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Game Programming Gems 6

Author: Mike Dickheiser

Category: Technical

Tag: Game Development

Posted on 2007-06-22. By anonymous.


  • Author: Mike Dickheiser

Welcome to the sixth volume of the Game Programming Gems series. With team sizes constantly expanding, developers are finding themselves pushed to become increasingly specialized. This makes it important to have cutting-edge, ready-to-use material in your specialization, as well as resources that you can call upon if you need to work outside your area of expertise. Volume 6 has been explicitly designed with your current challenges in mind. With the new generation of machines, players expect higher-fidelity models and animations, fancier physics and graphics effects, and more intelligent AI. All of these capabilities require robust teams and longer schedules, so to help ensure that your games are still delivered on time and on budget, you?ll find 50 all new articles written by experts in game technology from many different backgrounds and over twenty countries. This volume also includes a brand new section dedicated to Scripting and Data-Driven Systems, which is focused entirely on the growing trend of removing the programmer from the data-tweaking loop. So, whether you?re a new game programmer starting out on this exciting path, a grizzled, industry veteran, or a most welcome visitor, we hope that you will find inspiration, insight, and at least one or two true gems to use in your world!

About the Author

Michael Dickheiser (Raleigh, NC) is a Software Engineer with over nine years experience in team-oriented projects within the computer game industry. He has been involved in all stages of development from conceptual design, technical design and documentation, to implementation, debugging, and formal testing.Dickheiser was most recently a Senior Engineer at Red Storm Entertainment and he is now Senior Computer Scientist at Applied Research Associates.


watch this trend

One interesting feature of this book on game programming is how graphics does NOT dominate the discussion. Most books on the subject are chock-a-block with every graphics tip you could imagine. But Dickheiser does not write for the novice. He has gathered a set of papers (chapters) that try to delineate the research boundary. It is a measure of the rising maturity of the field, and the complexity of many games, that graphics is relatively deprecated.

Though I hasten to add that there are still the pretty colour plates of renderings, and several chapters on these methods.

Why is the book symptomatic of the changing trends? In part because graphical methods are starting to saturate. The techniques are now good enough for near-photorealistic impressions. If you look carefully at the non-graphics chapters, you see that they tackle non-trivial problems arising from evermore intricate games. One instance is the use of AI-style decision making methods for how a game proceeds. When well coded, it can give behaviour of characters that is more intelligent, hence yielding a more interesting game. Another chapter looks at the learning process in AI, where a player might change strategies. Here, the research use of Support Vector Machines is suggested as apropos for commercial game development.

Professionally, you should pay attention to the book for the trend it exemplifies. You probably got into game programming because you were attracted by the graphics. But as graphics methods peak, the value added aspect of games is starting to shift towards the story line and how elaborate is the game logic.


Good bag of tricks for advanced game programmers

This is the latest volume in the game programming gems series that is now six years old. This book, like the others in the series, is a collection of articles written by industry experts for the advanced game programmer. Because it covers so much ground with little or no background information, I doubt that one reader will be able to appreciate the whole book. The book comes with a CD that has source code for all of the articles, which is very helpful.

I'm a multimedia programmer rathe

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