Windows Game Programming for Dummies, Second Edition

by admin on July 17, 2009

Windows Game Programming for Dummies, Second Edition

Get the scoop on DirectDraw, DirectInput physics modeling, and more! The one book you need to begin building your own games Game programming is a challenge – even if you’re a veteran C/C++ programmer. This friendly guide by a legendary game developer delivers just what you need to get started on 2D games. Now revised to cover the latest DirectX and Windows releases, it shows you step by step how to tackle everything from graphics and sound to input and installation – even gam
Buy Windows Game Programming for Dummies, Second Edition at Amazon

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Haile July 17, 2009 at 4:17 am

An idiot who slapped the 1 – star rating on this book is, in fact, a dummy. You CANNOT expect to write any game without having C or C++ down. Before buying this book, make sure that you are strong in using pointers and such ‘advanced’ things found in the C language. Some Windows programming is nice, however, Andre LaMothe is able to explain it nicely in the pages that are in the book, without going into explicit detail (which is a good and a bad thing). If you want to learn how to write games using your C language, then this book is a very good one. It explains Direct X fully, although, it doesn’t go into explicit detail. On a final note, this game teaches a lot in the pages that it houses. It teaches basic Windows Programming, DirectX, as well as Physics and AI. Don’t expect to get an extremely detailed tutorial on each concept taught in the book. If you need every detail found in Win32 Programming, then head off and purchase Windows 98 Programming by Schildt. If you want to learn DirectX (no D3D..) by going into explicit detail, Inside DirectX is the way to go. However, if you want a brief and somewhat detailed tutorial of both (including many, many other aspects of game programming), you’ll find that this book provides you with everything you need to know. However, don’t expect to write ANYTHING 3d. Right now, after reading that book, I am able to program my own Secret of Mana type game. How many people can say that after reading a 480 page book?

Ulan July 17, 2009 at 4:43 am

5.0 out of 5 stars
This, plus C++ For Dummies, = great programming coming your way!
I may have limited knowledge of Game programming, but, this book is the best. Buy this book, along with C++ for dummies, and you get TWO books, AND two CDs that come with SDK’s,…

Ethel July 17, 2009 at 5:04 am

Based on the amazon reviews, I purchased both this book and Andre’s more recent tricks of the 3d programming gurus. His newer and much more detailed book covers everything in this book in more detail.

Both books are definitely excellent tools for learning the basics of game design. Game programming can be extremely difficult due to the real-time nature of the application. Because of this, a good game programmer knows how to write efficient code.

My suggestion to ANY aspiring game programmers is to learn C or C++. C++ is MUCH more difficult to learn due to the added complexities of Object Oriented Design. Get comfortable with dealing with data structures (such as arrays, linked lists, binary trees) because many times efficient code requires efficient management of data.

Once you have a grasp of the language, then move on to Andre’s gurus book. The learning curve will be fairly steep at first as you try to understand windows programming, although you really only need to know how to design a basic shell to create a window and handle messages.

Andre’s DirectX explanations are usefull, but VERY outdated. DirectX 8.0 marks a vast change in many areas as it seems to be becoming more openGL-like.

I would not suggest that anyone writing a game today use the older direct draw 2D methodology. Instead, you can utilize the added functionality of direct3D and get access to the 3D accelerator and still create a top-view or side-view game that appears 2D. What this means is that you’re working in a 3D space (x,y and z coordinates) but placing all of your 3D objects on the x-y or x-z or y-z plane and using the third axis to view this 2D plane.

Get a hold of the DirectX 8.0 SDK from the msn website. Go over the documentation and look at and edit their sample programs until you understand the concepts you want to learn. They provide you with predrawn 3D meshes in their 3D donuts game, which also contains all of the source code.

I’m actually writing my first game now after a long time of researching to make sure I do it right. The game is a simple asteroids like top-down game except that I’m using 3D ships, asteroids and such. I first learned how to render my 3D ship in a window, then learned how to move (translate) it and also rotate it by reading the keyboard inputs. I then figured out how to render a background behind the ship. The next step was to learn how to use directShow to play an mp3 theme when the level started. The next steps will be to learn how to play a .wav file when say thrusting or firing, and then editing the lighting effects of the models and the entire scene.

If you break the project down into small steps, as described by Andre, the task because much less daunting.

One last thing, C++ is definitely going to become a HUGE asset to engine and game programmers. It’s portability and modularity makes for easy partitioning of tasks and reusability. Even John Carmack (Doom, Quake)is debating learning C++ as the games are getting extremely complicated over time and reusability could save him a great deal of recoding.

Umay July 17, 2009 at 6:01 am

3.0 out of 5 stars
So-So book, but you better have your comp with ya
This book does have some good parts to it and would be a great starting point to people wanting to get into games.

Keyshawn July 17, 2009 at 7:22 am

4.0 out of 5 stars
To all who don’t have a clue about Mr. LaMothe
As S. Randall pointed out, some reviewers claim that “Andre is not a real programmer” and made other comments like:
“If you want to write games, develop a solid…

Timila July 17, 2009 at 10:07 am

4.0 out of 5 stars
For the Naysayers:
There are many reviewers here who claim Andre Lamothe is not a real programmer, just a guy with a book deal. This cannot be farther from the truth.

Ting July 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best books on this subject
This book is one of the best books about game programming. Even as a newbie you have a good and easy way to learn a lot about game programming, you don’t need much pre-knowledge…

Shoney July 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm

3.0 out of 5 stars
Good, but not great
The book starts out great, with clear step-by-step explanations about everything. One really begins to feel like they’re getting somewhere.

Wowashi July 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

4.0 out of 5 stars
the best way to get started!
This book is really good for a begginer just getting into the world of game programming. It describes every aspect of game programming, and does a great job of making DirectX easy…

Urian July 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

2.0 out of 5 stars
Simple concepts
Reading the author’s brief bio reveals he’s not really a programmer, and certainly hasn’t programmed any of the high-tech games that came out in the last few years.

Tadelesh July 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

5.0 out of 5 stars
Best book I’ve ever spent my money on
At least compaired to Game Programming All In One, this book is $20 dollars less and instead of leaving you with a crappy game library that the author made, this gives you enough…

Jovia July 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm

4.0 out of 5 stars
Man do it
do u know i am the best. Just kidding. U all know dummies books are for begginers. This book is indeed a starter book for game programming,only game programming.

carol gyles December 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

This is a good book but I’m not sure how relevant of a topic windows game programming is. It seems like a somewhat saturated sector of game dev, and as the windows market share dwindles, it becomes less and less of a profitable option to get into the business of windows game programming.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Web Analytics