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It's been more than three years now that the last Game Programming Gems book was published. The official website isn't updated anymore, and this page of Mark DeLoura's website seems to imply that the series is over.

Was there ever an official statement about this? Was number 8 the last book?

The Game Programming Gems were one of the most (if not the most) important resource for me and probably thousands of developers around the globe, did the Internet kill them?

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What have you tried so far? –  Trevor Powell Jul 31 '13 at 0:42
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@TrevorPowell I've tried visiting the official page and Marc DeLoura's website. What else can I try? –  Laurent Couvidou Jul 31 '13 at 7:36
    
Not sure how knowing if more books will be coming out will help you or any other game developers. If there's a topic you're interested in learning more about, ask about it here. –  Byte56 Aug 2 '13 at 13:56
    
Really confused as to why I cant vote for an off-topic question to get closed just because there is a bounty. –  ClassicThunder Aug 2 '13 at 22:24
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@Byte56 Indeed, I'm not asking for help. But I still think this is a proper question for this site: it's not subjective at all, and it asks about books that are notoriously a good, filtered source of information (I'll say they have "a high signal-to-noise ratio" to be pedantic). You could consider it as a question about our industry: will we still benefit from a flagship book series in the future, or not? My goal (I really can't talk for others) is simply to satisfy my curiosity. –  Laurent Couvidou Aug 3 '13 at 15:04
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2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Hey so I know this is a month late response, but I thought you'd be interested in an answer that's more than "I don't know." or "maybe."

The comments on this post made me think to go to the source, so I sent an email to their info email and this the response I got (I guess I could take a screen shot as proof if needed; my inquiry email is first):

Hello,

I'm wondering if there will be a Game Programming Gems 9.

Thanks a lot,

Valencia

And this is the response I received:

Unfortunately, no. The later Gems books didn’t sell well enough to warrant a new edition. I’m so sorry.

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That's unfortunate. Was definitely a great series. –  Mike Johnson Aug 29 '13 at 20:05
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This is what I feared. So, RIP GPG. That's really quite a shame, but anyway: thanks for contacting the editor! –  Laurent Couvidou Aug 29 '13 at 20:51
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First of all, your hard data and facts. All the game programming gems sold fairly well, each ranking around the 200k mark on Amazon bestsellers list.

  • Gems1: 198,126
  • Gems2: 209,933
  • Gems6: 200,574
  • Gems8: 202,163

So based on that data I wouldn't say lack of sales is a good reason to stop.

But what about the content. "Game Programming Gems" was like a really fat magazine that came out every couple of years and costed $60-$80. After they covered the basic topics that everyone can understand in the first couple of books (quaternions & slerp, basic AI architecture), the articles seemed to get more and more advanced. Just look at a couple of title from the TOC of GPG 1:

Gems 1:

  • 1.1 Object-Oriented Programming
  • 2.0 Predictable Random Numbers
  • 3.1 A Finite-State Machine Class
  • 3.2 Game Trees
  • 3.3 A* for path finding

Gems 3:

  • 3.4 Terrain Analysis in an RTS - the hidden giant
  • 4.4 Fast and Simple Occlusion culling
  • 6.6 Stochastic Synthesis of Complex sounds

Gems 4:

  • 2.4 Nonuniform Sprites
  • 3.6 Interactive Water Surfaces
  • 5.9 Fast Sepia Tone Conversion
  • 5.12 Hardware skinning with quaternions

Gems 8:

  • 1.3 Multi-Resolution Deferred Shading
  • 2.5 Improved Numerical Integration with Analytical Techniques
  • 3.5 Applying Control Theory to Game AI and Physics

So you can see, as the series goes on, 2 things happen:

  • The topics get more advanced, which means the articles take more effort to write, and the book will no longer appeals as much to total beginners
  • The topics get more narrow and specific, because they are so advanced, which means you'd probably find a smaller proportion of the later books in the series useful, unless you have really wide interests (and abilities).

So although I think that shouldn't PREVENT additional installments into the series, I do think that in a way the series raises its own bar higher and higher all the time (both barrier to write an article, and barrier to read/understand an article).

In conclusion, I dunno. You'd have to ask Mark DeLoura.

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"You'd have to ask Mark DeLoura". I did ;) I agree with your point: difficulties to find content that could appeal to a wide range of game programmers might explain why the series apparently stopped. But what I'd like to know is if that's really the case, or if this is just a temporary "pause". –  Laurent Couvidou Jul 30 '13 at 22:29
    
Well IMO give it a few years. There's always going to be new stuff coming out that once it hits mainstream, will get coverage in books like that. Voxel engines, real time raytracing, and so on are probably the topics of a next gen book like that. –  bobobobo Jul 31 '13 at 0:12
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There was a shake-up with the publisher. Unsure how it affected this particular Gems series, but I know one of the other game series from that publisher was completely rebooted elsewhere due to issues with the original going out of print (despite still being massively popular; the fourth in the series is going for $500 used on Amazon) and the publisher not making it available as an eBook. You'd have to ask DeLoura to find out if that was an issue for this series. –  Sean Middleditch Jul 31 '13 at 4:01
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Yeah I noticed that crazy pricing on AI Game Programming Wisdom 4. If there ever is a GPG9 I wish it gets priced normally! –  Laurent Couvidou Jul 31 '13 at 7:34
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While the commentary on the progression of the series is interesting, it's not answering the question. The only real attempt to answer the question I see here is: "I dunno. You'd have to ask Mark DeLoura.". Which isn't much of an answer. –  Byte56 Aug 2 '13 at 22:02
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