Game Programming Gems books

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I sometimes forget that there are people who find my blog through the Game Programming Gems connection. Usually I assume that the folks who read what I’ve written here are just people who already know me, although there have been occasions in the past which have helped me remember that some journalists stop by now and then as well. (Note to self: don’t comment here about Xbox engineers ragging on the PS3 architecture, or the latest speeches by Ken Kutaragi or Phil Harrison!)
When I first was thinking about working on a game programming book, I started with a “what does the industry need” approach. I analyzed what was already available in books, magazines, and websites, and tried to come up with something that would be valuable for people, making their lives easier and raising the overall quality level of games. I think we’ve done a good job with the Gems books, although of course some gems/sections/books are more useful to some people than others. It’s amazing the number of people who have contributed to the books, and I’m excited to see the writers who have gone on and written full books on their areas of expertise. More information sharing = good!
We’ve done six Game Programming Gems volumes now (see above), and I’m thinking about what might be useful for people in today’s game industry, and how I might be able to contribute. What do you think? I’d love to hear people’s thoughts about what you wish was available, and how you’d ideally access it (book, website, podcast, whatever). Post a comment here or drop me an email at madsax (at) and let me know what you’re thinking about! Thanks!






2 responses to “Game Programming Gems books”

  1. kpallist Avatar

    We’ve discussed this a little in the past, but why limit to dinner conversation what can take place online with additional eyes and ears!
    1) I think it’s a good time to take look at what a book does/doesn’t offer over online mediums. The world is a much different place than when the Gems series started! maybe it’s just my personal taste, but I find books that have more the interviews-with-people-in-the-trenches books to be a lot more timeless and thus better suited to print than web.
    2) Having switched companies and gotten a different perspective on the subject (again) as well as having conversations with you and others, I’ve toyed with the idea of a “developer relations” book. It’s surprising how much wheel-recreation goes on, and how often people have to relearn painful lessons. That being said, I’m not sure the market for such a book is that big, nor the material in it. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing it as a 50-ish page e-book as well.
    P.S. GOod point about press. I too should watch my P’s and Q’s a little more often ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ronald Avatar

    I was searching the internet today, after getting Gems 6 (thoroughly loving it at that), and came across your site here.
    I am very pleased that this book is in print and not in an online medium, although quick reference can sometimes be helpful; although very hard to protect from being copied.
    As an up and coming indie developer, and competing hopefully in the Canadian Game Competition (telefilm), I find that all the Gem books, as well as the Game programming books by Andre LaMothe, are extremely helpful in finding new ways to implement great ideas into our games.
    As for your request on ideas on what the industry might need, I think at this point, people need (as Kim had said), a book on what have been the big problems inside development teams, between Publishers and Developers, between Senior and Junior staff, etc, and how they were resolved.
    Recreating the wheel IS a bad thing for sure; although some can only learn that way unfortunately.
    There should be a so called “Game Development for Cavemen”
    …or…something along those lines.
    *snickers at his own title*
    Many people I find (gone through school for Game Design here in Toronto), have amazing ideas, want to make games, have the dedication to learn the tools and methods, but then stress at the pain and lengthyness of a game, and want to do as little as possibe to create a full-blown game. Many are disappointed at the fact that its not all fun-and-games, and drop out. ๐Ÿ™
    I think that books like the “Gems” series are what motivate people into want to keep learning. I for a fact had never heard of OpenMP till I read “Gems 6”, and it blew my mind at how I’d never known about it. It was worth the money right there.
    I guess a “Gems” book for more the art and 3D modelling would be a hit aswell. I found most places that offer “Game Design” or “Development” as courses, end up focusing highly on programming. Artists are getting detered.
    …anyway…I’ll stop now. The post is getting long. Sorry for the delay in my post, only just found the site. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Ronald Swaine