Game Programming Gems

Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #1
Are the Game Programming Gems books worth their steep price (the oldest one used is still $25 I believe [Amazon])? Also are they meant to be used collectively or is it buy-the-newest-one-only? From a quick glance on Amazon it seemed they all covered some similar topics. For instance, I want to start learning advanced things like particles, the OpenGL stencil buffer, and physics. Which of these would be best for helping me?

On a side note, are there any real good sources besides NeHe and the Red Book for learning these things? My physics, for now, I simply want 2D but eventually would like 3D. Pretty much just need to know some things about 2D collisions and things like ropes or glass.
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Posts: 529
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #2
Search at,, and (you need to register for this one---but its free.) They have tons of articles on almost any game programming topic you can think of.

Another good one is

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Posts: 133
Joined: 2008.05
Post: #3
I have two of the books, 1 and 3. Completly different things in both of them. I can't say I've used much of it, a lot of it is just stuff I wouldn't use or already know. But they are interesting, have some good stuff in them just to learn for the sake of learning. There is some relatively beginner tutorials usually in the front, the stuff in the back is very specific and pretty tough to decipher sometimes. It's definetly not a beginner's book.
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Posts: 338
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #4
Game Programming Gems is definitely advanced stuff- meant for people already creating games who want to know a few more cool tricks and algorithms. Each book is a separate collection of Gems, so they're all still useful and relevant, not just the last.

For the stuff you listed (Particles, physics, stencil buffer) the best place is probably NeHe or some of the links Dan mentioned. GPG is more about cool things you can do with particles, physics, and the stencil buffer after you learn them.

Also, because of the steep price, they're more of a read-the-one-article-I-need-at-Borders-over-coffee-then-put-it-back deal for me.

They're all definitely worth a look though.

Justin Ficarrotta
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Posts: 509
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #5
All I ever needed was , and I did also find lots of good articles on and
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Posts: 208
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #6
There's also the Pangea book:

I haven't read it, but I hear it's pretty decent.
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Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #7
I've got them all, actually. I've had limited actual *USE* for them, but they are great books to learn from, if you're the reading type. I pick them up every once in a while and read them, to gain insight, learn what techniques there are, do's and don'ts... But if you're pressed for cash, it's not worth it. If you're going to pick up just one, the first and the fourth are the most interesting for indie devs.
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