Frequently Asked Questions

How does this book compare to OpenGL Game Programming?

Beginning OpenGL Game Programming started off as a second edition of OpenGL Game Programming. One of the primary characteristics of Premier's new "Beginning" series (of which we'll be the first book) is that the books are shorter, and thus cheaper. BOGLGP retails for $29.95, which is half the price of the original book.

Because it is in many ways still a second edition of the original book, some of the text is the same. In fact, we started with chapters 1-13 as a basis. We have, however, reviewed every single word, in some cases making minor corrections, in some cases adding additional explanation, and in some cases rewriting entire sections from scratch (most notably almost all of the texturing coverage). We've added a bunch of new material covering things that have been added since OpenGL 1.2 (which the original book was written for). We also added sections covering extensions, frustum culling, texture coordinate generation, and texture combiners. We removed the chapters covering 3D math, basic Win32 programming because one of the other characteristics of the Beginning series is well-defined prerequisites for each book, and we're assuming that the reader already knows C++, how to make an app on their platform of choice, and the basics of 3D math. We also removed the chapters covering quadrics and evaluators since they aren't particularly useful in games. All of these chapters were included on the CD, though.

If you've already read OpenGL Game Programming, whether or not you'll benefit from it is debatable. But for the price, you're not risking much.

What should I know before reading this book?

You should be comfortable programming in C++ and be able to make a basic program on your platform of choice. A basic understanding of 3D math (primarily vectors and matrices) will also be helpful. Unlike many game programming books, we don't waste space on these topics - plenty of other books cover them quite well.

Which version of OpenGL is the book written for?

The book is completely up to date with OpenGL 1.5, which was the latest version available at the time of publication.

Are you writing another book?

Yes. Advanced OpenGL Game Programming will pick up where BOGLGP left off, covering topics including vertex buffer objects, shaders, advanced texture mapping, and much, much more. It will be approximately 600 pages, and should be available in early 2005.