The majority of the book is dedicated to the mechanics of creating a game in Delphi, and will therefore be concerned mainly with exactly how to do something, such as fast flicker-free animation. Some parts address more theoretical issues, such as game design, and are very light in their coverage. Other parts are at a more intermediate level, such as artificial intelligence and optimization techniques. The techniques discussed in this book are very practical and can be put to use right away, as opposed to being academic theory. The goal is to give the Delphi games programmer the tools he/she needs to start competing in the shareware games market right away. This book will not cover marketing, package design, distribution, or other topics that do not deal directly with creating the game.
Due to the popularity of DirectX in the game programming industry, this book does not cover anything related to OpenGL. However, Wordware publishes an excellent OpenGL book aimed at Delphi programmers titled Delphi Developer’s Guide to OpenGL (ISBN 1-55622-657-8). Although this book is DirectX-specific, some chapters may include code examples that run directly under Windows in order to illustrate a complex topic more clearly. This book is concerned with high-performance graphics programming under DirectX, and as such will concentrate only on full-screen, exclusive mode DirectX programming techniques.
This book will not, as others have, create a “framework” from which examples are drawn, nor will it create wrappers or attempt to hide the low-level DirectX API. This is so that readers become familiar with DirectX, not some artificial abstraction layer that might not work for their purposes. The closest to a “framework” that we’ll get in this book is the creation of a baseline application that simply gets a page flipping, full-screen DirectDraw application up and running, including mouse support. This was done in order to simplify the creation of all the examples included in the book, but it certainly doesn’t shield the developer from any of the nuances or pitfalls of DirectX programming. If you want to do game programming, you have to get in bed with the operating system, the API, and the hardware.