REVIEW - Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers

Title:

Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers

Author:

Wendy Stahler, Dustin Clingman, Kaveh Kahrizi

ISBN:

0735713901

Publisher:

New Riders (2004)

Pages:

475pp

Reviewer:

Paul F Johnson

Reviewed:

August 2006

Rating:

★★★☆☆

Computer and Video Games courses at Universities and Colleges of FE are growing in popularity all of the time, yet most of them completely omit the maths and physics involved with any good game engine or system. This book hopes to set the omission right.

And set it right it does. Plenty of examples, good clear discussion and everything set out logically and best yet, it assumes very little. The maths is as user friendly as you will get and the physics uses "real" examples on how projectiles work, cars collide and other such events you would expect to see in any game.

Stahler doesn't shy away from the more complex areas of physics, such as 3D, but approaches them in a step-wise and easy to follow way. It is refreshing to see this in any beginners book, let alone one on such a complex subject. Wendy really does need a pat on the back for her efforts in this respect.

The book uses OpenGL to demonstrate the theory and if you know how to remove the Win32 material from the source, the value escalates tremendously. However, if you don't, the value isn't diminished (the theory still holds) just it may not convey the theory as well. It is hard to say as different people have different abilities to visualise how an aspect may look without physically seeing it. Unfortunately, from a pragmatic point of view, by not having the Win32 parts in either an externalfile or conditionally compiled, drags down the book.

Hopefully, Wendy will do something about this in the next iteration of the book.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.