Sunday, 22 December 2013

Learning Windows 8 Game Development Written by Michael Quandt


I have reviewed one or two books that have been published by Packt publishing, and I have to be honest, the content, while normally accurate, has been a little thin on the ground. I am pleased to say, not with this book!
I am pleased to say this as I have known the author for a number of years. As is the case with on line communities, I have never met him physically, but I have known Michael for many years.


I first encountered him when I started to get into XNA on a well know community board called the Hazy Mind, he went by the name Chr0n1x then, board was ran by another XNA/DX guru Micael Schuld. Chr0n1x was one of the main go to guys on that board after the admin, and he helped me a great deal, not just in the early days but even today with various GPU related issues I have. At that time I don’t think Michael was even in college/Uni then but his understanding and knowledge of the GPU and it’s pipeline was hard to beat.

The Book

So, enough of all that, what about this book, we know it’s rich in content, but is it any good? I think it is, it takes you right from the basics of setting up your project and creating a simple game loop along with a graphics device, drawing sprites and using input devices and accelerometers to live tiles, networking publishing to the store and monetization. Now, I know, this all sounds a bit 2D, but in the appendix Michael quickly covers some of the basics of 3D too, but to be honest, you really need the first lot of tools and can create a great 2D game, but you still need the skills from the previous chapters to get your game together whether its 2D or 3D.

Should I buy this book?

If you are not new to C++, but new to DirectX and/or game development and want a great book to get you into it, and take you to an intermediate level then, yes, this is the book for you. If you know C++ and have done some game development, then yes, there is some great stuff in here for building games for Windows 8, personally I am going to find it very useful for padding out a lot of holes in my C++ and DX knowledge.

Anything Missing?

The only thing I would have liked to have seen in this book was audio, it gets a mention, but there is no implementation shown, which is a shame, but you know what, the amount of stuff that’s in here, you can find this out somewhere else anyway.

Where Is It?

You can get a copy of the book here.