If you need your hand held through detailed examples, this is not a good source at all, especially since the sample programs are 1 overly complex and platform-dependent and 2 slow and ugly. On the other hand, this DOES discuss texturing, quadtrees, a few CLOD algorithms, sky and water rendering, Perlin noise, and a few other things as they relate to terrain, and can be a useful source of ideas for the not-quite-novice.
Setting up Visual Studio
Yes, most of the information here can be found on the web, but that's true of practically any programming book. By the way, a MAJOR annoyance here is the really rather astounding number of typos and basic usage errors "discreet" vs.
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There seems be a trend to this effect in game programming books lately, but this one is really exceptionally error-ridden. While I do not doubt that Gregory Snook is a very talented programmer, the code shown in this book and on the accompanying CD are proof enough, I believe that this book is of no use to anyone except for the most experienced professionals who have weeks of time to burn learning about Terrain Engines.
All of the fundamentals of creating and rendering terrain are covered, but the example code and the engine Gaia on the CD are overly complex for any sort of educational book. Possibly every single library that Snook referenced has special wrapper functions and classes around them, making an examination of any code snippet next to useless unless the reader has spent days going through dozens of wrapper classes learning all of Snook's syntax. While I do enjoy owning this book as a conceptual reference, I am afraid that it is next to useless as an aid in practical programming scenarios.
Not an easy book to learn from, all the code from the first demo program on up use the complicated final engine to do their rendering, and you'll have to go spelunking through it to try and figure out what's going on. The emphasis of this book is on the whole game engine itself and you're locked into his way of doing it, you're never given smaller programs that teach you how to do specific topics, it's all or nothing. The first third of the book barely touches on terrain, you'll get overviews of things like memory management, resource pools, High Level Shader Language, render queue's, and a dozen other topics.
And if you already have your own systems for these things or don't like his systems, too bad, because they are interwoven in the code throughout the rest of the book and it's difficult to seperate it out. Like the review above, I have to agree that the terrain looks a bit aged for such a new book, and it runs slow on my P4 2. I've seen plenty of recent games that look much better and run smooth as silk on my setup.
You'll need a very high end system for his techniques to run smoothly on. It's hard to recommend this book when you'll find much better tutorial code on the internet that's more to the point and has better looking results than you will get in this book. It does bring many techniques all together, but not in an easily learnable format when it comes to actually programming it. I picked up this book along with Trent Pollack's 'focus on 3D terrain programming'. Side-by-side, I'd advise anyone to pick up Snook's book.
It has more information on terrain rendering and is well written. I'm still finding useful ideas in the sample code to use in my own shareware game. Of all the terrain books I've seen, this one is the best. Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare.
Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library)
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