September 17th 2009

Book Review: Programming An RTS Game With Direct3D

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This is a book I wanted to read a long time ago. RTS is a game genre I particularly appreciate, but I never got to the point of starting writting one. Perhaps with this book, I will…

Content and opinions

The aim of the book is clear, and it will help you state the different steps toward your own game. Direct3D is at the core of the book but it is not mandatory to understand the explanations. The version used is 9 for Direct3D, but for everything else, it is DirectX8.

The whole evolution of the book is well done, starting a general approach of game design and Direct3D. This is only an intriduction, you will have to rely on other publications to achieve a good design and to understand everything on DirectX. Then, the different pieces of the RTS are ut togeteher: terrain, gameplay, how 3D existing models can be used, players, fog of war, music, AI and network. The AI part is very general, and doesn’t cover in details (well, nothing is covered, it’s an introductory book, you can get help in Programming Gems or AI Game Wisdom) the parts that are specific to a bot and the part needed for every player. The network part is well done and explains the different solutions in an RTS.

So if the non-programming part is good in my opinion, the code quality is poor (const correctness, std::string, …). It’s not the first time I’ve seen this in a Charles River/Course PTR book. The publisher should really have a convention on C++ code quality…

Conclusion

A new version of the code can be downloaded on the author website. Unfortunately, the C++ code is still of poor quality and doesn’t comply with the Sutter’s C++ coding standards.
Still, If what you are looking for is a general guide to write your own RTS, I think it is a good start. In every case, you would still write it from scratch with your own C++ framework.

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