Game Programming All in One

by admin on August 19, 2011

Game Programming All in One

Game Programming All in One, 3rd Edition provides a fun learning experience on how to program 2D-based games with C using the cross-platform, open-source Allegro game library. Artwork will be provided by real-world animators. Several high-quality sample games will be featured and developed. A focused and to-the-point book, it concentrates on the important tasks–building gameplay, not a graphics demo. It speaks to the aspiring game programmer who is looking to break into the game industry. By co

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G B August 19, 2011 at 2:07 am
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very impressed, January 13, 2008
By 
G B
This review is from: Game Programming All in One (Paperback)

I tend to shy away from game programming books with the phrase “All in One.” And not without good reason. Most of them are utter garbage. They simply try to do too much. Take the 1st edition of GPAIO for example–it was just awful. It had diagrams on the wrong page, tons of errors, etc. And it wastes way too much time going through the technical stuff. Very little on game programming.

Not so with this book.

While there is some technical stuff, the author utilizes it almost instantaneously to form a simple tank game along the way. Towards the end of the book, he covers horizontal scrolling (i.e., Super Mario Bros.) and vertical scrolling (i.e., 1942). While neither example is a complete game, both really explain the mechanics well enough that making a game of either type should be fairly easy.

I was a bit reluctant to buy the book because it uses Allegro, rather than the more mainstream options of DirectX and OpenGL. But I really think Allegro was a great choice. It allows him to focus on the meaty stuff, you know, actual game programming stuff. I have way too many books that waste upwards of 150 pages on setting up a window with DirectX.

My only criticism is that the book is more for hobbyists than professionals, but then again I have never seen nor heard of any such book. Anyone who wants to program games, albeit simple games should definitely check this book out.

As for the reviewer who gave GPAIO one star, I’m really doubtful that s/he is serious. But if so, my advice to you is this: If you can’t get Allegro up and running, then you shouldn’t be programming games. It’s that simple. Really. It’s not any harder or easier to set up than DX, OpenGL or even SDL.

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Alvaro Barbeira "full-time wannabe" August 19, 2011 at 3:06 am
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good Idea, dubious Implementation, November 19, 2007
This review is from: Game Programming All in One (Paperback)

This book is intended for the ABSOLUTE BEGINNER. It assumes the reader has a very basic knowledge of C, and understands the basics of pointers, arrays and structs. No experience with other multimedia library/GUI toolkit/etc required, although it helps.

From that point on, it will get you up and running really fast; in quite a few chapters this book will cover simple 2D game programming, teaching all the basics neededed for programming more complex games. Trough the use of Allegro library, the topics of handling input (keyboard, mice, joystick) and output (sound, graphics, sprites) are covered effectively.

The later chapters, however, did not appeal to me at all; they deal with horizontal scrolling (classic mario-like games) and vertical scrolling (1942-like shoot’em up’s), AI, multithreading… which is very cool stuff, but I don’t think the approach chosen is very effective.

It is read REALLY fast however, with very big fonts, and clear and neat writing. It dissapointed me a bit because although it seemed very nicely edited, one of the examples was misplaced.

If you plan to work under linux, the code will work (most of the time), but compiling can become somewhat cumbersome. Under windows, it works fine.

To wrap up, I quite liked what the author says about gaming and game design in general, and teaches very effectively what he intends, having the “All In One” covered; but examples are overall too simplistic or superficial.

I’m rating four out of five because I expect a book on the subject to be a little more high-end; however, if you are new to programming in general, this book will prove quite helpful. And, Allegro can take you really far (it even has the bonus of being open source!).

P.S.: as a side note, reading other reviews, the second edition looks better than third.

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Jonathan S. Leder August 19, 2011 at 3:42 am
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not too many flaws., September 23, 2007
By 
Jonathan S. Leder (Los Angeles, CA) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Game Programming All in One (Paperback)

I had to figure out by my self how to compile the codes under linux. The book doesn’t go over compiling under Linux, other than using kdevelop.

1 star: Readability. It was easy to read. While I found some typos, it wasn’t such a big deal.

2 star: There aren’t many books out there on Allegro Library, and that deserves some recognition.

2 star: I own another book written by Jonathan S. Harbor, which was also a good read. Beginning JAVA … I forget the title but it was a JAVA book. Anyways, the 2 stars are for the author, and his experience in game programming.

It’s a nice book to have.

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