Book review: 3D Game Development with Microsoft Silverlight 3: Beginner’s Guide
Friday, March 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
If you want to be a part of the next generation games on the web, this surely is the right book to read. Gaston C. Hillar has written a practical beginner’s guide to creating really powerful and yet simple real-time online games. You can learn amazing techniques and best practices simply by following the step-by-step examples.
The book begins with a brief introduction in the 2D game development. It carefully explains how to convert different assets from one type to another so that you would be able to use them in a real Silverlight 3 game. If you have been programming using digital assets you will certainly find that part of the book truly helpful because you would know that it is not always that simple to convert your digital assets to the needed format. Then the 3D Game Development adventure begins, introducing you with the 3D game models and how to prepare them for use in Silverlight. The book explains how to use Balder and how to work with 3D DCC tools to export 3D models in XAML. It guides you through creating and animating powerful 3D characters made of one or more complex meshes. Furthermore the book introduces the Farseer Physics Engine, which is useful for applying real-life effects to your characters, without worrying about the underlying math formulas. Another important game development issue, which is covered, is how to apply artificial intelligence. This really takes your game to a next level, where you are free to develop advanced collision detections, chasing algorithms, design special effects or anything else your game requires.
The book has many more amazing features you could use in game development.
Gaston Hillar has certainly done a great job on this book. If something could be done to make it even better it would be to include more algorithms and patterns concerning the actual game logic. It would be best to make powerful games with great UI and amazing assets but you always have to count on your own internal game logic in the end. The book does provide you with the most important concepts of the object oriented design but you must surely spend some time thinking about the game internal logic and how would it be best to use the help of the design patterns, to keep things simple but truly powerful.