Start Your Engines: Developing Driving and Racing Games Review

Unlike a lot of recent set of game design books, Start Your Engines has a focus, and it's a good one on top of that. A dominant genre, racing titles take up a large market share, and this is a book that will get you moving on designing one. That's assuming of course you know what you're doing.

This is not a book for those looking for recommendations. This is a strong, well organized guide to getting a small racing title off the ground. It's meticulously detailed, but it doesn't just throw numbers and letters.

Author Jim Parker explains why these steps work, why they need to be in your game, and how it will turn out in the end. He also explores specific major releases and their advantages. That's a great start, especially if you're in need of inspiration.

There's nothing missing, as everything from the camera to the AI is included. It's laid out comfortably without clutter, and diagrams explain the more complicated steps. It may seem slow moving, but this is a drawn out process. That's simply the nature of the medium. It's likely to overwhelm entry level programmers without much experience. Those who have a grasp on what is required will find this invaluable.

This isn't all about 3-D titles either. Parker briefly covers a 2-D game in Open GL to give the reader a basic understanding of the process. By the time you've hit the final page, you'll have complete and working 2-D and 3-D titles. If you make it through, it's a great sense of accomplishment. It's far easier when you have a book this easy to read through.

Comments (4)

LKM:

So, where can I buy this?

Amazon.com carries it. Beyond that, I don't know. It was a review product. Oreilly.com may have something for you to.

LKM:

ah! found it. the ISBN is 1933097019, for those who are still searching.

Or you could just buy it off eBay from me, cheaper than Amazon... hint, hint.

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