stuff that no one wants anymore. What it DOES provide is a valuable reference book and samples to look at when I run into a problem. It covers pretty much all aspects of game programming, and they can be applied easily towards other types of games. (I am actually using certain things from it for my FPS).
So here's the lowdown: Great book, some useless stuff, but there actually is USEFUL stuff. I'd buy it if I were you. Advanced topics are there, and the author does a good job with them. The other books you should look into are Multiplayer Game Programming (by Todd Barron), which is not bad, but could be more advanced, and I hear Isometric Game Programming (by Ernest Pazera) is good, and what I have seen seems good.
All I can say is, of all of the game programming books i've seen, this one is #1! All of the samples are excellent, and work. The final game, The Tower, is impressive for a game created for a book, although i'm sure expert programmers could improve it quite a bit.
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