Books from my youth: Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus

From 1994, this is another one I encountered at about age 13. I poured over this one so many times! I remember how thrilling the ideas introduced where: Using trigonometry to rotate x,y,z points in 3D space, bit-shifting and Assembly code to improve the performance of your ray-casting engine, simple AI path-finding methods. Wow, so much good stuff, even if I didn’t understand what half of it meant. It didn’t matter that I was just writing little puzzle games in VB6 on Windows 3.1 at the time and couldn’t actually put any included C snippets directly to use.

This book inspired so many afternoon projects and daydreams. It was fascinating to get under the hood of some of my favorite games at the time and realize that this was all stuff *I* could do. My friend Pat (who was always much brighter than I) lent this one to me. I’m sure I kept it far too long before giving it back. Nowadays, there are a hundred modern books like this, probably with example code that actually works, but back in the early nineties, there weren’t many.