5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Start your games, 11 Jun. 2007
This book is great. The book teaches you the very basics of game programming using C++. I completed this book a while ago now but I still use the game engine that it provides because it is so easy and quick to use. The book is easy to understand and teaches you 7 totally different games starting out with a simple snap game and then going on to a more Space Invader type game. The programming techniques that the book uses are not the type of thing done at a professional level but useful for a beginner or someone who wants to create a quick game as it uses only simple C++ and programming skills. Each chapter of the book expands on the previous chapter and more features are added to the games. A CD is provided which contains all the source code, images and sounds for the games. This is a good book for the beginner game programmer but for those who have already created 1 or 2 `visual' games then this book is not going to be of any use.
Problems of the book are that at the beginning of most of the chapters the author explains the expansion of the game engine that is required to add the new features to the game. They are explained in good detail but the author does not explain the game engine at the beginning that is going to be expanded. You are left confused of what it can and cannot do which does not help with the explanation of the expansion of the game engine later in the book. The game engine also only uses images as the visual appearance of the game which limits its use dramatically which can't do 3D. After I created a couple of games I noticed that the game engine is inefficient and very limited in what it can do without changing the game engine itself (which isn't easy).
Overall the book is well written and most of the code is explained well. Previous knowledge of C++ is essential which can be gotten from `Sams teach yourself C++ in 24 hours' which is a very good C++ book. The book will get you creating a ride range of games very quickly but don't expect it to teach you 3D, physics or industry style games. In fact you will not be able to create games higher than `Pacman' and other games from that period.