on 14 July 2002
This is a collection of articles, covering several fields related to game programming. They are the same articles you could find in a good game programming magazine but -supposely- of greater interest and better edited.
The articles are:
Algebraic Techniques, Trigonometry and Geometry, Linear Algebra, Matrix and Vector Operations, Advanced Mathematics, Ray/ Polygon/Polyhedra Intersection Algorithms, Handling Large Amounts of Polygonal Data, Triangle Stripification and Fanning Algorithms, Using 2D and 3D Billboards
LIGHTING: Multi-texturing to Achieve Lighting Effects, Shadow Algorithms, Using Simple Radiosity, Projected Texture Lights
TEXTURING: Using Texture Matrices, Bump Mapping, Cubic Environment Mapping, Procedural Textural Mapping
DYNAMIC POLYGON CONTROL: Parametric Curves and Surfaces, Subdivision Surfaces, Multi-resolution Meshes, Spatial Partitioning Schemes ,Camera Techniques/ Movement Techniques
GRAPHIC EFFECTS: How to do Lens Flares, Weather Techniques, Sky Domes, Effective Clouds and Fog, Aliasing Effects (Anti-Aliasing, Motion Blur, Depth-of-Field),Teleport Portals, Particle Systems
ANIMATION: Inverse Kinematics, Blending Keyframed Animations, Solid Skinning vs. Hierarchical Skeletons, Using Motion Capture Data
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Finite State Machines, Heuristic Tree Searches, Flocking and Crowding Behavior, Path Planning and the A*Algorithm
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS: Blending Phrases in Interactive Music, Dynamic Audio Generation, Simulating a 3D Sound-Effect Environment, Using Music Cues to Initiate Game Events
NETWORKED PLAY: Minimizing Latency in the Network Pipeline, Dead Reckoning Algorithms, Client/Server Design, Encryption Techniques
. The real value is that the topics covered here are hard to be found elsewhere. Most of them (but no all whatever says the publicity) came from seasoned and sucesfull professionals in the game programming scene.
. The articles are clearly written, and directly to the point.
. Some articles can be found in the web. Moreover: they can be found in a clearer, deeper way (i.e. Skin animation, where there are excelent resources online, and even in the web page of the author !)
. The quality, while great, is somewhat less than the first book.
. Some articles are written by people with a terrible background (some articles are written by people behind the ATI OpenGL Driver R&D, and if you have worked with Ati OpenGL, well, you know how they are at it)
All in all, it's a good book, with great content where there are some articles that somewhat found their way in without reaching the overall quality level (that in some articles is *excellent*)
Even with its defects, it's a book to be in your shelf if you are into game programming.
If you are on a budget, make sure the book covers your work/learning area before buying it.