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Welcome to the reviews section. I added this feature in August 2001 due to the many requests that I was having at the time, and has steadily grown. 

Whilst there are many hundreds of websites and online resources for game programming, books are still of great importance - every games programmer should have (and probably will have) several of the books listed here. The presentation, and in-depth nature of a book often wins hands-down over even the best websites available online.

Secondly, software - it costs lots of money, yet is crucial in almost everything we do as programmers! and I wont believe anyone who's said they've bought an expensive piece of software without consulting friends/colleagues/reviews first...

Finally, Hardware - If you're developing games or multimedia applications, you'll probably want to add some support for the latest and greatest hardware out-there. These reviews are aimed with developers in mind, so you can decide just what is best for you.

Hardware (4 items)

Box Shot


Radeon 8500
ATI Technologies

One of the current contenders for the 3D-Graphics crown. A truly powerful piece of equipment that could make a huge difference to the way you develop your games/multimedia applications.

GeForce 4 Ti4200
NVidia Corporation

For a long time the GeForce series of graphics cards have been the undisputed king of desktop/consumer level graphics, their latest round of cards aptly named the GeForce 4 now have the Radeon 8500 as serious competition. Read this review to see how it fares, and to see if it retains its crown!

V8440 GeForce 4 Ti4400
ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

A look at a complete, purchasable, packaged example of the GeForce 4 Ti series.

V8460 GeForce 4 Ti4600 Ultra Deluxe
ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

A look at the fastest graphics card available in the Direct3D8.1 generation.

Software (6 items)

Box Shot

trueSpace 6

The latest revision of one of the cheaper 3D modeling tools on the market. This latest version looks to be much better for real-time/game content creation than previous versions.
3DS Max 5

A look at the latest version of the industry standard 3D modeling and rendering tool.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Corporation

The better version in Microsoft's latest round of operating system releases. See how it fares in terms of end-user/general use and for the developer/programmer.
TrueSpace 5

One of the many 3D media creation packages. This one packs top-line features without requiring you to sell your house in order to buy it... See if it fulfills the needs of multimedia programmers/artists.
Paint Shop Pro 7 10th Anniversary Edition
Jasc Software

An excellent 2D art/photo editing package, at a very reasonable price. Check this out to see if offers the features, performance and usability you want/need.

Microsoft Visual Studio .Net
Microsoft Corporation

The latest evolution in the most fundamental software used by programmers all over the world. Here is a special 6-page review aimed specifically towards games/multimedia programming.

Books (47 items)

Cover Shot Description

C & Data Structures
P.S. Deshpande and O.G. Kakde

A university-level text covering a huge number of algorithms and data structures relevant in modern programming. Focuses on using the 'C' programming language to explain and implement the algorithms. Despite more modern 'Object-Oriented' languages being preferred, see if this book still covers what you need.

Focus On 3D Terrain Programming
Trent Polack

Real-time graphics engines have pretty much cracked 'indoor' scenes with limited visibility and highly efficient geometry engines; but terrain rendering is still a tricky business with it's huge datasets and complex natural phenomena. This book looks to give an overview of the main components of a 3D terrain engine.

Focus On 3D Models
Evan Pipho

3D models, traditionally a collection of triangulated data in the form of a mesh - often one of the fundamental building blocks of any modern graphics engine. This book aims to discuss, explain and demonstrate the various common formats.

Focus On SDL
Ernest Pazera

SDL is a cross platform library that is very popular amongst game developers. It offers an efficient and thorough library to abstract the machine that the game runs on, without sacrificing too much performance or too many features.

Focus On Photon Mapping
Marlon John

Photon mapping is a specific area of highly realistic static lighting that is becoming more and more popular. This book aims to give a general overview and some applied discussion for those looking to use the algorithm.

Focus On Curves and Surfaces
Kelly Dempski

Curved geometry is touted by many as being the next big thing after triangles. Indeed it is a common modeling tool for 'traditional' 3D graphics - but can this book describe and demonstrate it's uses for real-time games programming?

Data Structures for Game Programmers
Ron Penton

Any mid-large game written in any modern language will make heavy use of abstract data types and associated algorithms. Read this review to see if this is a worthy hand book to cover this area.

Advanced Global Illumination
Philip Dutre, Philippe Bekaert and Kavita Bala

Global Illumination is one of the latest "cool" things in the graphics programming world - and is proving very popular in static-lightmap generation for 3D computer games. Unfortunately, it is far from an easy topic - so I'll be having a look at this book to see if it'll help you out in learning about Advanced Global Illumination methods.

Realistic Ray Tracing, Second Edition
Peter Shirley and R. Keith Morley

The first edition of this book was a very good academic coverage of the ray-tracing field (a very popular technique for rendering static images), but lacked any substantial example source code or implementation details. The second edition looks to correct this flaw..

Mathematics for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics, Second Edition
Eric Lengyel

This is the second edition of a popular mathematics book. It scored well first time around for being accessible to "normal" people as well as having lots of useful material.

Graphics Interface 2003 Proceedings
Edited by Torsten Moeller and Colin Ware
The Graphics Interface annual conference is one of the longest running annual graphics events, and has attained quite a reputation. This book is aimed mainly at the attendees of the event and/or other research-level developers, but any advanced graphics programmer can pick up a few clever tricks from these proceedings...

AI Game Programming Wisdom 2
Edited by Steve Rabin

The next installment in the 'AI Game Programming Wisdom' series, a spin off from the 'Game Programming Gems' series. Already a very popular set of books - and all got glowing reports from this website. Have a read of this review to see if the next installment is as good or better.

