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4.6 out of 5 stars14
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2009
After reading countless books and information on websites based on game engine design and architecture, this, to me, is the definitive book written by a professional, for beginners, hobbyists and other professionals alike. The way the author seems to seamlessly blend information that is useful to the less experienced and information that is crucial to all is possibly the best I've seen in any computer book, let alone one of the game development genre (of which I own dozens).

If you're even remotely interested in game engine architecture, or games in general, or even large-scale modular c++ systems, this is a compelling, if almost unputdownable, read. If you're an experienced developer and are looking to get into games or game engines and understand the finer details but not how engines pull everything together, this will answer practically everything.

One of its best attributes is that you don't have to trawl through endless pages of dreary engine code. There are snippets of code in the book, but they are snipped and presented in context and in such a readable fashion that they seem to blend into the prose and most definitely add just enough splashes of technical colour. A lot of books on engine architecture seem to concentrate more on coding the individual components, with little time spent on how everything fits together. The author has worked on AAA titles and gives regular insights into how things were done on those titles.

Most of the computer books I've read, especially in the game genre, have me searching for the author's email address to ask for clarification on certain areas. This author seems to have the nack of explaining things perfectly.

If you're about to invest in some literature about game engine architecture (this isn't a cheap book, hence the use of the word 'invest'), my advice would be to have a look at this one first.
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on 7 May 2010
Jason Gregory has done an epic feat in crystallizing a very broad and complex subject matter into an elegant book that is both understandable and fun to read. He explains the peculiarities of game programming in a way that is very approachable to even a less experienced programmer to approach. It is clear that he takes joy and pride in both his actual programming work but also passing his knowledge on to others. Of particular note (and something of a challenge) is that he is able to provide both high-level introductions into the various topics and at the same time provide key tidbits of information for final optimizations. The way he alternates between the two without losing the reader is remarkable. He seems to write books in the way he preaches people to code - keep it simple.

I highly recommend this both to starting game programmers and members of other disciplines such as production, QA and design who want a better understanding of what lies underneath the hood of a game. Even if you're not going to code your own engine, the insight into the basic problem sets in game engine architecture should serve you well.
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on 1 December 2009
In this book, the authors share with us a wealth of experience and knowledge on how cutting edge game engines work from the outside in, as opposed to the inside out approach of most beginners books. I've read just about every game programming book there is, and I have to say that never before has there been a book that so perfectly describes how all the pieces fit together in a modern game engine.

This book does not come with a CD-ROM, so beginners beware, you might actually have you use your code and brain something! There is plenty of inlined code in the text of the book to explain the fundamentals of many topics, but the implementation details are left to the reader - an exercise I think most professionals reading this book will prefer. References are given for all the topics discussed, so it is easy to find the resources you need to decide on your own implementation. Instead of providing code to a game engine, the authors describe different approaches, drawing on knowledge of the open source OGRE graphics engine, the Unreal 3 Engine and the authors own experiences working pn proprietary engines at Naughty Dog and Midway.

There is so much knowledge in this book, but it did skim over audio and multiplayer subsystems, even though references are given, it would have made for a fascinating insight should they have included those topics, but alas they did not make it in. I can only hope that there is a sequel and that they decide to cover those topics.

All in all I would say that overall this book has a place on any developers bookshelf. In fact I would say it should be made essential reading for game developers everywhere at any level. Even if the authors do skim over some topics, there is such a wealth of knowledge to be earned just by learning from the authors profound insights, and it makes for a fascinating read for those who are interested. This one gets 5 stars from me and a permanent place on my desk next to me!
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on 2 February 2011
Having been moved to write my first Amazon review I give this book 5 stars. Got it on Kindle, some of the figures are not sized nicely ( Kindle PC ) but this is a minor issue. The book itself is excellent, very well written and easy to read but chocked full of useful information even for an industry professional. This book provides an overview of individual game engine components and interactions in enough detail to permit deeper reading with a comfortable foundation of prior knowledge. At the same time it also manages to drop plenty of useful gems. Well worth having in your games programming reference library, along side more focused books on specific areas.
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on 19 July 2010
I'm mainly writing this to address a complaint about this book that I've seen elsewhere: that this book is too high level and doesn't go into enough detail with specifics.

