Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Game Programming Patterns” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Game Programming Patterns
Robert Nystrom
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Game Programming Patterns

4.52  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The biggest challenge facing many game programmers is completing their game. Most game projects fizzle out, overwhelmed by the complexity of their own code. Game Programming Patterns tackles that exact problem. Based on years of experience in shipped AAA titles, this book collects proven patterns to untangle and optimize your game, organized as independent recipes so you c ...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published November 2nd 2014 by Genever Benning (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Game Programming Patterns, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Game Programming Patterns

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 03, 2014 Gwern rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I read the online version.)

This book follows the standard pattern for design pattern books: short chapters on each particular style, with definition, pros & cons, simple pedagogic example, comparisons with other design patterns, and possibly some discussion of real-world implementations & game engines. I haven't heard of any other place where one could find this sort of game-oriented programming design advice, and in that respect, this book is unrivaled.

While far from encyclopedic, the
A good introductory text which is written in an easy-to-read, clear, conversational style. The author employs minimal coding examples that clearly demonstrate the point, and includes common considerations for design decisions. The reason behind everything is explained clearly and simply. While the book is not about optimisation, it also explains the performance implications of design decisions and has a section dedicated to common optimisation patterns such as object pools.

The book in itself is
Nathan Glenn
Mar 20, 2017 Nathan Glenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a game programmer, but I still enjoyed reading through all of the patterns, which are useful in many contexts. His writing style is extremely clear, and he presents each pattern with an example use-case, example code, and my favorite, discussions of the various design trade-offs. I understood for the first time what a union (C/C++) is good for!
Neeraj Adhikari
Dec 20, 2016 Neeraj Adhikari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have already been doing game programming for some time, chances are you already know the patterns described in this book. But if you are just starting out, this book is a must-read. Robert Nystrom has done a great job with analogies, humor and good explanation. Due to that, this book is more fun to read than the original Gang of Four book.
Sandro Mancuso
Jan 31, 2017 Sandro Mancuso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written and easy to read book. Although I'm not a game programmer, I had a good overview of the problems found in that environment when it comes to software design. Content is presented with pragmatism, pointing pros and cons of some patterns and also when to use them.
Mar 14, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure this book wasn't intended to be read from cover to cover, but as a professional developer with no experience making games, I wanted to learn everything I could. The book is clear and well-written, and I came away with knowledge that I can start making use of immediately.

I especially liked the discussion of the "component model", and why its used in games instead of the complex object orientation that's more common in the field I work in.
Lindsey B
Dec 14, 2016 Lindsey B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip Steiner
Apr 09, 2015 Philip Steiner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review from I've often struggled to wrap my brain around the classic Gang of Four design patterns,probably because I'm a pragmatic programmer rather than an academic. Although the title of this book includes the word "game", don't let that dissuade you from reading it if you're looking for a lucid, well thought out tour through design patterns, with lots of great examples, well explained, that keep triggering "aha!" Moments. It's no wonder, really, as game programming is one of the ...more
Katie Cunningham
May 09, 2016 Katie Cunningham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech, non-fiction
Just finished this and I can't recommend it enough. Even if you know programming patterns, I feel like this is a good resource to dive into. It goes into when some patterns are bad (a topic that I've found most books skimp on), and how certain patterns apply specifically to game development.

Its most stunning accomplishment was being the first programming patterns book that made me really want to code rather than question my life choices.
Keith Peters
A pretty good round up of several architectural techniques to keeping complexity in check while programming a game. Your not going to be able to write a game after reading the book, but you will know a variety of techniques to employ while writing one to keep from spiraling into technical debt hell.

And the techniques are more widely applicable then just games. This is a book I would have benefitted from best about 2 years after leaving school.
Shaun Stone
Sep 27, 2015 Shaun Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this. All examples were very well explained. I especially like the section on the Component pattern, I could see how this would be incorporated into my current game project. Most of these books are inheriting knowledge from the original Gang of 4 design patterns book. However, this adds more with real life examples relevant to the problems I currently face. A MUST read for any aspiring developer.
Sergey Bir
Jul 18, 2015 Sergey Bir marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skimmed
Similar to "design patterns" by gang of four. Author shares insights into game industry and game programming in a slightly humorous and warm way.
Style: 4/5 - examples and humour
Density: 3/5 - some is new, some is old
Relevancy: 1/5 - can be relevant to current job and future game programming but examples are tied to c++

If i ever build a big game i might remember about this book.
Hsieh Yu-Hua
Nov 21, 2015 Hsieh Yu-Hua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really practical book for design patterns with lots of example, easy to read, which is not like other pattern books that are too academic and terse.
The only drawback is thought it's written in C++, it's not written in C++ style, which makes the code kinda awkward, because the author wants the book to be readable for non-C++ers.( Thought it may be an advantage for non-C++ developers. )
Dan Seery
Jul 17, 2016 Dan Seery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. It takes the Gang of Four Design Patterns and looks at it through the lens of game design. The examples in this book are applicable to real projects and not just high level theory. I have implemented several of the patterns discussed in this book to improve my own code base.
Jan 06, 2016 Fabio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informatics
Absolutely brilliant. Worth the money if you plan to move to the game industry (or already are in there, and a bit lost).
Jose  Seco Sanz
May 22, 2015 Jose Seco Sanz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, technical
As good as GoF, touching different subjects of course, but just as good. More practical, more focused and of course a lot less academic. Worth a reread(self-note).
Wangshan Lu
Nov 25, 2014 Wangshan Lu rated it really liked it
Much more readable than original GoF book. A good read for software design and not limited to games.
Colin Whiteside
Jan 10, 2016 Colin Whiteside rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharply written and with a good amount of humour to get past the inevitable dryness of a Design Patterns book, this should be on more reading lists for games programming courses.
Pavel Kolev
Jul 31, 2016 Pavel Kolev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly how a technical book should be written. Kudos for the interesting point of view and great samples.
Jul 07, 2015 Paritosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview of problems in game engineering and discussion of tradeoffs in solutions. Definitely has its limitations and low points, but worth a read.
Nov 24, 2015 Dorin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great selection of wonderfully explained patterns, commonly used in games, by that is not exclusive. A great read for any developer regardless of the domain they are working in
Christoffer Lernö
Jan 19, 2015 Christoffer Lernö rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
Even if you're well familiar with these patterns, Nystrom's book is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
Kadri Moks
Kadri Moks rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2016
Marlon Elloys
Marlon Elloys rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2015
Antoni Dikov
Antoni Dikov rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2017
Joe Midgley
Joe Midgley rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2015
Pär Jorwén
Pär Jorwén rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2015
David rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2015
Antonio Caggiano
Antonio Caggiano rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2016
Arkadiusz Holko
Arkadiusz Holko rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games
  • Critical Play: Radical Game Design
  • Game Engine Architecture
  • Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play
  • Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation
  • Game Coding Complete
  • Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games
  • From Myst to Riven: The Creations and Inspirations
  • The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia
  • Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design
  • Gamification by Design
  • Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python
  • Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form
  • Modern Information Retrieval
  • GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Do's for Software Developers and Web Designers
  • Characteristics of Games
  • Computer Graphics with OpenGL
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4a Boxed Set

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book

“Like so many things in software, MVC was invented by Smalltalkers in the seventies. Lispers probably claim they came up with it in the sixties but didn't bother writing it down.” 1 likes
“Anytime “mushed” accurately describes your architecture, you likely have a problem.” 1 likes
More quotes…