Hardcover: 864 pages
Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 1.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #376,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #279 in Books > Computers & Technology > Games & Strategy Guides > Game Programming #418 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Graphics & Visualization #650 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Web Design
Jason Gregory's book offers a 10,000-foot view of game engine architecture, covering every system found in modern game engines, and detailing how those systems interact. It details the subjects at a level easily understood by anyone with a modest level of programming experience -- even non-programmers can gain a solid understanding of engine design from the book. This would make a great first book for anyone interested in programming game engines, either as a hobby or a future career.However, it is important to clarify the limits of the book. I do not consider this to be a programming book, since it does not present the material at a sufficiently low-level that would permit an inexperienced programmer to implement a game engine from the ground-up. It describes how the algorithms work in enough detail that you can understand the idea, but does not present complete code examples that would demonstrate exactly how the algorithms would be implemented. There are occasional code snippets, and brief examples from engines like Ogre, Unreal, and idtech. But most of the content is entirely prose.Experienced programmers/game devs have the coding background to implement many of the designs described in the book from the level at which they are presented. But neophyte programmers will not find enough details in this book to implement a full game engine on their own. However, no one book could do an adequate job of detailing how to implement an entire game engine: learning to program a game engine from the ground-up requires a very large stack of books (especially for physics and AI). So it would be unfair to fault this book for what it is not.
As the other reviewer said, this is a very solid, good book. Dare I say refreshingly good. I also echo the previous reviewer's sentiment about the tone that the author takes when speaking to the reader. Some people enjoy comical books but I am not one of them. I read books for information, if I want to laugh I'll open xkcd.Where this book really fills a void is that it assumes you have some experience and maturity under your belt as a programmer / engineer. This is good because it allows us to get down to the meat without hesitation and begin discussing more serious things. What this book is NOT is a book on how to implement a game engine. What it IS is a book on what's in a game engine and common problems and pattern that occur in game engine development. A toolbox of game engine development, if you will. For each chapter / topic, the author devotes some time to explaining the role of this aspect of a game engine and then quickly proceeds to breaking the component down into smaller pieces, discussing common issues, algorithms, and patterns that arise for said system. For example, when discussing memory usage there is a great discussion of a variety of different memory allocators that can be useful in various situations. Almost always the author supplements these discussions with real-world examples of where such a data structure, algorithm, or method was used in an actual game and why.Another aspect of this book that I really really appreciated was the inclusion of references directly in the text. Since, after all, the book is light on implementation details often the author would conclude a section by saying "So and so has an excellent paper discussing this topic in more detail at .
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