Must read game development books

  • Let's make a list of the best books that every game developer should read.

    Each answer should have a single book (by title and optionally author), a link to buy the book, and a short synopsis of what the book is about.

    I disagree. Design and development are different topics, intertwined as they sometimes may be for indies.

    Either way, I'm less concerned since he changed it to a wiki. :)

    Shouldn't we create a format for posting the books? One book with a linked title and a short description of why it's recommended and what it's about per answer?

    I think the answers should be game development specific and not "generally accepted best practices for every coder" type books, such as Code Complete and Clean Code. Yes, those are good books, but this list should be specific.

    I agree on that, Stack Overflow already has a great list for general purpose programming books and other subjects that're programming related (lacking game dev.). That's why I placed them beneath the line.

  • Kaj

    Kaj Correct answer

    10 years ago

    Game Programming Gems, all of them.
    Internet Archive: Game Programming Gems

    Even just reading them will give you a lot of ideas and insights in different approaches that will spark your thought processes and will give you a nice interdisciplinary toolbag. Also, lots of references to other interesting works.

    I wish some of those were available online or a bit cheaper, because there's loads of them and they're about £30 each so buying them all would be really expensive!

    I agree, but used through Amazon they're okay. Could also check eBay? I do truly value my copies. Also, volume 8 is available online at

    Any especial place where to start with this huge collection or any random one is a good?

    I honestly love em all. The earlier ones are a bit more low-level, but I do believe low-level knowledge is a valuable basis.

    These book are excellent, talk about solving common problems in game design, however a disclaimer must be placed. These are NOT beginners books. Only when I nearly completed my BS in Computer Science did these book really shine for me. contains the complete TOC for all published books.

    Although some articles are a bit dated by now and some rant about topics without going into detail, the majority of them are valuable tidbits that give elegant solutions for specific problems. Definately not suitable for beginners, but a great reference otherwise. (I really wish the older books of the series were reprinted as an anthology.)

    I've been meaning to read these for a while. Does anyone have advice on which one to start with? My impression is I should start with the latest and work in reverse order. (also, @Zolomon your link appears broken.)

    @Annan I'd recommend to read Game Coding Complete over the gems today.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM