Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus
helps its readers make great progress in creating 3D worlds and the action that goes on in them. To be an ordinary programmer is one thing: you need only learn how to interact with the computer on its own terms, creating buttons and combo boxes that have no significance away from the screen. To be a game programmer--particularly one that writes games with environments that appear three-dimensional to their players--is something else entirely. Such work requires that the flat screen simulates the real world, complete with light, shading, texture, gravity and momentum.
That this large, dense book manages to explain how to design and implement a 3-D game while neither glossing over too many details nor swamping the reader with trivia is a credit to author André LaMothe. He opens by showing (and explaining) the C++ source code of a simple but full-fledged 3-D spaceflight shooter game--a real boost to the reader's confidence. From there, he explains the complicated geometric concepts and mathematics that underlie realistic games (always with an eye toward software algorithms) and shows how to use the many APIs and libraries (including Microsoft DirectX 9.0) that make the world-builder's job easier. Make no mistake: designing and building convincing games with 3-D visuals and behaviours that convincingly approximate real-world physics is hard work. In this book, LaMothe helps you get it done and enjoy the process. --David Wall
Topics covered: how to design and build 3-D worlds and the goings-on within them. Aside from mathematics and geometry, this book focuses on wireframe models, shading, rendering and animation. Microsoft DirectX 9.0 gets special attention. --Robert Lawton, Amazon.com
About the Author
André LaMothe has been involved in the computing industry and technology for more than a quarter century. He holds degrees in mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering, and is one of the rare individuals that actually did work at NASA at the age of 20 doing research. His early teens and twenties were filled with consulting for numerous Silicon Valley companies, where he learned the realities of running a business and worked on his multidisciplinary background in fields such as telecommunications, virtual reality, robotics, compiler design, 3D engines, artificial intelligence, and other areas of computing and engineering.
His company Xtreme Games LLC was one of the first and last true "indie" publishers with a soul. Later he founded the Xtreme Games Developer Conference (XGDC) to give game developers a low-cost alternative to the GDC. Lately he has been working on a number of projects, including eGamezone Networks, an online distribution system for games that's fair, fun, and has zero ads. Last but not least, he founded a new company, Nurve Networks LLC, to create handheld video game systems for value-minded consumers and hobbyists alike. Finally, he is the series editor for the world's largest game development series.
On a personal level, he likes everything extreme, from weightlifting, motorcycles, jet skis, and hotrods to "railing" on his blades. He has even trained extensively with the Shamrock Submission Fighting Team under the tutelage of Crazy Bob Cook, Frank Shamrock, and Javier Mendez. You probably don't want to get in an argument with him over DirectX or OpenGL - right or wrong, he will probably make you say uncle!