Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough relevance to the title, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: Beginning OpenGL Game Programming, Second Edition (Paperback)
My main criticism of this book could easily be directed at any number of programming-related guides these days and is simply this... 3rd party code libraries. This book should be called 'Beginning OpenGL Game Programming using SDL, freeType, Code::Blocks etc...' as even the first example (rendering a triangle and a pentagon) has 40+ SDL headers in the source directory. I remember a time when OpenGL and GLUT could've drawn that in about 20 lines of code.

You can't really call it 'Beginning OpenGL...' if knowledge of this extra stuff is assumed. I realise that OpenGL is where it is today because of ongoing ad-hoc extensions to its core functionality but, when I buy a book like this, I want to learn about OpenGL without feeling that I need to buy another book to explain the things that aren't OpenGL.

As for the OpenGL stuff in here, there are some useful explanations at an accessible level but, of the 13 chapters, 1 to 5 deal with functions which the authors know are already deprecated making the first 120 pages feel somewhat redundant thus leaving only 160 with any useful content. I wish they had used those 120 pages to ease the transition and fill in some gaps. For example, the first 3 chapters have basic examples of rendering triangles etc. but then chapter 4 suddenly introduces an animated robot and chapter 5 shows a 3D landscape without adequate explanation of what a height map is.

If you're going to aim a book at beginners please remember that beginners don't know things and they buy a book because they don't want to trawl through source code trying to work it out for themselves.
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