Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus is the latest 3D game programming bible. Over 1,700 pages long, it’s a shockingly
long read, unless you are a Harry Potter fan. That said, it’s quite an amazing resource. If you are an upcoming game programmer you NEED this book in your library (printed 2003).
Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus is also really good and focuses on programming for the Windows operating system. (Printed 2002 – 2nd Edition).
Every good game programmers should have the set of Game Programming Gems books. These are technical books, not for beginners. They contain many cutting edge techniques and have famous contributors from all over the industry.
The six book Graphics Gems set are very high-end. These are technical books written by the best developers in the business, not for beginners, and they focus on techniques in programming the visuals for video games. Lots of really talented people share what they have learned in these books. Personally, I think they will be a collectors item in years to come, and yes, I have the full set!
This set of books are again very advanced, they are however an incredible collection of the research that’s gone into visual computer graphics. The only problem is that they stopped the series in 1995 and so they are aging really fast. There’s still good solid content, but I’m kinda hoping someone will revive this series. Pretty Please!!
Real-time 3D Character Animation with Visual C++ is focused on programming character animation. It’s a book you want if you are planning to make character-based games. Printed 2002.
A key topic for programmers is 3D terrains. I came across these books and found them very interesting; they’re for the more advanced programmers.
Here are two GREAT books, plus one not yet released that I just ordered, and one for people that have forgotten their physics lessons.
The first three books are based on applied physics, specifically for video games. Physics are going to be key to the future of games, and good physics programmers are already in great demand right now. I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon, so consider this topic very important.
Here are three GREAT books on AI programming related to video games; I bought all three. AI, like physics, is one part of game development that still has lots of room for improvement. Therefore, good AI programmers are key to the future of games. (All printed 2002).
Multiplayer Gameplay Programming is the best book focused on the subject that I’m aware of. If you’re thinking of experimenting with multiplayer, then this is the place to start. Printed 2001.
One group that’s an important part of a modern programming team is the Scripters, which we call Gameplay Programmers. They now have their own books (finally), and (more importantly) if you are new to the business, there’s a good chance you’ll end up getting a scripting job before you get a full-on game programming job. So, consider this an angle to get your foot in the door.
If you are new to programming, but want to really seriously give it a try, these books should either make you love programming or hate it. Just don’t read them unless you plan to finish them!
This is a good book for game-specific mathematics. I have another book at home that I’ll hunt down that is the perfect companion to this book if you are rusty with numbers.