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Re: Business models

Mark Collins wrote:
> > What would be a nice thing if it was available is a few books on
> > libs like SDL/PLIB that teach you how to do games using those libs. I
> > assume game programming books for Linux so far have been more or less
> > normal programming books (shell, C/C++, make, etc) with a small added
> > appendix saying "hey, there's this OpenGL thing too, and I think you can
> > do sound too".
> >
> > On Windows if you want to do a game you buy some book called something
> > like "DirectX Programming", follow their tutorials and start your project
> > by copying one of the more finished samples from the book CD.

Well, you need that less under Linux because there are hundreds of "finished
samples" out there for you to copy and start your project.  If you want to
write a car racing game - then if you want one with serious physics and
road handling you can download the 'TORCS' sources - if you want a 'fun'
racing game then download 'TuxKart' - there are *way* more sample programs
out there than there are for DirectX - and they are *far* more complete than
anything you are going to find in a book.

> > I don't
> > think we have something like that yet? Everyone always has to learn
> > everything from scratch, there is no "stored" knowledge yet.

> Before either Steve, Martin or Ben (if he's on this list) tells you, do a
> search on Amazon for ISBN 0-7615-3255-2 (Linux Game Programming, by Me,
> Steve, Martin and Ben). I think it even covers PLIB somewhere in there.

Yes - Mark's book does indeed cover the key libraries in a *MUCH* deeper
way than "a small added appendix saying "hey, there's this OpenGL thing too","
There are two whole chapters devoted to that exact subject (those are the
ones I sweated over).

That's a useful service to mankind - and this is a book that many people
will benefit from and should buy.

However, I *still* think we lack a book that says something like:

   "OK, so you know C++, you grok OpenGL, OpenAL,
    PLIB and SDL - so we won't waste space talking
    about them. Now here is how you go about writing:
         * A car racing game,
         * A first-person shooter,
         * A soccer game,
         * A flight sim,
         * A puzzle game...
    ...three whole chapters on each genre!  Chapters on
         * What the intro screen should do for you
         * When to offer 'save game' options
         * Rewards for completing the game..providing
           something else to do once it's "completed"
         * Metagaming avoidance strategies
         * Grading the difficulty of game levels
         * Speedups and collectables
         * How to stop the music from becoming annoying
         * Controls: Mouse, Keyboard or Joystick?"

I don't know of any good books along those lines.

Steve Baker   HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>
              WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
              HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
              Projects : http://plib.sourceforge.net

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