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Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming in 24 Hours [With CDROM] (Sams Teach 24 Hours) Library Binding – Dec 2002

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val (Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141762499X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1417624997
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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About the Author

Michael Morrison is a writer, developer, toy inventor, and author of a variety of computer technology books and interactive Web-based courses. In addition to his primary profession as a writer and freelance nerd for hire, Michael is the creative lead at Stalefish Labs, an entertainment company he co-founded with his wife, Masheed. The first commercial debut for Stalefish Labs is a traditional social/trivia game called Tall Tales: The Game of Myths, Legends, and Creative One-Upmanship ( When not glued to his computer, playing hockey, skateboarding, or watching movies with his wife, Michael enjoys hanging out by his koi pond. You can visit Michael on the Web at

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Watts on 13 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
Ok, this book is good in the fact it has a lot of information on how to program games. But as a total beginner, I found this book very hard to continue with past chapter one! The game engine is hard to understand is poorly explained. Even on a recent compiler, after spending three hours typing all thw code in I still got errors after I compiled ir. Some of the programs seems to have errors in them. Granted it does state that it was compiled on Microsoft C++ version 7.0, but I have 8.0 and 9.0, and still had errors. The code for the window was the only one I got to work. I did not get to create a game using this book and found it very frustrating to read. It is aimed at more proffesional programmers really, and beginners should avoid this book! The sample cd was ok, and the games looked quite good, but it is a shame I could not make them as the code in the book had errors in it.I have since purchased two differnet books on C++ game programming, and am getting on much better. SAMS learn C++ in 21 days is ok, but this one was a complete let down.
In closing - purchase this if you are VERY experienced, AVOID it if you are a complete begginer!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Powell on 26 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I have a little C++ experience but still found the book difficult to follow.

The first few chapters are okay at explaining the basics, until chapter 3ish when it get's quite involved.

The compiler included is an Out of date program which I do not think is that impressive.

