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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best £40 I've spent
This book is an absolute must for anyone who is serious about learning DirectX. The only pre-requisite is that you are comfortable with C and C++. The book starts with an introduction to Win32 programming and whilst not going in to great depth gives you a good understanding of the Win32 calls and structure that you need to write DirectX applications. The remainder of...
Published on 9 Jan 2003 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers much, poorly written
There is a good side and a bad side about this book. The good side is that it does cover DirectX and some basic Windows programming (setting up a new window, messageloops and so on).

The bad side outweighs it by far though. The whole book is poorly written, riddled with errors (and the author's cheesy jokes), with code examples that have errors that would need...
Published on 15 Mar 2007 by H. Johansson


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best £40 I've spent, 9 Jan 2003
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
This book is an absolute must for anyone who is serious about learning DirectX. The only pre-requisite is that you are comfortable with C and C++. The book starts with an introduction to Win32 programming and whilst not going in to great depth gives you a good understanding of the Win32 calls and structure that you need to write DirectX applications. The remainder of the book (which is over 1000 pages in size) covers the entirity of what DirectX has to offer. The book is fantastically well written and includeds a number of clever tricks to improve efficiency, etc. The CD that comes with the book includes DirectX SDK 8.1 and source for every single example that appears in the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word - Brilliant!, 6 Aug 2004
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
Almost every single book out there aimed at beginners teaches very little, and is cashing in on tricking people into thinking they can program the next Half Life 2. They do not teach *why* things work, but only that they do. And that is where this book comes in.
Andre LaMothe begins this book with a fully working game called FreakOut, which, it turns out, is only a taster of what is to come. He moves on to teaching you about Windows programming, then onto GDI graphics, and then onto DirectDraw7. Throughout the book, he first teaches you understandable concepts at the lowest level, always giving working examples, and then introduces a DirectX function that simplifies the given matter for you. This ensures that you understand what DirectX is doing for you, and puts you way ahead of people who have read another 'beginners' book. Everything is always easily understandable from his explanations and comments.
After graphics, he thoroughly covers input and sound, before giving a substantial chapter on algorithms, data structures and multi-threading - not at all as dry as it sounds, as it turns out.
After this, LaMothe gives two excellent chapters on AI and physics, before wrapping the book up with a complete space game which is a charm to play!
Despite the 'beginners' orientation of this book, it swiftly covers increasingly advanced topics, especially the physics section, whilst still keeping everything very understandable. LaMothe ends up covering Intermediate and even Advanced level concepts, whilst still managing to clearly explain them to you.
Finally, the two CD-ROMs are also top-notch, and this is where the author gives coverage of 3D graphics theory and development - it obviously wouldn't fit into the book! All of the source code, along with executables of demos and some trial programs are also included. The demo code runs excellently.
To use this book, you need a working knowledge of the C language. LaMothe utilises a few OOP concepts, all of which can be picked up from the Primer included with the book. If you already know C++ thats a bonus.
I really cannot recommend this book enough to you, I couldn't find one problem with it. The sheer depth of information goes way beyond any other beginners book, and leaves you with an excellent understanding of everything that is covered. Learn from the books the pro's learnt from - 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers much, poorly written, 15 Mar 2007
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H. Johansson (Sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
There is a good side and a bad side about this book. The good side is that it does cover DirectX and some basic Windows programming (setting up a new window, messageloops and so on).

The bad side outweighs it by far though. The whole book is poorly written, riddled with errors (and the author's cheesy jokes), with code examples that have errors that would need fixing by a second edition, sometimes the author uses small programming tricks that IF they work now that the book is several years old don't make any sense and mess up the code. An appendix of the different flags mentioned for various variables or a more structured approach to the examples would be great, but sadly this books lack any of that.

If you want to learn about Windows programming and DirectX, I recommend you buy different books for each subject, because even if this book touches them all, it simply doesn't reach the standard that would be expected from such a book.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY AWESOME!, 10 July 2002
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
If you are a beginner and want to start with DirectX then this is the one and only book for you. Though one should be comfortable with C\C++ before buying it. Lamothe's writing style is unparalleled and he takes you right into the meat and bones of game development.
Superb coverage of all the facets of game development using the DirectX API should make this book the no.1 priority ie. if you are a beginner..
What are you waiting for?? go buy it
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok., 25 Jan 2004
By 
D. Weston "daz-beck" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
Lamoth is a great writer but this title is not as good as his previos books. If you are commited to using DirectX then this book is ok, but if you are more interested in the concepts of game development then DirectX is probably not a good API to start with a you need to be familiar with Microsoft's dreaded COM inteface. Books that use OpenGl are much more accesable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended., 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
I have just (April 2014) finished reading this book, and am extremely happy with it.

I originally tried to get into games and C++ programming (as a hobby), back in the day when this book was new. I never really found the time to pursue it and had to let it go, getting as far as learning enough C++ to be dangerous. Now I find myself with the time to have another go and have bought myself a few books (of which this is one). Eventually, I'd like to get to the point where I can use Direct3D with all the bells and whistles of today's hardware to be able to write a simple "Elite" type game. Yes, there's a long road ahead.

By any stretch of the imagination, I'm no DirectX / C++ expert and suspect that things have moved on quite a bit since the book was written. However, I believe that it (and the follow on: tricks of the 3D game programming gurus, which I am now starting to read) is a very good starting point for learning about games programming and eventually getting to modern Direct 3D programming.

The first thing to bear in mind is that the book does not teach Direct3D or any of the fancy 3D stuff that can be implemented with today's hardware. It hardly covers any 3D at all - that'll come with the 2nd book. It starts with teaching you how to create a basic Win32 application which can be used as the basis for creating 2D games (e.g. Breakout, Space Invaders, Asteroids, etc). It then covers how to implement 2D graphics using DirectDraw as a base, but working from first principles, not by using advanced DirectDraw API functions. Also covered are AI, physics, and a variety of other interesting game topics.

After reading the book I've come away understading how games programming works from a low level. E.g. the author demonstrates several algorithms for drawing lines by plotting individual pixels - which is not as simple as I would've thought.

I suspect that some of the material is problably out of date, and things are done differently now. However, I believe that it will form a very solid foundation for better understanding APIs and higher level procedures later down the road.

All in all, a wonderful, interesting, well-written book. The author explains complex subjects well, all the while keeping the material interesting. I believe that it still remains relevant today, 12 years after it was written. Of course, I won't know this until I finally catch up with more modern ways of doing things.

I managed to get all the code to compile and run in VS Express 12 under Windows 7 without too much trouble (and I if can do it, anyone can).

Looking forward to reading Volume 2.

P.S. Oh, and the author actually responds to e-mails; how he finds the time is beyond me. Maybe he's programmed lots of little Andre-bots that take care of all those chores for him. :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 24 April 2009
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This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
Very comprehensive but some of the programs on the CD need bug fixes.
Very useful and reasonably quick to understand.
Usual poor attempts at humuor which become tedious after a while.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 3 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus: Fundamentals of 2d and 3d Game Programming (Paperback)
I'd highly recommend this book. It takes a complicated subject and simplifies it. It manages to put the fun back in whilst giving you the flexibility to make all kinds of programs very quickly.
I tend to use bits of his libraries on the CD, but not the whole thing. There are parts where he labours points in self-written code where there's an easy DX function to do it for you (eg. ddutil.cpp), but this often helps with understanding what's going on.
Not quite five stars, but if you want to enjoy and understand what you're doing, rather than necessarily learning the simplest shortcuts, then this is the book for you.
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