about "Game Programming Gems"

I am wondering wether to buy a “Game Programming Gems” or not. Could anyone that has read the book give me some advice? Is that book worth buying? Is the technology in that book useful,especially for latest HW T&L 3D programming? Can I find those topics in the book on internet(then I can save the money)? The book is more expensive compare to other books about game programming, so I need some advice here.

Chapters.ca had a sale recently and I picked it up for Cdn$50 or so

Anyways, the book doesn’t go into huge depth on any particular topic, but instead quickly touches on a lot of topics (AI, math, physics, graphics, engineering, C++ tips, etc). The references are very useful for going more in-depth on any particular topic.
All the graphics stuff is in OpenGL, which is good.

I’d say it’s a decent buy (especially at that sale price I got). Dunno if I would have paid Cdn$104, which is the current price.

I own a copy, and while I’ve appreciated a few of the articles contained, I basically felt it was a disappointment.

It dosen’t cover the new hardware available on many systems, and a lot of the sections are basic introductions of the subject. Personally, I think better and more up to date info lives on the web.

The sample code is decent, however, but it’s operation isn’t described in the text. How many of us want to cut and paste foreign code into our apps anyways?

It got great reviews on amazon.com, so maybe I’m just an idiot, but I think it’s too expensive for what it’s worth. The cover is pretty…too bad it has nothing to do with the material presented


I personally thought the book was excellent. I look through it all the time (just like my other “gems” books). The thing is, if you expect a book to give you all this “copy and paste code” for the latest graphics hardware, you are
1)missing the point
2)going to disappoint yourself

Missing the point
The importance of the book is in teaching you ideas. Yes they do give you code, but thats only a side dish. They cover a lot of “timeless” algorithms that apply to a lot of generic scenarios. You should be able to adapt many things from the book to suit your needs. And if you casually read through the book, you will probably one day need to do something and say “wait a minite…didnt they talk about something like this in that book”

Going to disappoint yourself
If the book doesnt have the code, you will be disappointed when you buy it. If it does have the code that you can paste right in, you will more than likely do yourself a disservice in the long run, as most of people just copy&paste in things without understanding. You dont know how many people Ive seen who dont even understand what “their own code” does. Then when something doesnt work, they have no idea why. I’ve actually had people come up to me and ask “what is my code supposed to be doing here?”

As for where to get the book the cheapest, look at http://www.bestbookbuys.com (not to be confused with bestbuybooks). Thats where I found my copy at books-a-million for $48 with shipping at the beginning of the year. Looks like prices went up, but theres still a place selling it for $51.00 with shipping.

posted by lpVoid
The cover is pretty…too bad it has nothing to do with the material presented

What do you mean? It looks like a game (and it was actually rendered by a game engine), and it has a shiny Gem in it…fits the title. What more do you want? How should they illustrate a “singleton class” or “memory management” or “collision detection” or the many other great topics covered?

I personally cant wait for part 2 (due out this year).

I have to recommend the book as well. You might want to look somewhere else if you’re just starting in GL, but if you’ve finished all of the tutorials and wondering how to turn them all into a game, this book is a good choice. I picked it up shortly after it came out and I use it constantly to get ideas on how to expand/improve my 3D engine. You could probably get rid of half the questions on this list by passing around the sections on Octrees and Quaternions. :]

Missing the point

that pretty much sums it up. Not the book, but a lot of us here…

Just FYI, the Game Programming Gems II book text was just turned over to the publisher. I believe the intent is to release it on August 12th at SIGGRAPH 2001.

Graphics Gems 1-5 are also a great source of information. They are a bit older(GG1 came out in '90, GG5 came out in '95) but a lot of the information is still relavent.

Here is some info on the Graphics Gems books. This site has all of the examples and sample code for download.