I'd say that is the beauty of this book, and why it stands out. There is already no end of books about low level maths and algorithms, but very few on the overall structure of an engine. For once, here we have a technical book with information you can't find on the internet!

This book is a great overview of all components of a game engine - not just the commonly over analysed rendering aspect - and how they all fit together. As an wannabe indie developer, who hasn't had the experience of a professional game company, it's great to read insights into the naughty dog internal engine and other professional engines. I'm reading through this book and constantly having "aha!" moments with respect to my own game engine.

My only minor complaint would be that there are some very basic bits near the start of the book, however I can easily overlook that considering the value of the rest of the book, and I am sure an absolute beginner would find those initial bits very useful too. And having these basics does make the book a complete overview, and remind an experienced developer of things he may have forgotten.
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on 9 May 2010
This book covers almost everything about game engine architechture. The author is really good writing and giving examples. The thing I like the most from this book is that it tells you how the things are done in the Real World, that is what techniques are really used nowadays by commercial game studios, in contrast with other books that only stay in theory.

The book is also very recent: 2009, and it covers the most cutting edge technologies and practices, so that's great too!

This is a book for medium to experienced C++ programmers because it asumes you have a good knowledge of this programming language and the code examples it gives need (in some cases) good understanding of how the computer (or console) works. But anyway, the author also makes a good self-explanatory introduction before showing some code :)

This is NOT a book for learning how to make an awesome 3D Rendering Engine. Rendering is only one part of a real big Game Engine, so if you want to learn rendering and other very-specific parts of a game engine, this book maybe is not for you. In other words, this book gives you the "big picture" of what a Game Engine is and how each of those components that make part of it are glued together or how they communicate between them.

To sum up: great book, great author, great content, great purchase! You will not regret :)
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on 26 August 2011
I love video games and I have been learning for a long time about how they are created. Since I already had some basic knowlegde, I was looking for a more technical source of data. Although I was not really sure about what to expect of this book (could it be too simple for me... Or maybe too complex!), I am glad to say that I am loving it and it is filling lots of gaps.

First of all, I don't think it is a good book for beginners, since the reader is supposed to know some concepts about programming, 3D maths or linear algebra... But if you already master the basics of making a video game (because for example, you are a modder or have developed your own games in your free time), then this book will help you to continue learning and improving your skills. Certainly, professionals of the game industry will not find it as attractive, but I think it also does great as a reference book in order to keep your memory fresh and have an overall view of the process.

For code lovers, you won't find many lines here. This book is intended to give a higher view of point of the subject, nearer to the design level. Anyway, code is provided whenever it helps to understand better the text.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2012
This is an excellent example of a text book which transcends academia and makes for an read perfect for anyone interested in the technology of game engines, game programming or just effective team and resource control in a creative software environment.

The book is very well presented, the hard back being an instant hit on any technophiles shelf. The content is clearly presented and easy to get to grips with.

The book is clearly a textbook for a college/university course, with large spaces in the margin for notes, however, I can easily forgive this.

The contents of this text however will age as we move on with other technologies, and it is (I would consider) and expensive tome. This might mean you need to expect updated editions being published over time, and to splash out on updating to that latest edition. However, this is a small thing to keep in mind for such a well rounded, informative and interesting read on the subject matter at hand.
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on 6 June 2013
this book got me through my university degree, it has everything you will need and it is written in plain english. he just states the facts and some interesting stuff that you should know. he skips out all the stuff that is irrelevant. the chapters on collision detection are great, bit hard to understand, but he states equations and what they are actually used for, such as the most efficient way to check to see if objects collide in 2D space, simple gcse maths but at gcse they just tell you to figure it out and you dont know why. frankly this book should be at a lot higher price, also look at Real-Time Rendering - this also got me through my degree.
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on 28 November 2013
I teach engine development and this book is good, but runs out of steam towards the middle and end (more C++ code samples needed together with assembler). A lot of the book covers basic concepts without ever delving into the details too much. Maybe the book is just too wide a breadth in subject matter. I do teach postgraduates and undergraduates and I do know students do get a lot out of this book, but we need more code samples!
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