Took me a while to dig through this one, book is over 800 pages. It has been written by Jason Gregory, who’s currently working as programmer at Naughty Dog. Jason has years of practical experience in the gamedev (Midway, EA, ND) and it really shows. There are too many books out there written by people who have never shipped anything bigger. This is not the case. When he writes how to do/don’t something, he usually backs it up with a real-world scenario. Game engines are vast topic and it’s impossible to cover everything in detail, so obviously it’s a collection of general information, rather than a very in-depth analysis.
Rating of this book is difficult, because it’s very dependent on the reader. It’s truly invaluable for juniors and hobbyists, because it’s an unique position describing how professional engines work. It may be less useful for senior developers as they probably won’t learn that much. Still, it’s rare to be an expert in every area, so it’s safe to assume everyone will find a chapter with new information as well. Personally, I really liked the part about animation. After all, animation system was one of the biggest strengths of Uncharted. Book may not contain many juicy details, but it’s a nice compendium that complements some of ND’s publications that can be found on the net. Big parts that are missing are networking and audio, both huge topics, but I feel like they deserve at least few pages.
To conclude: if you’re a junior/amateur programmer or student - get it now. It should also be an obligatory buy for every company’s library. If you’re senior developer who’d like to broaden his view a little bit and see how it’s done at other places - it’s worth buying as well. It won’t make you an expert, but it’s a good start and gives at least a rough idea how other engine systems work.
triton 2009-09-22 13:21:33
Thanks for the review :)
I’m hesitant to buy it, but I think it’ll be useful on some few topics.
Flawe 2009-09-22 13:25:30
Thanks for the review. It’s on my list to buy but I’ve never gotten around to it, there’s just too much to read. Glad it’s of good quality.