For those who don’t know what is Irrlicht Engine, it is actually a C++ based 3D rendering engine used for simulations and games. I have been using it since 5-6 years ago because it is easier to pick up than any other engines, especially for beginners.
Gothic scene done by wing64, rendered in Irrlicht Engine
And now, someone wrote a book for it! Awesome!
Irrlicht 1.7 Realtime 3D Engine Beginner’s Guide is currently available for purchase on Packt Publishing.
I have been waiting for such a book to be published since day one. It would be wayyyyyy easier for me to learn how to write my own game if this book had been written long time ago. Therefore I opened up the guide book and looked through its contents.
I could have done better last time if I owned the book.
At first, I thought the book would be quite similar to the official Irrlicht tutorials on the wiki site when I was reading the table of contents, but later on I was very surprised because the authors explained everything in a very detailed manner. They even explained what is a dot product, cross product, normalization, etc. which most online tutorials don’t because they expect you to know it already. They even explained how to create fade in/fade out effects in the game loop, which is one of the most frequently asked questions on the beginner forum.
Another good thing about this book is that the authors also teach you how to use external tools together with Irrlicht Engine to maximize your efficiency. This includes irrEdit (scene editor), CopperCube 2 (also scene editor), and Irrlicht Font Tool (obviously, bitmap font generator). However, I wish they could add in a new section which shows the beginner how to export 3D models from a 3D modelling software (Maya/3D Studio Max/Blender3D) to formats which supported by the engine.
My favourite part in the book? Shaders! What really makes this book special is it that it includes Geometry Shader. I can’t even find Geometry Shader in the official tutorials, but it is included in this book! What more can I say?
After reading this book, I want to pick up Irrlicht Engine again and get my hand dirty!