- Paperback: 271 pages
- Publisher: Prima Tech; Pap/Com edition (5 April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931841101
- ISBN-13: 978-1931841108
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.8 x 1.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,739,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Focus on 2D in Direct 3D (Premier Press Game Development) Paperback – 5 Apr 2002
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About the Author
Andy Smith is CEO of 23v Industries Ltd., a technology company based in the UK and Ireland. He has worked on proprietary 3D software for simulating military combat and Special Forces operations, as well as egress analysis and traffic flow. He is currently working on a commercial 3D game for the PC and Xbox.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
If you're planning to write a 2D game with the DirectGraphics API, however, this book is exactly what you need. There may not be a lot of words, but they're the right ones.
The first 40% of the book explains how to do everything you could do with 2D interfaces, and a little more. Copying rectangles, copying non-rectangular images, and page-flipping are explained. Added to the mix are rotation and scaling effects that were generally not possible (or at least not fast) with DirectDraw.
The next 40% gets into 3D engine details, explaining just enough to let you take advantage of Z-buffering, anti-aliasing, and lighting effects without needing you to be the Wizard of Polygons. The math review is brief and to the point.
The last 20% is something of a waste. A long chapter is spent learning how to parse a ".x" file that contains a 3D model, something that is largely uninteresting for people whose focus is on 2D (and unnecessary for everyone else). Another covers particle systems, which is interesting but completely out of place in this book. One might suspect the author was padding it out a bit. A section on text rasterization with Direct3D might have been more appropriate.
Overall I got exactly what I was hoping for. The author describes the different approaches clearly, points out areas where you can get into trouble, and for the most part stays focused on the subject at hand. The result is a book that will get you up and running with 2D under Direct3D in a few hours.
1. Just DX8 Code and Theory. Nothing on setting up Windows and the GDI or the history of Windows. The lower price tag is due to this.
2. Codes that actually compile and run. This is "pretty rare" considering that other DX8 books (as of July 2002) have half baked code that does not even compile.
3. Focus is on techniques and not on making a monster library. Unlike most books, there is no monster central library where each project needs to include. Each example in the book has its own source code and does one or two things only, making the relevant code stand out.
If you are an experienced programmer with DX7, this book is definately a buy. But, if you are a new programmer, stay away from this book. This book purposely leaves out any support for inexperienced programmers.
For those that have his previous(?) book, "Isometric Game Programming With Directx 7.0", this book is basically part 2 of that book.
I especially think the book does well (for its cost) by not having a lot of useless Win32 / Generic C++ content overhead. Yes, you are expected to know a bit of this coming in, but if you don't know the basics already, you should be starting with another book.
"Focus on 2D..." also serves as an excellent reference to be able to fall back on when looking up specific information. You definitely do not need to read it front-to-back; each chapter stands on its own and covers the fundamentals needed, regardless of whether you need information on particle systems, alpha blending, textures, or other Direct3D systems.
I highly recommend added this book to your collection!
This book added alot beyond a SDK-two-sentence explanation of Direct3D objects and made me realize how much I DIDN'T know about Direct3D. The author DID cover the basics in this book (no Win32 mind you), but what happened was, the "why" and more "what" were revealed to me in this text.
The "why this enumeration is this value" and the "reason for performing this class call", etc. Alot of the details that were overlooked before in other books (I've read many) were explained well in this book, giving me the additional information I needed to push completely past a "beginner" status.
All the examples I ran compiled, and all the examples were related well with the text in the book. This book is not a monster either. It's about 258 pages and smaller in size. The author does not try to teach you the WIN32 API, so that takes a big chunk out making this a quick read.
Normally, I try to give a balanced review about a book, the good AND the bad. No book is perfect, so I will say this book is NOT for advanced programmers unless you need a good reference, but for a beginner to intermediate programmer, this is a good nugget of knowledge. Very useful beyond 2D. He does exclude alot of D3DX making you write your versions of their functions which helps in the understanding, but makes it hard sometimes in finding the equivalent D3DX functions since I choose to use them. But in searching for D3DX functions in combination with reading this book, I've noticed that I understand alot of the parameters better when using the D3DX functions! Not bad..
Great book for the beginner to intermediate programmer, and a great reference for anyone after that.
Some of the topics the author covers in this book that I found particularly useful:
- Alpha blending for 2D effects
- Z buffering (this topic is covered extensively elsewhere, admittedly; but this author has explained Z-buffering in the most lucid manner I have seen to date)
- Lighting for 2D
- Simple vertex shading for 2D
- Particle systems for 2D (very useful)
The later chapters, in particular, were extremely useful. All the code WORKS. This book was written while DirectX 8.0 was the latest and greatest, so there may be some issues with DirectX 9 and higher, but of course that's to be expected.
All in all, This book has been one of the best investments I've ever made in my game development education. Furthermore, it has been a constant companion and reference during my own commercial game development.
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