Not for beginners.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great introductory books 6 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have a passion about games. That's why I studied computer science, and I finally decided to dedicate all my free time to start learning how to program games. So I bought Teach yourself game programming in 24 hours by Michael Morrison. Let me tell you, I was surprisingly pleased, and didn't want the book to end.
To start with, this book is not for complete newbies into the C++ language but it shouldn't be. I hate a game book that spends half of its pages teaching you how to program C++. If I wanted that, I'd go back to school and take another C++ course. It also doesn't throw all the theory and math on you like some gaming books out there that are better left for writing a PHD thesis. No, this one is easy enough to follow but also assumes you already have working knowledge of C++. It digs into building a game engine from the ground up, and uses all that knowledge to build gradually more fun and interesting 2D games. It really opened my eyes to many little new tricks I can use to build my own games like the sprite manager and animation. If you guys can't compile the games, I think you still need to have better knowledge of C++ before you tackle this one. I had no problems compiling all the programs using Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, and although there was a problem or two (due to the fact that the book was written in 2002 and some windows functions used in the book have changed since MSVC++ 6.0), I still found a way to fix them and get them to work. Now why didn't I give it the 5 shining stars then?
Well, first of all it is a 2D book, and it does not use DirectX. So we can use it to build primitive games, but come on, how many companies out there don't use DirectX. Like for example, there is no maximize button in all the windows the book creates, because then the different resolutions can mess up the game. That's where directx comes to your help. Also the sound libraries used are very primitive. PlaySound is not useful in mixing 2 sounds at the same time, and there were some games in the book that sounded weird because of that.
The other thing I didn't like about the book was how the text had lots of bugs in it. Like the text does not actually map one to one to the code on the CDs. But if you are not picky and a little alert, it's not a big deal. Anyway, a couple of emails to the publisher and a 2nd edition will fix that.
My final pet peave was that in so many cases, I was begging that the author would go in detail about the subject, but he would say, "this is too complex, but what I'm providing you is very good". I want some of that complex stuff too. Like I wanna know how a scrolling background works (Many adventure games use it like "Broken Sword"). My knowledge is not complete without it.
But overall, I think the book taught me many new things I didn't know, and although I won't be able to go write a commercial game out there by just reading this book, I can really put that knowledge with the knowledge from more advanced books to use.
I hope Michael Morrison will consider writing a DirectX book version of the Game Programming book, with 3D graphics, and the more "complex" stuff which were missed in this one. Even if the book costs double this one, I'll be the first to buy it.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming In 24 Hours 10 Dec 2002
By daman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Buy It! Why? This book teaches the fundamentals of game
programmiing - //minus the confusing direct x layer
Learning C++,Win32,SDK,API is quite a challenge for the
beginner and adding COM (+) Direct X is quite daunting
for absolutebeginners.
Michael outlines how to write simple games with source
code and all of the executables work,but you will have
to tweak them,if you want to add minutes to the
gameplay or add levels.
The reason I like this book was because it taught the
fundamentals of game programming. After studying this
text, if you want, you can then move on to algorithms,
data structures,3d-mathmatics and other game wizardry.
I highly recommend Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming
In 24 Hours.
If you're like me you read everything in the bookstore,
in the computer gaming section and end up purchasing
too many books.
Unfortunately, all books are not created equal. So, to
save you a little time and fustration, read the list
below for what I think are a few fundamental c++ and
game programming text currently on the market. I know
that "Stroudstrap" wrote C,C++ and parts of Unix, but
brilliant programmer does not always translate into
great author;(personal experience).
These are excellent books are for absolute beginners
and soon to be Gurus:
1. C++ How to Program (Fourth Edition)Author: Deitel
It's not a "fun read", but it covers all of the
fundamentals inside and out.
Do yourself a favor - Get it!
It covers everything. After reading this, you will not have a
need for Stroudstrap, (unless you want to "get fancy and show-
2. Programming Windows (Fifth Edition) Author: Charles Petzold
Fundamentals again. Teaches how to write code for a
window,how to write bitmaps to the screen,blitting,
color palattes...
Everyone has it,it's an easy read, get it.
Rector is o.k., but he's talking about programming
for windows apps and using MFC (isn't that a fried
chicken franchise somewhere)? skim and read through
it several times,you'll see what I mean. "Corporate
will never understand the creative"!
3.Tricks of The Game Programming Gurus (Second Edition)
Author: Andre LaMothe
After completing cs101,cs202,cs303 of the above listed texts;
this book should "in a perfect world" culminate your learning
while matriculating through the virtual world of game
Game Programming Gurus covers all of the information in the
previous titles, but it covers "real world code". If you have
dreams of becoming the next "Great Programmer", you will use
all of the information in this book. Much unlike many of the
corporate college courses you've probably completed.
"Not that (it)'s anything wrong with 4 years".
This book covers algorithms,2d,3d,direct x,gdi,COM,sound,...
After reading,then (studying), these four texts I think that you
will have confidence and ablity to accomplish anything!
Yes indeed,
you'll be able to exclaim,
with a complete and popular domain,
without sounding insane,
"Yes! I Got Game".
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Code to perform the most common game operations 26 Jan 2004
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many years ago, after I purchased my TRS-80, I did what so many budding programmers did, I purchased some games and then tried my hand at writing my own. In the subsequent years, the conversations that I have had with many other programmers has revolved around their first attempts to write games. In fact, a solid argument can be made that for many people of that era, the first "large" programs that they wrote were games. Any attempt to write a game requires the use of most of what we do in programming. Topics such as file handling, sophisticated graphics, advanced data handling and complex decision making are all necessary to a good game. In this book Morrison covers all of those areas, as he steps you through the construction of several games.
The coverage of what is needed for game development is complete, and all of the code is available on CD, which is fortunate, because there is a lot of it. The language is C++, specifically Microsoft Visual C++ and
Borland C++ builder version 6. Code for the games in both versions is included on the CD. Borland C++ builder version 5.5 complete and a trial copy of version 6 are also on the CD for those who lack access to a suitable compiler. While I consider the language choice to be fine, it will pose a problem for those with limited exposure to their structures.
By necessity, Morrison is forced to spend the bulk of his allotted ink in explaining the programming of the games. Therefore, anyone unfamiliar with object-oriented programming or how these two versions of C++ are structured will find it difficult to follow the code. This is not to say that it cannot be understood, just that limited exposure to these versions of C++ will probably require that you consult another resource.
If you have a background in these versions of C++, then let the games begin. Morrison gives you a solid background in what is an excellent way to learn the fundamentals of programming, how to develop and organize a complex program and how to have fun while doing it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
People want too much in this book 18 Mar 2005
By Rusty Shackleford - Published on
Format: Paperback
When you boil this book down to its basics, it teaches basic windows programming in the context of creating simple 2d sprite based games that simulate 3d enviroments. It does not teach C++, nor should it. It does not teach DirectX, or openGL, nor should it, nor does it ever claim to. It does not teach poor programming practices, like writing an entire application in a single file, that is insanity.

It accomplishes its goals and does it in an interesting and fun manner, what more could you want in a primer?

I wish they would do away with the nonsense "learn X in 24 hours/1week/3 nanoseconds" titles and name them something more appropriate. No one can learn the windows API in 24 hours, no one can learn the C++ language in a week. It is fraudulent to even try and claim to. Most of the books in this series are pretty decent, although not for a serious CS student or professional programmer. They are however, decent books for lay people who can't or don't want to learn the ins and outs of computer systems, but like tinkering around with them and creating programs. They are also a decent,inexpensive way to learn material that would normally be taught in elective courses, although these books don't go far enough to become an expert, it is still a decent beginning.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
You will learn game programming, kind of, but mostly Mike Morrison's game engine. 14 Jan 2007
By W. Luongo - Published on
Format: Paperback
I gave this book 2 stars, because it has some good points, mostly really bad points.

The good:

You will be able to make basic 2D sprite games in Windows using this book and the source code on the CD. It encourages you to learn basic techniques involved with the other aspects of game development (sound, music, etc). The book comes with several games that you can run right off the CD.

The bad:

This book doesn't really teach you much. In other Sam's Teach Yourself books, you learn each step of what you are doing, and you can put in the source code yourself. In this one, you merely read about PIECES of the source code, and are expected to run it off the disk. So basically, you are paying for a game engine, a bunch of source code examples, and a tutorial on using the game engine.

I would have enjoyed this book much more if it had spent time explaining exactly what the engine does and how to make it do it, not to mention how the code in your program interacts with the engine. It seems to me that this book is mostly for people who want to "cheat" and copy and paste the code to make their games, rather than understanding what they are doing and writing the code themselves. Since I was someone who wanted the latter, I was sorely disappointed.
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