Monday, February 06, 2006

Book 'Em


Reviews of Books I Have No Business Owning: A Possibly Ongoing Series


3D Game Engine Design by David H. Eberly


Do you love page after page of mathematical equations detailing the intricacies of three-dimensional geometry? Followed by reams of pseudocode that glance over various aspects of 3D Engine programming?

I don't.

Of course, it's all my fault. The book isn't advertised as anything except a math-intensive look at the subject. For some reason I latched onto the subtitle: A Practical Approach for Real-Time Computer Graphics.

Practical Approach?

Here's what "practical" must mean in this context: If you are completely familiar with 3D engines and have constructed a few of your own then you might be able to use this for reference. Except that the math seems to be in that nebulous middle-ground -- worthless to novices and worthless to pros.

Also, the book's from 2001 (my copy is, at least), so its utility is by now much diminished. Sometimes I pick up the book, thumb through it, struggle in vain to make sense of the delta symbols and then close it with a thump.

Seriously, I have no business whatsoever owning this book.

1 comment:

Chris said...

You and me both. I just moved all my geeky bookshelves downstairs as part of my Valentine's Day gift to my wife: turn the computer room into her knitting room. Sitting on top of the computer bookshelf is my copy of Eberly's book. I've picked the thing up dozens of times and started reading it and never got terribly far. I'm now convinced that:
- OpenGL panes are my friend (since I can just shove the scene into them),
- I should really get the O'Reilly book if I ever get serious about physics,
- and I'm really much happier working on the server side, thank you, and will be glad to let eye-candy obsessed 20 year olds with a gift for matrix arithmetic work on the GUI.

(As a point of comparison, I worked my way pretty far through Aho's Compilers [the dragon book], considered Tanenbaum's Modern Operating Systems a pleasurable read, and used to carry Stevens' Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment around for downtime reading.)

Likewise, I really have no business owning Game Programming Golden Rules or Thor Alexander's Massively Multiplayer Game Development volumes one and two. I can dream, though.