The next great Mac Game Development Book

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Post: #31
BeyondCloister Wrote:I've registered the domain http://www.thegameresource.com. I will be setting up a site for the resource links in the next week or so.
You rock, BeyondCloister! The name is totally kick a$$ too. And thanks for the initiative on the resource sticky thread!

[edit] Oh yeah, and thanks to iGame3d for nudging the subject down the path!

Mac game developers for ages to come will sing songs of praise in your names!
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Post: #32
Wow that other thread is taking off like lighting.

Awesome job folks!
Grin
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Post: #33
Back to the topic what I dont have clear is what should be in a "mac game developement" book. I mean what do you assume the reader already knows of programming-game programming? There are quite a few options on how to make games on the mac: you can use unity, blitzmax, sdl+opengl, cocoa+opengl, etc. (some of the are x-platform) You can then list various programs you can use for gfx/models.

Now after you give an introduction for all these, how do you go on? You make a separate section for each one of these? You explain the programming basics for a 2D game? The basic 3D concepts? How to make stuff with unity? How to setup a cocoa+opengl project? An introduction to objective-c? How to draw a model with blender? How to setup a mac-shareware business? All in a book?

I think a beginner needs a hand getting into the game programming logic and getting something working fast. Say a book like "Games Programming for the Absolute Beginner with Blitzmax" to get you started. Once you got a good idea of how game dev works in general, you then need more "in depth" knowlegde on the topic of your interest, such as "Making 3D games with opengl" (making titles up), or "game programming with C++", or "making games with unity", "making models with blender" or stuff like that. "Developing games on the Mac" is too broad to be useful IMO.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
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Post: #34
That's what I was saying on page one of this thread. There's really no way to do only one book on it. One introductory chapter could be common amongst all of them, but everything else would be mostly hard to mesh into one tome. Sounds more like the Mac Game Programming Encyclopedia when you look at it like that though!
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Post: #35
There is no reason one book must cover it all or be all to everyone.
Just a great introduction to Mac game design, production and programming could do the job and make a difference.
I do feel that a "just programming" book doesn't fit the Mac community.

Without seeing the inside of Mark's next book, I feel kind of blind on this at the moment.
Seeing the book, and reading reviews of that book will certainly help in pointing out where there
is a reasonable gap that can be filled, instead of the huge hole that exists today.

Meanwhile I direct your attention to
Game Programming All in one
3D Game Programming All in one
and
And any of these other books that aren't going to mention the Mac.

Their table of contents should give you and idea of how it could be accomplished and what could to be inside of it.

I'm partial to these nice slim $9.99 ...In Easy Steps books from Computer Step, you'll note there is
a gap in their extensive selection for anything Xcode or anything Games.

The books are generally under 200 pages, I bought the C and C++ books and get through more pages
than most other volumes, but still find learning coding alone without a set game or game utility goal
bores me to sleep. Not the books fault, I should probably try getting more than four hours sleep
before I get inspired to learn programming.

Here's a link to their "Write for Us" submission form. Lets flood them with options. :-)
It looks like a few of you are already on the way to completing
something that could fit right into their line up.
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Post: #36
I actually have 3D Game Programming All in One. To me it represents the antithesis of what we're talking about here. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice book and all -- if and only if you want to make games using Torque on a Windows PC.

I agree that "just programming" doesn't really make much sense. In fact, probably the greatest difficulty I have faced in my own projects has been creating content rather than the underlying code. Actually, creating it isn't so tough if you have access to something like Maya, but then learning to export that content and subsequently import it into one's own real-time engine is itself worth an entire volume. I might even go so far as to say that of all the issues with game development on the Mac, the content pipeline has the biggest holes. I've personally tried many different packages, and have even started a 3D editor project of my own (which is currently stalled). Interestingly, today I just decided to give Cheetah3D a serious try for a while and see how that goes. The latest version appears to have most of the features small-time game devs need. But I'm getting off track here...

I tend to like smaller 200 page books on specific topics as well. They seem to be much more digestible sized chunks of knowledge than the All-in-Ones.
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Post: #37
All valid points.
I pointed to the All in ones as a reference for what might be in a humongous book.
Its certainly worth discussing where books go bad.

The content pipeline situation is a problem, I feel like we've
been jumping through hoops for years trying to solve that.

"Secrets of the Mac Game Content Pipeline Gurus"...good theme for a book eh?
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Luminary
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Post: #38
From my perspective, the problem isn't really "secrets of the mac millionaire game content pipeline gurus" -- if you can afford Maya and Photoshop then you're not a lot worse off than the PC guys. It's the "secrets of the mac student/indie game content pipeline gurus" that's the issue Smile

I'm no artist at the best of times, but I find GIMP difficult and Blender impossible. I quite like Wings, but it only does organic stuff well, and doesn't do animation at all.

Writing format conversion code is annoying, but not really rocket science, and I don't see a book filled with specific examples actually helping anyone a great deal on that front.
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DoG
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Post: #39
Well, writing even an article for a book or just on its own, and creating the supplementary source code and working examples, is a lot of f***ing work.

Also, writing Mac specific game stuff seems to be mostly limited to a) workflow, b) beginner's topics, and c) leveraging Cocoa for games.
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Post: #40
DoG Wrote:Well, writing even an article for a book or just on its own, and creating the supplementary source code and working examples, is a lot of f***ing work.

Tell me about it; why do you think http://onesadcookie.com/book is so incomplete (and these days, so out of date...)
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Post: #41
OneSadCookie Wrote:Writing format conversion code is annoying, but not really rocket science, and I don't see a book filled with specific examples actually helping anyone a great deal on that front.
To be clear, I wasn't talking about simple format conversion or loading a .obj file, but rather exporting entire scenes worth of data, including skeletal animation, morph targets, terrain data, and so on.
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Luminary
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Post: #42
It's the same sort of deal... you've got the data in some format, you want it in another. Doesn't much matter what either of those formats are...
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Post: #43
I don't see how you can claim that it's all easy. It took me weeks to learn how to extract skeletal animation data from Maya and implement it in my own real-time environment.
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Luminary
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Post: #44
Sure, but there are two questions there -- one, the amount of time you spent learning about skeletal animation (which can usefully be taught in general terms in a book), and two, the amount of time you spent fighting with Maya, your own format, and the actual conversion process (which can't usefully be taught in a book, because the information both about Maya and about your own format is far too specialized).
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Post: #45
AnotherJake Wrote:I don't see how you can claim that it's all easy. It took me weeks to learn how to extract skeletal animation data from Maya and implement it in my own real-time environment.

Didn't Brian Greenstone cover that in his book specifically?
Maybe he just got models in there, I don't know, the book was way over my head.

A book with various file conversion tutorials actually would be helpful,
I have access to all kinds of file formats and SDK's but absolutely no
idea where to start. Most of the research in where to start seems to
always lead to "get another software package, and learn another language".

There are apps on the PC that specifically convert 3D files to any number of other formats.
We don't have such a utility on the mac yet.
It looks like the guys at Retropalette may have something for us as soon as Apple ships 10.5.
They did not respond to my enthusiastic e-mails.

So is collada a solution to this file format for games mess?
From what I've been reading it seems that is what it tries to do.
When I get to the documents about implementation my brain melts.
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