Introduction to Game Development is a book in the vein of the Game Programming Gems series, it consists of a collection of articles written by game industry veterans (Steve Rabin, Noel Llopis, Eric Lengyel, etc.) with the aim of providing a solid overall introduction to the game development industry from all its various aspects, be they engineering, art or business based. Calling this a book is a bit misleading, it is more of a tome, this hardcover 1000 page monster is extremely detailed and comprehensive for what you would expect just looking at the cover.
The book is divided into several sections, each related to a specific role in the industry: game design, game programming, audio visual(art) and game production (publishing and economics). Each of these sections contains several articles, each covering various sub-disciplines and topics within that field. As I mentioned there is a lot of detail present in the articles and the technical content is extremely solid, the chapters on graphics, animation and AI actually have more technical content in them than was present in Game Coding Complete and some of the other “All in one” beginner books I’ve seen. While the writing styles of the authors might vary slightly across articles, every chapter I’ve read has been well written and is easy to read. Authors get to their point quickly and stick to it. I’ll be honest I haven’t personally read through the entire book, the sections on art and business don’t really hold any appeal for me and so I mostly skipped them, I pretty much only read the game programming sections through and through.
For an introductory book, they sure as hell cover a lot of material, the graphics chapter alone pretty much covers an entire undergraduate level graphics course, the animation chapter and pathfinding chapters are also quite excellent and need mentioning. All in all, this book covers the background and basics of the various disciplines and provides a in depth look into that part of the industry. This gives the reader a better understanding of what is required or involved for a specific role and with the wealth of information available, the reader can easily further research topics he’s interested in.
If anyone is interested in learning more about what game programming is, what game assets creation is all about or anything at all to do with the game development industry then this book is pretty much the only book that they need to get. It’s great for guys that are passionate about gaming and are thinking about getting into the industry but aren’t sure what possible job opportunities are available for them and what the industry is like. Game Dev teams aren’t just made up of programmers and artists, this book makes a point of that and covers a lot of the less publicized roles like publishing and management..
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about the game industry.
- Covers the entire game industry from A to Z
- Enables readers to learn about the various roles available in the game industry
- Provides the necessary background for each discipline so the reader can progress on their own
- Better than pretty much all other introductory or beginner books I’ve encountered