Best books on Game Engine Development

Developing a game engine is such a great learning project. You learn about linear algebra, computer graphics, programming, physics and collision. Unfortunately, books on these topics are not cheap. I figured that sharing with you the best books on game engine would be helpful. Not only will I be saving you money but also time.

The books on this list are the best of the best. These books have been so helpful that without them, I couldn't have written the game engine.

I hope you find them useful.

3D Mathematics Books

1. Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics

All the 3D math you need to know is in this book. This book contains the math required to rotate an object. To add shadows to a scene. To add realism to an object. It contains the math used in a physics engine. As well as the math used in collision detection. I haven't read this book cover to cover, but I have read several chapters. The good thing about this book is that it gives a good overview about the math that you need. In some cases it even gives you code snippets.

2. Quaternions for Computer Graphics

To rotate a game object, you need matrices. The problem with them is that they can take too much space and are a bit slow. A better solution is to use Quaternions. The concept is beautiful, but it is a bit confusing. I struggled understanding them for a while until I bought this book. John Vince does a great job at explaining how quaternions work. Once I read this book, I was able to write a math library using quaternions.

3. Geometry for Computer Graphics

This is a Reference book. It contains so many useful equations used in 3D mathematics. For example, if you want to know the equation for the intersection of three planes or the angle between a line and a plane. I got this books because information found on the web is sometimes incomplete. This books have all the 3D math equations you will need.

Rendering Engine Books

4. Graphics Shaders Theory & Practice

I thought I knew OpenGL until I read this book. I love this book. It explains how the OpenGL Rendering Pipeline works. It explains the different kind of shaders: Vertex, Fragment, Tessellation and Geometry. It is so well written, it is a joy to read. I learned so much from this book. If you want to understand OpenGL and OpenGL Shaders, this is the book you need to read. Period.

5. OpenGL SuperBible

I still have to find a book that explains the OpenGL API as well as the OpenGL Superbible. I didn't like the Fifth edition that much. But I read the Seventh edition and it was way better. This books does a good job at explaining the OpenGL API. Unfortunately, it does not talk about OpenGL ES. Nonetheless, you will get the big picture.

Physics Engine Books

6. Physics for Game Developers

You need to develop a physics engine? This is the book to buy. This book will teach you about kinetics, forces, kinematics, impulse and friction. But more importantly, it will teach you how to implement them in code. It is a Gem and it must be in your library. It saved me precious time during the development.

7. Real Time Collision Detection

The best book on Collision Detection and my favorite of all. This book is full of collision-detection theory. It does not only explain the concepts quite well. It also gives you tons of code snippets. There is no way to develop a collision detection system without this book.

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Harold Serrano

Computer Graphics Enthusiast. Currently developing a 3D Game Engine.