The first volume of Game Programming Gems helped break down the walls of secrecy in the game development industry, where programmers have often been loathe to share their best techniques. Mark DeLoura cajoled some 40 top game developers to participate, and the result was an eye-opener. Now, he's back with even more great ideas, in Game Programming Gems 2.
To begin with, you'll find more than 20 "general programming" techniques: optimizing C++ games, protecting yourself from "DLL Hell," adding a drop-in debug memory manager, stack winding, and a nifty approach to using web cameras, to name a few. Highlights from the book's math section include improving IEEE floating point performance, determining inverse trajectories, and creating smooth C2 quaternion-based flythrough paths.
You'll find a big bundle of attractive AI techniques (influence mapping, strategic assessment, terrain reasoning, and how to manage the tendency of fuzzy logic systems toward combinatorial explosion, to name a few). Graphics display, geometry, and audio are also well represented, with an emphasis on squeezing maximum performance out of the available resources.
We'll never have enough hardware to quench our thirst for speed and reality, but Game Programming Gems 2 is the next best thing. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.