I'm still 25% into this book and as someone that wants to be a game programmer, I love it ! It explains all of the building blocks of modern games and, while doing so (and this is actually something I really appreciated), the authors share their personal experience with the reader. A small warning for beginners, you'll need some C++ background or else, you might not get the point of some concepts or they can be overwhelming, although, most of the components described here are language agnostic (but they still use C++ for the code examples so...).
I'm finishing a Game Development university course and when asked, I tell my peers that Sir Mike McShaffry and Sir David "Rez" Graham are the teachers we didn't had!
I would recomend this to anyone who is in education and looking to get into the games industry, as it covers the 'boring' but vital parts of game development (resource caching, source control, tools, etc) and doesn't just focus on rendering. If you are in the industry it's well worth a read, if for nothing else than the 'Tales from the pixel mines' and then thinking, yup been there.
Also if you have one of the older versions I would recomend atleast taking a lok at the index as I already own the first edition and this is a good update.
This is a very good book about structuring your low-level engine code when writing a game. It does feel very 'complete', in the sense of being almost everything here - though the title is kind of misleading, since there is focus on low-level engine stuff, and not that much on coding a game itself. If you're interested more in creating a game than an engine, you'll be better with books or tutorials focused on a specific framework (XNA, for example).
It's not for a complete beginner, but it isn't very advanced. You need to know some C++, as every code bit is either in C++ or in Lua (Lua syntax is explained in the book). You don't need to be a code guru to understand everything, but you won't get any C++ lessons here (which imho is a *very* good thing), maybe besides smart pointers and Lua binding. There's some DirectX and Windows-specific code, and I'm not sure I would recommend actually using such a low-level API when writing small to medium projects, so have in mind that some chapters here may be a waste of space for you (for me it was the audio chapter, 3D graphics, a lot of things DirectX-specific, Lua crash course were unnecessary).
I recommend buying the book IF you're interested in writing your own engine from scratch. I would add that if you just want to make games, creating such a low-level engine is probably a bad idea, since there are many great frameworks out there - but on the other hand it's good to know HOW everything could work inside. It's one of the best books about game engine architecture, although there could be more class diagrams and less code examples (I must say however, that most of the code examples are very readable and clean). There are some interesting object-oriented concepts that may be unknown to some programmers (concept of flat class hierarchy, component model architecture, processes, events), so it really does depend on your overall knowledge.
The rating I'd like to give is 4.5/5, so do have that in mind.
TL;DR: Buy the book if you're a programmer and want to write a game engine or if you're interested in how the insides of your game should work. Don't buy the book if you don't know how to code but you want to write games.
I was looking foward to receiving this book and I wasn't disappointed, although I'm a beginner C++ programmer the explanations are good enough to slowly figure out what they are trying to teach - although I have to re-read each chapter - It is what it says, a complete experience in coding a game engine. The concepts involved are based on professional techniques so can be a little advanced but overall with patience and re-reading it does start to flow. I am taking my time to go through it as like I said I'm pretty much a beginner and with the 'further reading' recommendations, I'm using different books to accompany what I'm getting from this title. I've had the book for about a month and already feel confident in progressing.
Game Coding Complete is a very well written book about designing and programming game engines. It does a really great job at explaining all important aspects of modern game development. The fourth edition deals with DirectX 11 library, which is nicely explained and shown how it can be implemented to a working project. Besides the expected parts of any engine, such as a game loop, input handler, render subroutines etc., it also covers implementation of scripting languages and even how to create own game-related tools.
The book is targeted at advanced users (a good knowledge of C++ is advised).
This is a brilliant book that gives a good high level run through of a full game engine. The engine that is created through this book is downloadable from the author's website, so you can look at the code directly if you like.