Online Game Interactivity Theory
Markus Friedl

With multiplayer games becoming ever more important in the industry, more developers (and authors) are exploring the possibilities this offers. See if this book covers the ground appropriately.

Game Audio Programming
James Boer

One of very few books available to games developers that focuses entirely on audio programming.

Game Design Perspectives
Edited By Francois Dominic Laramee

As games become more and more mainstream entertainment, the design and planning of a project becomes ever more important. This book offers many ideas to help improve the design process.

Learning Visual Basic.Net Through Applications
Clayton E. Crooks II

Microsoft's .Net platform has been available for quite a while now, but take up in the multimedia/games industry has been a bit slow. With DirectX9 just around the corner, now could be the time to learn a bit about VB7 / VB.Net

Java Graphics Programming Library: Concepts To Source Code
Oswald Campesato

A good reference book giving good all round explanations and implementations of 2D graphics using the Java programming language.

Real-Time Rendering 2nd Edition
Tomas Akenine-Möller & Eric Haines

One of the definitive texts relating to real-time graphics get an overhaul, bringing it right up to present developments in the field.

AI Game Programming Wisdom
edited by Steve Rabin

A collection of more than 60 articles, written by some of the most experienced people in the industry, covering almost every aspect of modern artificial intelligence used in computer games.

Real-Time Shading
Marc Olano, John C. Hart, Wolfgang Heidrich, Michael McCool

A book covering, from a generalized view point, recent advances in real-time shading. One of the more interesting features in Direct3D 8 and above. Focuses mostly on pixel/texture shading rather than geometry shaders.

Andrew Glassner's Other Notebook: Further Recreations in Computer Graphics
Andrew Glassner

A well presented book of notes that will further your appreciation of computer graphics and related algorithms/arts.

Game Modeling Using Low Polygon Techniques
Chad and Eric Walker

A book dedicated to an essential skill for all 3D real-time artists.

Mathematics for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics
Eric Lengyel

A good book covering the mathematical algorithms and equations that make up even the simplest 3D engine.

Game Programming Gems 3
Edited by Dante Treglia

The third volume in this so far excellent series looks to carry on where it left off - more short, to the point, and very useful 'gems' for intermediate/advanced games developers.

Infinite Game Universe: Level Design, Terrain, and Sound
Guy W. Lecky-Thompson

The second part of this series exploring the more advanced and abstract areas of the title.

Infinite Game Universe: Mathematical Techniques
Guy W. Lecky-Thompson

The first book in this series - looking at how the more advanced (and traditionally not game related) math can be applied to the field.

Practical Algorithms for 3D Computer Graphics
R. Stuart Ferguson

An archive of many useful algorithms for dealing with common 3D graphics problems.

The Geometry Toolbox For Graphics And Modeling
Gerald Farin & Dianne Hansford

An advanced text, heavy in math, explaining many of the useful algorithms and equations to deal with 3D and 2D geometry.

Realistic Ray Tracing
Peter Shirley

A great, if advanced, text on generating ray-traced images. Very useful for programming/developing advanced lighting engines...

Real-Time Rendering Tricks and Techniques in DirectX
Kelly Dempski

An excellent collection of brilliant and useful code for advanced graphics programmers.

Game Programming All In One
Bruno Miguel Teixeira de Sousa

A good overview of all the main technical areas involved in creating a complete game.

The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming
Peter Walsh

A stylish and entertaining tour of Direct3D8 programming

Game Design: The Art & Business of Creating Games
Bob Bates

A good general overview of the non-technical background surrounding the creation of top-quality games.

Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX
Jim Adams

Possibly the best technical manual for any budding (or experienced) RPG programmer

Visual Basic Game Programming with DirectX
Jonathon S. Harbour

A great book on VB game programming, that really does the subject justice.

Isometric Game Programming with DirectX 7.0
Ernest Pazera

The book to own/read if you're wanting to use an isometric graphics engine in your game.

Special Effects Game Programming with DirectX
Mason McCuskey

An excellent book covering the more advanced topics of DirectX8 game programming

Beginning Direct3D Game Programming
Wolfgang F. Engel and Amir Geva

A great resource for Direct3D programming

DirectX8 and Visual Basic Development
Keith Sink

A general overview of DirectX8 for VB in book form

Photoshop 6.0 in Depth
David Xenakis and Benjamin Levisay

An excellent book covering the industry standard 2D graphics program.

3D Studio Max R3 in Depth / 3DS Max 4 in Depth
Rob Polevoi and Jon McFarland

A great resource if you need to learn how to do 3D modeling using industry- standard software (note: this is a joint review of two separate books)

3D Game Art f/x and Design
Luke Ahearn

A good book for those who need to brush-up on their artistic skills, or need to learn some new ones.

Game Architecture and Design
Andrew Rollings and Dave Morris

An essential read for anyone looking to seriously/properly manage their project and/or team and to streamline the development process

Game Programming with Visual Basic
Clayton Walnum

A good book for beginner/intermediate VB game developers just getting started / wanting to start.

Game Programming Gems Volume 2
Various Authors, Edited by Mark Deloura

Another excellent resource, continuing along the path laid down by volume 1

Game Programming Gems Volume 1
Various Authors, Edited by Mark Deloura

An excellent resource for intermediate-advanced game developers looking for new tricks.
Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus'
Andre' LaMothe

A solid, all-round book on game programming.
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