Mac Game Programming book, worth it?

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Posts: 508
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #1
Hello,

I saw this book on iDevGames and later on my local bookstore and my first impression was "Nice".

I almost was about to buy it when I started doubting about its price. I currently have the "Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus" book, which is good, but it's getting old, which is a shame though because that book is a goldmine.

I know that the new book has almost the same stuff as the one I have but it is more structured and has Carbon code. It also deals with some game related techniques that the book I have doesn't deal with.

So, if anyone has bought this book, can you please tell me if this book is really worth its price. I'm also intereted in the Open GL game programming book, but I'll think about that later.

Thanks,

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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DrKane
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Post: #2
I own both books. I can say that indeed it is worth the price. It while Tricks of Mac programming gurus is and excellent book and focuses very deeply in certain subjects, Mac Game Programming covers a very wide variety of topics and lays them out in a very simple way. When I first bought the book I skimmed through it briefly, but I find myself going back to it for reference all of the time. With it's wide range of topics it's definately worth the cost.
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
First, you might want to wait for our review on the book which is JUST around the corner. Second, if you buy the book, consider our Amazon banner for it to help the site. If anyone has the book, please send your comments to webmaster@idevgames.com since he is writing the review.

BTW... I agree with Dr. Kane.

p.s. The CD has a good amount of sounds and some nice tiles which I made and does allow for you to use it on a modern OS (Tricks is good but shows its age in some spots.)

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #4
I've ordered the book from Amazon (and I did use the banner ^_^) but it hasn't arrived yet. I say buy it. Tricks is a fantastic book but it is definitely starting to show its age. I say the new book is worth it for the Carbon/HID/etc code alone, and it's always nice to have a new perspective on old subjects like GWorlds.

Besides, if we all buy it and make it sell well, then the publisher will make even more Mac game programming books. ^_^
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Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #5
Does Amazon ship internationally? Otherwise I could just go to my local bookstore and have it immediatly after I bought it.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #6
The HID and bundle stuff there is good information. And if you do 2D stuff and sprites it looks like a very good book. If you want to learn 3D and openGL it doesn't give you anything. At least that's my opinion. I would like to see a more advanced Mac specific 3D/OpenGL book.

But overall it's a good book and it's part of my library.

KenD
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #7
Amazon ships everywhere. Even though there is a Japanese Amazon store, I still order from the US store for some things.

The comment about buying this book to support Mac books is important. Read the interview with the editor, Andre and you can see that if this book does well, we may see more. At min., books will be more cross-platform.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Cafall
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Post: #8
Mac Game Programming is an excellent book. I've had it for about a month, but was busy enough that I didn't pick it up until a few days ago, and I've already doubled my knowledge of game programming (as well as switched fairly painlessly to C++). I'm ashamed to say that I didn't use the Amazon banner, but I don't think it was around when I bought it.

Mac Game Programming is definitely worth its price. It packs a surprising amount of information into its 800 or so pages. My only gripes are the lack of a chapter on networking (according to Szymczyk, it had to be omitted and will hopefully be added in the second edition)óand a few dozen chapters on OpenGL. Wink
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Member
Posts: 111
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Post: #9
Quote:Originally posted by Cafall
[i] My only gripes are the lack of a chapter on networking (according to Szymczyk, it had to be omitted and will hopefully be added in the second edition)óand a few dozen chapters on OpenGL. Wink

There is an electronic chapter on networking on the CD-ROM with the file name networking.pdf. Be careful when looking at the source code examples in the chapter. I did not have the time to put in the networking code, which is why the chapter did not make it into the text of the book.

I do share your gripe with the networking chapter not being in the book. That chapter was one of the more difficult chapters to write, and to not see it in print was disappointing.

Mark Szymczyk
http://www.meandmark.com
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Member
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Joined: 2005.04
Post: #10
My copy arrived a couple days ago (weeks before Amazon said it would...stupid Amazon), and I've given it a good skimming so I thought I'd post some quick thoughts.

In general, it's a very worthy successor to Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus (we'll ignore the ungodly terrible Black Art of Macintosh Game Programming). It's well written and easy to follow. The first three chapters are a good start. It's nice to see a general overview of the mac game programming scene, the IDE, and the language before getting to the meat. I also really liked the "Finding a Team" section which condemned going to random message boards and asking complete strangers to do all the work for you. ^_^

The next three chapters on graphics are pretty dang thorough, but how about a chapter on alternative drawing methods like rolling your own blitter or hardware acceleration?

Chapters 7 (InputSprocket) and 14 (DrawSprocket). InputSprocket is dead and DrawSprocket is a 98-year-old man in a wheelchair. I would have dropped these chapters. Fortunately, there's also chapters 8 (HID Manager) and 9 (Reading the Keyboard and Mouse Plus Event Handling) which are pure gold.

Chapter 10 (Sound) is a good start, but where's my sections on OpenAL and CoreAudio?

Chapters 11 (Physics), 12 (Beginning Artificial Intelligence), and 13 (Pathfinding) are fantastic. Although 3 simple chapters can't replace the books completely dedicated to the above subjects, these are some great intros.

I haven't read Chapter 15 (Files), but it looks like a pretty standard coverage of the subject.

Chapter 16 (Putting It All Together)...When it really comes down to it, this is the only chapter in the book that actually covers making games. All the previous chapters show you one subject that a game programmer will need to know, but it's not until this chapter that they're really combined into a game. I guess I'm just too used to Tricks' style of writing where you actually see the various games and demos being created instead of just being given how to do it, and then told to look at the source code on the CD.

I haven't read Chapter 17 (Understanding the Game's Source Code) yet because I haven't delved into the sample code too much yet. But it's nice to see a chapter like this. Reminds me of Tricks' Glypha case study.

I love Chapters 18 (Optimization) and 19 (Game Development Tips). I'm just a sucker for little tutorials like these that show how to improve your programs in small ways that add up to big differences.

And that's about it. If you don't own Tricks, definitely run out and buy this ASAP (or click iDG's new Amazon link!). If you've got Tricks, then this isn't a must-buy (consider this a carbonized version of Tricks), but it's definitely a worthy purchase if you've got the money lying around, or are too lazy to find all the info in Apple's docs.
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