Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Computer Book Library

This post lists some of the computer books I have on my shelf, between text books and books I bought outside of school. This list is meant to provide readers with books they might be interested in reading, and so is limited to the books most likely to be of interest to others. While I list the versions that I have, myself, the links to the books on Amazon are to the most recent edition at the time of writing about them.

This post is likely to be updated from time to time in the future.

3D Game Engine Design, 2nd ed
David Eberly, Morgan Kaufman, 2006
Covers development of a 3D game engine that includes graphics, physics, and a few lesser topics (though the focus on the book is definitely graphics). Covers both the theory behind concepts and actual implementation of a complete working engine; this latter point makes it vastly superior to more typical graphics books, which usually cover the theory but not a complete implementation.

Artificial Intelligence, 5th ed
George Lugar, Pearson Education, 2004
Computer science textbook I used in the senior-level course.

C++ Programming: Program Design Including Data Structures,
D.S. Malik, Couse Technology, 2002
First year (for me) college textbook

Code Complete
Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press, 1993
Handbook of coding best practices for minimizing bugs and improving maintainability.

Developing Windows NT Device Drivers
Edward Dekker and Joseph Newcomer, Addison Wesley, 1999
A rather dated guide to programming Windows NT (4.0) device drivers.

Developing Your Own 32-Bit Operating System
Richard Burgess, SAMS Publishing, 1995
Prior to the Linux phenomenon, this was pretty much the only book that showed you how to create a full, real, working operating system for a modern computer (at the time, anyway). Throughout the book the author codes the example MMURTL (Message-based MUltitasking Real-Time kerneL), a (some redundancy, here) 32-bit message-passing, preemptive-multitasking operating system that runs on x86 computers, in 32-bit assembly + C, and several sample programs (including the command-line interpreter and debugger) in C.

Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, 2nd ed
Peter Shirley et al., A K Peters, 2005
A fourth-year (for me) college textbook. Like most books of its kind, it teaches you the theory behind graphics (and, if you're lucky, gives you pseudocode for some concepts), but leaves you on your own to figure out how to create a working graphics engine (if you have the need to do so).

Fundamentals of Database Systems, 5th ed
Ramez Elmasri and Shamkant Navathe, Pearson Education, 2007
A fourth-year (for me) college text book on databases. Covers from the basics to the advanced, as well as SQL programming, both in theory and practice.

Game Architecture and Design

Andrew Rollings and Dave Morris, Coriolis Group, 1999
A guide to the complete development process for a commercial game. The first section covers developing a game idea and balancing gameplay, the second section covers project and team management, and the third section covers development from architectural design (the thing code is based on) to production and postmortem analysis. The vast majority of the book is at a higher level, summarizing the entire game development process and the lessons learned by the author from his experience in commercial game development, though the author does create a (simple) working game in the process (several other game ideas are discussed in various chapters, but not developed into the full games).

Game Coding Complete, 3rd ed
Mike McShaffry et a., Charles River Media, 2009
A guide to the game development process and development of game systems. While the scope of material in this book is much the same as other game programming books (e.g. Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus), this book distinguishes itself on quality and scalability. All game programming books invariably contain a guide to the various APIs your game will need to use (e.g. DirectX) and a survey of game technology (e.g. 3D graphics, AI, and networking). However, most books teach you from the perspective of a hobbyist getting into game programming, teaching you easy things that work okay for small games, but lack the power and scalability to deal with a large commercial game (and omit things that aren't necessary for small games).

This book dedicates itself to filling in those gaps, addressing frequently-omitted topics such as the build process, memory management and resource caching, event management, scripting support (the engine the author creates throughout the book is actually a data-driven engine based on Lua scripting), debugging, parallel programming, etc. Of course, it also contains the mandatory survey of game-related technologies, but I haven't looked at those parts and don't expect too much, as most of them are best left to their own books (graphics, physics, networks, AI, etc.), given the overwhelming broadness of those fields.

Programming Applications for Windows, 4th ed
Jeffrey Richter, Microsoft Press, 1999
Perhaps better described by its older name, Advanced Windows, this is the gold standard in "advanced" Windows API programming - things such as multithreading, advanced memory management, DLLs (including DLL injection and function hooking), exception-handling, and advanced window messaging.

Programming Windows, 5th ed
Charles Petzold, Microsoft Press, 1998
The first book to read on Windows API programming. Covers a broad range of topics from basic windows and controls to more advanced topics such as (basic) graphics, printing, multithreading, network communication, etc.

Programming Windows with MFC, 2nd ed
Jeff Prosise, Microsoft Press, 1999
The definitive guide to the Microsoft Foundation Class library, a C++ framework that wraps the Windows API. Analogous to Programming Windows, this was the book to read if you needed to learn MFC, though as MFC is easier to program than the Windows API, this book covers topics beyond those in Programming Windows. MFC is essentially obsolete now that .NET has become so common, though I'm told some people still have to deal with it in older software at their jobs.

Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
André LaMothe, SAMS Publishing, 1999
The Game Programming Gurus has been pretty well respected throughout its life. This was the 2D Windows game incarnation of the series (also see the companion Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus); it covered basic Windows programming, the various DirectX systems, and then a survey of the various fields in game programming (like those mentioned a ways back). As stated above, this (and presumably the 3D version, which I haven't seen) is more of an introduction to game programming than a reference that would be useful at a real game programming job.

Visual C# 2005 How to Program, 2nd ed
Paul Deitel, Pearson Education, 2005
Lower-division college textbook on C# programming (at my school C and C++ were first-year courses, C#/Java/etc. were second-year).

Lastly, a couple books on the list of things to buy:

Game Engine Architecture
Jason Gregory, A K Peters, 2009

Real-Time Rendering, 3rd ed
Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines, and Naty Hoffman, A K Peters, 2008

No comments: