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Game Dev Bibliography


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I think it would be a useful resource if we had a list of good, solid books on various aspects of game development. I find that as good as the internet is for finding chunks of good information, there's a lot to be said with a book that can go into some depth on a particular subject, particularly one that puts a good deal of effort into explaining both the how and the why.

I can start off with a few books I've read recently that have been pretty useful.

Programming Game AI By Example - Mat Buckland

Written by the guy who coded the AI for Scrabble on the Spectrum, so you know it's going to be good! Er... actually, it's still pretty good. It gives an overview of concepts like pathfinding, steering behaviours and decision making, together with a healthy wodge of C++ source code to demonstrate those concepts. Useful if you're a beginner when it comes to AI, like me.

Game Programming Patterns - Bob Nystrom

It's a book you can also read for free on the website, which is very useful indeed. It's a detailed look at 19 different patterns that apply especially well to games. Unlike most books on design patterns, the use cases are all very recognisable problems you'll come across when making a game, rather than creating some bespoke bank software or car manufacturer that you'll very easily fall asleep when thinking about. Each case is presented with a problem that you need to solve, the ways that it can be solved, and the various design issues you'll need to think about when tailoring it to your own game. As said above - it's great at both the how and the why, and it's often the why where I fall down.

Game Engine Architecture - Jason Gregory

Written by a lead programmer at Naughty Dog, this isn't as detailed as either of the other books, preferring instead to cover the entire game engine. It's specifically tailored towards 3D, but there's a lot of crossover with 2D stuff too. The hefty, thousand page tome looks at various engine subsystems, the architecture pipelines of consoles and the PC, and devotes nearly half the book to chapters on graphics, animation, physics and audio, as jumping off points for further reading in other books. It's useful as a way of considering the bigger picture, but it doesn't set out any particular structure as gospel, so it's not really a "how to.." book, but there's plenty here to pick up.

Those are three I've been reading, but I'm sure there's plenty of others out there that are worth giving my time that others can recommend.

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