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Game Programming Gems 4: v. 4 (Game Programming Gems (W/CD)) Hardcover – 3 Mar 2004
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SECTION 1 GENERAL PROGRAMMING SECTION 2 MATHEMATICS SECTION 3 PHYSICS SECTION 4 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SECTION 5 GRAPHICS SECTION 6 NETWORK AND MULTIPLAYER SECTION 7 AUDIO APPENDIX: ABOUT THE CD-ROM
Filled with ready-to-use techniques, ideas and solutions for game developers, this volume includes many commercially tested innovations and offers tips and tools to reduce programming time and redundancy throughout the text.See all Product description
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My main gripe is that some of the chapters (Networking/multiplayer and Artificial Intelligence) were a little short and contained mainly very very high level information, finding the network section to be unhelpful.
Overall the book was good quality, with useful information in it... It's a shame that they have such a high price tag!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Although all of the topics are relevant to game development, because they are typically very narrow in scope, your mileage will vary depending on what exactly you're working on. This is true for the entire series. It's likely that you won't be reading the book cover to cover, but rather a handful of chapters here and there as you need them. This fourth volume is particularly useful in that respect because it includes a comprehensive index of the first 4 volumes
Another noteworthy change is the addition of a physics section. Given how important physics has become in game development, this is a welcome addition. It's also interesting to see a couple of chapters that use Python and Java (though only one for each) for the sample code, rather than the C++ used for most of the chapters. DirectX is used for much of the sample code, with OpenGL being used in a few of the graphics chapters.
This volume does have a few shortcomings, which again are typical for the series. Due to the length of the articles (about 5 to 15 pages each), some of them were a bit too short to cover the topic with sufficient depth. This is pretty subjective, since many people may be satisfied with a more high-level explanation, but it seems to me that the series would be better served with a smaller number of slightly longer articles that go into greater depth.
I also think that the price of the book is rather high. True, it's hardbound, but similar books have been published (notably, GPU Gems, which is hardbound, the same length, and printed in full-color) with notably lower prices. Since the book covers such a broad range of topic areas - only a handful of which will be of interest to you - the value of this book is diminished somewhat.
Despite the price, this book is still an important part of any complete game programming library. If you have the previous volumes, you'll want to pick it up for the index if nothing else.
3.1 - Ten Fingers of Deaty: Algorithms for Combat Killing
5.11 - Heat and Haze Post-Processing Effects
7.2 - A Simple Real-Time Lip-Synching System
There is no question that the main driving force for faster computers is to make for more realistic gaming. And the faster computers allow more sophisticated programming to be done to make the grass wave realistically.
This is probably not a book you're going to sit down and read from cover to cover. You'll probably scan through and read the ones that are applicable to just what you need to do next. But then in a couple of weeks, in a couple of months....