Are there good free ebooks on game development? I don't care if they are theoretical or technology specific, I want to start reading one free book that worth it.
- The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford (1984) [PDF]
- Balance of Power by Chris Crawford (1986) [TXT]
- The Complete Wargames Handbook (Second Edition) by James F. Dunnigan (1997) [HTML]
- GPU Gems (2004), GPU Gems 2 (2005), GPU Gems 3 (2007) [HTML]
- The Cg Tutorial by Randima Fernando and Mark J. Kilgard (2003) [HTML]
- Pangea Software's Ultimate Game Programming Guide for Mac OS X by Brian Greenstone (2004) [PDF]
- Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python by Al Sweigart (2010) [PDF]
- ShaderX2: Shader Programming Tips and Tricks with DirectX 9.0 by Wolfgang Engel (2003) [PDF]
- ShaderX2: Introductions and Tutorials with DirectX 9.0 by Wolfgang Engel (2003) [PDF]
- Direct3D ShaderX: Vertex and Pixel Shader Tips and Tricks by Wolfgang Engel (2002) [PDF]
- Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book by Michael Abrash (1997) [PDF]
- Action Arcade Adventure Set by Diana Gruber (1994) [HTML]
- Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics by Ari Feldman (2000) [PDF]
Culture and Studies
- ETC Press: ETC Press have been published plain text version of their books for free.
- Well Played 1.0 by Drew Davidson et al (2009)
- Beyond Fun: Serious Games and Media by Drew Davidson et al (2008)
- Ludoliteracy: Defining, Understanding, and Supporting Games Education by José P. Zagal (2010)
- Toward a Ludic Architecture: The Space of Play and Games by Steffen P. Walz (2010)
- Cross-Media Communications by Drew Davidson et al (2010)
- Trigger Happy by Steven Poole (2001) [PDF]
- Gamer Theory 2.0 by McKenzie Wark (2007) [HTML]
- Playing to Win by David Sirlin (2006) [HTML]
- PSX: The Guide to the Sony Playstation By Kevin Bryan (2005) [PDF]
The Real-Time Rendering website has a good list of free books. They're mostly about writing shaders, including books from the GPU Gems and ShaderX series.
I have never read it myself, but I keep seeing it mentioned.
I believe it is mostly text games, but near the end it covers pygame.
The creator of Sirlin Games has posted a great book on-line called Playing To Win. It comes in three forms, a book from Lulu, an e-book from Amazon (not free), and on-line as HTML. So even if it's not a free e-book as in the OP, it's still free to read (and you could download all the HTML pages if you really wanted to read if offline).
It's purely the psychology of competitive game design, no code. Definitely worth reading.
Not a book but an online place to start possibly http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/DevelopmentKitHome.html
Action Arcade Adventure Set by Dianna Gruber is a very detailed introduction to game development. Source code for a full-featured 2d side-scrolling game is developed over several chapters. Several more general topics are also covered, like marketing and the history of side-scrolling games.
The book is now freely available online, but here is the Amazon link for reference.
If you're looking to do game development for the new Windows Phone 7 Platform there is a Free E-book it covers both Silverlight Development (for Applications [but could be used for games]) and the XNA Game Framework.