G’day from Australia! My book (it’s the first time I’ve written a book, so please be kind in your comments and criticisms) is based on v1.7 of ShiVa, and much of the code was written using the PLE version, so you should all be able to at least try it out!
I would like to say that without the help of the people at StoneTrip, this book would never have happened, so a really big “THANK YOU” to all of them. Whilst on the subject of “Thank You”, I’d also like to express my love and thanks to my wife and son (for putting up with my hours at the keyboard!), and also my thanks to www.psionic3d.co.uk for the game music. I’d like to thank the Alarm, the Cure and the Dead Kennedys for their wonderful music, which kept me awake on the train to and from work (where I wrote a lot of the book, and yes I am still stuck in the 80s!). Finally, I’d like to thank redhydrant (www.redhydrantpress.com) for allowing me to use a picture of his “Story Time Skeleton” block print on the front cover. Oh, almost forgot, thanks to mylesb and alienheretic, who also gave valuable input into some of the Chapters. Thanks guys!
The book is split into 17 Chapters, which I hope give a good introduction to ShiVa:
The first couple of Chapters give a brief overview of ShiVa and 3D programming in general, then, in Chapter 3, I move on to a more in-depth look at the various ShiVa modules. Chapters 4 & 5 show you how to build a couple of simple first applications and, in Chapter 6, I show you how to use PolyTrails and Particle Systems. Chapter 7 is all about SoundBanks, and Chapter 8 goes deep into the Material Editor. Chapter 9 covers the HUD, and Chapters 10 & 11 explain how to use Attributes and Ambience. Next I explain Animation and, in Chapter 13, Pathfinding. Chapter 14 is a quick intro to XML use in ShiVa, and Chapter 15 introduces the HLDL Framework. Chapter 16 explains how to create Terrains, and the final Chapter shows how I built my “Dino Hunter” game. In all of the Chapters, I’ve tried to use standard StoneTrip demos to explain part of what the Chapter’s about.
I hope this book helps you to understand ShiVa and 3D programming. Remember that the developer’s forum and the internet are your friends for pretty much anything to do with ShiVa and the 3D world. I have spent many hours searching the internet for code (and advice), and then converting it from one language to another (it always seemed to be in a language (Java, C#, C++ etc.) other than the one I wanted!), so be prepared for some hard work! You can pretty much bet that a lot of what you want to do has already been done by someone, somewhere.
Finally, I’d like to wish you all the best in your journey with ShiVa, and I look forward to seeing more and more ShiVa projects appearing, not only in the forum, but also in places where you (and the engine of course!) can get their hard work appreciated by the public.
And one final thing – To the Stonetrip crew – Keep up the great work (I can’t wait for v1.8!).