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Knowledge is power, and as developer you can never have too much of it. This section gives an overview of recommended books for game developers.

Feel free to start a new page about a book if you know it and can review it, otherwise simply add it to the list.

Game design

Game design
Book title/link ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
Better Game Characters by Design 978-1558609211 Katherine Isbister Morgan Kaufmann en 364 1. 2006-06-05 CD No

Game development

Game development
Book title/link ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
AI for Game Developers 978-0596005559 David M. Bourg, Glenn Seemann O'Reilly AI en 390 1. 2004-07 No No
Game Developer's Open Source Handbook 978-1584504979 Steven Goodwin Charles River Media en 464 1. 2006-10 CD No
Soft Skills für Software-Entwickler 978-3898644334 Uwe Vigenschow, Björn Schneider Dpunkt Verlag de 342 1. 2006-12 No No
Software Engineering 978-3898642682 Jochen Ludewig, Horst Lichter Dpunkt Verlag de 618 1. 2006-09 No No
Game Engine Architecture 978-1568814131 Jason Gregory A K Peters en 864 1. 2009-06 No No


Programming in general

  • Code Complete, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-0735619678) by Steve McConnell - Microsoft Press (2004)
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (ISBN 978-0201485677) by Martin Fowler - Addison Wesley (1999)
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (ISBN 978-0201633610) by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides - Addison Wesley (1995)

Programming languages


  • Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs, 3rd Edition (ISBN 978-0321334879) by Scott Meyers - Addison Wesley (2005)
  • The C++ Programming Language (ISBN 978-0201700732) by Bjarne Stroustrup - Addisson Wesley (2000)
  • The C++ Standard Library: A Tutorial and Reference (ISBN 978-0201379266) by Nicolai M. Josuttis - Addison Wesley (1999)
  • More Effective C++: 35 New Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs (ISBN 978-0201633719) by Scott Meyers - Addison Wesley (1995)
  • Thinking in C++, 2nd Edition (Vol.1: ISBN 978-0139798092, Vol.2: ISBN 978-0130353139) by Bruce Eckel - Prentice Hall (2000/2003) - also available for free on its homepage


Book title/link ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
Dive Into Python 978-1590593561 Mark Pilgrim Apress Python for experienced programmers en 413 2. 2004-07-19 No GFDL 1.1+
How to Think Like a (Python) Programmer Allen Downey Green Tea Press en 242 No GFDL 1.1+
Learning Python 978-0596513986 Mark Lutz O'Reilly Python for unexperienced programmers en 746 3. 2007-10 No No

Game programming

  • Open Source Game Development (ISBN 978-1584504061) by Martin Heni, Andreas Beckermann - Charles River Media (2005)
  • Game Programming Patterns (available online only: by Bob Nystrom
  • Windows & Linux Game Programming (ISBN 978-1592000746) by Trent Polack - Course Technology PTR (2004)
  • Programming Linux Games (ISBN 978-1886411494) by John R. Hall, Loki Software - No Starch Press (2001)
  • Linux Game Programming (ISBN 978-0761532552) by Mark Collins, Martin Donlin, Steve Baker, Ben Campbell - Course Technology PTR (2001)

Graphics programming

  • Pro OGRE 3D Programming (ISBN 978-1590597101) by Gregory Junker - Apress (2006)
  • Advanced Linux 3D Graphics Programming (ISBN 978-1556228537) by Norman Lin - Wordware Publishing (2001)
  • Linux 3D Graphics Programming (ISBN 978-1556227233) by Norman Lin - Wordware Publishing (2001)
  • OpenGL Programming for the X Window System (ISBN 978-0201483598) by Mark J. Kilgard - Addison Wesley (1996)

Graphical applications


Book title/link ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
Beginning GIMP 978-1590595879 Akkana Peck Apress en 552 1. 2006-04 No No
GIMP - The Official Handbook 978-1576105207 Karin Kylander, Olof S. Kylander Coriolis Group Books en 960 1. 1999-11 CD No
GIMP 2 for Photographers 978-1933952031 Klaus Goelker Rocky Nook Photo editing en 200 1. 2006-11 No No
GIMP for Linux Bible 978-0764533983 Stephanie Cottrell Bryant, Tillman Hodgson, Bryan Livingston Wiley en 728 1. 2000-03 CD No
GIMP Pocket Reference 978-1565927315 Sven Neumann O'Reilly en 112 1. 2000-09 No No
Grokking the GIMP 978-0735709249 Carey Bunks Sams en 352 1. 2000-02 No OPL[1]
Guerilla Guide to Great Graphics with the GIMP 978-0761524076 David D. Busch Premier Press en 370 1. 2000-01 No No
Teach Yourself GIMP in 24 Hours 978-0672315091 Joshua Pruitt, Ramona Pruitt Sams en 360 1. 1999-03 CD unclear[2]
The GIMP for Linux & Unix 978-0201702538 Phyllis Davis Peachpit Press en 306 1. 2000-05 No No

Also check out the book list on GIMP's home page.


Book title ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
Blender Basics James Chronister Introduction to Blender en 118 2. 2006-02 No No[3]
Blender Book 978-1886411449 Carsten Wartmann No Starch Press en 300 1. 2000-12 No No
Bounce, Tumble, and Splash! 978-0470192801 Tony Mullen Sybex Physical world making en 368 1. 2008-02 No No
The Official Blender 2.3 Guide 978-1593270414 Ton Roosendaal, Stefano Selleri No Starch Press en 784 1. 2005-06 CD No
Introducing Character Animation With Blender 978-0470102602 Tony Mullen Sybex Character animation en 496 1. 2007-02 DVD No
The Essenntial Blender 978-1593271664 Roland Hess, Ton Roosendaal No Starch Press en 376 1. 2007-09 CD No
The Official Blender 2.0 Guide 978-0761535133 Sven Wouters Course Technology PTR en 256 1. 2001-01 No No
The Official Blender GameKit 978-1593270049 Carsten Wartmann, Ton Roosendaal No Starch Press en 360 1. 2003-05 CD No

Music & sound

Music & sound
Book title/link ISBN Author Publisher Topic Language Pages Edition Release Extras Free
Computer Music Tutorial 978-0262680820 Curtis Roads MIT Press en 1254 1. 1996-02-27 No No
Csound Book 978-0262522618 Richard Boulanger MIT Press en 782 1. 2000-03-06 CD No
Linux Music & Sound 978-1886411340 Dave Phillips No Starch Press Installing and using audio software on linux en 408 1. 2000-09 No No


  1. Grokking the GIMP is available under the Open Publication License. See it's copyright page
  2. Teach Yourself GIMP in 24 Hours
  3. © 2004, 2006 second edition by James Chronister. This document may be reproduced without permission from the author, but please let me know where you’re using it. You may not bundle this tutorial with any software or documentation that is intended for marketing without expressed written approval from the author.